Food Traceability Market – A Defining Trend for Food Safety and Quality Industry; Global Industry Analysis & Forecast 2018
Traceability, a concept which has been in existence for a long time, which was limited to secret services of areas involving high risks or net worth, has seen a rise in application in the food safety and quality industry. Every step of logistics, right from packaging to the end consumer, now uses different techniques of food traceability for varied reasons. However, the core driver of the market has been the growing importance of the ability to track any food item to its origin. This is due to the rise in incidences of food borne diseases and outbreaks and due to complex quality regulations pushing for the need to monitor quality at every step, The market is experiencing steady growth with a healthy growth rate expected in the near future.
The global market for food traceability is technology driven and is seeing introduction of new technologies and applications across different levels such as in packaging, logistics, storage, handling, and retail. The different technologies currently available in the market are barcode, RFID, biometrics, GPS, and infrared. These technologies have different applications across various stages of food movement and for different types of foodstuff. Among all these, a barcode is largely used for packaged foods, while RFID or GPS is used for food involving movement of live feedstock.
The food traceability market can also be analyzed by segmenting it based on applications across different sectors such as dairy products, vegetables and fruits (fresh produce/seeds), canned or bottled food, beverages, meat, poultry, and fish or seafood. However, the extent of adoption of technologies across these application segments largely depends on the size of the firm producing the product and region of trade (destination). For instance, for local trade there is hardly any kind of quality check required, with food from farms directly entering the market. However, the same food when packaged for a regional or international market may require appropriate quality checks or tagging to ensure it is traceable. These regulatory requirements depend on trade regulations and FDA (food and drugs agency) laws of the destination market.
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These diverse applications require different gadgets/equipments to carry out appropriate checks. The growing trade involving food items is pushing the demand for such devices. The different devices currently in use are: GPS enabled PDAs (personal digital assistants), sensors (such as chemical sensors), scanners (3D, 2Dand 1D), mobile printers, thermal printers, durable tags and labels, and so on.
On similar lines, there is different software available in the market, which not only eases the complex functions, but also helps in data processing and storage. Software such as ERP (enterprise resource planning), QMS (quality management software), cloud computing, and so on, are seeing rising applications and experiencing push for customization, thereby driving the market growth. As a result many players from different verticals are driven to the market.
Recently IBM was partnered by N2N Global for using the food traceability technology to ensure that food sourced from Cherry Central Co-Op Inc. is handled in accordance with government and company standards. The other renowned players in the market are Barcoding Inc., A2B Tracking Solutions, Motorola Solutions, Inc., and some others.