Director & Assistant Professor, Food Fraud Initiative
Michigan State University
Is “the supply chain a problem for food safety” or is “food safety a problem for supply chain management”? As public health focused professionals we usually identify the health hazard and then alert other groups that our supply chain of must act fast. This is of course efficient crisis management. From this perspective, the “supply chain” is a problem for “food safety” – incoming or work in process goods all of a sudden do not meet the standard. A challenge is that thankfully everyday business management is not crisis management but more of a series of standard operating procedures that provide (1) assurance of supply, (2) quality and constancy of supply, (3) lean operations philosophy of reducing cost and handling wastes that is “total cost of ownership,” and then (4) further improving the “total product experience.” Recently my academic home shifted to our MSU Business College and the Department of Supply Chain Management. My primary teaching role is now to teach future supply chain management undergraduates about what is great supply chain management (managing all movements and transformations of products) and what is effective procurement and supply management (finding great suppliers and keeping the product moving to us). From this perspective, a food safety incident is one of many supply chain disruptions that are dealt with in supply chain risk management. When an incident or concern is presented in the format of a “supply chain disruption” it can be more efficiently and effectively mitigated and prevented. This presentation will help link the general supply chain management with food safety efforts.