3 Ways End-to-End Traceability Benefits Grocery Retailers
By iFoodDS Team
July 25, 2022
Updated November 2022.
With FSMA Rule 204 now finalized, traceability is top of mind for the food industry. Companies who embrace end-to-end traceability will emerge as industry leaders in the next few years. Furthermore, these companies will look at their food safety and traceability data collected across the supply chain and ask how it can be leveraged for a competitive advantage.
Here are 3 key benefits of full supply chain traceability that will help grocery retailers go beyond FSMA compliance and gain a real advantage.
Benefit 1: Protect Your Consumers and Your Brand
In a food safety event, time is critical. Every business has the goal to respond to investigations or recalls as quickly as possible, but not every company has the tools to do this efficiently. Consider the advantages of a platform that provides real-time food safety data and connects it to lot codes and other identifiers to enable instant traceback/traceforward. By collecting and organizing this data, such a platform will empower you to quickly respond to an investigation or recall.
For example, you’ll be able to quickly find and remove recalled products from your stores by tracing forward from your DCs to see where the products were sent. Alternatively, you can verify that none of your stores carry the recalled products. The end result is protecting your consumers from illness and guarding your brand’s reputation for safety.
A more comprehensive platform will even allow you to trace back to the individual ingredients in a product, ensuring greater transparency and rapid recall response. For example, the iFoodDS food safety and traceability solutions link data from raw ingredients to finished products. This benefits retailers by enabling them to have full visibility across their supply chain, even down to the individual ingredients their suppliers are using. Another potential use case for the iFoodDS platform is in a grocery retailer’s deli department, in-store kitchen, or other departments that take raw ingredients and create a finished product.
Benefit 2: Achieve Operational Efficiencies
In addition to speeding up recall response, a comprehensive traceability and food safety platform provides these other operational efficiencies:
- Efficient collection of KDEs: Quickly record and store the Key Data Elements (KDEs) that correspond with your Critical Tracking Events (CTEs) to ensure seamless compliance with FSMA Rule 204.
- Easier supplier management: Gain an instant overview of your suppliers’ documentation, food safety practices, and label formats. Verify compliance with FSMA Rule 204, as well as alignment with industry standards and your own requirements.
- Clearer connections between data: View food safety and traceability data in one dashboard to make instant connections between the data.
- Improved order accuracy: Utilize an Advance Ship Notice (ASN) service and other data ingestion services, which are often available as part of a traceability solution, to streamline ordering and verify order accuracy prior to shipment.
To illustrate the real-world impact of these features, we’d like to provide an example of a major grocery retailer working with iFoodDS. Our team built a comprehensive dashboard that displays traceability information and food safety data in real time for this retailer. The retailer has the ability to make connections between the data that would have been impossible without a digital dashboard connecting disparate points across the supply chain. They can quickly see which suppliers are in compliance with their food safety requirements, as well as identify positive or negative trends from certain suppliers or commodities.
Benefit 3: Gain a Competitive Advantage
Now that every supply chain participant is subject to FSMA Rule 204 traceability requirements, how will your grocery brand stand out in the marketplace? Traceability alone is no longer a unique value proposition. You need to go beyond these basic requirements to win consumer preference over your competitors.
End-to-end traceability provides several key advantages that many of your competitors will lack:
- Demonstrate your commitment to product safety by sharing key food safety data publicly.
- Track products and their ingredients from field to store so you can pinpoint problem areas or opportunities for improvement.
- Strengthen existing supplier relationships by providing valuable insights; increase your company’s reputation among potential supply chain partners.
- Leverage transparency to earn shopper trust.
Use Our Traceability Platform to Boost Your Retail Business
Reach out to iFoodDS to request a consultation on our traceability solution. We use a network approach to efficiently onboard your suppliers. Our network traceability solution features:
- On-demand traceability across the entire supply chain.
- Ongoing technical support from our team.
- Connected food safety data available through our other digital solutions.
This material is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.