International Food Safety & Quality Network (IFSQN) Reveals Technology Issues Facing Organic Food Manufacturers The Controls Required for Organic Quality
Toledo, OH -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/18/2006 --Rebecca Gill, vice-president of Technology Group International (www.tgiltd.com), suggested that, “ERP vendors must support organic producers in food processing and manufacturing, as well as full distribution management throughout the entire supply chain.”
Indeed the record keeping required to authenticate “organic” status is significant, costly, and comprehensive. Gill detailed some of the key features technology solutions must provide to ensure organic standards:
• Record keeping for organic raw material purchases
• Country of origin tracking of purchases
• Organic supplier tracking
• Separate organic product storage to prevent product commingling
• Hazardous chemical tracking and reporting to prevent contact with prohibited substances
• Online processing procedures to ensure adhere to compliance standards
• Online record keeping and audit trails for fast compliance reporting
Manufacturing journalist Thomas R. Cutler profiled the significant technology variables for Organic Food Manufacturers) at www.ifsqn.com.
Organic food must be at least 95% organic ingredients and list which ingredients are organic to use the USDA seal and must list the certifying agent. Made with organic ingredients means at least 70% organic ingredients are contained in the food product and it too must list which ingredients are organic, yet is not permitted to use the USDA seal; it also must list the certifying agent.
Some organic ingredients indicate the finished food product is less than 70% organic ingredients and cannot use the word "organic" on the package but can list organic ingredients. The product cannot use USDA seal or certifying agent's seal.
Some question the safety of organic food. It is a common misconception that organic food could be at greater risk of E. coli contamination because of raw manure application (although conventional farmers commonly apply tons of raw manure with no regulation.) Organic standards set strict guidelines on manure use in organic farming: either it must be first composted, or it must be applied at least 90 days before harvest, which allows ample time for microbial breakdown of pathogens.
Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Technology Group International is a proven technology leader delivering Tier 1 application software functionality at a price performance level that can be readily accepted by organizations of all sizes. Specializing in software solutions for small and mid-market manufacturing and distribution companies, TGI’s integrated Enterprise Series software suite is a complete business process management solution. The product offering includes Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Warehouse Management System (WMS), Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), Decision Support System (DSS), Business Intelligence (BI), Manufacturing Execution System (MES), and eCommerce. TGI implements, maintains, enhances, and supports its packaged distribution and manufacturing software solutions directly and via its channel partners.