Food Supply Chain - Optimizing This Important Supply Chain
Introduction to the Food Supply Chain
The food supply chain is garnishing more attention as consumers are concerned about outbreaks of foodborne diseases as well as issues such as the horse meat being identified in packaged foods in Europe.
As with other industries, food retailers and manufacturers have to be more knowledgeable about the suppliers they use and where their product originates. If retailers are found to be negligent and allow issues to arise, consumers will favor a different brand.
It is better for a retailer to prevent the production and shipment of contaminated food than have to spend significant resources in recalling the items and triggering negative publicity.
For any company in the food supply chain it is important to understand how your suppliers are building in food safety into their processes.
For many retailers, as highlighted by the horse meat issues in Europe, cannot trace back the product to the beginning of their supply chain. They were very reliant on the assurance of their primary vendors that the product was safe, and labeled correctly. In those instances the supplier did not perform due diligence on their own suppliers and thus the issue arose.
Many issues can occur when the food supply chain is very complex and many suppliers are involved in getting a primary product to the retailer.
The more complex the supply chain, the more difficult it is for retailers to be able to trace an end product back to the original source. Many retailers have adopted a position where they control all aspects of their food supply chain by either owning the farms that supply their food or work with local vendors where they can guarantee the safety and quality of the product.