According to a media release, the companies claim that the launched Smart Crate packaging “will be the first-ever of its kind on the continent.”
The crates are made from 100% recycled plastic and falls in line with the company’s commitment to a circular economy, and creating responsible and sustainable solutions that respect the planet and its biodiversity.
The technology uses an integration of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Near-Field Communication (NFC), which use radio waves to send real-time data as the crate moves from one touchpoint to another. The crate will be frequently scanned at specific checkpoints within the course of its journey using the tags on the crates.
Smart Crates technology enables the farmers to conveniently key in information about the product with a single tap of their phone. Thereafter, they can follow the course of the produce’s journey from the pick-up point when it leaves their farm to the drop-off stage, when it reaches the vendors in the market, ensuring that they are actively involved throughout the process.
An upgrade to the regular crates would enable geolocation advantages as well. This will be vital for Twiga Foods when tracking the number of crates en-route, how much product is on transit, and how many trucks would be required to transport all the produce.
The crates are then brought back for reuse afterwards. This offers operational and logistical advantages that will assist in minimizing post-harvest waste, offer efficient management of their distribution channels, and aid in utilizing their resources more efficiently for a more streamlined and sustainable approach to distribution.
Usually, when farmers produce the products, they need the means to transport them in safe secondary packaging that would ensure that their produce can reach the markets in the best quality possible. Silafrica’s Group Executive Director, Akshay Shah promises that the crates’ unique design will help prevent damage to the fresh farm produce.