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Tracing back and forth – the crucial role of automation in securing food safety

Distribution fresh food grocery retail supermarket

Food traceability is increasingly important across today’s complex food supply chains. Maintaining and documenting information about the raw materials and their suppliers, as well as keeping records of the final product deliveries for food, are key requirements in the food supply chain. The aim is to ensure people’s health & safety and maintain consumers’ confidence in the food supply chain.

The main motive for food traceability is the health and safety of people. The more information is stored, the easier and quicker it will be to identify the possibly affected food, mitigate risks to consumers and save time and money. The European Commission’s General Food Law Regulation defines traceability as the ability to trace and follow food, feed and ingredients through all stages of production, processing and distribution. The UK’s Food Standards Agency explains that traceability helps keep track of food in the supply chain, which supports the accurate withdrawal or recall of unsafe food. From manufacturing to distribution center all the way to the store, the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires traceability for each component in a detailed level.

There are many aspects to food traceability including, for example, the ability to identify batches of food, recognize the source and recipients of food items, and ensure that food information is accurate. Traceability data should also be stored for a certain period of time to be able to access and retrieve it when needed. Traceability forms the foundation for maintaining consumer trust in food safety, quality, healthiness and ethics. It is also important in risk and crisis management of possible food safety issues and, in the worst case, withdrawals or product recalls.

Clear expectations around food traceability build trust and enable cooperation between the various stakeholders in the food supply chain, all the way from producers to consumers

Heli Kulmala, Head of Group QHSE at Cimcorp Group

Automation is key in food traceability

Thanks to automation, errors and food safety risks can be reduced, as the need for manual inputting of data and handling of products is avoided. Automation allows optimized supply chains to minimize food safety hazards, food waste and delivery failures by automatically controlling the required storage conditions for food and making sure only the best quality is delivered to consumers. With the help of Cimcorp’s automated order picking solutions, the system controls every step a product takes in the distribution center.

We take our role in securing the safety of the food supply chain very seriously, as it has a huge effect on end consumers, grocery retailers and the world in general. With our automated order picking systems, we can control all product movements within a distribution center. In this way, automation plays a crucial role in ensuring food safety.

Kari Miikkulainen, Director of Warehouse & Distribution Sales at Cimcorp Group

Technology and software play a key role in supporting food traceability. Whereas effective labelling allows information retrieval, tracking helps provide detailed information on product storage, movement and location across the distribution center. Data analysis tools again help to improve and optimize the food supply chain further.

Food traceability requires know-how

The ability to manage data, ensure the accuracy of data and implement and integrate the infrastructure related to traceability management require wide knowledge of the topic of food traceability. Also, the complexity of the global food supply chain poses challenges. When this is combined with the requirement to be compliant with all the relevant laws wherever the food is produced, stored, sold or used in the global food supply chain, the scale of the food traceability challenge becomes apparent. Automation simplifies food traceability by offering the infrastructure – technology and software solutions – for data maintenance and safe product flows through distribution centers.

Cimcorp: Your ticket to future of automation

Discover the future of distribution at Cimcorp’s booth! Our experts are ready to revolutionize your distribution center’s efficiency with speed, reliability, and ease.

Say goodbye to complexities and hello to streamlined success! Experience the fast, reliable, and easy path to optimal performance. Bid farewell to the hassle and embrace efficiency like never before.

Network with the minds behind Cimcorp’s end-to-end solutions and explore how we can elevate your supply chain game together. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to elevate your operations. See you at the booth!

Cimcorp's distribution center benefits with automation for fresh food handling
Cimcorp’s distribution center benefits with automation for fresh food handling
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