When it comes to important issues in the global food industry, few are as pressing as the topic of food traceability. Governments, industries, companies, and end consumers want to know where the foods they’re purchasing have come from and where they’ve been. If you’re unable to supply this information, you can’t possibly expect to thrive.

Oranges with sku bar code for scanning


What is Food Traceability?

According to one definition, “Traceability is the capacity to verify the location, history and application of any items by recording and proper documentation.” There are plenty of other definitions, but this brief description does a good job of hitting on the major aspects of this all-important component of an organization’s overarching food safety program.

Specifically, food traceability refers to the recording of tags and barcodes, the use of a traceability software system, and a comprehensive understanding of what happens from the beginning of the supply chain all the way until the end. 

Six Benefits of Food Traceability

From an organizational perspective, there are a number of significant benefits of food traceability. Let’s check out a few of them to give you an idea of why so many within your industry are adopting new strategies.

1. Improved Operational Efficiency

Food traceability leads to a better understanding of your business processes from start to finish. And, any time you have a wider understanding of what’s happening within your organization, this naturally leads to improved operational efficiency.

This improved operational efficiency means better communication with suppliers, enhanced understanding of internal processes, and a more accurate picture of what your customers want.

2. Transparent Marketing

With a meticulous food traceability system in place, you can confidently improve your marketing messaging. For example, you can create a “farm-to-table” marketing campaign that positions your organization as a company that cares about careful sourcing and safe production. Or, perhaps, you could develop a campaign around the importance of supporting local farms. Depending on the factors in play, you can get creative.

3.Better Credibility

In today’s marketplace, consumers are hyper aware of things like food allergies and sustainable processes. As such, they want transparency from the companies with which they choose to do business.

With a food traceability initiative in place, you can enhance your credibility with your target market. This will go a long way toward establishing a solid reputation and differentiating your brand from the competition.

4. Lower Risk of Legal Issues 

Should your company end up in a legal battle with customers or supply chain partners based on some issue related to food safety or compliance, a comprehensive food traceability program can help your case by providing step-by-step visibility of what actually happened.

On a related note, tracking processes could help you to demonstrate to an insurance provider that you’re better managing your business, which results in reduced risk. This could eventually allow you to lower insurance premiums.

5. Timely Error Prevention

One of the biggest problems for food companies is that they often waste tons of resources while trying to identify a quality control issue. Fortunately, 99 percent of these resources can be saved with access to better error prevention technology – i.e., food traceability technology.

6. Better Inventory Visibility

Many organizations use traceability initiatives to track and trace data. This enhances analytics and reporting, which subsequently allows each member of the organization to have a better understanding of inventory needs, demand, and forecasting. As a result, everyone is on the same page, and inventory-related problems are much less likely.

The Role of ERP Software

When it comes to establishing a comprehensive and worthwhile food traceability initiative, ERP software plays a significant role. With the right software solution, you can streamline traceability and integrate it fully with the various other components of your organization. As a result, you’re able to enjoy fully the five benefits mentioned above.

The key is to find the right food traceability software for your organization. You need a solution that’s responsive, easy to use, and lean in nature. In other words, you want a product that moves your business forward without holding it back. This requires you to compare multiple options to find the one that’s the best fit for your needs.


Ready for a specialized food ERP? Learn more about Aptean Food & Beverage ERP JustFood Edition — a solution purpose-built to solve your challenges and propel your food business and digital transformation to the next level.