Fresh local produce is a great attraction for customers coming to your farm shop but fresh food also has a shorter shelf life than frozen food. For this reason you need to keep a good record of when food was created and rotate the older stock so it will be sold before newer stock. But keeping track of when your food will go out of date can be a massive headache yet there are ways to simplify the process.

Print product labels

Use printed product labels that automatically print the date, and even time, that something was made. By using printed labels your employees won’t have to spend time writing out the same information again and again on labels which could add up to a couple of hours a week!

To save even more time you could use a label printer that prints labels on demand. That way you only print the labels you need and there is less time wasted as you try to figure out the correct alignment of the printer or if the sticker paper needs to go face down or up.

Record the expiry date in a computer system

There are many ways you could choose to record the expiry date of batch made products from writing in a log book to creating an elaborate filing system in excel. Essentially what you need to do is create some form of database that will allow the quartermaster or store keeper to quickly check what produce needs selling before it expires.

The easiest way to keep track of every expiry date is to log the products information into an EPoS system. Once an entry has been made for a particular type of product all you need to do is scan the barcode on the ‘printed product labels’ and then list the expiry date and number of items in the batch.

Automatic expiry alerts

The beauty here is that you can not only view a single page that lists the upcoming expiry dates but when a batch is nearing its expiry the EPoS system will flash up an alert informing you of which product is about to expire and how many items are left in the batch.

This will allow you to quickly respond and implement ways to encourage sale of the items such as discounts or package buys.

[featured image: Flickr Creative Commons]