Traceability and why we need it
Traceability goes beyond ensuring a product is what it says it is and comes from where it says it does – being able to trace a product back to its source can also go a long way to showing how the product was produced, how it was moved, and what it was fed. When something goes wrong in a supply chain, traceability is about being able to find and fix the problem with the least possible challenge, damage or risk. It also allows companies (and governments when necessary) to find the source of the problem, identify all affected shrimp, and quickly remove them from the market, no matter where they have ended up.
Different countries go about ensuring traceability in different ways. Using the European Union as an example, since 2002, the General Food Law Regulation has required all food businesses to dive into traceability by following the principle of “one step back, one step forward”, i.e. a business must be able to trace a product back to the immediate supplier and identify the product’s subsequent recipient through data being provided at each part of the supply chain.
The increasing interest in traceable and sustainable products is also largely driven by greater demand from the consumer side. Customers are becoming more inquisitive, and are demanding answers to questions such as “Where is the product from?” and “Can you prove it?” The consumer craves trust, and traceability has become a way for businesses to answer these questions and, ultimately, provide a guarantee for the end consumer that the company’s “story” is true. In our 2019 ShrimpTails Poll, our shrimp industry professional respondents thought