Supply Chain Communication: A Barrier to Food Industry Transparency
The international food industry continues to experience challenges in supply chain communication, especially as food safety rules become increasingly strict and consumers demand more transparency.
Increased supply chain scrutiny has become necessary (in part from recent news media stories exposing forced labor issues or unsafe conditions) due to the enforcement of U.S. legislation which mandates that companies adopt improved food safety practices. Many recent food recalls have been attributed to lack of supplier compliance with U.S. food safety regulations and responsible sourcing policies. Declining consumer trust in food products with lengthy, international supply chains has also led to an increased demand for supply chain transparency and ethically sourced food. Combatting this lack of supplier accountability in multi-tiered supply chains is a difficult endeavor.
However, there are solutions.
As highlighted in recent supply chain news, some food importers to U.S. markets are achieving increased compliance success with their suppliers through collaboration, training and communication. A recent study by the U.S.-China Business Council examined efforts by U.S. companies to improve compliance among food suppliers and related industries (such as processors and packaging) in China. The research found that U.S. firms that actively engaged in training on safe food handling and communicated their high standards to multiple audiences – growers, local regulators, shippers, etc. – achieved greater supply chain transparency and safer food.
A key tool for enabling strong communications and, hence, supply chain transparency, is a strong and universal technical platform where data and information can easily be shared. As noted by the U.S.-China Business Council, information shared with suppliers cannot be vague. Clearly communicating what’s expected, what’s required, and who is responsible is crucial for supplier alignment and responsiveness.
Source Intelligence, a SaaS company with a robust platform for supply chain data sharing and communication, provides solutions that enable companies to streamline communication with their supply chain. In addition to a wealth of training resources, Source Intelligence offers a multi-lingual and multi-cultural supplier engagement team that operates on a 24/7 basis to cover the world’s key time zones. With these resources, suppliers can receive the education they need to respond to time sensitive requests for sustainability and ethical sourcing initiatives, and companies are able to achieve their transparency and sustainability goals.
For more information about how to improvement supplier communication so that you can achieve your sustainability and responsible sourcing goals, visit www.sourceintelligence.com