Food traceability: why it’s essential for food production
Food traceability systems are essential for tracking inventory and identifying issues on your production line. Here are the reasons why your business needs it.
Last updated: 12.09.2023
Food traceability is not only going to be a massive benefit to your business, but a good system will give you the tools to easily perform product recalls. In this article, we look into why food traceability is important and how you can get implemented with a system.
Traceability is the ability to track the movement of your items, forward and backward, across your food production supply chain.
Upgrading your food traceability processes will allow you to:
Improve inventory management;
Be compliant; and
Maintain a positive brand image.
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What Are Food Traceability Systems?
Food traceability systems are tools that help you record, track, and verify a product’s history, and the location it has reached through your supply chain.
Food traceability will allow you to monitor your perishable inventory, giving you the tools to keep your business compliant and to perform product recalls.
The best food traceability systems will help you easily find information about the raw materials used in a product (be that for a batch or individual ingredient) and the manufacturing route of your products.
All manufacturers, from those in food production to artisan toymakers, need a system for monitoring their raw materials. That’s why we put together the ultimate guide for inventory management for manufacturers, so you can optimize your processes today.
3. Reducing Corrective Actions
Product traceability systems help you avoid problems altogether with real-time features.
But ultimately, recalls are common within the industry. In 2019, there were 337 food recalls in the US.
With food traceability in place, you can easily nip problems in the bud. But, if you do need to do a product recall, you can easily do so with the tools provided.
You’ll be able to determine which stores are selling your products and be compliant while performing your product recall.
4. Being Compliant with Regulations
A food traceability system is going to help you comply with regulations, as governments have laws in place to protect consumers, and will most likely require you to register your business.
And you’ll need a system in place that details:
A products movement history;
What processes the product went through; and
Where your products are heading.
These are some of the reasons why manufacturers in food production need to have food traceability systems in place.
However, some systems do come with their own challenges that you’ll need to be aware of.
The Challenges with Using Food Traceability Systems
These challenges won’t apply to all systems, but you need to be aware of potential issues when you’re looking for food traceability.
1. The High Maintenance Cost
Food traceability, especially with legacy systems, can be an expensive technology to implement into your business, even more so for small to medium-sized businesses.
These costs include things like the labor of installation because a lot of systems are custom built and hosted on an intranet for the business.
This is because food traceability has to be durable and handle the complexity of tracking products across all parts of your supply chain.
2. Difficult and Time-Consuming Data Analysis
Analyzing data with food traceability is more difficult for manufacturers with a high volume of products and raw material.
Managing data and analytics is one of the most challenging aspects when it comes to using food traceability.
The bigger your business, the more products, and suppliers you’ll need to manage, which could overwhelm you with data to analyze.
That’s why when implementing food traceability systems, it’s important to find a tool that can help you monitor your inventory and break down the information into something more digestible.