The globalization of the food industry is complicating food supply chains, and the food industry needs better-trusted traceability to be trustworthy.
Consumers lack confidence in the safety of products they buy. The current system of monitoring and testing of food products still faces outbreaks of bacterial diseases caused by infected products. It means that the food industry demands new regulations to avoid new diseases and deaths. In addition to diseases, the control system cannot protect consumers from the purchase of counterfeit and second-rate products. Under the guise of quality goods, consumers buy food that does not meet the standards. The unproper control of the counterfeit puts the health of millions of customers under threat. The system needs to change the focus and tools of the work to be consumer-oriented first both in domestic and international food supply chains.
September 25, 2020, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a new regulation for the trusted traceability of food supply chains.
Traceability is already a usual food safety requirement for some countries and regions. Since 2002, the European Commission
has reformed the food industry and established regulations No.178/2002
. It obliges food and feeds producers and suppliers to support a tracking and recall system. Using it, the suppliers will be able to accurately identify the origin and subsequent processing and delivery steps. This requirement has become more complicated and expanded. In 2007, the European Commission issued a Food Traceability Fact Sheet. In 2011, traceability conditions changed in accordance with Regulation (EU) No. 931/2011
on traceability requirements. Global regulators understand the lack of transparency in the food industry, and new laws and technologies are developing to make food delivery chains traceable and trustworthy.
Track and Secure: The FDA Rule
is necessary for more than 15 food categories. These are historically high-risk categories such as vegetables, fruits, cheeses, nut butter, chicken eggs, fish, and seafood, as well as all products that contain these categories as ingredients. Additional traceability and accountability terms for these categories will avoid the sale of dangerous products and reveal the reasons that led to their appearance. The essence of the requirements of a trustworthy food supply chain is to generate and keep records of "key data elements" (KDE) correlated to various "critical tracking events" (CTE). Following the paper by FDA, the main tracking events are growing, receiving, transforming, creating, shipping, and recordkeeping.
Customers deserve to know about their food, its origin, and quality. The FDA takes this into account and ushers in a new era
of transparency for the food and agriculture industry.
The rules will affect large producers, not small-scale farmers. To track the time, location, and conditions of cultivation, companies must document this process. Creation and transforming are the next essential steps that provide the product with its finished form. Shipping and receiving are also events that must be tracked to eliminate vulnerabilities during transportation.
Tracking Tools for Safe Food
During the past years, the global food supply chain has become increasingly complex. Today, many global producers receive raw materials from one country, transform and package products in another country, and distribute them in the third country. This complexity created difficulties for manufacturers in providing the best safety for consumers. Complex supply chains have many blind spots that close the counterfeiting or contamination of products.
Supply chain management systems will now have to record and save real-time tracking events.
The suitable traceability tools
will enable manufacturers to monitor the global supply chain and offer safe and quality food products. For accountability to be accurate and automatic, companies have to use special software and equipment. FCE Platform
is a combination of IoT solutions and complementary software for trustworthy supply chain traceability
. The system of IoT sensors is an automated collection of data equipment across the supply chains. The sensors are placed in the production, warehouses, shipping containers, and stores, tracing the origin and delivery of products. The smart sensor chain tracks the movement and storage conditions of goods and advances the supply chain as accountable and reliable.
Trust and Reputation
Tracking is essential not only for food safety controls but also for the brand's good reputation. The ability to automatically track, collect, and analyze data on the supply chains make manufacturers fully confident in the origin of the raw materials for their products. In many cases, producers require to know not only the origin of ingredients but also the methods of their farming, such as livestock standards or standards of organic agriculture. The availability and showing of such data confirm the products are organic, quality, and have a stated origin. Besides, it helps to ensure product safety, proves maximum risk reduction for consumers, and strict compliance with laws for regulators.
The globalization of the food industry is complicating food supply chains, and the food industry needs better-trusted traceability
to be trustworthy. The standards for food companies are becoming higher, but the implementation of new technologies and their combinations will make compliance with these standards smooth and profitable.