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Traceability in food and beverage businesses

3 minute read


Traceability in food and beverage businesses

According to, the food and beverage market reached a value of over $6.1 billion (£4.5 billion) in 2021, and is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7% in the next few years to reach over $8.1 billion (£6 billion) in 2025.

Of course, over the last few years the market, like many others, has been affected by global events and challenges — notably COVID-19 — and ever-changing regulatory pressures.

The impact has been felt particularly strongly by food and beverage manufacturers who face a daily battle with quality control, compliance, and pricing.

In such a fast-paced industry — and one that is so important — it is vital that manufacturers have end-to-end visibility of their supply chain to monitor shipping, safe storage of perishable goods and raw materials, and information about the origins of ingredients and products.

The current state of traceability in food and beverage businesses

IDC’s latest supply chain survey states that “64% of brand-oriented manufacturers admit that the lack of supply chain visibility and flexibility will cause major issues in the future if not addressed appropriately”.

Their research also discovered that 96% of food and beverage companies will “focus on improving their visibility”, while 51% are focusing on the end-to-end supply chain.

Leaner processes and end-to-end traceability greatly assist in achieving optimal levels of profit and efficiency.

However, internal challenges aren’t the only driving force for the need to adopt full traceability in food and beverage businesses.

As previously touched on, external influences such as regulatory compliance changes and even competitors make supply chain management and visibility of vital importance for the success of a food and beverage manufacturer.

In a world connected by the IoT (read more about this here), any problem detected by a consumer can be detrimental to a food and beverage business.

As discussed in the IDC’s report, “while the industry used to simply react to events, today’s food & beverage industry must demonstrate an increased focus on preventing problems before they even arise.”

Despite this, the IDC has found that “56% of food & beverage manufacturers still have manual processes for traceability, and 18% do not have it at all in a formalised way”.

The consequences for a food and beverage business which is unable to effectively manage any quality or recall problem could be grave, both for the consumers and the business itself.

Improving traceability in food and beverage businesses

So, what’s the answer? Well, there is no one way to solve a business’ supply chain visibility challenges, rather a series of solutions that must be put in place collaboratively in order to make end-to-end traceability in food and beverage businesses more efficient.

These solutions include keeping up to date with any changes in regulations relevant to your business; implementing and maintaining strong, up-to-date supply chain visibility; in case the worst should happen, always be transparent; and perhaps most importantly, prepare an emergency crisis plan if you don’t have one already.

This is all easily achievable in theory but keeping on top of traceability in food and beverage businesses and achieving full visibility of your supply chain is actually very time consuming and complex.

In order to minimise the time you spend on these activities without compromising on efficiency, we recommend implementing an ERP system within your business, such as Sage X3 or Sage 200.

Further reading...

Revolutionise your Manufacturing Business with Sage, Automation & the IoT

The use of IoT and automation in manufacturing far outdates its use in our homes. Discover the Industrial Internet of Things with this blog post.

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9 Tips for avoiding ERP implementation horror

Implementing a new ERP system within your business can be a scary thought. Avoid yours becoming another ERP horror story with our implementation tips…

Read the blog

The Future of Food & Beverage Manufacturing

Wondering what the Future of Food & Beverage Manufacturing holds? Find out with our eBook.

Download the eBook