ARC Webcast focuses on product tracking, tracing, in food, beverage industries

Taking steps to improve product tracking and tracing to meet current and future regulations and improve efficiency is a critical part of manufacturing operations, according to participants in a recent ARC Advisory Group Webcast.


Taking steps to improve product tracking and tracing to meet current and future regulations and improve efficiency is a critical part of manufacturing operations, according to participants in a recent ARC Advisory Group Webcast. “Tracking and tracing: Building and preserving brand value in the food and beverage industries,” broadcast last month, included presentations by food manufacturing companies and an ARC industry analyst. Discussions targeted the impact of regulations (such as the 2002 Bio-Terrorism Act and European Food Safety initiatives) on these industries and how specific operations are responding.

Participants in the event were:

  • John Blanchard, principal analyst and food and beverage research director at ARC Advisory Group ;

  • Robert Lowe, vice president of MIS, Barber Foods ;

  • Jon Jones, director of engineering, and Don Flynn, manager of quality, McCain Foods ;

  • Randy Freeman, vice president of industry initiatives at Rockwell Automation . (Rockwell Automation sponsored the event.)

Regulations, product quality and safety, consumer demand, and other factors are among rapid changes facing food-manufacturing companies, prompting the Webcast. Setting the stage for the presentations, ARC’s Blanchard observed that manufacturers must adapt their operations to achieve operational excellence through continuous improvement initiatives. “The impact of malicious or non-malicious contamination of food or food ingredients…can no longer be solved by geographical isolation. Improved food safety through electronic tracking and tracing is a top priority as well as a growing consumer concern. The need for improved efficiency in food safety, risk mitigation, and brand protection through electronic tracking and trackingare only increasing.”

Barber Foods’ Lowe and McCain Foods’ Jones and Flynn reviewed the programs and initiatives their companies are taking to respond to regulations, looking primarily at the requirements of the 2002 Bio-Terrorism Act, Europe’s EC Regulation 178/2002 on food safety, and C-TPAT, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (an agreement by importers to protect the food supply chain). Stressing the importance of compliance efforts, McCain Foods’ Flynn stressed that everyone has a key role within safety and security, from security personnel to production operators to shipping workers. “We must make the program work,” he said.

View the complete archived Webcast on the ARC Web site by clicking here . (A brief registration is required.)

—Jeanine Katzel, senior editor, Control Engineering,

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