Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Food Traceability Systems and Information Sharing in Food Supply Chain

Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Food Traceability Systems and Information Sharing in Food Supply Chain

Article excerpt

Abstract. The food quality and safety is influenced by all food operators from the food supply chain, therefore there are numerously factors that must be observed and taken into consideration. Moreover, if accidentally the food becomes dangerous for human consumption, it is necessary to be taken actions to pull out the compromised food from the market and to identify where is located all other compromised food batches across the food supply chain in order to eliminate the possibility to spread the compromised food and to minimize the consequences. The basic requirement in order to facilitate those actions is represented by the inter-organizational communication and sharing information between all organizations across food supply chain, consequently by the existence of an information system that must allow those capabilities.

This paper presents main aspect related to data and information quality, sharing information and will discuss the possibility to share information between organizations involved in food supply chain in order to enhance capabilities of food traceability systems. Conclusions and future directions of the research are discussed.

Keywords: data and information quality, information sharing, food traceability system, interorganizational information systems.

1. Introduction

Because the amount of data and information interchanged between the organizations has started to increase exponentially, mainly because of the new capabilities offered by developments from information and communication technology (IT&C), the shared information topic become an important research subject for both academics and practitioners (Li, 2002). Due to the numerously reasons that can make information sharing to be valuable in a supply chain (Gaur et al., 2005), many of the recent paper began to be focused on the subject of shared information between the actors from the supply chain, and to analyze the concept of data or information quality. In the same time, two issues generate discussion between researchers: the concept of quality, because was debated and discussed for many centuries (Reeves and Bednar, 1994), having many approaches in the literature (Nelson et al., 2005) and the concepts of data and information. Although data and information represent fundamental concepts in many academic disciplines, the definitions vary a lot from a discipline to another discipline. Therefore is a major probability to make confusions between concepts, Drucker (1995) considering that "it is all too easy to confuse data with knowledge and information technology with information".

Raghunathan (2001) considers that when the information cannot be deduced or obtained based on other data or information represents the only situation when the shared information may become valuable.

It is obvious that in order to share information it is necessary to be built and implemented an information system (IS) that must facilitate and permit this activity. Such type of IS are called inter-organizational information systems (IOIS) and according to Barrett and Konsynski (1982) represent "systems that involve resources shared between two or more organizations".

Food safety and quality is a high priority for many governments, private or public non-governmental organizations, food and feed business operators because some incidents have affected population during last years, therefore were build and implemented regulations and standards in order to guarantee that food fulfill minimum quality and safety requirements. The common element of all these regulations and standards is represented by the food traceability which implies a food traceability system.

The establishment of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), by the European Union Regulation (EC) 178/2002, represents one of the first steps at the EU level for defining a coherent framework at European level in order to implement in agriculture and food industry a set of rules more restrictively for food traceability. …

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