Transparency of the supply chain is vital during the uncertainty of a pandemic. Transparency of communication, accountability, and teamwork of all participants must exclude irregularities and risks. The supply chain transparency market has high hopes for the technology.
Safe and trusted food distribution is a complex process with multi-stage reporting and a great responsibility for each participant. The supply chain structure should open access to full product identification and check at each stage from production to the end consumer.
Transparency of food supply chains
is a growing market today, and only with the implementation of new technologies, it will be able to cope with the projected increase in load. The established transparency of the supply chains is now more necessary than ever because of global destructive changes and constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
International supply chains collapsed, and demand for food safety has increased dramatically.
The most popular technologies
now are the tags, labels, and scanners, and the software that collects all the data entered by the manufacturer and deliverer into the databases. However, manual data recording and paperwork are too slow and opaque and need automation to restore international trade and security as soon as possible.
estimates the food traceability market in the U.S. at $16.8 billion in 2020 and is forecasted to grow to $26.1 billion by 2025, with an average annual growth rate of 9.1%. The fastest-growing part of the global market will locate in the Asia-Pacific region. Public awareness has raised, consumer habits have changed, and demand for food safety and cleanliness has increased here drastically.
Foodborne diseases remain a big problem for the food industry. Poisoning, infection, and other diseases due to poor nutrition account for 76 million cases per year
in the United States alone, and 5,000 of them become fatal. Even with existing tagging and tracking systems, food in stores can be contaminated with pathogens.
, British FSA found Campylobacter bacteria in grocery stores in the UK. However, even after the measures taken, 16% of chiсkens
in british supermarkets remain infected. In 2020, due to the pandemic, the amount of counterfeit and substandard products in the UK has increased due to disrupted supply chains. Now, only transparency in supply chains can save people from infection.
At the same time, the complexity of food supply chains has grown significantly during the last years. The restaurant business and catering have involved many new workers, which could potentially affect food contamination and the spread of pathogens. To prevent disease outbreaks, the restaurant business owners and employees must also be involved in the technologization of food supply chains. Traceability, collection, and sharing of quality data should be a common concern for all food market participants and governments.
Strict regulation and support for food supply chains transparency developments have already been announced
by many governments. However, not only the domestic market but also the international food trade must be well established and regulated to reduce risks. Ministries and food safety agencies must work closely together to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their countries' food markets. Because old verification and certification systems fail to cope with today's product flows, governments must support the developments for transparency.
The massive introduction of high-tech tracking systems
is an obvious necessity. Now, the management of logistics is shifting to AI algorithms. Today digital ecosystems based on a massive amount of data make reliable forecasts and save company costs. Data is collected by sensors of the Internet of Things, databases include blockchain for sustainability and reliability.
allows producers to provide reliable storage of information about the movement of goods along the supply chain and events occurring with them, as well as legally significant confirmation of transactions. Enhanced technological capabilities and pooling of development experience across countries will help to detect sources of foodborne infections quickly. In addition to supporting development, governments should support the implementation of traceability technologies and reduce the cost of high-tech innovations for business.
The growing demand for product safety and cleanliness, legislation and government programs, and cost reductions are boosts for the transparency market in the coming years. On the other hand, the high cost of high-tech innovations, the need to educate and train personnel, sharing internal data, and other issues are still relevant. Pilot projects, new experiments, and the steps of major market players are expected to make technology more accessible and resolve these issues.