By Frank Moi, CPG Segment leader, East Africa, Schneider Electric

The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry continues to evolve and innovate, and crucial to this is enhancing supply chain visibility, efficiency and overall business operations.

As consumers become more sophisticated, they require detailed information on, for example the raw materials that make up the goods they purchase and whether these ingredients are produced sustainably.

Traceability allows F&B organisations to track and trace the products as it moves along the value chain (history, location, suppliers etc) and transparency provides full visibility on information related to the product (origin, ingredients, allergens, physical characteristics and so forth)

Traceability and transparency in the food and beverage industry are driven by:

  • Product fraud (counterfeiting).
  • Increased product recalls.
  • Sustainability – social responsibility and a credible supply chain.
  • Complex and stricter regulations and standards.
  • Growing health concerns – consumers want to know the ingredients and have traceability of the products they consume.

Today, F&B organisations benefit from systems that provide end-to-end traceability and transparency, a holistic supply chain vision, if you will, that captures and analyses data from different sources and stakeholders.

Traceability provides an important competitive advantage to manufacturers, particularly as more players enter the marketplace and customers become increasingly conscious of food safety. For example, raw materials’ traceability can be implemented, allowing companies to track their entire operations to reduce exposure in case of quality issues. Furthermore, through traceability measure, facilities can be protected by unauthorised access.

In the case of finished goods, mislabelling is mitigated, and serialisation improved which provide consumers with the right information.

F&B industry players need to implement a solution that delivers an electric passport of sort; delivering traceability from farm to fork.  Here the following processes are recommended:

  • First, is the upstream transparency; the process that links each product with ingredient information, the relevant certificates, and maps suppliers to the lowest level of hierarchy like individual farmers.
  • Second is the midstream at that records the entire production process from processing, cleaning, and packaging such as plant traceability and genealogy,
  • Third, is product journey in the supply chain, from warehouses to distributors, to retailers to the end customer downstream. This includes solutions like serialisation and track & trace solutions as well as Product Information Management (PIM).

To deliver a complete end-to-end traceability model with an electronic passport, data is required throughout the entire supply chain.

There are a number of compelling traceability solutions, specifically designed with the F&B industry in mind.  At Schneider Electric our EcoStruxure Traceability Advisor architecture enables manufactures to track the journey of ingredients from the farm to distribution. This solution provides a suite of flexible and scalable to suit their needs. Benefits of implementing this solution include:

  • Improvement in business performance.
  • Protection of brand.
  • Enhanced risk management.
  • Creation of competitive advantage.
  • Full visibility of the value chain.
  • Differentiation and better connection with consumers.

Our holistic view, provided by EcoStruxure Traceability Advisor, allows organisations to take a comprehensive approach to cost and value chain optimisation throughout the entire supply chain.

Click here to visit Schneider Electric.