Traceability in the agri business


The responsibility of the merchant

Although farmers have an obligation to account for the traceability of what fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides they use on their farms, they are usually slack at doing so, therefore the responsibility is forwarded onto the merchant. This means the merchant needs to catch the herd number of the farmer, have the ability to affiliate that herd number with fertilisers bought during the season, and then regurgitate that information back to the government. 

With the new EU legislation being passed to implement a National fertiliser database for traceability reasons, coming into effect over the next few months, a mandatory responsibility has been placed on the merchant to record farmers’ purchasing actions after each transaction, when it comes to pesticides, fertiliser and herbicides. This is to ensure they are not buying too much and exceeding the limit.

Currently the merchant reports usage and traceability information back to the government monthly or annually using the farmer’s herd number as a unique identifier, unless it’s a contractor (then they have a special contract number), however the rules are vague and amounts can be forgotten or estimated. 

When the ‘national fertiliser database’ is implemented, accountability and traceability for all fertiliser based products purchased from a merchant will be required. These details will have to include batch number, product, weight and traceability, which they then need to forward to the government daily.


Traceability for fertiliser, herbicide and persticide use

Traceability in the agricultural business is important for ensuring the responsible use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. By having a complete record of the products used on a farm, agri merchants can ensure that farmers are using fertiliser based products in accordance with regulatory standards and guidelines, reducing the risk of environmental contamination and protecting human health. Traceability also enables the tracking of fertiliser and pesticide application rates, helping to optimise their use, reduce waste, and minimise costs. Moreover, traceability provides evidence of using these products responsibily, which can enhance the reputation of the agri merchant and help to build consumer trust.


Importance of traceability in the agri industry

In recent years, there has been a growing trend of traceability within the agriculture business. Traceability refers to the ability to trace the origin and movement of a product through the supply chain, from farm to consumer. This is becoming increasingly important as consumers demand more information about the products they purchase and governments implement stricter regulations on food safety and traceability. One of the main drivers of this trend is the increasing demand for transparency and accountability in the food industry. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of their food choices on the environment, animal welfare, and their own health, meaning they want to know where their food comes from, how it was produced, and whether it meets certain standards. Traceability allows farmers and food producers to provide this information and build trust with their customers.

Another driver of the traceability trend is the growing concern about food safety. Traceability allows for rapid identification and recall of products in the event of a food safety incident. This can help prevent the spread of illness and protect the public health. It also helps to protect the reputation of the farmers, producers and food industry as a whole.

The trend of traceability within the agriculture business is also driven by government regulations. For example, the European Union has implemented strict traceability requirements for food products through its “Farm to Fork” strategy, which aims to make the food system more sustainable and healthier. The U.S. government also has regulations in place to ensure the safety of our food supply chain.

Farmers and food producers are beginning to respond to the growing trend of traceability by implementing new technologies and systems. Most are going ‘digital’ and implementing business management solutions to their organisations to create a secure and transparent record of the movement of products through the supply chain. Using these solutions specifically designed for the agri business creates optimisations, gives full visibility and lets you account for quality control and traceability.


A finishing word

Traceability in the agriculture business is becoming increasingly more important as consumers demand more information about the origin and quality of their food. This trend has led to the development of traceability systems and business management solutions that allow for better tracking of food products from farm to table.

In relation to fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides, traceability is crucial to ensure that the products used in agriculture are safe, effective and environmentally friendly. This involves the responsibility of tracking the production and distribution of fertilisers to ensure that they meet regulatory standards and to prevent the use of counterfeit or substandard products. 

With the agri merchants reporting data back to the Irish government, they are playing a key role in monitoring traceability within the ‘National Fertiliser Database’ and will track the distribution and usage of fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides to individual farmers. Once the farmers have reached their limit they are able to cut them off which will help ensure the Irish government meet their 2030 emissions target.



Other articles you might be interested in:

The National Fertiliser Database

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