TRACEABILITYFROM THE GRASS TO THE GLASS
fTRACE in the dairy industry
The traceability of fresh products is extremely important for consumers. Sustainability issues, such as the conditions in which animals are kept, are key considerations in this context. The dairy industry is characterised by its complex structure of upstream suppliers. This results in a constant mixing of batches during the production process, which must be taken into account. Traceability definitely pays off! According to surveys, consumers prefer to buy milk when they trust the milk’s origin.
A typical supply chain in the dairy industry
The following diagram represents a typical supply chain in the dairy industry. The in-dividual process steps in the supply chain differ depending on the retail product.
Birth and rearing
Dairy cows are born and raised.
Dairy cows are milked.
The milk is collected from the dairies.
Raw milk is stored in tanks.
Raw materials are processed into retail products.
Products are transported from the central warehouse to individual stores.
Products are sold to consumers.
Large volumes of data need to be processed along the supply chain. Mapping the complex network of upstream suppliers and production steps requires a huge amount of information. Manual processes are time-consuming and prone to errors. However, a company must be able to react rapidly, especially in the event of a crisis or in the course of food safety inspections. The fTRACE tool enables companies to keep an eye on the entire supply chain and to provide standardised traceability information at the touch of a button.
A responsible business approach is becoming increasingly critical for success, and is already a main focus for many businesses. Consumers and NGOs are interested in the entire supply chain. However, proving the implementation of sustainable practices poses a major challenge – for example, providing information about animal housing, pasture access, feedstuffs and use of antibiotics as proof of animal welfare. However, fTRACE provides a solution for enriching product flow data with sustainability information, providing consumers with a comprehensive picture of key events between milk production and final processing.
Virtually no other sector is subject to such tight controls as the dairy industry. The consistent monitoring of key quality standards – including the individual farms, dairy and retail stores – forms the basis of a seamless quality management system. Production in tanks, however, means that different milk batches are constantly combined. Recording these complex processes manually involves an extremely high investment in resources. The digitalisation of quality-related information takes risk management across supply chains onto a whole new level.
For consumers, factors such as freshness, origin and sustainable production processes play a critical role in their purchase decisions. At the point of sale, shoppers are showing a growing interest in products’ value chains – and demand is also growing for clear, verifiable information. By simply scanning a QR code, consumers can use fTRACE to find out where a batch of raw milk comes from, for example, including when, where and how it was processed.