Food Safety Standards Enable Growth
Food and beverage makers tap IT systems to tackle safety issues, speedily deal with problems and, potentially, head them off in the first place. Third-party audits and voluntary food safety certification programs such as the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF) also drive adoption.
Crawford says SQF and the British Retail Consortium's Global Standard for Food Safety don't explicitly call for IT systems. But the standards do ask food manufacturers to be able to provide, produce and retrieve data in a timely and organized manner.
Such requirements have prompted some food and beverage companies to ramp up their automation. At Love & Quiches, Aronin says the company's new ERP system enabled it to begin the process of becoming SQF certified. The company expects to be certified by December 2014. Certification, he adds, will let the company expand in domestic and international markets and sell to big-box retailers and national supermarket chains.
The company's food safety-oriented ERP deployment has also helped the company comfortably pass third-party audits initiated by customers, Aronin notes. "It's enabling us to reach out to customers we wouldn't have been able to reach out to before."
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