Problems with food supplies have made headlines from contaminated spinach, harmful meats and even counterfeit seafood it’s no wonder there has to be an effective tracking system in place to control the problems.
With the FDA tightening regulations for traceability from farm to fork or sea to server, farmers and fisheries must be able to identify their produce. Many are voluntarily doing this and they are moving ahead of the standards since they see the benefits of automating their harvest.
An excellent way to achieve this level of traceability is by using a pressure-sensitive barcode label to identify and track the catch bins or nets.
One difficulty with using labels in the field or out in the ocean is that the labels don’t hold up in water, flooded fields or submerged in fresh or salt water.
Durable labels work well in harsh environments
The obvious solution is to use a durable label material such as vinyl, polypropylene or polyester to ensure their survival in water. However, not all these types of labels are equal. Polypropylene or polyester labels are a popular waterproof alternative to vinyl labels. Both of these are available in a matte or gloss finish. Polyester labels are also available in a metal look and silver stock.
In addition to the label material, you’ll need to consider the adhesive for maximum durability. A strong adhesive with a good initial tack is usually used in situations where durability is a must.
Another determining factor in the durability of your labels is the use of a thermal printer and specific ribbon matched to your application. Depending on where you need to label your product, a mobile printer may offer the flexibility you need in the field. If a mobile printer isn’t an immediate option, you can consider having your labels pre-printed.
A major consideration in the durability of your labels is, what water conditions they will need to hold up in (either salt or fresh water) and how long they are needed to last in these conditions.
The cost of a label is major part of your decision. However, depending on your application, a label that has failed to hold up properly can wind up costing a lot more, if you lose a catch, can’t provide traceability in a recall, or your production is slowed or even stopped because of a missing or illegible label.
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