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Saturday, 1 March 2014

Readiness to Face Future Challenges in the Food Industry

To maintain a dignified existence, face future challenges and achieve greater success, food businesses need critical thinkers and wise counsel more than they need financial investors and tactical acquisitions.
The industry also needs much more than the mere re-configuration of the same old self-assessment schemes and calling them "new versions". 
Mr. Yuksel Eyyuboglu  posted two questions to the food quality audit discussion group on linkedin under the discussion topic: “Relative to other Industry sectors, we still have a lot to learn!!” by Paul D. Valder. A link to the discussion is provided at the end of this post. The food industry does indeed have a lot to learn and a lot to change I might add.
Like old ships, old ways of doing things are tough to change beyond some superficial modifications and old ways rarely get anyone to further destinations than have already been reached.

Mr. Eyyuboglu's  Questions:
1. What are the food manufacturers' needs that management/entrepreneurship must know to respond to the challenges?
2. What tools and technological solutions are available to them?

In response to these questions, I would say that management/entrepreneurship must have good knowledge of the following needs and available solutions in order to be properly equipped to face future challenges: The following list of  needs has been extracted from the  SSQA Implementation Manual

Food Business Needs
–      Critical thinkers and wise counsel
–      Financial Resources
–      Readily available sources of reliable information
–      Sustainable agricultural and other input material sources
–      Stable and knowledgeable work force (internally developed or 
        sourced outside expertise)
–      Safe, suitable, reliable, sustainable amenities (water supply, 
        power supply, air and processing gas supply, etc.)
–      Suitable and adequate structural provisions (buildings, etc.)
–      Suitable and properly maintained equipment and operation 
–      Scientific and systematic operation management and control concepts 
        and methodologies including concepts such as HACCP, SSQA, etc.
–      Reliable auxiliary Services (testing laboratories, pest control services, 
–      Chain-wide collaboration (according to the SSQA collaboration development strategies)
–      More collaborative and less punitive regulatory approaches
–      Knowledge of useful and applicable regulations
–      On-going education on emerging developments (scientific, technological, industry experience, etc.
–      Good distribution infrastructures
–      Other contingency and incidental needs determined to be necessary for the type of business

Available Tools and Technological Solutions
–      Operation management and control system manuals (e.g. the SSQA Implementation Manual)
–      Computerized management and documentation systems
–      Process and business control software
–      Robotics
–      Enterprise Resource Planning and management (ERP) systems
–      Internet systems and internet of things
–      Electronic and digital communication systems (including social media)
–      etc.

As certainly as the industry will continue to develop along with advancing technological solutions such as the "blockchain" technology, certain institutionalized traditions are fast becoming obsolete. Chief among these are the current food safety and quality certification audit arrangements and practices.

The link to the referenced Food Quality Audit Group discussion: Relative to other industry sectors, we still have a lot to learn!!” by Paul D. Valder.
 Posted by Felix Amiri
Felix Amiri is currently the chair of GCSE-Food & Health Protection, and a sworn SSQA advocate. 

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