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Journal cover: British Food Journal

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Online from: 1899

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Experts' perspectives on the implementation of traceability in Europe


Document Information:
Title:Experts' perspectives on the implementation of traceability in Europe
Author(s):Swaroop V. Kher, (MCB Group, Social Sciences Department, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands), Lynn J. Frewer, (MCB Group, Social Sciences Department, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands), Janneke De Jonge, (MCB Group, Social Sciences Department, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands), Meike Wentholt, (MCB Group, Social Sciences Department, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands), Olivia Howell Davies, (MCB Group, Social Sciences Department, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands), Niels B. Lucas Luijckx, (TNO, Zeist, The Netherlands), Hilde J. Cnossen, (TNO, Zeist, The Netherlands)
Citation:Swaroop V. Kher, Lynn J. Frewer, Janneke De Jonge, Meike Wentholt, Olivia Howell Davies, Niels B. Lucas Luijckx, Hilde J. Cnossen, (2010) "Experts' perspectives on the implementation of traceability in Europe", British Food Journal, Vol. 112 Iss: 3, pp.261 - 274
Keywords:Delphi method, Europe, Food safety, Supply chain management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00070701011029138 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This research was supported with funding from the Sigma Chain project (contract no. FP6-518451) funded by the European Commission through the Sixth Framework Programme. The views expressed here are solely the responsibility of the authors. The authors would also like to thank Wendy van Rijswijk for her valuable inputs into the research.
Abstract:

Purpose – The research presented in this paper aims at understanding the views of European food risk management experts on food traceability implementation, implementation of the general food law, and the advantages the system can offer for effective risk mitigation.

Design/methodology/approach – Delphi methodology was applied to understand experts' views on the efficiency of existing traceability systems in Europe following the implementation of the General Food Law. An internet survey was administered in two rounds, in order to elicit expert views on changes needed to current traceability practices, if traceability systems are to contribute to improved food safety.

Findings – Traceability was considered to be an effective safety- and quality-monitoring system with potential to improve safety within food chains, as well as increasing consumer confidence in food safety and consumer protection. However, the results underlined the need for further improvements, particularly regarding the definition of food chain traceability, enforcement of regulations, and harmonisation of practice.

Research limitations/implications – Expert opinion regarding food traceability and its implementation was confined to Europe and the impact of European legislation. Further research at a global level is needed, given the need to trace food and food ingredients across the regional boundaries imposed by European legislation, the increased globalisation of food chains, and the need for pan-global harmonisation of food traceability legislation.

Originality/value – The results provide important insights into the advantages and shortcomings of the present European traceability approach enshrined in the European General Food Law.



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