ELECTRONIC TRACEABILITY SYSTEMS VS. PAPER BASED TRACEABILITY SYSTEMS

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ELECTRONIC

 

TRACEABILITY

 

SYSTEMS

 

VS.

 

PAPER

 

BASED

 

TRACEABILITY

 

SYSTEMS

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Outline

1. ISO standard recommendations

2. Pros and cons of paper based traceability 

systems

3. Pros and cons of electronic traceability systems 4. Conclusion

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ISO 22005:2007 recommendations

• The choice of a traceability system is influenced by 

regulations, product characteristics and customer 

expectations

• Terms such as “document traceability”, “computer 

traceability” or “commercial traceability” should be 

avoided

• In this presentation we will apply the terminology 

“paper‐based traceability systems ” and “electronic 

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ISO 22005:2007 recommendations

• ISO 22005:2007 does not distinguish between 

paper‐based and electronic traceability systems. 

However, traceability systems must be:

 Verifiable   Applied consistently and equitably  Results oriented  Cost effective  Practical to apply  Compliant with any applicable regulation or policy  Compliant with defined accuracy requirements

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ISO 22005:2007 recommendations

Food

 

Traceability

 

Systems

 

should:

 Support food safety and/or quality objectives   Meet customer specifications  Determine the history or origin of the product  Facilitate the withdrawal and/or recall of products  Identify the responsible organizations in the feed and  food supply chains  Facilitate the verification of specific information about  the product  Communicate information to relevant stakeholders and 

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ISO 22005:2007 recommendations

Food

 

Traceability

 

Systems

 

should:

 Fulfill any local, regional, national or international   regulations or policies, as applicable

 Improve the effectiveness, productivity and profitability  of the organization

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Background, mandatory procedures

• When implementing Food Traceability, a number of 

procedures need to be established:

 Product definition, lot definition and identification  Documentation of flow of materials and information  including media for record keeping  Data management and recording protocols  Information retrieval protocols  Non‐conformity and corrective action handling

• Both paper-based and electronic traceability systems can be designed to conform to the above requirements

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Paper‐based traceability systems • Traditional method

• Includes manual methods where information is transferred 

from some other temporary media to paper based records

• Processes are documented by procedures and check‐lists:

 By whom (Individuals can sign off if required)  Where (Pond, cage, production line, etc.)

 When (Date and time for each action is normally recorded)

 How (Reference to process description, recipe etc.)

• At the end of the production cycle, paper records are 

archived. Agreed information is passed on to supply chain 

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Paper‐based traceability systems, pros

• Low cost

• Practical in many instances

• Comprehensive records can be maintained provided 

good document management practices are applied

• Durable if archived in appropriate conditions

• Signed documents are well‐established as legal 

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Paper‐based traceability systems, cons

• Document retrieval can be time consuming

• Quantity of documents to be archived can be 

overwhelming

• Paper is vulnerable to humidity, fire etc.

• Information exchange only at certain times & 

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Paper‐based traceability systems, cons

• Paper can be easily copied or forged

• Error prone

• Once lost, the information can not easily be 

reconstructed

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Electronic traceability systems

• Relatively new method

• Solutions mimic paper‐based solutions by recording 

processes, procedures and check‐lists electronically

• Make use of a variety of data entry tools

• Operators are forced to follow the correct process 

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Electronic traceability systems

• Some degree of data input control can be applied

• Agreed data passed on to supply chain partners 

electronically in electronic despatch notes

• Data can be made available real time, anywhere, at 

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Electronic traceability systems, pros

• Immediate retrieval of records

• Data can easily be made available to supply chain 

partners, certification agencies, food safety 

inspectors, supply chain partners and import 

authorities

• Facilitates  analysis in terms of statistics and data 

mining, which can be used to increase production 

efficiency

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Electronic traceability systems, pros

• Can be configured to automatically record:

 Temperature, humidity, salinity, oxygen level etc.

 Identifiers (bar codes / RFID / Smart labels)

 Identity of person recording data

 Identity of person accessing / trying to access 

data or modifying / trying to modify data

 Usage of feed, pesticides, fertilizer etc.

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Electronic traceability systems, cons

• Historically seen as costly to implement (typically 

provided as part of expensive ERP systems ...)

• Vulnerable to intrusion / data privacy

• Requires some degree of IT literacy by users

• Legal significance is growing but not as established 

as for signed documents

• Only as secure as the storage media and back‐up 

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Attention!

• Neither paper‐based nor electronic traceability 

systems provide any guarantee that the information 

recorded is correct

• Systems and methodology are only as good as the 

operating procedures and practices applied

• Inspection, control and non‐conformance 

monitoring is essential to ensure traceability system 

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Record keeping – Manual vs. Electronic

Mortality record (Manual)

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Record keeping – Manual vs. Electronic

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electronic traceability systems…

Improved

 

productivity

Improved

 

paperwork

 

flow

 

in

 

dealing

 

with

 

certification

 

agencies,

 

inspection

 

authorities

  

and

 

government

Ancillary

 

functions,

 

such

 

as

 

inventory

 

management,

 

cost

 

of

 

production

 

analysis

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Benefits of electronic record keeping

SPLAM

SALT

SALM

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Higher productivity, Lower cost 

fast

effortless

error free

Information interchange is cheaper, more accurate, more secure and more provable than exchanging printed documents.

slow

huge effort

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Thank you

Oystein Hellesoy

General Manager

oystein@foodreg.my

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