The FDA is encouraging the technology community to get involved in improving food safety by leveraging software to drive complete supply chain traceability for food retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, brands, and consumers.
On August 1, 2021, FDA completed a month-long contest to assess tech companies’ abilities to support traceability throughout the food supply chain, as well as innovation, usability, affordability, and interoperability.
The “FDA New Era of Smarter Food Safety Low-Cost Tech Enabled Traceability Challenge” was a call to software vendors, public health advocates, entrepreneurs, and innovators to develop traceability technology and data analytics platforms that are low-cost to end users.
Food traceability and supply chain transparency are especially important now as products are recalled due to food or packaging contamination. The spotlight is firmly fixed on food safety and food supply chain traceability as food borne illnesses impact 1 in 6 Americans and cost the United States $15.6B annually, according to the CDC.
Product development and supply chain traceability are critical to ensuring consumers receive safe food products and for guaranteeing retailers can successfully source and track ingredients. This transparency also helps retailers reduce the risk of regulatory compliance violations that can affect consumer safety, damage brand reputation, and lead to costly recalls. FDA recalls can occur whenever food products are mislabeled, present health risks because of contamination, or cause an outbreak of illness.
The average cost of a recall to a food company is $10 million in direct costs in addition to brand damage and lost sales, according to a joint study by the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
An inability to track products across complex and global supply chains can increase the risk of a recall and make it more difficult to identify and eliminate contaminated products from the supply chain once a food safety issue arises.
“Tapping into new technologies and integrating data streams will help to advance the widespread, consistent implementation of traceability systems across the food industry,” stated FDA on its website.
“FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative strives to work with stakeholders to explore low-cost or no-cost options so that our approaches are inclusive of and viable for human and animal food operations of all sizes,” the association continued. “Democratizing the benefits of digitizing data will allow the entire food system to move more rapidly towards digital traceability systems.”
The multi-enterprise product and supply chain platform enables retailers to successfully develop, source, transact, and ship ingredients and finished products throughout the supply chain to optimize formulas, manage costs, enhance quality, certify ingredient and labeling compliance, and guarantee customers and partners complete transparency.
The solution includes a centralized ingredients library offering retailers access to consistent ingredient profiles, ensuring product data remains accurate across food products, and functioning as an automated checks-and-balances system around allergen labeling and regulatory compliance.
In addition to promoting food safety and supply chain transparency, Bamboo Rose’s solution has also helped major food retailers differentiate their private brand products by assisting retailers in managing new product ideas and fostering close collaboration and recipe development with trusted supplier partners.
Deepen your level of food product transparency and supply chain traceability today with the Bamboo Rose platform.