ANNOUNCEMENT – New Supply Chain Management & Procurement Free Online Course

This new free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) covers the food fraud prevention aspects of Supply Chain Management & Procurement. This includes simple survey questions that can be asked of your suppliers. The course was created after a few companies asked about ‘what can we expect from our suppliers’ and the associated need to provide training for those suppliers.

Food Fraud Prevention: Supply Chain Management & Procurement is our seventh course (out of the eight currently available.) It is one of our four in the ‘Core Training’ category. The other core courses are the Overview course, the VACCP course, and the Food Fraud Audit Guide course. The need for this new MOOC was identified during conversations with both a food manufacturer and a food retailer. After these colleagues asked, ‘Regarding food fraud, what can we expect from our suppliers?’, they followed with the question, ‘What guidance or resources can we provide?’ This MOOC was created to address those needs directly.

From the Course Description

While reducing the possibility of receiving illegal or deceptive products is a general supply management concern, formally addressing this problem is now a compliance requirement for the Global Food Safety Initiative Benchmarked Food Safety Management Systems (e.g., BRC, FSSC 22000, IFS, SQF, and others). In addition, there are enterprise-wide requirements for internal controls and an integrated framework, as required by the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act through COSO-based Enterprise Risk Management.

A Food Fraud Prevention Strategy is a critical Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM) system. Supply chain management-related food fraud prevention activities are most efficient when integrated into overall corporate systems, such as enterprise risk management, to define the risk tolerance. Assuring that your suppliers are fully compliant with a Food Fraud Prevention Strategy, including to ‘demonstrate implementation,’ will efficiently reduce the vulnerability of supply chain disruptions. Fortunately, in most instances, procurement & sourcing just needs to adopt a Food Fraud Prevention Strategy that is already addressing internal compliance.

This course starts with an overview of food fraud prevention for supply chain experts and an introduction to supply chain management for food safety professionals. The course then focuses on food fraud-specific supply chain disruptions, including unique vulnerability assessments. To shift to application, the course covers compliance requirements and best practices for selecting and evaluating suppliers. The practical application is presented in a supplier survey template.

BASIC Procurement and Supply Management Requirements for Food Fraud Prevention

Here is a simple survey question for your suppliers from the new MOOC. In our courses, we strive to provide a comprehensive overview, but then enough details for you to succeed in your job, and then conclude with very simple starting points for you. These ‘yes or no’ questions are an excellent way for you to start your project. Over time, you can expand the details or depth of the reviews.

Survey Questions for Your Suppliers:

  1. Confirm that all suppliers are fully GFSI compliant, including the food fraud sections.
  2. Ask to see the supplier’s documentation of:
    • food fraud vulnerability assessment,
    • food fraud prevention strategy, and
    • demonstrate implementation through this being included in the supplier’s food safety management system
  3. Ask the supplier to confirm that they meet all other related aspects of the GFSI food fraud requirements, including procurement and traceability, as well as any specifically applicable requirements such as food broker/ agent, storage and distribution, and internal audit.
  4. Confirm the suppliers are GFSI compliant with the traceability and internal audit requirements.
  5. Offer training and educational resources (such as the entire Food Fraud Prevention MOOC catalog).

These five questions could be part of qualifying new suppliers, or you could ask your current suppliers to respond. Even if this is an optional survey, it will provide guidance on what you expect… and a supplier NOT answering the survey could be a data point in and of itself!

Takeaway Points

  • Food fraud prevention is an interdisciplinary science that includes supply chain management & procurement.
  • There is an optimal role for every employee in food fraud prevention. It is important to know what is – and what is not – your role in protecting your company. A key is understanding enough of the big picture to define and refine your role.
  • This free MOOC course provides education and training to understand and adopt the common, simple incident reporting method. This MOOC is helpful for food fraud prevention teams, supply chain managers, or associated procurement managers, and to recommend for suppliers to adopt.
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