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By Josh Giefer, International Business Consultant, Domino's

Improving Food Safety with Technology

A Look at the Progress and Innovations in Food Safety

Food and Beverages | Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Agri-businesses are leveraging their positions as manufacturers or producers to influence positive change in the industry to ensure growth is directed in the right direction.

FREMONT, CA: Consumers now have access to information about where, how, and by whom food was produced, at what societal and environmental cost. Traceability, AI, and blockchain have enhanced food security in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. These technologies have transformed global food value chains into transparent, data-driven systems. This change will benefit farmers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers by boosting openness and efficiency throughout the food chain. As countries recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, they invest in services vital to agricultural and agri-food security.

A Diverse Range Of Technology Applications Among Agriculture's Value Chain Actors

Agriculture faces numerous issues that no single technological solution may address. This involves using technology, as food producers and distributors would need to know which farmer grew the crop, under what conditions, time, and location. Additionally, traceability contributes to the efficiency and transparency of the food supply chain. Additionally, it encourages farmers to communicate the provenance narrative with buyers.

Disruptions caused by the labor scarcity in the up-north during COVID lead us to assume that farm automation will continue to grow steadily in the Agri-Food Supply Chains, with a reduced reliance on human labor being examined by the industry. Numerous more technologies, like Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and countless others, have already been applied globally. Additionally, the food chain is in desperate need of cobiotics, a technology that enables physical communication between humans and computer-controlled robots and various other automation technologies. Drones used for farm surveillance, seeding, and other agricultural uses require Blockchain technology, which prevents data from being altered after it is recorded.

Monitoring, evaluation, and return on investment are calculated with the scale of farming in mind; smaller lands versus vast acres is where technology intervention needs to be normalized. One of the primary reasons for adopting cutting-edge technologies is to improve food safety and minimize the danger of spoilage, loss, or contamination.

Under the 2011 FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act), the FDA mandates complete openness regarding a food or beverage product's manufacturing procedures and whereabouts throughout the supply chain.

Today's food manufacturers recognize the importance of integrating their existing ERP systems with a single comprehensive technology solution that provides a dashboard for complex issues such as safety, security, transparency, and compliance across the silos of field, factory, suppliers, payments to farmers, distributor network, and retail to eventually provide a field-to-fork view of every product in their supply chain.

This is not a long-range plan. It is currently taking place!

Global food firms are deploying successful ag-tech solutions that enable their F&B operations to maintain high quality and safety standards, prevent and expedite recalls, reduce compliance costs, increase operational efficiency, and foster consumer loyalty and confidence.

Integrating Technology Solutions For Traceability Of Food And Beverages

The COVID-19 outbreak has added new complications, making the supply chain even more dark and unclear. Food and beverage companies are leveraging disruptive technologies like Traceability to improve product quality, customer trust, and brand recognition. Traceability also helps food and beverage companies prevent fraud and contamination by increasing food security and providing sustainability and circular economy solutions. Due to rotting and other external factors, food waste will be reduced, saving money due to neglect, transportation delays, and other problems.

Many large beverage companies, including Starbucks, use blockchain traceability to manage their coffee's provenance from bean to brew efficiently. Large shops like Costco have gone this a step further by supplying company-owned farms with fresh produce and controlling them using IoT sensors and Supply Chain Management technologies to track and measure the farm-to-aisle cycle. The world must embrace these pilots by 2021 and beyond.

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