Risk management in the end-to-end supply chain

The vital role traceability and transparency plays in managing risk and building trust

Traceability is becoming particularly important as a new generation of consumers make more ethical decisions on what they choose to eat. Trends show that consumers want to know more than just the nutritional information – they want to know the food's origin, when it was grown and how.

Why does traceability matter? In order to trace products back to source you need to have a transparent supply chain. As food supply chains become more globalised, end-to-end supply chain traceability is crucial for product safety, meeting regulatory requirements, ensuring product authenticity and proving provenance.

Without a doubt, transparency enhances trust in the supply chain. Collaboration demonstrates a willingness to build trust. But what is transparency? Essentially it is making information accessible, sharing the supply chain or supply network with consumers, being clearer about the information you know (and, perhaps more importantly, what you don’t). Where you don’t have access to information, how are you mitigating the enhanced risks associated with this? Being prepared to share your supply chain vulnerabilities and explain what you are doing to reduce any risks associated with this is critical to growing trust. Shorter supply chains should be able to demonstrate managed risks, more complex supply chains will need to be open to identifying risks and sharing mitigation interventions.

At the core of many companies' success is the ability to quickly and effectively manage risk. Supply chain management solutions are a great start for understanding the origins of your product, this transparency gives you the opportunity to collaborate with your supply base, identifying and accurately predicting risk, which in turn will drive smarter risk management - exactly where we need to be to enhance and protect consumer trust.

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