The food safety and quality assurance (FSQA) software provider polled professionals from food manufacturing, processing, and distribution in its 2016 annual survey.
FSMA rules in order of importance
- Preventive Controls for Human Food Regulation
- Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP)
- Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration
- Sanitary Food Transportation
- Third-Party Accreditation of Auditors
- Produce Safety
- Preventive Controls for Animal Food Regulation (Animal Feed)
A total of 45% of respondents said FSMA compliance was the top priority followed by audit readiness with 15%.
Other priorities included GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) certification (11%), quality management (11%), process improvement (8%) and supplier relationship management (7%).
FSMA compliance and audit readiness were close in 2015, with 32% noting audit readiness and 28% highlighting FSMA compliance as top priorities.
The purpose was to gain insight into the state of the FSQA profession to ensure that technology was keeping pace with industry's needs, said the company.
The online survey from January to the end of February had 498 respondents.
A total of 77% identified themselves as food safety or quality assurance professionals, with the remainder in regulatory/compliance, research and development, supply chain, operations, and purchasing.
More than half of respondents do not automate supplier, compliance, and regulatory documents and/or maintain digital records for process improvement and supplier relationship management, which is consistent with 2015. Budgetary constraints were the primary cause for the lack of automation.
Gary Nowacki, TraceGains CEO, said it was seeing a recipe for stress in the industry.
“Take one-part low margins, blend in one-part increased government regulation, one-part unannounced audits, one-part increasing customer demands, and one-part manual paperwork. Mix well, bake on high, then spread thinly with a limited pool of FSQA professionals.”