Food Product Traceability in Value Networks


Per Engelseth
Department of Economics, Molde University College, Informatics and Social Sciences, Molde, Norway

Series: Food Science and Technology
BISAC: TEC012000

Food product traceability became rather suddenly a food industry concern after the turn of the millennium. New laws in developed countries enforcing food product traceability demanded that the food industry follow up with developing information systems that supported this requirement. This was at the time a significant and new organizational and technical challenge for the food industry. Gradually more and more food suppliers are establishing food traceability also because customers require this information. This is the case in developing countries where traceability laws yet to have been implemented and potentially weakly enforced.

Food product traceability is an organizational resource, used to trace foods when information about the food product history in the value chain is needed. While most studies of food product traceability and development schemes have been associated with IT-based process development, this book places focus on how food product traceability can be viewed as “value” in an inter-organizational setting; “the value network”. This approach involves taking into close consideration that developing food product traceability is most importantly associated not with technical compliance with government legislation but associated with achieving customer value. The book illustrates how this is understood conceptually and may be achieved in business practice.

This fresh view of food product traceability provides reasons for business elevating focus on traceability issues and integrating the creation of such information in a seamless manner into their existent information systems. Stepping stones in developing food product traceability from a customer value standpoint are provided. The book is mainly written to argue for this alternative managerial view of food product traceability which is aimed at being complementary to the currently dominant technical view. It provides a perspective that enriches the dominant IT-base view by taking into consideration the main purpose of food supply which is to achieve satisfied customers. Technology is the helper.

The taken approach of the book is founded on literature in the fields of operations management, logistics, supply chain management, industrial marketing and to a limited degree information technology. This reflects that competence in food product traceability is cross functional. The book has an academic profile and a sufficient number of references are provided mainly to permit the reader to investigate on their own specificities related to the arguments brought forward through the book’s text. The book is written both for specialized professionals as well as researchers. The book may be used as a foundation and inspiration in developing research and development projects at different levels including students at a post-graduate level and more advanced. The book also contains two detailed case descriptions of end-to-end food product supply including analysis of this supply based on the framework developed through the book. This provides students and researchers with illustrations as to how a case study on food product traceability may be constructed. The illustrations also aim to anchor the preceding text in business practice. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Food Product Traceability in its Network Context

Chapter 2. Customer Value

Chapter 3. Value Creation

Chapter 4. Information

Chapter 5. Complexity, Change and Risk

Chapter 6. Process Improvement

Chapter 7. Strategy in Value Networks

Chapter 8. Food Supply Cases

Chapter 9. Analysis of the Case Descriptions

Chapter 10. Conclusion



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