Food safety, traceability and sustainability blog



Friday Round-up (8/28/20): COVID Accelerating Need for Supply Chain Traceability and Digitization

Every week FoodLogiQ will be aggregating the latest updates and resources for businesses navigating the changing food industry. Learn how the industry leaders are adapting to protect and feed consumers, while building resilience in the face of global crisis.

As the food industry continues to recoup and recover from the impact of COVID-19, one theme continues to come into the light; the supply chain inefficiencies exposed by the global pandemic. Many experts are talking about the importance of transparency for supply chain modernization, and in light of the FDA’s for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint it is clear that regulators are gearing up to support the industry in greater traceability efforts, especially given the vulnerabilities made evident through the pandemic.

Retailers in particular have had to manage sharp cycles of shifts in demand, highlighting for many the importance of being agile and having full visibility into suppliers and sourcing. Food Safety and Traceability Scientist Thomas Burke with the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) discussed these issues with Supermarket Perimeter, speaking on the current state of traceability and the evolving role it plays for retail grocers. 

“For retailers to be more nimble and responsive to disruptions in their supply chain, they’re looking to enhance their capabilities to analyze and make rapid decisions regarding their suppliers,” he said. “They’re seeing traceability and other digital technologies as investments in resilience.” Burke also stated in the piece that COVID has accelerated interest in digital technologies, including those which enhance traceability. 

This week also saw a boost for the Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST). The U.K. Seafood Industry Alliance (UK SIA) became the latest major industry stakeholder to endorse the new traceability standards published earlier this year.  The seafood industry has also felt acute pain related the COVID-19 health crisis, which has greatly disrupted global exchange, put pressure on less formalized relationships, and added complexity to a supply chain often considered amongst the more complex.

UK SIA Secretariat Mike Short shared his support for the international standards, stating “The U.K. Seafood Industry Alliance clearly recognizes the value of a common digital language for data to facilitate interoperability and verifiability. This unified approach will not only decrease our efforts and costs to provide the information that our business partners, governments, and end-consumers ask for, but will also allow us to help ensure the legal origin of seafood.”

Transparency and how traceability will drive the food industry forward will be a key theme at FoodLogiQ’s virtual user group meeting, reCONNECT 2020. Learn how major brands have already implemented supply chain digitization and traceability to improve core competencies across various business units. Highlighted sessions on the agenda include: 

Making the Case for Traceability: sweetgreen’s Response to a Produce Crisis (On-Demand) 

The food industry experienced major setbacks in 2018 and 2019 with an ongoing series of E.coli outbreaks due to contaminated romaine lettuce. The lack of provenance was a source of frustration for restaurants and retailers, as well as consumers. In this session, Robin Kalsbeek will recount sweetgreen’s response to the romaine lettuce recalls and the role FoodLogiQ Connect played in helping to protect their customers and their brand.

The Tidalwave of Technology and What It Means for the Future of Food (On-Demand)

Join Lucelena Angarita of IPC/Subway and Julie McGill of FoodLogiQ as they discuss the state of food traceability, as well as other key industry topics including the FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety, the GS1 US Interoperability Proof of Concept, the adoption of GS1 Standards such as  EDI, EPCIS json, temperature monitoring as well as additional industry initiatives such as GDST, PTI, and the Leafy Greens Task Force. 

The Future of Traceability (Live Roundtable) 

During this session, Julie McGill of FoodLogiQ, Karil Kochenderfer of LINKAGES, and Melanie Nuceof GS1 US will discuss the changing regulatory landscape in light of the FDA’s Strategic Blueprint, the need for increased usage of food safety technologies, and why research, innovation and collaboration will be the key to protecting the world’s food supply.

The Current State of Traceability: Where are we now and where are we going? (Live Roundtable) 

During this session, Kathy Ramos of IPC/Subway, Julie McGill of FoodLogiQ, and Jeanne Duckett of Avery Dennison, will discuss the current state of traceability within the food industry, in addition to the changing regulatory landscape in light of the FDA’s Strategic Blueprint, the need for increased usage of food safety technologies, and why research, innovation and collaboration will be the key to protecting the world’s food supply. Changes will need to be adopted to keep up with the future for food traceability. In addition, hear how companies are seeing value through their traceability programs.

Don’t miss these presentations from Whole Foods Market and others from IPC/Subway, Oracle, First Watch, Testo and GS1 US. Request a pass today.


View FoodLogiQ's COVID-19 Food Industry Resource Center for industry-specific updates, resources and information on the coronavirus crisis. For supply chain traceability and risk mitigation guidance, see our general Resource Center.

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Posted by Katy Jones on Aug 28, 2020 6:04:43 PM

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