Food Traceability Systems Need to Link Together

Nov 02, 2012

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Conference Board of Canada Report Highlights the Importance of “One-Step-Forward and One-Step Back Approach” to Traceability

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Food safety and traceability have been buzz words in the agriculture industry and it has become a topic of great interest to Canadian consumers. The Conference Board of Canada released a new publication for its Centre for Food in Canada entitled, Forging Stronger Links: Traceability and the Canadian Food Supply Chain that provides steps that food supply chain stakeholders can take in order to strengthen the role that traceability can play in boosting public trust and safeguard food safety.

The report argues that in order for food traceability systems to be fully effective, they must all link together. The report also suggests that the “one-step-forward and one-step back” approach is key in order to implement traceability universally. This type of system is especially valuable during cases of food safety concerns. Lastly, the report cautions both supply chain stakeholders and governments about the cost associated with implementing traceability systems; and encourages governments to be realistic when mandating traceability regulations to ensure that it’s financially sustainable.

The following are some key highlights from the report:

• Mandate minimum traceability requirements
• Create traceability systems that are universal
• Develop traceability systems that are compatible – so that inform ation can be communicated with ease across the entire supply chain
• Make premises identification mandatory for poultry and livestock farmers
• Have detailed information about how to manage emergences 
• Funding for start-up costs and cost-effective traceability systems
• Have regular evaluations of traceability systems
• Educate and promote the benefits of adopting traceability systems

The full report can be found at:

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