Substandard traceability credentials damaging suppliers

By Nye Longman
Substandard traceability software could seriously damage fresh food producers business models and block their routes to major markets, enterprise resour...

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.

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