A traceability-support system to control safety and sustainability indicators in food distribution – 2021

Food Control 2021 Elsevier – journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/foodcont

A. Gallo, R. Accorsi, A. Goh , H. Hsiao , R. Manzini 


Whilst policymakers encourage companies to control food distribution and ensure products’ safety and compliance with regulations, the fragmentation of food supply chains, made of multiple stages and companies, affects synergies and the supervision of such operations. Nonetheless the level of maturity of traceability tech- nologies, several issues still prevent their adoption, diffusion, and integration. To address such a lack, this article illustrates a traceability-support tool that integrates and aligns data from heterogeneous sources and quantifies the impact of the operations on food products aiding data-driven decision-making. This tool builds upon a GIS infrastructure and manipulates heterogeneous traceability records gathered along the processes of the food supply chain to calculate a dashboard of multidisciplinary indicators related to three pillars of food systems: safety, cost, and environmental sustainability. A real-world distribution process regarding three batches of fresh fruits handled and shipped by a logistic provider located in North Italy is used as a testbed. The tool estimates the time fence where products experienced unsafe conservation temperatures (i.e. 8% of distribution time) together with the impact on the product’s shelf life decay and the carbon emissions from transportation. Therefore, this tool contributes to shedding light on the impacts that occur throughout food distribution and aids decision- making by logistic managers and quality managers, as well as improving consumers’ awareness products’ shelf life and footprint.