What is Traceability?
Traceability is a method which tracks a product from production to consumption, and is usually referred to within the food sector. It is a very important process as it allows transparency across the platforms from the farms to your kitchen table and (if done well) helps to ensure standards and regulations are upheld. Having a sound traceability program therefore improves food safety control as issues can easily be detected and rectified.
Turmeric and its Supply Chain
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a rhizomatous plant belonging to the ginger family Zingiberaceae, has been used for centuries for countless reasons. It's most widespread use (and most important use, in our humble opinion) is medicinal. Turmeric, compromised of its most important component, curcumin, along with hundreds of other powerful medicinal ingredients, is now scientifically shown to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. It is not surprising that a natural source such as this would be in growing demand. Traditionally, the industry of turmeric cultivation has faced a lot of supply chain challenges in terms of availability, quality, safety and cost.
Dr. D’s TRACE Program:
Dr. D’s Ultra BioTurmeric is produced in Kerala, India. Knowing the traditional supply chain challenges concerning turmeric, our lab proactively started working on these challenges and initiated a highly distinctive TRACE program for turmeric under the Sustainability Program.
The Turmeric TRACE program started with the support of a small group of farmers in Gundlupet, a border town between Kerala and Karnataka, and major farmland of Madras Finger Turmeric (the purest form of turmeric, in the raw form you’d buy in the produce section of the grocery store). Currently, the program covers 60 farmers, 220 acres of farmland and an estimated output of 700 MT of high-quality turmeric. The program is now used as an exemplar for similar initiatives, and considering the growing demand for traceable turmeric, this TRACE program will likely be expanded to other turmeric farms soon.
The TRACE program comprehensively covers every activity in the production chain starting from farming to the final, finished product.
1) Field executives visit the farms regularly to inspect and record farm activities such as:
- land preparation
- weed management
- application of pesticides
- boiling and drying of turmeric
2) The success of the program depends on the active participation of the farming community to ensure the farming practices are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. Therefore, training programs are aimed to provide a better awareness to the farmers about proper agricultural practices, including:
- new seed varieties
- impact of uncontrolled use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- better water management techniques
- the importance of crop rotation
- food safety requirements
- and more!
These processes have helped farmers to produce high-quality turmeric devoid of harmful chemicals, better yield and price realization. Frequent follow-up visits by agronomists boost the farmer’s confidence levels as they are continually assured that they are following the proper agricultural practices as discussed, and are swiftly corrected if not.
3) All the farms and farmers under this program are given unique codes to allow easy tracking of turmeric’s journey from the farm to the finished product. Additionally, the customers frequently audit the program progress and share valuable feedback for improvement, if any.
This program, which is strictly based on the traceability aspect of our Sustainability Model, upholds the highest standards which are completely transparent from the farm to your table; assurance turmeric consumers are not easily guaranteed.
The result of Dr. D’s unique TRACE Program? A premium turmeric product which is sustainable, of the highest quality and safety, and compliant with international traceability standards.