The global fresh produce industry was not as badly hit by the pandemic as other sectors. Some companies have even experienced unparalleled growth, while the gastronomy has almost disappeared. However, the sector is still facing many challenges and is highly at risk during this new wave of infections and lockdowns.
A source of significant concern is the safety and availability of employees. In the US for instance, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) already imposed fines to private companies for failing to provide a safe workplace and expose employees to the coronavirus. Growers and packers are also under pressure to protect their reputation and avoid becoming the target of any public outbreaks, while dealing with increasing costs due to social distancing, additional cleaning, and protection equipment.
These factors have accelerated the digital transformation in the fresh produce industry. New technological solutions do not only create Covid-free environments, but also turn data into business intelligence. For instance, ImmuvID (www.immuvid.com) guarantees that everyone entering into a “safe-space” fulfill certain requirements through the verification of their identity and health status. This tool is ideal for places with high levels of traffic and risk such as plantations, packing lines and distribution centres.
The software was developed by NeXplain, a European company focused on security, and represents a crucial missing link in the new generation of tests. These tests will represent a real game-changer, but only if combined with the correct strategy and with ground-breaking technology.
According to Pieter Louw, NeXplain’s co-founder, “there must be registers of all user of rapid tests and there can be no doubt about the identity of the user and the results. The main reason is to feed statistics that will be crucial in informing better, real time, decision making processes: number of tests done, number of positives, number of negatives, trendlines, etc. If rapid test results “stay at home” and only have the effect of providing peace of mind to the user, then this will represent a massive, missed opportunity to assume an integral management of the pandemic within the company.”
Ada García, also NeXplain’s co-founder, adds that “by linking the right technology platform to rapid testing, we can both protect private and public health and throw on some serious brakes to halt the pandemic.” For this reason, NeXplain has reached solid partnerships with products and services complementary in the fight against Covid-19, such as insurance companies, air purifiers providers and the medical sector, in order to provide a 360° coverage.
The global fresh produce industry is, therefore, not at the mercy of the virus anymore and has the means to implement effective measures that guarantee the safety of their employees, their products and their future. Let us discuss your possibilities to offset uncertainty with the tools we already have in our hands.
The following article was written by Gabriela Centeno with NeXplain.
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NeXplain Food Sector