Trace One, a private label and product lifecycle management (PLM) organisation, has launched T Transparency, a cloud-based platform for improving supply chain visibility across the food sector.
The software lets users share real-time information in an online community about raw materials; compliance standards; and documentation such as factory audits and certifications.
PLPs on the rise
Allan Davies, chief marketing officer, Trace One, told FoodQualityNews.com private label products are on the rise and retailers need to meet increasing demands from consumers to find out what is in their products.
“Trace One was set up in 2001 where it originally focused on food quality control,” he said.
“That challenge about the quality of food production is even more so now. It’s the origin of where the various ingredients come from and knowledge of the factories of where they are made, content in terms of allergens, bacteria and total supply chain view.
“We have launched T Transparency as a software-as-a-service community tool, like LinkedIn for retailers and manufacturers.”
Davies added the ‘community’, which works with food regulation bodies and associations like the BRC (British Retail Consortium) looks at processed food and can track where ingredients come from because suppliers change all the time.
'We are all scared'
“We are all scared that we are going to get poisoned by another horse meat scandal. It’s not ‘if’ but ‘when’ the next food scandal will hit and can we stop the supply chain immediately,” he said.
“A label can have 52 different ingredients, but it is quite complicated. The next big challenge is to easily translate that. Manufacturers want to have overall visibility and suppliers need to make their processes easier for consumers to understand.”
Davies said upcoming changes to the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the EU’s Food Information Regulation (FIR) will require an even greater amount of information to be displayed on food product packaging; including country of origin of meats and potential allergens.
T Transparency can prepare manufacturers and retailers for when this regulation comes into effect by giving complete insight into suppliers, accreditation and provenance across multiple private label food ranges.
Trace One’s existing customers include Auchan, Walmart, Walgreen, Carrefour and Whole Foods.
“I’m still surprised at how long the industry takes to react to a food scare,” added Davies.
“Quite clearly concern is growing. For example, mothers want to know what is in baby food. There are a lot of websites providing guidance but it is all subjective at the moment and we need to pull together as an industry so that people have the confidence to understand what they’re eating.”
Trace One will discuss T Transparency at the Global Food Safety Conference (GFSC) in Anaheim, California tomorrow, Thursday, February 27 and is attending PLMA International 2014 in Amsterdam in The Netherlands in May.