Supply Chain Risk Management: Understanding the Value of Traceability in the Supply Chain

Geneva, Switzerland, December 11, 2014 --( SGS, a leading global solution provider in food safety, quality and sustainability, will host a Special Session and showcase its unique food safety portfolio at the GFSI’s Global Food Safety Conference 2015. The conference theme is “Food Safety, A Shared Responsibility.” The international event will take place from March 3-5, 2015, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia.

The SGS Special Session titled “How well do you know your Supply Chain?” will commence on Thursday, 5 March at 8:15 am.

The objectives of this breakout session are to:

Present findings of the SGS industry survey on current supply chain management practices, including supplier approval processes and a review of their vulnerability and impact on food safety.
Discuss the concept of risk and vulnerability in the supply chain through available guidelines and challenges of implementation.
Evaluate the available tools and methods to manage traceability and transparency in the supply chain and how they support the prevention, mitigation and management of risk.

The session will be moderated by Dr. Evangelia Komitopoulou, SGS Global Technical Manager for Food.

Supply chain management and risk control is a process that combines elements of prevention, mitigation and recovery. Different models have been developed to achieve and deliver this process. However, they are all based on the three basic principles/steps of risk management:

1. Identify sources of risk
2. Assess potential consequences of those risks
3. Determine appropriate actions to mitigate them

The approach taken to complete each of these steps may vary depending on the requirements, available resources and complexity of the supply chain involved.

Independent of the approach to be followed, gathering, processing, handling and communicating the right information is a prerequisite to effective supply risk management and control. A supply chain risk management solution should therefore consist of two highly interconnected elements:

1. Ability to gather and process relevant information with the aim to:

• Identify supply chain risks, threats and vulnerabilities
• Develop a mitigation plan and manage necessary changes for effective implementation
• Trigger communication and active engagement amongst stakeholders across the supply chain towards a common goal; the provision of traceable and transparent information that would promote food safety

2. Use of an enabler in the form of an information technology control and management tool that is:

• Able to store, monitor, manage and report/communicate information
• Secure to use and can guarantee full traceability
• User friendly and reliable
• Constantly monitored and maintained to ensure continuous functionality
• Regularly updated/configured to ensure it meets changing needs

The ability to track a product from farm to fork is a complicated process, especially given the number of processing cycles a product might go through, as well as the potential complexity of the product recipe itself. The latter is often a combination of a number of different ingredients sourced around the world and mixed together at different stages of the supply chain. The requirement for almost instant access to such information means that manual traceability systems become less and less acceptable. Manual systems are considered to be much more susceptible to error, and fraud.

For more information, please visit:
Nelirene Dablio
63 02 848 07 77