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            Wipro’s Trace Solve – unique solution that can ensure Food Act compliance

            Wipro, the information technology major, has a unique offering for the food industry - Trace Solve - that ensures enterprise-wide continuous compliance visibility at more than one location in the food industry.

            With the Union government working to implement the Food Safety Standards Act across the country in total, the company is looking at opportunities in the industry to chip in its expertise.

            The Trace Solve solution will continuously monitor attributes of received material, compare these with operating specification. There is also an alert management system which signals when incoming attributes are out-of-specification, according to Ravi Purohit, GM and global head, food, beverages, agriculture and tobacco sectors, CPG Vertical, Wipro Limited.

            Other notable features of the solution are that it also monitors the associate downstream outcomes with upstream events which cover the product capabilities, equipment, events, processes, etc.) to find profit and quality leakages. In addition, it also manages temperature information and predicts remaining shelf life when the product arrives and provides bi-directional traceability for products which are bought from third-parties.

            Now with the FSSA insisting on food recall, the company is looking at participating in this at the national level offering solutions to the food processing industry. “We have worked in similar initiatives in the European Union and can participate in bringing our technology and consulting expertise to help this initiative,” added Purohit.

            “Now we bring in our rich background working with leading food & beverage companies in different areas of the supply chain. We work with leading product vendors to deliver solutions to the customers for traceability. Wipro has developed solution in niche areas within the scope which is not addressed by the vendors, for instance interfacing with the POS (point of sale) system to block product sales in case of a recall,” he said.

            Food recall is a relatively new concept in India but it is well defined in most of the developed countries. According to Purohit, all international brands have a stringent quality system and are applicable in India as well, as they and the local brands are monitored by the FPO, BIS and other regulatory authorities. Moreover companies have voluntarily recalled products earlier based on their quality analysis but not structured. For exports we have government organisations such as APEDA and MPEDA which monitor this.

            The challenges that most of the companies face in food recall are primarily due to lack of visibility at different stages of the supply chain. The information to track and trace is available in silos within the system. There needs to be investment into traceability system which will pull all these silos of information into one platform and provide alerts. We have constantly heard prevention is better than cure. There is a lack of or less automation and information available electronically for providing alerts to respond quickly. The major reason is maturity in technology and cheap labour cost, according to him.

            “In India, the food recall though stringent has not been implemented as intended. The international law comes down very severely on the companies forcing them to close down. But in India this has not been the case as there are a lot of legal and operational hurdles. The companies still face significant challenges on spurious products and there are still no answers this,” pointed out Purohit.

            In early November this year, Wipro was chosen by Premier Foods, the United Kingdom’s largest food producer, as a strategic technology partner. The company’s partnership with SAP, delivery innovation, outcome-based service models and competencies in cloud- based services will be leveraged for this engagement with the UK-based food major. “The company adopts the consumer packaged goods practice which is a value chain-based approach enabling it to provide customised, industry-specific solutions that complement our deep technology background,” he added, on a concluding note.