A non-profit making group has come up with a new set of guidelines to facilitate the movement of food ingredients that could lead to improved efficiency standards in supply chain practices.
Born from the EAN.UCC System of standards - used in over 140 countries - the guidelines aim to track and trace food ingredients as they are transported between suppliers, distributors, and end-users.
Developed by the US-based Uniform Code Council (UCC) in collaboration with the Food Ingredients Distributors Association (FIDA), the Food Ingredients Product Identification Guidelines use Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), a standard of the EAN.UCC System.
"While there are many companies that use EAN.UCC product identification and bar code standards on their pallets, cases, and products, there are not as many in the food ingredients industry," said Steve Arens, senior director of the UCC. "These new guidelines move UCC-based solutions upstream, enabling the food ingredients industry to realise greater efficiencies in their supply chain."
Jerry Skidmore, chairman of Skidmore Distributing and past chairman of the FIDA emphasised in a statement this week that the supply side of the food supply chain must make 'a unified effort to adopt and implement new technologies, standards, and business processes.' For Skidmore, the new guidelines offer opportunities to 'take costs out of the supply chain, enable trading partners to work more closely together, and ensure a safer and more secure food supply chain.'