HAMILTON, N.J. (PRNewswire) — A recent survey conducted by Sparta Systems, Inc., an industry pioneer and global leader in enterprise quality management software (EQMS) solutions, found that a majority (61 percent) of U.S. food and beverage (F&B) professionals feel confident their organizations are prepared to meet the increasingly strict requirements of the FDA's Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2016.
The first reform of food safety laws in more than 70 years, FSMA aims to shift the focus from responding to contamination of food supply to preventing it — and nearly half (43 percent) agreed that the regulation will ultimately increase visibility and safety throughout the supply chain.
Respondents from large or enterprise-level organizations were particularly certain in their organizations' readiness for FSMA's Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP), which requires importers to perform risk-based tests to verify that foreign-manufactured food or food ingredients are as safe as those produced in the U.S.
Despite the industry's optimistic outlook, the survey also revealed a lack of automated systems for managing compliance across the supply chain: More than a third (38 percent) said their organizations manually track, manage and report food quality and safety, while 56 percent of respondents classified processes as partially automated. Only seven percent reported fully automated systems.
"After FSMA was enacted in January 2011, and raised the industry standard for food safety, F&B companies saw a 41% increase in warning letters issued by the FDA as a result," said Brandon Henning, Director of Industry Solutions at Sparta Systems. "FSMA regulations only stand to get tougher and more complex, which could prove particularly challenging for those managing compliance through manual or hybrid systems. It is critical now for organizations to adopt sustainable methods, such as EQMS solutions, that will ensure visibility into the food quality and safety processes of all suppliers and contract manufacturers."
Additional findings of the survey include:
- Nearly 20 percent of respondents from medium-sized companies disagreed that their organizations were ready or had a clear strategy to be compliant with FSMA.
- An overwhelming majority (93 percent) of respondents with job functions related to Quality Assurance agreed that supplier visibility is important to their organizations.
- More than half of respondents (60 percent) believe "improved supply chain visibility" would help improve food quality and safety.
- Additionally, 37 percent believe automation of quality and safety processes would yield a positive impact.
To access a full copy of the report, please visit: http://bit.ly/SSIFoodSurvey16.
Sparta Systems provides quality management and supplier collaboration solutions that enable and connect a quality business network. By leveraging these solutions, Food & Beverage companies are able to achieve compliance and enhance traceability through proactive management of food quality and safety processes. To learn more visit www.spartasystems.com.
The findings are based on an online survey of more than 150 food and beverage professionals in the U.S., fielded with support from Global Food Safety Resource over a four-week open period. Participants represented a variety of job functions across companies of varying size, with the majority at a manager-level or above.
About Sparta Systems
Sparta Systems, an industry pioneer and global leading provider of enterprise quality management software (EQMS) solutions, enables businesses to safely and efficiently deliver their products to market. The Company's quality management platform solutions include TrackWise, Stratas and newly acquired 123Compliance, providing customers a choice of on-premise and cloud offerings. For more than 20 years, Sparta Systems has been a trusted standard among highly regulated industries, used by quality, manufacturing and regulatory affairs professionals to manage compliance, reduce risk and improve safety across the global enterprise. Headquartered in Hamilton, N.J. and with locations across Europe and Asia, Sparta Systems maintains an extensive install base in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology, medical device, electronics manufacturing and consumer products markets among others.