The feasibility of automated traceability in fruit export chains in South Africa

Olivier, Rene (2003-12)

Study project (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Deregulation of the South African (SA) fruit export industry in 1997 has caused fragmentation in the supply chain, leading to significant inefficiencies. This sub-optimal performance of the supply chain has made it difficult to respond to increasingly stringent market requirements. One of the biggest challenges is legal and trade related traceability requirements. Traceability of all fruit exported to the European Union will be regulated from 1 Jan 2005 and to the United States of America from 12 December 2003, affecting more than 80% of SA fruit exports. Trading partners are also starting to demand certain global standards for traceability purposes. The SA fruit export industry is not providing a sufficient level of traceability at supply chain level and cannot afford the risk of not having an effective traceability system, based on common procedures and standards, in case of a food safety incident. Apart from the need to meet traceability requirements, the inefficiencies in the SA supply chain; the cost pressure from legal and trade related traceability requirements; and the pressure on high volume commodities (due to the general oversupply of fruit world-wide), have created a need for additional efficiencies in the supply chain. The consumer packaged goods industry has developed e-commerce building blocks based on global standards that offer automated traceability of fruit exports as well as significant benefits impacting the bottom line by ten to fifteen percent for companies of all sizes. These building blocks are available to the SA fruit export industry and would enable the industry to have traceability in place, as well as provide significant efficiency benefits. Further, by being an early adopter of these building blocks, the industry would be able to achieve a strategic advantage over its southern hemisphere competitors. Enough cohesion, willing participants and supportive thinking seem to exist to create the critical mass for the implementation of such an automated traceability system. The study concludes that automated traceability is feasible for the SA fruit export industry.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Deregulering van die Suid-Afrikaanse vrugte uitvoer industrie in 1997 het fragmentering van inligting en standaarde veroorsaak wat gelei het tot ondoeltreffendheid in die verskaffingsketting. Die onderprestering van die verskaffingsketting maak dit moeilik vir die industrie om te reageer op die toenemende vereistes van uitvoer markte. Een van die grootste uitdagings is wetgewende en handelsverwante vereistes van naspoorbaarheid. Naspoorbaarheid van alle vrugte uitvoere na die Europese Unie en die Verenigde State van Amerika sal onderskeidelik vanaf 1 Januarie 2005 en 16 Desember 2003 gereguleer word, wat meer as 80% van alle SA uitvoere sal beïnvloed. Handelsvennote begin ook om sekere globale standaarde te vereis. Die SA vrugte uitvoer industrie voorsien nie 'n genoegsame vlak van naspoorbaarheid in die verskaffingsketting nie en kan nie die risiko bekostig om, in die geval van 'n voedselveiligheidsvoorval, nie 'n effektiewe naspoorbaarheidstelsel (gebaseer op gemeenskaplike prosedures en standaarde) in plek te hê nie. Afgesien van die behoefte om naspoorbaarheidvereistes na te kom, het die ondoeltreffendheid in die SA vrugte uitvoerketting; die druk van wetgewende en handelsverwante naspoorbaarheidkostes; en die druk op hoë volume vrugte (as gevolg van die algemene ooraanbod van vrugte wêreldwyd); die behoefte laat ontstaan vir addisionele doeltreffendheid in die verskaffingsketting. Die verbruikers verpakkingsgoedere industrie het e-handel boustene ontwikkel gebaseer op globale standaarde wat ge-outomatiseerde naspoorbaarheid, asook potensiële doeltreffendheidsvoordele, van tien tot vyftien persent op winste, verseker vir maatskappy van alle groottes. Die boustene is beskikbaar vir die SA vrugte uitvoer industrie en sal die industrie in staat stelom naspoorbaarheidvereistes na te kom, asook aansienlik meer doeltreffendheid te verseker. Verder, 'n vroeë aanvaarding van die boustene, sal die industrie in staat stelom 'n strategiese voordeel te hê bo suidelike halfrond mededingers. Genoeg kohesie, gewillige deelnemers, en ondersteunende denke bleik beskikbaar te wees om die kritiese massa te bereik vir die implementering van só 'n ge-outomatiseerde naspoorbaarheidsisteem. Die gevolgtrekking van die studie IS dat die SA vrugte uitvoer industrie vatbaar is vir ge-outomatiseerde naspoorbaarheid.

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