The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the food supply chain all over the world. The reckoning that was long due looks to be finally here.
Customer demand for safe, sustainable, and ethical food production has been growing over the past few years. This forced many large food corporations to look at systems and processes that make these demands a reality.
Agri-tech innovators are also working with key stakeholders in the food safety management system to ensure that tracking, quality checks, and operations are fortified using advanced technological solutions.
Today, agri-tech solutions have become a key component of food company operations, aiding the growth of this industry.
Given that the demand is growing from all ends for sophisticated solutions, the agri-tech industry is witnessing unprecedented growth. The industry was valued at $ 17442 million in 2019 and is expected to reach $ 41172 by 2027.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the need to establish a protocol to ensure food safety may have sped up the industry’s growth, but many large food corporations have been making significant strides in Agri-tech for a decade now.
This is especially true when the agriculture and food sector is a major contributor to the nation’s economic growth, as with countries like the US, China, France, India, Spain, Brazil and Russia.
The major investment in this sector centers around data analytics, automation systems, IoT innovations, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to name a few. The idea is to support farmers, food companies, and customers by standardizing the agricultural sector and promote global food safety.
When the need for food safety management systems is so apparent, the reality is that food chain and agri-food dynamics remain to be one of the most complicated across industries. Implementation and regulations around food safety are volatile in different regions of the world.
The most widespread and popular regulations by jurisdiction and respective food safety agency are the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is responsible for the safety of meat, poultry, and processed egg products, the ISO 22000 international standard specifies the requirements for a food safety management system that involves interactive communication, system management, prerequisite programs and HACCP principles. Also, a Food code is published by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), European Food Safety Authority EFSA and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The code is a model set of guidelines and procedures that assists food control jurisdictions by providing foodservice and retail industries, such as restaurants, grocery stores and institutional foodservice providers, a scientifically sound technical and legal basis for regulating these industries.
Similarly, established under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, is the regulating body of India, known as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). In Germany, the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety is in charge of food guidelines being met. And the list continues.
Typically, in an Agri product supply chain, the product has a long cycle that encompasses growers, processors, packagers, sellers, distributors, and then local vendors.
Devising a system that accounts for everyone and each food handling incident has been a challenge before technology like data analytics, sensors, tracking systems, and blockchain showed up at the scene.
Even with tech, food safety management systems have a long way to go as most products across nations, and a unified approach for this is yet to be in place.
Having said this, corporations with a strong footing in this industry have been paving the way for FSMS to become simpler, achievable, and accessible.
The biggest players in the industry are currently food companies that rely on ingredients from all over the world for their manufacturing. Companies like Nestle have significantly invested in food safety management systems that enable them to deliver quality, traceable, and sustainable ingredients and ultimately final CPG products to their customers.
Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retail group, is looking at supporting technologies that improve productivity in food processing and make local farming possible.
Walmart has tied up with a blockchain startup VeChain, to ensure traceability and implementation of safety procedures on its bespoke product variety. This will soon spread across its operation worldwide and become a norm. So is the case with IBM, Deloitte and many other Software giants that are tapping into the food and beverage production and supply chains.
With big food producers and companies taking FSMS seriously, these systems will soon reach the small-scale players, too.
In some essence, the latest technology must reach the ground level players so that food safety can be implemented from the ground up, as it should.
The food production world until now runs on Excel and Spreadsheets. ERP systems have dominated the agricultural industry since time immemorial. However, if we want to move to a reality where FSMS is ingrained in every process at the start and not at the afterthought, we need something better.
Why do we think ERP/MIS is not enough? It is because ERP systems run the risk of loss of data, accessibility issues because of permissions, improper data migration and lack of transparency.
Therefore, most agri-tech companies and food manufacturers are opting to integrate solutions like blockchain and other cloud-based systems with existing ERP systems for their business.
Cloud-based systems like SourceTrace DATAGREEN suite open up a world of possibilities from farm to retail such as farmer profiling, farm digitization, instant tracking, data security, accessibility, analytics, all in one single dashboard.
For example, you can get real-time updates on soil quality, processing quality checks, and packaging updates using blockchain and connect to the ERP systems to understand the bigger picture.
This solves both operational and administrative needs. Interoperability of Data management is the key to deal and overcome losses, disruptions due to COVID and further.
Australia ranks highest for stringent food safety and traceability measures. So what is the Australian FSSC 22000?
Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the FSSC 22000 Scheme is supported by the European Food and Drink Association (CIAA) and the American Groceries Manufacturing Association (GMA).
The scope of the FSSC 22000 Certification requires different standards for different components, as below:
● Food manufacturing (ISO 22002-1)
● Catering (ISO 22002-2)
● Food and feed for animals (ISO 22002-6)
● Food packaging manufacturing (ISO 22002-4)
● Farming of animals (ISO 22002-3)
● Logistics (NTS 8059 – ISO 22002-5)
● Retail and supermarkets (PAS 221)
FSSC 22000 FSMS offers several benefits, including
● Increased confidence of all stakeholders.
● Enhanced brand reputation and competitive advantage.
● Demonstrated due diligence in meeting regulatory and consumers requirements.
● Increased supply chain management.
● Higher profits and better marketing opportunities.
● Acceptance of certification by all organizations.
● Improved food safety performance.
● Can be easily integrated with several other management systems.
● Employees feel empowered with food safety culture in the organization’s values.
Do you work in the agricultural industry? Are you looking for solutions that enable you to implement food safety and management systems in your business with ease?
Then look no further, with our solutions you can leverage the power of agri-tech and revolutionize production like never before. We ensure the highest data integrity across each food handling event until it reaches the consumer’s plate. However, a SaaS company like ours is only as good as the Food Manufacturers and Retailers willing to share their internal systems that can be handled efficiently by our services to deliver accurate information to each stakeholder.
Customized solutions, an easy-to-use interface, and innovative technology help you prevent problems and understand the nuances of your business deeply.
Contact us for a free demo today.
SourceTrace's software solutions have been deployed across 37 countries and 4 continents already. We are on a mission to make agriculture and food systems more sustainable. Get in touch and we will extend our expertise and commitment to you.
Today, at SourceTrace we’re happy to share our moment of pride and fulfillment, having made it as the cover story in the Food and Beverage Tech Review.
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