Food Safety conference

FSA calls on industry to be more open about sharing data

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

The food industry should be more open to share data, says Julie Pierce
The food industry should be more open to share data, says Julie Pierce

Related tags: Food safety conference, Food standards agency

An industry-wide approach to data sharing could bring enormous food safety and traceability benefits, a data expert at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has claimed.

Bringing together different data sets may seem like “an act of faith”​ for individual businesses with vested interests, but it enabled correlations and insights that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, Julie Pierce, director of openness, data and digital at the FSA said.

Pierce was speaking at Food Manufacture’s food safety conference in London last month, which was sponsored by Appetite Learning, Glass Technology Services, Sealed Air, Testo and the University of Greenwich.

Pierce told delegates that it was important for the private sector to be open to get the best out of data.

Get the best out of data

“A good example is how supermarkets are starting to publish data on food waste, based on data through the whole of the supply chain,” ​she said.

“In doing so, trying to generate interest, and thereby, challenge everyone back up through the supply chain.

“We at the FSA have a target to make 95% of the data we hold, open by the end of this year.”

Mark Zeller, chief operating officer at fTrace, who also spoke, said it was crucial that everybody in the supply chain had the ability to retain ownership of any data shared.

“It’s a very sensitive point, but I fully understand why businesses want to control their data. Other parties might use that information in a way that isn’t in your interest,”​ he said.

“Putting your data into a cloud-based solution, such as ours, can rectify this problem. Collaboration will be key to better traceability in the future.”

Related topics: Food Safety, Hygiene, safety & cleaning

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