Improving food safety standards and transparency with technology

shopping in a grocery store

December 4, 2020

If there’s one thing food and beverage companies want to avoid, it’s a food recall. Recalls and warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are not only costly but damaging to an organization’s reputation and customer relationships. Despite the severity of such recalls, they are quite common. Over the summer, there was a salmonella outbreak linked to red, white, yellow, and sweet onions by a large supplier that distributes to some of the country’s most popular grocery chains. More recently, a Canadian distributor recalled nearly 40,000 lbs of meat.

It’s easy to look at these cases and assume that the distributor is solely to blame, but that’s not the case. Food recalls are often supply chain problems that make their way to consumers. Food and beverage companies looking to mitigate the risk of a recall, or even restore customer faith after a recall should prioritize supply chain transparency. Transparency is a benefit of digital transformation that comes from leveraging the right technology to address operations, processes, and the tools used to get work done.

Cloud technology addresses transparency first by improving supply chain visibility and secondly by creating open and honest lines of communication with consumers. Technology enables operational agility and helps organizations stay on top of consumer habits, regulatory changes, and managing supply, demand, scheduling, and inventory to form a stronger foundation. Cloud-based platforms boost mobility, accessibility, and communication to allow manufacturers, farmers, distributors, and more to effectively collaborate and detect issues before they reach grocery store shelves.

The benefits of data and information sharing extend beyond the walls of an organization and reach consumers, too. QR codes on packages can share critical messages with wanton customers, from food origins for traceability to ingredients for nutritional transparency. Technology allows enterprises to keep track of when, where, and how their products are reaching consumers. This visibility helps organizations safely track the quality and safety standards of their products at every link of the supply chain—mitigating risk and keeping customer experiences positive.

Food and beverage companies will continue to face a lot of challenges on their journey to building customer trust and delivering high-quality products. By leveraging technology like cloud-based platforms, data analytics, and even artificial intelligence, businesses can start moving towards digital transformation with more ease than ever before.

To learn more on the benefits of technology in the food and beverage industry, check out this podcast from Food & Beverage Insider and Infor.

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