Points of View: Industry comment on quality and traceability

Intelleflex asks industry experts their point-of-view on cold chain issues January 2013


In terms of produce quality and traceability, what’s the most significant thing you expect to see happen in 2013?
 

Due to the lack of aggressive food safety implementation on the part of supply chain members and the delayed FSMA implementation, I suspect the most significant issue to arise this year will be a number of large scale food recalls.The industry appears to be in as much of a muddled state as the food side of the FDA.Until governmental expertise and industry reluctance work together in this way, what else should we expect?
Dr John Ryan, president, Ryan Systems

Consumers will begin to place more demands on the retailer as they strive to obtain more information about their products. They will want to know more about the origin of foods as well as the expected shelf life. A retailer has begun to offer guaranteed vase life for fresh cut flowers, this guarantee will become expected in other perishable products.
Dr Jean-Pierre Emond, director of Cold Chain Research, Georgia Tech

Without doubt I see the emergence of Intelligent RTI’s in the fresh produce sector.The marriage of technology and a reusable platform is the answer to the question, “This is great, but how am I going to pay for it?” which is the number one barrier to implementation for these essential initiatives. Once that door opens, the possibilities are endless for improving this supply chain.

Kaley Parkinson, national sales manager, Supply Chain Technology, Rehrig Pacific Co

The rollout of the FSMA –and related increased public awareness around food safety and quality –will require growers and retailers to fundamentally rethink their cold chains. They need to proactivelymanage and monitor quality and safety to prevent issues and implement electronic traceability to improve response to recalls.  In 2013, grocers and food service providers will begin mandating that their growers and suppliers provide complete electronic records  –at the pallet level –utilizing new solutions including RFID, The Cloud, and intelligent RTIs and containers.
Kevin Payne, senior director of marketing, Intelleflex

Social media is potentially a useful tool to improve public awareness of food safety issues and disseminate knowledge about food risk. The flip side is instant broadcasting of any failures by food companies with huge implications for brand values. Traceability and monitoring is no longer optional insurance, but a critical aspect of the food distribution chain. Food logistics providers are in the vanguard with this service but need to push its benefits hard.

Dean Stiles, editor, Global Cold Chain News

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