Cold Chain is Hot at Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals

Ann Grackin, of ChainLink Research, recently published a summary of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals conference.  Intelleflex CEO Peter Mehring was part of a panel on Cold Chain Management during the conference.  You can read Ann’s summary of the conference here.

In the summary article, Ann writes:

Cold Is Hot

Clearly, government mandates plus consumer illnesses are getting to the food and Pharma companies. Cold Chain is a global issue. We learned a lot about this topic with a small, but clearly, dedicated audience (that did not leave the Cold Chain sessions) that tried to obtain all the cold chain nuggets of information they could digest.  Firms like FoodLink, Intelleflex, SYSPRO, and ImpactFactor along with standards group GS1 really helped cook-up some important insights about cold chain challenges and where we need to go from here. With over 30% of the world’s food going to waste, it seems like there is a huge ROI across the supply chain, if we can just dig our forks into it!

Get Your Copy of Peter Mehring's Presentation at CSCMP

The Cold Chain Management Panel used the example of the impact of temperature on strawberries and how proper temperature monitoring can reduce waste and improve operations.  If you’d like a copy of Peter Mehring’s presentation, please email me.  I’d be happy to send you a copy.

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing


PMA 2012: Closing Thoughts and Hats Off to PMA, Cisco and 2nd Harvest

The 2011 PMA Fresh Summit is now over and it was quite an event. We had a lot of people come by who were very interested in the recent case study that we recently concluded relating to blackberries being grown in Mexico and shipped into the USA. Growers and packers from all over the US, Canada and Latin America found the data fascinating and saw immediate applications to their own processes and how they can reduce waste and improve quality.

And, as mentioned in my last post, I learned something new again  today: Rubbage.  Rubbage turns produce into rubbish.  What’s rubbage?  It’s what produce experiences when it gets jostled about in containers as the truck hits bumps in the road.  This problem is apparently quite severe in less developed countries.  (Though anyone that’s driven California’s freeways of late would wonder if we quality as well.)  Take away is, in addition to temperature, people are also concerned about other sensor-based applications that work well with RFID relating to shock and vibration.

I also wanted to mention something very important that happens at PMA. As you can imagine, there are tens of thousands of pounds of produce on display for the show. When I ordered berries for our booth demo, I wondered what would become of them each day and found that PMA works with The Second Harvest Food Bank in Atlanta to collect and distribute the produce at the end of each day and (en masse) at the end of the show.  Who knows how many thousands of people will get fresh produce as a by-product of this event.  That’s great!  And, I also want to tip my hat to 80+ volunteers from Cisco Systems who showed up at the end of the show to collect the produce from around the convention center and package it all up to be delivered to people in need.  That’s really fantastic and speaks very highly of both the volunteers from Cisco and of Cisco itself for supporting such an effort.  So, thank you volunteers!

Hats off to the Cisco volunteers and Second Harvest Food Bank!

Kevin Payne
Senior Director of Marketing

You Never Know What You’ll Learn at a Trade Show

Day 1 of PMA’s Fresh Summit in Atlanta is now behind us.  I’m not sure what the final attendance numbers will be but the show floor is buzzing.  With an eclectic mix of fruits, veggies, pre-packed snacks, salsas, juices and other items, there’s plenty to see and plenty to taste.  A lot of people have come by the Intelleflex booth (3782) and we’ve had some very interesting conversations as people describe their products and the unique challenges associated with packing and shipping them for retail distribution.

Lots of People to Meet and Things to See at PMA Fresh Summit

For example, I learned that Basil is the only herb that has unique shipping refrigeration requirements.  Other herbs can be refrigerated but Basil has to be kept in the mid 50 degree range or it browns and spoils. As such, it’s often a casualty of improper shipping and posed a significant challenge for two Basil growers from Chile that I spoke with.  I also learned that apples which, by fruit standards have a fairly long shelf life, still have specific temperature management issues, especially when shipped abroad.  Interesting also that apples, when held in cold storage, aren’t easy to inventory as the store rooms have no oxygen, making careers in apple inventorying very unappealing.

Basil is Often a Victim of Temperature Mishandling in Transit

We’re speaking with a lot of large and small growers, many of whom made the trip from Mexico, Chile, Honduras, Brazil and Argentina, demonstrating the huge global market for fresh fruit throughout the year.  Latin American growers are particularly interested in pallet-level temperature monitoring, shelf life prediction and documented freshness at delivery due to the longer shipping distances they’re forced to deal with when sending products to the USA.  Large retailers like Costco and Safeway are also exploring the show floor.

Day 2 begins at 11am today and, in addition to the tens of thousands of screaming produce fans, we’ll also have about 60,000 screaming Atlanta Falcons fans here today as well.  Sounds like an exciting Sunday in the making.

PS: To you apple fans out there, keep an eye out for a new variety called a “Lady Alice” that will be making its appearance on store shelves in February I’m told.  Really tasty!

Keep Your Eyes Peeled for the New Lady Alice Apple

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing

PMA Fresh Summit is About to Start

If you’ve never been to the PMA Fresh Summit, you’re in for a treat…quite literally.  There are over 50 aisles of exhibits and most of them have free samples and tastings of fruits and vegetables of every conceivable shape, size and variety.  You can wander from booth to booth and grab an apple, a pear or perhaps something you’ve never even seen before that’s traveled from Chile, Mexico or Argentina.  While we won’t be able to offer you any fresh fruits or vegetables in our booth, we can demonstrate how we can help ensure the delivered freshess of those fruits and veggies as they make  their way from the field to the grocery store.


All Set Up and Ready To Go at PMA Fresh Summit Booth 3782

Come by our booth at 3782 at PMA and say hi and we’ll show you how we’re working to improve freshness and quality of your fresh produce.

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing



Stop Guessing

North America’s largest produce show, The Produce Marketing Associations “Fresh Summit” begins this Saturday, October 14.  There may not be a lot of new fruits and vegetables introduced at the show but there are some exciting new solutions making an appearance at this show for the first time including pallet-level temperature monitoring.

Stop Guessing: Learn How at PMA Booth 3782

Pallet-level temperature monitoring helps growers, packers and shippers determine the actual remaining shelf life for their products in real-time.  This provides the ability to route product based on each pallet’s unique shelf life.  The result, actionable data that improves decision making and reduces waste – without any guesswork associated with visual inspection.

If you’re at PMA, please swing by the Intelleflex booth at 3782.  Along with our partner, ProWare Services, we’ll be demonstrating how Intelleflex temperature monitoring tags in conjunction with ProWare’s FreshAware software can improve cold chain operations.

We’re also publishing a new case study on a recently concluded project that measured the impact of shelf-life on blackberries being shipped from Mexico into the USA.  You can get a copy of the case study overview by clicking here.

If you’re at PMA this weekend, please visit us at Booth 3782 or visit our partner ProWare at booth 2447 and see Intelleflex and FreshAware in action.

Kevin Payne

Senior Director of Marketing