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A food supply chain can involve a network of more than 100 organizations. If something goes wrong in one link, it can impact the quality, safety and sustainability of the end product. Managing the supply chain and assuring stakeholders of safety and sustainability is essential.

A food supply chain can involve a network of more than 100 organizations. If something goes wrong in one link, it can impact the quality, safety and sustainability of the end product. Managing the supply chain and assuring stakeholders of safety and sustainability is essential.

A food supply chain can involve a network of more than 100 organizations. If something goes wrong in one link, it can impact the quality, safety and sustainability of the end product. Managing the supply chain and assuring stakeholders of safety and sustainability is essential.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to managing the supply chain. Managing every link to the best for the company and consumers requires a thorough plan incorporating multiple actions, a number of risk areas, commitment and investment. Quality, safety and sustainability must be top of mind in this process. And efficient supply chain management will help you gain a competitive advantage.

Sustainable supply chain

Sustainability is a strategic issue for any industry. In addition to economic sustainability, the social and the environmental impacts are considered the key items to ensure a sustainable supply chain. Main concerns in most industries are generally related to legal compliance, energy use and water consumption, but when it comes to the food and beverage industry additional critical risks are related to food safety and quality.

A single product can involve a network of 100 or more organizations playing a role in getting a product from farm to fork. The potential for something to go wrong in such complex networks is arguably proportionate to the number of organizations involved, as high complexity means high risk.

Organizations strive to have the most optimized supply chain primarily to achieve lower costs and higher margins. While cost efficiency is a driver in the food industry as well, players increasingly seek to gain competitive advantage by optimizing food safety and quality, security, resilience and reliability, traceability and transparency. To increase competitiveness in this industry, you have to build trust.

Systematic supply chain risk management

Organizations in the food and beverage sector continually seek to improve the above mentioned criteria to reduce food safety and quality risks, to reduce lead times and operational costs, and enhance brand reputation as well as consumer trust. When you apply systematic supply chain risk management, you identify and measure vulnerability within you supply chain to allow active management, avoid failure and ensure business continuity.

While food safety and quality crystalize themselves as primary challenges within the industry, the food and beverage supply chain is a very complex and diverse world where there is no single solution to reduce all risks. The most frequent strategies range from supplier diversification to avoid sourcing from risky areas, to supplier and risk assessment activities, co-makership, certification and emergency preparedness.

Supply Chain Assurance

Market leaders say that communication is a key initiative to promote sustainability issues, and that supply chain assurance is the means by which organizations demonstrate to themselves and their customers and stakeholders that all vulnerabilities throughout a complex supply chain are understood and managed. Supply Chain Assurance starts by:

  • Identifying the criteria different suppliers need to adhere to.
  • Collecting up to date information from the supply chain players through self-assessments, external audit, statutory reporting, public domain information and published verification and audit reports.
  • Connecting to a supplier approval and procurement process.

Systematic and efficient supply chain risk management is necessary for any credible player in the food industry. Supply Chain Assurance provides the confirmation that a credible player needs to let stakeholders know that food is produced with quality and that the end product is safe. It’s not just about connecting the dots, but also ensuring stakeholder trust by confirming your commitment by means of an external assurance partner. It is when stakeholders trust you that you gain the competitive advantage.

Would you like more information about supply chain management? Please take a look at our website assurance.dnvgl.com or contact us via business.assurance@dnvgl.com.

 

Written and contributed by Stefano Cardinali

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