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The food industry is in an era where the global supply chain is increasingly interconnected, which makes ensuring food safety across international markets a top priority for food businesses. Technology plays a pivotal role in ensuring the security of food supply chains, but businesses also need to couple a food safety culture with their technology. With this winning combo, companies may find expansion into new markets a bit more streamlined, as the processes, people, and systems are already in place to ensure success.
At reCONNECT 2023, attendees were treated to a captivating session with a major industry leader that has found success through their expanding their recall processes from the U.S. to abroad. In the session, “Expanding Internationally: How Whole Foods Market Launched Recalls in Their UK Stores,” Brandon Gallenstein, Senior Business Process Improvement Analyst with Whole Foods Market, shared how one of the most trusted brands in the industry found success through the use of FoodLogiQ Recall as they expanded into the UK markets.
While reCONNECT has ended, you can still access the recording of this event by registering and checking your email for the access link and password. In the meantime, here is a peek of what was shared at reCONNECT 2023.
Recalls on a Global Scale
Before Brandon could embark on the quest to launch recall software in UK stores, he needed to ensure he could find a standardized tool that the whole organization could use. His team had been using FoodLogiQ Recall in U.S. stores since 2018, and so the decision was easy to make but important nonetheless. "Anytime the organization as a whole can all be on one platform using one tool that speaks the same language was a huge win for us. It consolidates the tools the stores need to use, and reduces hours of training teams on new tools."
"Standardization also helps with reporting and means we can now report, compare, and contrast these stores. This lets us look at and learn from both regions. So, we can collect information on those removals, observe if there are any patterns in the data, and we can make those connections and improvements."
Removals are a critical aspect of food safety, but they can differ significantly across international borders. Protocols established for companies operating in the U.S. may not be applicable on a global scale. And when businesses begin expanding, there’s a whole new set of regulations and rules they need to understand before they can launch operations.
This was the case for Whole Foods Market. Brandon’s team needed to understand the significant regulatory differences between U.S. and UK food safety and recall processes before they could bring the system overseas. And as Whole Foods Market has built a name for themselves as a sustainability, food safety, and high-quality retail grocery establishment, the success of this process was essential.
"So the first major piece was always going to be the regulatory differences between the U.S. and UK and how withdrawals are categorized," shared Brandon. "For example, in the US, it's class one, class two, etc. In the UK, there is just either voluntary withdrawals or it's a removal. So there's not as much of a spectrum across the board in the UK. But, the goal is always the same; to get the product off the shelves, out of the customers' hands, and notify them as soon as possible. That makes it easier to roll out."
Templates and Language
Within FoodLogiQ Recall, stores have access to a range of customizable templates that can be used for partner or customer communication. Brandon's team uses a range of templates, but bringing the process overseas would require his team to pair down the options and evaluate the verbiage.
"We had to look through each template and update the regulatory verbiage as well as just everyday verbiage. So what we did is have the actual UK teams look through each of our templates and make sure that there isn't any ambiguity. We made a couple of tweaks like that, but we needed to review them across the board just to make sure the templates made sense. Also, once the program launched at the stores, there was no confusion."
"But I think we should talk about how easy the process actually was. Once we looked through the templates, got stood up in the stores, it was simple. Trustwell's FoodLogiQ Recall offers really amazing tools, and folks felt really comfortable with the program once it was launched. It was kind of the way to build confidence within the operation that they could successfully launch a new program."
Unlock Industry Secrets and Build a Successful International Recall Strategy
For Whole Foods, launching their international recall strategy was both a success and chock-full of learning opportunities. Brandon shared a variety of insights during his session that seasoned food industry professionals won't want to miss.
Unearth secrets from one of the most respected brands in the industry at Virtual reCONNECT 2023. While the live event is over, you can still register today and check your email for an exclusive access link and password to watch the recording. Learn more about international expansion, building a food safety culture, harnessing the latest food tech, and so much more. With three days' worth of recorded sessions, Virtual reCONNECT 2023 will set you up to learn from the best, expand your horizons, and set an intentional path to success.