Substandard traceability credentials damaging suppliers
Substandard traceability software could seriously damage fresh food producers’ business models and block their routes to major markets, enterprise resource planning expert LINKFRESH has said.
Food recalls rose 78 per cent last year according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and recent high-profile recalls affecting both Mars and Cow & Gate have thrown supply chain traceability into sharp focus.
The number of food recalls has risen for the past three years consecutively, peaking at 159 recalls in 2015.
Speaking about the increasing number of food product recalls over the past three years Richard Jones, chief technology officer of supply chain software experts LINKFRESH, said: “The rise in the number of products we are seeing recalled may be alarming to customers. However, it should be more alarming to suppliers who do not currently have the capacity to trace faulty products to their source.
“It is they who could see their business models damaged and their routes to market blocked if they cannot meet traceability standards set by major retailers – which are likely to be elevated further.
“If we take the Mars example, the recall executed by Mars is a working example of industry best practice where the company was able to react quickly and efficiently using accurate and real-time traceability data to effect a swift and complete recall of only the effected products.
“Mars’ actions ensured consumer safety, whilst maintaining trust in their products and limiting any negative impact on its brand. Potentially, Mars’ swift actions and transparency about the problem could actually increase consumer trust in their products in the future.”
The FSA has just unveiled its Science, Evidence and Information Strategy 2015 – 2020, programme of work and forward evidence plan for 2016/17, which sets down the steps it will be taking to improve the quality and safety of products.
EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs
The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years.
It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC.
The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn.
In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products.
Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers
- The dispute began in 2004
- Tariffs suspended for 5 years
- $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
- $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date
- 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended
Both sides welcome end to tariffs
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.
“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.
Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”.
The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."
This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.
Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”