Where do you see fruits with label? These are seen in large groceries and supermarkets. If you’re a fan of large stores, you will often see the producer and and place of origin of fruits you buy. Small retailers in public markets and sidewalks never practice labelling.
Large fruit producer or traders often place an identifying marks on their commodities. The purpose is advertisement, to show the buyers that they are selling fresh quality fruits. Doing so will gain customer loyalty.
Supermarkets and large groceries are also placing labels on fruits, barcode, but the purpose is not promotion. Those are for easy price identification at point of sale terminal (POS). Prices and total are read and computed by computer through barcodes.
What are the benefits of fruit labels to consumers?
1) Ease of buying. If the commodity has barcode, the cashier do not need to compute prices manually, computation are generated automatically my machines. Writing sales receipts is also done by computer. A quicker and convenient transaction.
2) The buyer can easily identify which grower/trader are carrying fresh quality fruits. They can patronize quality fruits and avoid those of low quality.
3) In case some problems arise, the responsible company is easy to identify. Salmonella and E. coli and other disease outbreaks might originate from improperly handled fruits.
Fruit labelling is beneficial but there is a problem with the current system. The sticker label is not permanent. It can easily be removed, intentional or accidental. If this happens, identification of the source is hard. In case the source is still in your memory, proving is hard without solid evidence.
To address the problem, researchers developed a laser labeling for fruits. Texts are engrave on fruit surface by means of laser (of course). The possibility of contamination and spoilage are prevented by sealing it with carbon. Additional measures are done by covering the surface with wax.
Laser labels are permanent and cannot be rub-off. Can only be removed by scraping off the peel or covering it with with sticker label.
The technology is really promising. Hope I can see it here in Philippines soon.