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    May 31, 2019

    The Music of Food Safety - Hearing the Silence Between the Notes

    steve_frankeOur new guest blogger is Steve Franke, a FoodLogiQ Enterprise Account Manager. He’s an avid sports fan, music aficionado, and a hiker at heart.

    It was French composer Claude Debussy who pointed out that music is not just in the notes, but equally in the silence between them.  To visualize, imagine your favorite song, with all the same notes, but with no space between those notes. It would be a long, terrible-sounding, run-on sound with no rhythm or melody.


    Food producers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and restaurants are like notes in a song called ‘The Food Supply Chain.’ From one perspective, this song sounds mostly pleasing to the ears, as a farmer’s product in one state can end up being enjoyed in a restaurant clear across the country with nearly the same quality as when it began its journey.  In fact, quality assurance could be considered the melody of the food industry, because quality is what consumers demand foremost in a product, just like the notes of a melody. Without notes, people won’t listen to the music. Without quality, people won’t eat the food.

    However, a good song requires both melody and harmony.  If quality assurance is the melody, then food safety is the harmony.  Together, food safety and quality assurance make up a healthy supply chain when in sync.  If the harmony is off, the melody is ruined, and people don’t like the song. Unfortunately, the space between the notes of food safety’s harmony are too often neglected.  Or worse, completely missing. Food safety along the supply chain is still too focused within the four walls of the locations, and not enough in the distance between them. This limits the food industry from complete traceability and recall efficiency that can literally save lives.

    But there is a solution.  It’s called GS1. As explained on the GS1 Website: GS1 standards create a common foundation for business by uniquely identifying, accurately capturing and automatically sharing vital information about products, locations, assets and more. Businesses can also combine different GS1 standards to streamline business processes such as traceability.

    It is through these GS1 standards that locations along the supply chain can communicate using the same language.  Through this common language, the entire journey of a product – from its origin to the consumer – is given visibility. Not only is food safety trackable within a single location, but using GS1 standards makes food fully trackable between every location along the supply chain.  In other words, when GS1 standards are in place from producer to consumer, the spaces between the notes are given value, and food safety harmonizes with quality assurance to become a captivating song.

    Industry giants from various points along the supply chain are leading the way. For example, brands such as IPC/Subway, Tyson Foods and Whole Foods Market are among the many that have already partnered with FoodLogiQ, using GS1 as the standard. Together, these companies are making beautiful music together because they understand that capturing data at every point of the supply chain – including the space between the notes – is critical to success for everyone who cares about food safety and quality. 

    To learn more, read how IPC/Subway is delivering the promise of end-to-end traceability throughout the Subway system.


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