In 2017, more than 20 million pounds of food were recalled within the United States. Undeclared allergens and extraneous materials were responsible for almost every recall case, nearly all of which involved reasonable probability that eating the recalled food would cause health problems or death. While the amount of recalled food decreased year-over-year, consumers are pushing more strongly for transparency and food safety than ever before. Considering the U.S. exported $54 billion worth of food last year, and imported $39 billion, it’s not just a domestic issue, but should be an international consideration for grocery retailers.
With consumer pressure and increasing government regulations impacting the grocery industry, grocery retailers are in need of a solution that allows them to trace their sourcing processes, inspect products and procedures, and increase visibility for improved reporting and transparency — all at the strictest level of quality and safety standards. Combined with global growth opportunities, especially with the rise in online grocery delivery, companies without a single source of truth to manage all aspects of the grocery supply chain, may not equipped to handle the process efficiently and responsibly.
Learning from Loblaw
The largest Canadian food retailer – with private label programs for grocery, household, clothing, pharmaceuticals, general merchandise and more – Loblaw had a goal of reducing cost by lowering the number of recalled products. They needed an enterprise-wide platform to integrate across its business and increase visibility to support the company’s global growth strategies. With increased visibility into its suppliers, Loblaw can trace its food products back to the original grower, reducing product recalls and saving the company both time and money.
Other grocery retailers should take a page out of Loblaw’s book and make supply chain visibility a priority to mitigate potential risks involved with food safety. As domestic and international laws evolve, and consumers grow increasingly concerned with where their food is coming from, retailers are under pressure to ensure compliance and increase quality control, not just within their own operations, but throughout their supply chains.
Global food supply chains are complex, presenting many opportunities for risk throughout a product’s lifecycle. Add on countless suppliers and traditionally manual processes, and retailers can easily lose control over product quality and compliance. With a platform that compiles all the information in one place, retailers can more easily increase visibility, track regulatory changes, collaborate with suppliers and other parties, and automate processes – ensuring food safety is a top priority.
See how ShopRite also used Bamboo Rose to implement a single source of truth to increase transparency across their supply chain.