Good Guys & Gals Finish First

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In 2015, we launched Food Logistics’ Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain, to recognize pioneers, innovators and leaders in our industry. This year, the number of applicants nearly doubled.

In reading through the completed questionnaires we received, our editorial team was struck by the stories and achievements of the men and women who applied. It’s fair to say that these champions do not consider their work as simply “a job.” Instead, they see their role as something deeper, and one that comes with great individual responsibility.

As I have witnessed over the years, people who share these traits are a hallmark of this industry. The fact that the food they grow, transport and sell will ultimately end up in a school lunch, on a restaurant menu or a grocery shelf is not lost on them. Rules and regulations only go so far; at the end of the day it’s the collective integrity of “good guys and gals” in our industry that help keep our food supply safe, fresh and bountiful.

These champions represent various segments of our industry as well. The collaboration and partnerships required to support the multiple hand-offs along the food supply chain, from growers, packers and processors to logistics providers and retailers, are a good indication of the types of relationship building we see throughout all areas of our industry.

Our cover story on page 18, “Leveraging the Power of Your 3PL,” by veteran supply chain writer Mindy Long explores this further.

In addition, Managing Editor Elliot Maras offers a detailed update on tracking and tracing in the food and beverage supply chain (page 32). The good news is that the rollout of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and software and technology tools are combining to propel the industry into a more standardized and digital environment that is boosting visibility and accountability along the way.

Food Logistics’ April special edition is devoted to the topic of maintaining safety from farm to fork. With the release of the final FSMA rule on the sanitary transportation of food set for March 31, 2016, we are hoping to have some initial reaction from the trade and will report on what we learn.

Enjoy the read.