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Food Traceability Not a Food Safety Issue

by 5m Editor
3 June 2009, at 10:42am

CANADA - The CEO of Cargil says enhanced traceability of food products offers a number of advantages but it will not improve food safety, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Delegates attending Trace R&D 2009, underway in Winnipeg, are examining traceability technology and providing input for a national traceability research and development strategy for Canada.

Cargill CEO Len Penner says enhanced traceability offers three key advantages but it won't impact food safety.

Len Penner-Cargill Limited

One is can it help us enhance our competitiveness?

In Canada the majority of products that we work with we have a far greater capacity to produce than we have to consume with 35 million people in Canada.

So we have an opportunity, we have a need to be in the export market place and so how does the traceability system allow us to be more competitive in that particular space

The second key value that could come with traceability would be in the area of a system that helps in the supply chain management side.

Does it allow us to identity preserve commodities as they move through the system to deliver integrity in the products, that we know that we can deliver the promises and the claims that are being made by that particular food.

Then the third area is one that I would almost put in the defensive area and that being a good traceability system will add value if it allows us to minimize the impact of mistakes that are made in the system and allowing us to wrap our arms around a problem quicker, faster, minimizing recalls on product that should not be out there.


Mr Penner believes processing safe food depends on implementing processes with relentless determination.

He says traceability can provide the confidence that everything has been done to ensure the products out there are safe.