The Newgen team was excited to have a booth at the 4th Annual Food Safety Consortium in Illinois last week. We have been participating in different seminars, sharing war stories with folks who work at food manufacturers and with retailers and also, eating some excellent food! Kudos to the organizers for hosting a great event.

We present a few highlights from the first few days of the conference:

  • A humorous and effective keynote presentation by Frank Yiannas, VP of Food Safety at Walmart highlighted the importance of a food safety culture within organizations. Frank who is an author of a few books teaches university students and spoke on the topic with great passion. He conveyed that Food Organizations have used three traditional methods for Food Safety Management: training, inspections and micro-testing. In an engaging presentation that included a Food Safety Rap (we’ll post a link when it becomes available) and examples from Disneyworld, he suggested that his colleagues try some new tools :
    • Enclothed Food Safety
    • Influence Values to Change Behaviors
    • Keep Food Safety in Mind by making it Rhyme
  • Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) sessions were packed during this conference. We realized that FSVP is truly an important and shared concern across the industry. Sessions ranged from a Supplier Verification Workshop, Tips for Foreign Supplier Management to an Expert Panel sharing insights on Supplier Verification Approaches.
  • Emphasis on technology solutions to manage FSMA compliance. At the conference, a wide range of vendors presented solutions ranging from enhanced Environmental Monitoring Programs, Analytics tools to Document Management systems. Organizations were eager to explore new methods to manage FDA requirements without disrupting their operations. Technology offerings such as the one offered by Newgen elicited enthusiastic responses from attendees as the burden of proof of FSMA compliance is huge. The attendees presented a need for tools to manage, monitor, correct and document the work that is being done by their employees all over the world.

In summary, with FSMA compliance dates approaching rapidly, there is a sense of urgency. It is clear that the Food industry needs document management, collaboration, and mobile tools in order to meet the safety and quality standards of their industry. And, the Newgen team is eager to explore this new era with Food Manufacturers, Retailers and Suppliers.