Tracking the Taste: How Food Traceability Efforts Can Bring About Sustainability

food traceability and sustainability

The world’s food supply is being challenged like never before, taxed with meeting the needs of a growing population while meeting challenges imposed by climate change, excess water consumption, increasing energy demands, deforestation, and food waste. At the same time, consumers want more information about the food supply chain – who’s supplying the products they’re eating and how those products are being produced and packaged, as well as the nutrient contents of those products. That’s a lot to manage for an average retailer, and it can be challenging even for the nation’s leading food suppliers. Being able to access and provide a level of transparency is important both for cost-effective supply management, and also for building brand loyalty and consumer trust. But it can also be costly, cutting into already thin profit margins and taking a toll on a retailer’s bottom line.

Today, many retailers are turning to food traceability efforts to satisfy sustainability issues and regulatory requirements, while also ensuring the products they sell are fresh, nutritious, and responsibly sourced. At ADC, our Door to Floor™ food traceability solutions are aimed at helping retailers achieve the level of transparency they want and need, while still protecting their bottom line and future revenue goals.

Traceability of Food Products: The Role of Big Data

Recent years have seen an increase in recalls of fresh food products, including products produced in the U.S. and internationally. Not only do these outbreaks pose serious health risks to consumers, but they also represent potentially major losses to food and beverage retailers. With food traceability, the goal is to identify these problematic products as early as possible – ideally before they reach your store – limiting consumer exposure and helping you alter your supply and delivery goals to minimize the financial impact on your business.

Food traceability tracks food from its source, following it through processing, production, and distribution. End-to-end tracing makes it easier to determine when contamination may have occurred, identifying problematic vendors and suppliers. Considering that many food products or their components are sourced or processed in countries around the world, having a comprehensive tracking and monitoring system in place is imperative. Certainly, guidelines and programs established by the FDA play an important role in identifying and stemming contamination and related illnesses nationally, but having an integrated traceability system of your own is the best way to manage your own interests and those of your customers. In fact, a robust tracing program is one of the most important strategies available for reducing food-borne illnesses, and that means it’s also an important strategy for building consumer confidence, trust, and brand loyalty in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Real-Time Visibility, Responsive Solutions

Having a way to track all food items in real-time is the key to ensuring you provide your consumers with the best shopping experience while still maintaining your bottom line. Achieving those goals without disrupting your normal workflow and supply processes is critical – and that’s how ADC’s FreshIQ Platform for food traceability can help. Like our other technology-driven solutions, ADC has developed Door to Floor™ traceability to rely on collecting, aggregating, and using data in ways that are responsive, intelligent, and agile. Door to Floor™ is designed to be incorporated into retailers’ existing supply chain management processes, helping to keep costs low while providing the information retailers need to limit and support evolving supply and demand needs.

Within ADC’s FreshIQ Platform, Door to Floor™ traceability allows you to:

  • Optimize your workflow
  • Set realistic supply-and-demand scenarios
  • Select vendors who meet your sustainability goals
  • Minimize food waste
  • Reduce your environmental impact and carbon footprint
  • Build brand trust and increase consumer confidence
  • Reduce your liability and other risk exposures
  • Establish and maintain traceability and sustainability initiatives in real-time

Traceability and sustainability aren’t “buzzwords” or fads with a limited shelf life. They’re important drivers poised to permanently alter the way we think about food and the way we deliver it to consumers. If you’d like to learn more about how ADC can help you seamlessly incorporate traceability and sustainability into your business, schedule a demo today.