Why do we see these words in headlines?
Are producers, packers, shippers and stores doing the best that they can to ensure a safe reliable food supply to the consumer?
I just got done reading a whitepaper, headline “When does a cantolupe cost $55.53?”
The paper was written to highlight the risks taken when people do not follow proccesses that are in place. At the end of the day a person dying from complications of eating a cantloupe are not worth the risk.
Suppose you were able to isolate a product all the way back to 10 feet of where the harvest occured would it be a better process for the consumer? With the technology available today it simply is not woth the risk of labeling a pallet of goods or products when you can label each item in the box. With the techonoloy avaliable from Advanced Traceability Solutions your able to not only label the item your able to have the GPS location on the item that is being harvested.
Why would you do this? Simple to limit your risk and protect your brand name. Consumers are the ONLY reason you have a brand. IF the consumers loses confidence in your product you lose and so do your suppliers as well as the industry.
At the root of the compliance requirements are simple checklists and inspections. In sophisticated systems, at high cost, a lot of the data collection is automated. However, the standards and requirements for ISO, SQF, OSHA, FDA and others have a footprint way beyond the scope of these automated systems. Those areas, such as simple safety, sanitation, and security inspections are ‘blind spots’ for those systems and are typically addressed with paper documentation.
Convergence has created the opportunity to address many of these ‘blind spot’ requirements currently ineffectually met by paper based ‘systems’. The paper based system in and of itself is faulty at best, costs an inordinate amount to maintain, and its veracity is easily questioned negating its very purpose – reducing cost, improving visibility for management and above all reducing risk.
No one can doubt how much risk and the number of requirements for compliance there are in business:
The cantaloupe disaster of 2011 caused 30+ deaths and could potentially cost an estimated $130-150M (http://goo.gl/xo0yu) for not following a documented, simple protocol to clean a piece of equipment. That is when the cost of a cantaloupe was driven to $55.53! The farm was certified to have a system in place to prevent just what happened. It was not followed to the detail.