Defining and Analyzing Traceability Systems in Food Supply Chains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Traceability is considered to be a vital issue for all stakeholders in food supply chains. The most important driver is the increasing societal need to guarantee food quality and provenance. Because consumers cannot know in detail what processing steps are executed in the production of food and what ingredients or resources are used in these steps, they want to be assured that food products are safe, healthy, sustainable, and of high and consistent quality. The need for guarantees is strengthened by the continuing sequence of food calamities, which have required massive product recalls, sometimes even on a European scale. Recent examples include the horse meat scandal and the Escherichia coli outbreak. The societal concern about food safety has resulted in a lot of legislation, including, for example, the obligation for traceability in the European General Food Law (Article 18). Food companies have to comply with consumers' demands and legislation. Moreover, they want to minimize costs and image damage when incidents occur. On the other hand, traceability optimizes business processes along the supply chain in order to improve efficiency and reduce lead times and food waste, among other things.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Food Traceability Techniques and Technologies
Subtitle of host publicationImproving Quality Throughout the Food Chain
EditorsM. Espiñeira, F.J. Santaclara
ISBN (Print)9780081003107
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameWoodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition


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