If you grow specialty crops, you know all too well the gauntlets of audits and documentation necessary to meet the demands of customers. Multiple audits for food safety, sustainability, social compliance and more are now the norm.
There was a time when the industry called for a universal audit to cover all the bases at once, but it is clear that is not in the cards as these reporting systems proliferate. That creates a complicated scenario for growers and others in the supply chain.
It’s All in the Hub
Highland Ag Solutions has been at the forefront of providing food-safety recordkeeping software with its Highland Hub system. It allows users to manage the mountain of today’s required data points. The company recently announced a new feature — the Compliance Tracker — which will allow users to streamline and automate the process even more.
The software platform provides an easy-to-navigate overview of all operations within an agribusiness. Individual farms, packinghouses, storage facilities and more can be monitored and managed from the Compliance Tracker.
Tara Stroud, director of customer success with Highland Ag Solutions, says the tracker can be a valuable tool for food-safety consultants, growers, marketers, retailers, large cooperatives and brokers to help manage regulatory compliance. The tracker also helps prioritize the jobs in real time that need the most immediate attention. That’s extremely important when no-notice inspections can happen at any time.
“The Compliance Tracker is an addition to our Highland Hub system. The Hub tracks food safety and handles any kind of audit, whether it be food safety, sustainability, social compliance and those that require private-buyer audit schemes,” Stroud says. “Clients can import all of these into the Hub to help them track those manuals. For each audit, you can create a digital three-ring binder, which is kept up to date online in real time. The Hub also hosts the Crop IQ platform to track chemical spray records, scouting reports, chemical labels, etc.”
Convenient Color Coding
What makes the Compliance Tracker stand out is it puts those things that need the most attention right in front of the software user. Those tasks that are most behind are red and at the top of the list. Items in yellow are next in line. These jobs need attention to stay on time and in compliance. Jobs that are up to date are colored green.
“If a scheduled bathroom sanitation was missed at a packing facility and is behind, it will be listed in red at the top of the list,” Stroud says. “These breakouts of tasks are shown on one screen/dashboard and are broken out by each location the farm needs to track.
“For a food-safety consultant, for instance, who deals with multiple farms and locations, this tool is invaluable. They can’t be everywhere at once, but they can see the most urgent tasks on the screen and prioritize their consultations with their clients.”
The program will also send out notifications of jobs that need to be completed. The key is keeping tasks in the green.
“If you are in the green, you are ready for an on-site audit inspection,” Stroud says. “It is a very simple concept but requires a lot of tracking and monitoring to stay on top of. We’ve made it a lot easier to manage with the Compliance Tracker system.
For more information on the Compliance Tracker, click here.
For more information on the Highland Hub, click here.