Throughout Europe, many companies share a similar caution when it comes to digital modernization, and rightfully so. It is challenging to leverage technology in a way that modernizes current processes while also protecting company and customer data. Digitalization with secure data practices can enhance and enforce consumer safety across the supply chain.
Standardized and automated processes help reduce time and costs, add efficiency, and increase effectiveness to daily workflow. After the initial investment of training and implementing new processes, the confidence and ease of streamlined technology makes the payoff obvious. Modernizing safety processes, especially using digitalization, brings calm to crisis situations.
Supply Chain Complexity
Despite the presence of regulatory directives, the reality is that enforcing food safety standards and regulations often falls by the wayside, especially in transport. Horror stories of infractions during transport are plenty, and all too often they go unchecked. Consumers are usually unaware of these infractions, but when a complaint is made it can quickly escalate to a crisis. The damage from recalls can quickly exceed the 100 million mark, up to and including total bankruptcy of the company.
Product recalls tend to be memorable events, largely thanks to the widespread impact across the supply chain. Recalls are hard to predict and hard to manage, and the high stakes of consumer safety and brand reputation only compound the significance.
Adding to the challenge of recalls is the complexity of the supply chain. Food materials are transported from and to place of production to primary and secondary processing locations, to distribution and retail locations, and on to consumers. Product changes hands many times in various states of packaging and with unpredictable oversight. Low margins put price pressure on the logistics industry, often leading to substandard hygiene practices.
Modernization in Practice
One great example of leveraged technology to improve food safety in product transport is the innovation of ENFIT-B2B blockchain cloud technology. While many consumers use clever apps to trace the source of their steak, coffee, milk and other product comes from, ENFIT aims up the chain. The ENFIT-B2B blockchain cloud technology provides industry and trade partners with a tool that protects companies from high recall costs and the associated loss of image.
ENFIT-B2B blockchain cloud technology provides the industry with concrete information about the entire supply chain. By enabling transparency and traceability, possible gaps in the supply chain can be identified and closed, thus making fraud and manipulation more difficult, if not impossible.
Using blockchain for traceability affects all process steps, including:
- Food suitability of transport containers
- Cleaning and disinfection
- Food defence
There are many other benefits of the technology. Digital security seals can be used, and all shipping documents and certificates can be transferred digitally via the cloud platform, decreasing instances of information errors. As the owner of the HQF-Food certification,ENFIT has developed European and international standards for cleaning and disinfection, as well as the recurring DIN 10 502-1 inspection of food transport containers. Transport containers are globally identifiable by scanning ENFIT‘s Global Identification Number with a smartphone or tablet, transferring important data from the stakeholders to the cloud. Everyone in the chain gets exactly the information they need, in real time.
ENFIT-B2B blockchain cloud technology gives industry, trade, and consumers a full overview of the entire supply chain, showing how leveraged technology can optimise processes and protect consumers.
A New Era
Approaching developing technology with appropriate caution is certainly in every company’s best interest. However, the opportunity to use innovative methods of ensuring food safety practices are upheld is arguably a necessary step for increased consumer protection. By modernizing food safety processes, whether in traceability, hygiene, recalls, or otherwise, companies can not only protect their consumers but also protect their brand. A new era of food safety must be a joint effort, and it is the responsibility of companies worldwide to leverage the technology available to them for everyone’s benefit.
Hans-Dieter Philipowski - Präsident ENFIT e.V.Internationaler Verband Supply Chain Safety
Tel.: +49 172 409 36 70