Benefits of traceability

Benefits of traceability

tins with storage, supply and distribution written on the side

Traceability systems should include the procedures for identifying a product and establishing its production history, source and destination. Traceability gives greater clarity to the food supply chain from farm to market and the assurance of product identity.

Pre-requisites of traceability

Food safety and traceability in the food supply chain depends on:

  • Legislation which lays down the minimum traceability requirements.
  • Official controls to check food business compliance with legislation.
  • Food businesses taking measures and adopting practices to achieve an appropriate system of traceability.

Aims of implementing traceability

For the competent authorities the implementation and use of robust and effective traceability systems in the food chain can contribute to a number of aims, for example:

  • Promoting food safety by enabling a better targeted and more rapid response to food incidents.
  • Improving food law enforcement by enabling better access to information about food products and their constituents.
  • Providing information to support labelling claims and aid informed choices by consumers.
  • Improving the effectiveness of the action taken in response to surveys of food.
  • To identify the responsible organisations in the food and feed chain.

Benefits of traceability

There are also clear benefits for industry to be gained from such systems, for example:

  • To support food safety and/or quality objectives, and meet customer specification.
  • To fulfil and local, regional, or international regulations or standards, as applicable.
  • To communicate information to relevant stakeholders and consumers through the provision of reliable information to regulators, customers and consumers.
  • Improved consumer protection through better targeted and more rapid recalls and/or withdrawals.
  • Greater efficiency within businesses, with more information to assist in process control and management, e.g. in stock control and quality control.
  • To support authenticity claims about products, e.g. to authenticate origin and production claims.
  • Deterrence of fraud.