Tracing the future for the food industry

It’s been over 12 months since the horsemeat contamination scandal broke and the industry is still waiting on clear direction and regulation from the Government and advisory bodies on how to combat fraud in the food chain.  It will be interesting to see what recommendations are put forward in the forthcoming DEFRA Elliot review into the integrity and assurance of food supply chain networks.

I firmly believe that IT will play an important role in the future of the supply chain. Traceability is a hot topic whether you are a baker, meat processor, fresh produce provider or retailer.

IT gives suppliers and retailers the tools to accurately monitor products from farm to fork. At any point of the supply chain, food producers and suppliers should be able to pinpoint where produce has come from, what processes it’s gone through and where it ends up, with the emphasis on providing this information instantaneously.

I predict in the next few years consumers and retailers will expect the food industry to be able to provide comprehensive traceability information at the touch of a button.

So how can the industry start to prepare for this? We have found forward thinking food processors and suppliers are looking to food specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

This insightful technology can help food businesses efficiently track and trace all aspects of a product’s manufacture from raw material intake, through production, to where it goes when it leaves the factory.

Supermarkets and food suppliers were criticised for the time it took to identify where the contaminated meat came from. In some cases the original source is still not certain. The industry needs to take note and demonstrate it has the technology and the insight to pinpoint immediately any problems there may be in the supply chain and have the ability to recall any potentially unsafe food straight away.

Forward thinking businesses which start implementing this technology now will be ahead of the game.

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