Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 54

DATA TECHNOLOGY

"If you're too prescriptive with requirements,
it makes it more difficult to be innovative,"
says Aline Dimitri, Executive Director/Deputy
Chief Food Safety Officer, at the agency's Food
Safety Science Directorate.
The regulations support product recalls and
also demand a preventative control plan. SGS
(an inspection, verification, testing and certification company) notes several examples of risks
that can be mitigated through enhanced visibility: uncertified supplier facilities, regulatory noncompliances and fraudulent product claims.

business," she says.
All sorts of digital and other technologies collect, process and store data related to the supply
chain. There are beneficial tools like DNA barcoding and isotope mapping. Some platforms
might even offer an eye on everything to do
with compliance.
Is blockchain also the answer to improved
traceability? Hutson says this shared ledger is
a transport mechanism, not a solution in itself.
Via blockchain, you can validate that data hasn't
changed during transport, but there's no standardization yet. "It doesn't solve traceability; it just
Timely responses matter
ensures you have information," says Hutson.
Mistakes happen. What counts (beyond reIn one well-reported pilot project, Walmart
ducing the odds) is how fast and thoroughly
and IBM used blockchain to trace a package
you can respond, says Mike Hutson, a Solution
of mangoes back to a Mexican farm in two seArchitect with SYSPRO Canada.
conds instead of close to a week. In this case,
"If you can't show the steps you take to remethey worked with suppliers to capture informadiate in a timely manner, your brand takes a hit,"
tion at every stage.
says Hutson, whose firm offers business softwaWith the range of options, and with the SFCR
re solutions for manufacturers and distributors.
intentionally outcomes-based, it can be hard
The way companies view the challenge is
to know where to start. In a way, that can be
shifting, Hutson suggests. For one, people used
a plus. There's no one-size-fits-all technology
to look at traceability in isolation, so felt it could
answer. Hutson sees an opportunity for combe solved with a given piece of equipment or
panies to create customized solutions that both
technology. Now, says Hutson, the goal is to
fit into their processes and add value to other
make every aspect of the business work better.
operational areas.
In part, traceability becomes a byproduct.
Vanessa Grondin, VP, Global Food & Beverage
"You won't achieve traceability without proat Optel (end-to-end traceability tech), says that
per business processes," he says.
richer data from supply chains, and increased
visibility on them, are invaluable. They help companies to
"It's up to the entire food chain to turn up the
"connect the dots to solve busivolume and efforts to openly share information ness issues," she says.
"You can more easily identify
with consumers about food and how it's protrends, start being more efficiduced, processed and packaged."
ent in operations and improve
overall performance," says Grondin. "As you
CRYSTAL MACKAY
Canadian Centre for Food Integrity
have a better understanding of where products
are, and the dwell time at each stage, you can
That might involve reducing the number of
more proactively make business decisions."
data entry points, looking at the places where
Most companies who put in food traceability
human error tends to occur, and redesigning
solutions will probably never go through a procertain activities and procedures.
duct recall, says Jane Proctor, Vice President,
Food safety is an essential piece-but just
Policy and Issue Management, Canadian
one piece. Even bigger opportunities rest in
Produce Marketing Association. That's not the
enhancing processes across the supply chain.
biggest ROI. "What people have found is that
Improving traceability isn't just a matter of
it has given them more depth of knowledge
compliance, says Theresa Almonte, Director of
into supply chains. That's the real benefit that
Business Development (Food) at SGS Canada.
many businesses start to see. It forces you to
Having a better handle on your suppliers,
look more closely at your data," says Proctor.
"gives you an ability to understand your pro"You can't act on the things that you don't
ducts, processes and protection-that's good
know," adds Kirkness.

54 |

CANADIAN RETAILER

| FOOD & GROCERY



Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019

Contents
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 1
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - 2
Canadian Retailer Magazine - The Food & Grocery Issue 2019 - Contents
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/rcc/canadianretailer_supplychain19
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/rcc/canadianretailer_digitalretail19
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/rcc/canadianretailer_bricksandmortar
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