Food scares and brand reputations have led to more rigorous processes across the food and beverage industry. Manufacturers have tightened up the management of their ingredient providers, with the focus firmly on the traceability and authenticity of foodstuffs. Trace ingredients back to the farm of origin, sometimes even the field, and there’s a hugely powerful and positive story to tell consumers. The less clarity around provenance, the more likely that goods will be rejected.
As a producer or ingredient provider, it’s essential to be able to verify that ingredients are what they’re claimed to be, that they haven’t been tampered with or diluted, and that the process to get them where they are, is safe and compliant.
For perishable items such as meat, after verifying that it is what it says it is, it’s about keeping the shelf life as long as possible, and being able to demonstrate process compliance from farmyard to shop floor. Marking at the point of culling and preparation provide the necessary proof of authenticity and source. At the same time, sensor technology monitors the condition and temperatures of vehicles, cartons and pallets, which again gives the audit trail needed to.
The rise of smart trailers incorporating wi-fi technology makes it even simpler for producers to monitor, record and demonstrate adherence to agreed processes within agreed temperature and time limitations, supporting healthy relationships with both the brands they supply, and the mouths they feed. In these conditions, retailers can maximise shelf lives in-store, and consumers can keep products in the fridge for longer.
With non-perishables, the challenges revolve around product variety. As product variety increases, so does the demand for a wide range of ingredients, all subject to the same requirements for an audit trail, demonstrating proof points from origin, to use, to point of despatch.
Rather than being a complex hindrance, process compliance can offer opportunities throughout the supply chain. Farmers’ responsibilities now extend beyond the farm gate, but with that comes the chance to embody and promote ethical and sustainable practices, and to reap the benefits. From a producer or manufacturer’s perspective, compliance can be used actively to support brand loyalty and sales. The technology needed is simple to install and to use, making it easy and cost-effective to produce labels for boxes and cartons, to scan on the process line, and to record sell-by dates as unique labels.Learn more about how our technologies support improvements in process compliance for food and beverage companies by downloading our Smart Manufacturing Compliance eBook.