For food companies, the threat of a recall is an ever-present issue that cannot be avoided. This is especially true for the businesses associated with some of the most popular private label brands, as these companies are most likely to be hurt financially because of such an event - after all, most consumers know only about the name on the front of the box and not about the sometimes dozens of suppliers partly responsible for helping a food item reach the marketplace. The key, former healthcare official Mike Rozembajgier wrote in a recent article in Food Logistics, for food providers is to have as much oversight over its supply chain as possible.
According to Rozembajgier, recalls are an unfortunate inevitability for companies that sell edible items. Not only does the average grocery store have to deal with between 75 and 100 recall notices every year, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service reported that more than 4,800 pounds of meat has been recalled in just the past two months.
How Food Brands can Reduce the Likelihood of a Recall
While these types of issues cannot be completely eliminated, Rozembajgier wrote that the likelihood of a recall occurring can be greatly reduced. Private label brands need to utilize data collection tools like supply chain software to have a complete and transparent view of their entire supply chain. That way, if an issue arises at a farm or a mid-level packaged food supplier, its effects will not be realized at the retail level by customers.
"While, in the case of a recall of private label brands, the producer or manufacturer is generally at fault, it's the brand name or the retailer's name on the product that typically takes the reputational hit," he wrote. "That's why owners of private label brands should take precaution when putting quality controls in place for their supply chain partners. When it comes to recalls, retailers that have their own private label brands are responsible for managing the full “reverse logistics” process."
According to Enterprise Apps Today, one of the ways in which food brands can better reduce the threat of a recall is by taking a more holistic approach to managing and overseeing the supply chain. This can be accomplished in part by using mobile barcode scanner software and other data collection tools to gather real-time information about shipments and product whereabouts.