Transparency a Must in Food and Beverage Manufacturing
by Denny Ross, on December 4, 2017
When labeling food and beverage products, manufacturers have many guidelines to follow. Changes made in recent years have led to more requirements, and every country has its own particular set of laws.
While getting in compliance presents a short-term logistical challenge for producers, the long-term effects of this increasing focus on transparency are positive. Creating a bond of trust between food producers and the shoppers who buy their products is essential, and better labeling can have this kind of impact.
The New Basis of the Industry
Industry expert Julie McGill, writing for Food Safety Technology, stated that the current market is based on companies becoming more transparent and consumers rewarding those manufacturers with their loyalty. McGill worked for GS1 when it developed its labeling standards, and said companies have used those and similar standards as a building block in their ongoing efforts to become more open and transparent.
The next steps envisioned by McGill include moving into new and more advanced ways to encourage transparency and traceability. Technologies such as blockchain may have a role to play in this new status quo, along with widespread kinds of innovation such as the internet of things.
As Fast Casual pointed out, the foodservice industry deepens its commitment to traceability and rich data access every time there is a major recall or ingredient-based problem. This means companies are becoming exacting regarding GS1 labels. They want easy, barcode-based access to data that could help them determine pertinent data about a particular ingredient shipment.
Don't Fall Behind
With requirements intensifying and demand coming in from multiple corners, it's clear that labeling for food and beverage providers is a major element of competition within the industry. From the possible legal consequences of falling behind international rules to the increasing preference for transparent supply chains, all factors point to the need for clear and compliant barcode labels.
Meeting FSMA Requirements
The key to compliance with the FDA's (Food Safety Modernization Act) and other regulations is to adopt labeling standards like GS1 GTINs and barcodes, and manage them through a centralized labeling process. A single, standardized labeling solution, implemented and supported across an organization, brings labeling under one platform. And when it’s tightly integrated with existing enterprise systems, you not only improve label accuracy, but you have a central “go-to” source to monitor, manage and control all the labeling—on the product itself, the carton, the pallet—from manufacturing to transport to the grocer’s shelves. Best of all, when regulations do change (as they always do), you’ve simplified the process and narrowed it down to one solution where you can update and apply appropriate label changes.
For more on Food & Beverage Labeling check out our report on the topic.