A Holistic Approach to Recall Management

A Holistic Approach to Recall Management

The looming risk of a recall keeps food and beverage manufacturers and producers of all sizes up at night. And for good reason. Research tells us that recalls continue to climb upward, with an aggregate increase of 10 percent between 2013 and 2018.1 A single recall can have widespread implications for consumer safety and lingering implications for consumer trust—not to mention cost in the millions if impacted products cannot be isolated and so all products must be recalled. The rising recall reality has placed new pressures on food and beverage manufacturers and producers to put critical safeguards in place in order to prevent and address recalls more effectively than ever before.

The Challenges

Ultimately, the ability to holistically address product recalls comes down to a manufacturer’s ability to solve four primary challenges.

Prevent Recalls in the First Place

The only thing better than addressing a recall rapidly is preventing it from happening in the first place. In order to mitigate the rate of recalls, today’s manufacturers are challenged to uphold consistent and safe field and factory practices for every item in their supply chain. By meticulously tracking handling and cleaning practices in the field and, later on, in the factory, manufacturers can rapidly address anomalies that compromise product safety before they ever impact the end consumer.

Isolate Causality & Origin

Even in the best field and factory conditions, recalls happen. Unfortunately, many manufacturers lack the product lifecycle management tools required to identify the source of the problem, then immediately isolate associated crops or production batches. For a large-scale manufacturing operation, in particular, accessing complete, forensic records from field to fork can be a daunting feat. However, the right combination of serialization, technology, and operational processes can make universal data an operational reality.

Rapidly Address Compromised Product

Once the cause of a compromise has been identified, the manufacturer’s work isn’t done. Equipped with data about each and every product that has been affected, a manufacturer must rapidly spring to action by notifying its distribution and retail network, and assisting them in ridding the market of unsafe goods. Ideally, a product recall management system will extend this visibility all the way to the end user, enabling them to validate the safety of each and every product in their possession. All of this is key to accelerating time-to-resolution and mitigating negative downstream effects.

Satisfy Regulatory & Tax Requirements

Recalls bring with them a myriad of regulatory demands, largely championed by consumer protection bodies like the FDA. At the same time, they must meticulously document tax liabilities to affirm food- and location-based tax obligations are appropriately met. To support the investigative efforts of the FDA and other regulatory bodies, food and beverage manufacturers and producers must be empowered with recall management software that offers highly detailed records in an instant. Detailed, complete, and timely records empower regulatory agencies to more effectively carry out their duties while mitigating the cost of compliance for manufacturers.

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The Solution

For nearly a century, Ashton Potter has served compliance-driven businesses around the world. Today, we own the entire food and beverage supply chain security process—ranging from the tamper-proof label, to the product security technology to the data management system—and leverage partnerships with our Gold Integration Partners to cost-effectively augment and extend existing enterprise systems and processes.

Serialization from Field, to Factory & Fork

Ashton Potter lays the groundwork for product recall management through tamper-proof labeling solutions that assign a unique, serialized identity to each tray, finished good, and production batch. Drawing upon years of experience in the security printing space, Ashton Potter leverages best-in-class printing techniques that balance security and feasibility, enabling food and beverage producers to efficiently identify every item throughout the supply chain.

Highly scalable to billions of records, Ashton Potter is optimized to serve the largest, global food and beverage operations. Plus, its flexible labeling solutions enable food and beverage manufacturers and producers to institute the processes that make most sense for them—printing and applying serialized labels off-site at a secured facility, on-site in the convenience of their own factories, or in the field where crops are harvested.

Backward & Forward Traceability

Ashton Potter pairs its serialized labels with ProLinc®, an advanced technology solution that provides total traceability and control throughout the food and beverage production process—from harvesting, to manufacturing, distribution, retail, and beyond.

By spanning the entire supply chain without exception, including the last mile from the retailer to the end consumer, ProLinc provides backward and forward traceability that empowers food and beverage companies to bring new effectiveness and efficiency to product recall management. With a single scan, food and beverage manufacturers and producers can recall detailed records that uncover anomalies in harvesting or production processes, isolate affected goods, then match those records to each good’s location in the market at large. To ensure maximum security and accessibility, these records are housed in a secure, Blockchain-enabled database.

In addition to its traceability capabilities, ProLinc provides automated compliance reporting to support and expedite regulatory investigations led by the FDA and other consumer protection bodies.

Integration Services & Process Optimization

As a proven partner with specialized knowledge of compliance-driven industries, Ashton Potter augments its product recall software and labeling solutions with a suite of services that streamline implementation, optimize operational processes, and accelerate time-to-ROI. Working with its network of skilled partners, Ashton Potter provides end-to-end project management, process design, on-site and remote training services, and technology integration to food and beverage customers of all sizes.

By working seamlessly with existing enterprise resource planning systems, field and factory equipment, and business intelligence tools, ProLinc contextualizes product insights with other data sources and makes insights actionable inside the food and beverage operation.


The Results

By instituting the serialization and traceability required to prevent and manage costly product recalls, ProLinc delivers measurable value, including:

  • Greater product safety and consistency, supported by universal serialization and traceability at every stage of the food lifecycle.
  • Lower rates of product recall through proactive detection of dangerous anomalies in field and factory processes.
  • Less costly product recalls through issue identification, batch isolation, and automated compliance reporting.
  • Stronger customer trust, achieved by providing consumers complete transparency to verify the origin and safety of food and beverage products.

See Our Solution in Action

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