Page 36 - Food & Drink March 2020
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Securing supply success
LEFT: Consumers are holding food manufacturers accountable for all levels of the supply chain.
This can be both an extensive and expensive process, requiring time and money, so decisions on who to target and how far to go depends on the relative risks associated with the ingredients or products being sourced, such as country of origin.
As technology is connecting food manufacturers and retailers to more suppliers than ever, it is essential to be are aware of the risks. The availability of technologies such as sensors to detect temperature changes and smart packaging that changes colour based on expiry dates give manufacturers greater control over potential risks.
Get food safety training and certification. Although it is a legal requirement for all food handlers in Australia to be trained in food safety, more in-depth food safety supervisor training, such as HACCP certification, while best practice, is not mandatory.
But with more training and education comes more robust food safety management systems, which in turn reduces supply chain risks.
Certification to meet internationally recognised food safety standards such as SQF, FSSC, ISO 22000, BRCGS and IFS which all incorporate HACCP, show customers robust systems are in place.
These standards enable businesses to improve their processes, increase efficiencies, and ultimately, communicate with their partners about risks in thesupplychain. ✷
The importance of a strong supply chain system for food integrity and safety is well established, but recent natural disasters around Australia have highlighted how challenging that can be. SAI Global food safety spokesperson Maidie Wood writes.
FOOD has never been a more global, fast-moving and complex market than it is today. When a food crosses borders of any kind, the familiar health and safety risks are joined by several others, including intentional and inadvertent adulteration, product mislabelling, substitution, spoilage due to any unforeseen circumstance, damage while in transit and unpredictable politics and shifts in regulations.
In 2018-19 there was an alarming jump in food recalls, up to 106 from 81 the year before. We see repeatedly that a primary cause of these recalls is weak supply chain management.
Food manufacturers need to continually rethink their controls, monitor their indirect suppliers and implement key performance indicators to manage downstream supply risks. There are several ways to reduce food safety risk.
The recent catastrophic bushfires in Australia provide a good example of a change that was already underway – supplier
diversity management. Creating a diverse supply chain is a move away from the ‘preferred supplier’ to a ‘multi-supplier’ relationship model. If a food product was damaged or destroyed by bushfire, having a diversity of suppliers allows the manufacturer to be agile in sourcing an ingredient from an alternative supplier, possibly in a different part of the world.
Such diversity can introduce innovation through new products, services and solutions, and allow a company to explore new opportunities for business expansion. But it does not come without its challenges. The need to stay abreast of ever-changing consumer needs makes building holistic relationships of trust and transparency even more critical.
Consumers increasingly care about where their foods come from and are demanding high ethical standards when it comes to the sourcing and manufacturing of food. They are better informed about the impact of diet on wellbeing, and expect information about
provenance, nutrition and allergens to be supplied on the foods they consume. Always listen to the consumer.
Organisations are increasingly being held publicly accountable for the poor ethical activities of their first, second, third, and even fourth tier suppliers, so staying close to consumers’ needs is now critical for success.
Tracking performance is the key to improving it and setting key performance indicators for suppliers can help motivate a drive for excellence.
Ensure these indicators are right for the early identification of risk and are set throughout the supply chain.
High performing suppliers can be awarded for providing the highest quality products, most on-time delivery, and excellent service.
Monitoring indirect suppliers is important. It can be a challenge to document the end-to-end supply chain, and manufacturers who can source from anywhere are at greater risk of losing control of supplier relationships.
36 | Food&Drink business | March 2020 |
Maidie Wood is SAI
Global head of food
marketing and food
safety spokesperson. Her expertise is in global food
supply chains, regulatory compliance and consumer needs across all sectors of food and beverage industries.

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