This fireside chat recap is from Day 3 of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week. Day 3 focuses on food/perishables and CPG
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Infragard mission – Blockchain to secure transportation infrastructure
DETAILS: The transportation industry is vulnerable to a myriad of risks, including those that are impacted directly or indirectly by the ever-changing supply chain, in this case food and agriculture. These changes can be driven by legislation, trade, criminality, pandemics, and the list goes on. This discussion will take us through the complexities of the food and agriculture supply chain, how we got here, and what are some of the potential solutions on the horizon, including Blockchain.
SPEAKER: John Hoffman, senior research fellow with the Food Protection and Defense Institute, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota. (Conducting the interview is Gary Retherford, transportation sector chief, Cincinnati chapter, Infragard.)
BIO: Hoffman’s current areas of focus are on improving the resilience of the nation’s food supply systems and to reduce risks to the complex supply chains that support the food and agriculture infrastructure. He is a co-investigator for the Communicating Reliable Information and Standards to Agriculture and Logistics (CRISTAL) project. Hoffman’s past research and development projects have included the Food and Agriculture Sector Criticality Assessment Tool, for which he proposed and developed the basic concepts in prototype; the development of national- and state-level bio-surveillance systems; defense against economically motivated adulteration of food and feed products; defense of the nation’s food supply infrastructure; and high-consequence food event modeling.
Key quotes from Hoffman
“It’s tightly interconnected into all the other critical infrastructures, including transportation, water, electric, manufacturing. Interesting, it’s a system of systems and people don’t realize that. It is so complex and has so many moving parts into it, that few people really understand it. I certainly don’t.”
“Labeling is a huge issue. Most people don’t realize it, but labeling is highly regulated. Just look at a label today and all the information on that label. Think about what it takes to get that label printed somewhere in the world, delivered in bulk quantity to an individual plant, and then have it applied to the food product at the right time, the right label, then it’s shipped out.”
“One of the one of things that has been identified in the Food Safety Modernization Act is the need to have better training for everybody at every point in the supply chain, whether this is employees on the floor of food manufacturing plants, people involved in transportation systems, transportation management, record keeping. Documentation training is a very big step in this process.”