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From Farm to Label: Understanding Agriculture Labeling

Travis Wayne

From Farm to Label: Understanding Agriculture Labeling


The creation of labels in the agriculture industry goes beyond mere aesthetics. It's a central part of responsible business practices and operational efficiency for businesses in the agriculture space. From health concerns to environmental consciousness, labels in agriculture serve as a bridge between the farm and the consumer and help establish a relationship built on trust and transparency. As the agricultural landscape continues to evolve, the role of labels will only become more important in shaping the future of food production and consumption.


This blog will go over common types of agriculture labeling including food, sustainability, and traceability labeling, common types of agriculture labels, and best practices. 


Download a free trial of agriculture labeling software 


Common Types of Agriculture Labeling


Food Product Labeling 


Food product labeling is one of the most common types of agricultural labeling. Food labels are required to include certain information, including allergens, nutritional value, and where the food originated from.  


Allergen labeling: Labels in agriculture, particularly on food products, must carry information about potential allergens, allowing individuals to make informed choices and avoid products that might trigger allergic reactions. The US Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires that labels on food products prominently display the presence of any ingredient from one of nine food allergens. Incorrect packages or labels that fail to identify allergens are the leading cause of food recalls by the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). 


Nutrition labeling: In an era where health consciousness is on the rise, nutritional information on labels is paramount. Agriculture labels break down the nutritional content of products, enabling consumers to select items that align with their dietary requirements and preferences. This information includes the number of calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, and other nutrients in the product. Learn more about nutrition labeling in North America


Country of origin labeling: Country of origin labeling (COOL) tells consumers where a food product was grown, raised, or produced. This information can be important to consumers who want to support local farmers or who want to avoid products from certain countries. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requires every foreign product entering the U.S. to have COOL in English, clearly and visibly located on the product, and written legibly and permanently. 


Sustainability Labeling


Sustainability labeling provides consumers with information about the environmental and social impact of agricultural products. This information can include the product's organic certification, genetically modified organism (GMO) status, and pesticide use. USDA verified organic seal 


Organic labeling: Organic labeling indicates that a product was produced using organic farming methods. Organic farming methods avoid the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. If you want to claim that your product is organic on your labels or packaging and use the USDA organic seal, your product must be certified by an authorized certifying agent

non GMO verified seal


GMO labeling: The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Law requires all foods produced with bioengineered ingredients, or GMOs, to be labeled as such. GMOs are plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered in a way that does not occur naturally. If your product does contain GMOs, packaging must include a small seal or text that says “bioengineered,” or “derived from bioengineering.” 


Pesticide and chemical labeling: Labels are a tool for transparency when it comes to the use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture. This information can be important to consumers who are concerned about the health and environmental impact of pesticides and chemicals. Plus, unlike other types of product labels, pesticide labels are legally enforceable. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires a pesticide label statement and using a pesticide in a way inconsistent with its label is a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). 


Traceability Labeling 


Traceability labeling provides consumers with information about the journey that an agricultural product has taken through the supply chain and helps agriculture businesses easily identify products that are contaminated or have been recalled


Trace products across supply chain: Traceability is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and quality of agricultural products. Labels facilitate the traceability of products from farm to table, creating accountability and ensuring any issues can be swiftly identified and addressed. 



Smart labels for consumers: Smart labels are a type of traceability labeling that uses digital technology to provide consumers with information about agricultural products. Smart labels contain a 2D barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone or other device to access information such as the product's origin, nutritional value, and sustainability practices. 
Cows in field with traceable tags on their ears


Animal identification: In the field of animal agriculture, identification labels play a crucial role in traceability and disease control. From farm to fork, labels on animal products help in monitoring and managing the health and safety of the food supply chain. Animal identification labeling also supports breeding programs and serves as a deterrent against livestock theft. 


Required Information on Agricultural Products 


There are a wide variety of products in the agriculture industry that each have their own labeling requirements, so it’s important to check your local, state, and international regulations for your specific product type. Below are labeling requirements for different agricultural products.  


Seeds: Seeds are labeled to provide information about the type of seed, planting instructions, and potential hazards. This information is important for farmers and gardeners to ensure successful crop cultivation. 


Animal feed: Animal feed is labeled to provide information about the nutritional content, feeding instructions, and any additives or medications present in the feed. This information is important for ensuring the health and productivity of livestock. 


Aquaculture products (seafood): Seafood labels provide information about the origin, sustainability, and safety of the product. This information helps buyers to make ethical and health-conscious choices. 


Dairy products: Dairy product labels provide information about the nutritional content, fat content, and any additives or processing methods used. This information is important for consumers to make informed choices about the dairy products they consume. 


Grains: Grain labels provide information about the nutritional content, milling type, and any potential allergens. This information is important for consumers to make informed choices about the grains they consume. 


Animal products: Animal product labels provide information about the type of animal, country of origin, and any processing methods used.  


Honey and bee products: Honey and bee product labels provide information about the type of honey, country of origin, and any processing methods used. 


Soil: Soil labels provide information about the soil type, nutrient content, and pH level. This information is important for farmers and gardeners to choose the right soil for their crops. 


5 Best Practices for Agriculture Labeling 


  1. Get accurate product information with integration

    Having accurate information on your agriculture labels is a must, especially when it comes to complying with regulations. The best way to ensure accurate product information is to connect your label templates to your company’s database, ERP, or other agribusiness software. Learn more about creating database connections with TEKLYNX software by watching our training webinar.
  2. Print clear and legible labels with native printer drivers

    Once your label is created in your labeling software, you want your printed label to match exactly as you designed it. Without a printer driver that is specifically designed for your printer model, you run the risk of printing a label that may have a slightly different font or is blurry. With TEKLYNX native printer drivers, you can ensure true WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) printing.
  3. Use graphics and color to make your labels stand out with labeling software

    In a visually competitive market, eye-catching labels set your products apart. Leverage the graphic design capabilities of labeling software to create visually appealing and distinctive labels. CODESOFT label design software has both CMYK and RGB color selection, a background image feature, and support all common image file formats, including .jpg, .png, .gif, .eps, .tif, .bmp, and .pdf.
  4. Integrate barcodes onto your labels with barcode label software

    Barcodes act as unique identifiers to enable efficient product tracking for your business and across the agriculture supply chain. TEKLYNX software includes over 100 different barcode symbologies, including Code 128, Code 39, UPC, GS1-128, PDF417, and QR codes.
  5. Keep track of your labels for traceability purposes with label auditing software

    Traceability is a buzzword in modern agriculture, and label traceability software helps maintain a comprehensive record of your labels. LABEL ARCHIVE security and traceability software gives you a full audit history of changes, comments, revisions, and print history for every label, and allows you to establish user roles and permissions to control access to label files.

Best Labeling Software for Agriculture Labeling 


With all the regulations that come with agriculture labeling, having reliable barcode labeling software is a must. TEKLYNX software solutions can help you stay compliant. Use CODESOFT for RFID barcode label design, document printing, and LABEL ARCHIVE for full control of product traceability. 


Get in touch about software for agriculture labeling 

About Travis


Travis Wayne is the Product Manager at TEKLYNX. Travis applies his 20+ years of IT and health sciences experience to empower businesses to streamline operations and barcode better by applying software and technology. He works to continually improve TEKLYNX strategic planning, product and project management principles, and cross-functional communications. When not working, he enjoys many outdoor activities with his wife and two children. 


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