Sangita Viswanathan, Former Editor-in-Chief, FoodSafetyTech

How a Global Snack Powerhouse Follows Supply Chain Best Practices

By Sangita Viswanathan
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Sangita Viswanathan, Former Editor-in-Chief, FoodSafetyTech

When you are working with 3000 raw material suppliers and marketing products in 165 countries, how do you develop and implement food safety and quality programs that help assess, manage, and mitigate risk? Peter Begg of Mondelēz offers some thoughts.

Known for its global brands such as Oreo, Ritz, Cadbury, Toblerone, Trident and Tang, Mondelēz International is a global snacks powerhouse, with products marketed in 165 countries. 

The company, which was created in October 2012 with spin-off of Kraft Foods Group, earned net revenues of $35 billion in 2012, and is the No. 1 in biscuits, chocolate, candy and powdered beverages; and No. 2 in gum and coffee. Mondelēz also employs approximately 110,000 people and works with nearly 3000 raw material suppliers. 

Against this background, the primary goal for the company is to provide Food that is Safe to Eat, described Peter Begg, Sr. Director, Global Quality Programs, Mondelēz International. 

Talking about Global Supply Chain Best practices at the recent Global Food Safety Conference, Begg described that his company ensures that its consumers and customers can trust the products that they manufacture and provide by: 

  1. “Having a comprehensive Food Safety program that meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and ensures global consistency; 
  2. Benchmarking annually to ensure the robustness of our food safety program including 3rd party audits (GFSI);  
  3. Continuously evolving our global strategies on Food Safety, with goals to drive further progress; and 
  4. Leveraging Supply Chain initiatives to support the Food Safety program.” 

At Mondelēz, food safety management occurs at multiple levels, said Begg: “The International Board of Directors Level reviews food safety management; the Executive Team level assesses company risk profile and management programs; food safety and quality senior management establishes food safety policy, control programs, and compliance mechanisms; business units implement company food safety policies and programs, and ensure regulatory compliance; and the Special Situations management team assesses and proactively manages issues, issues prevention, and communication of lessons learned.” 

Begg stressed that “companies need to make food safety culture personal, so people don’t bypass it. Mondelēz has had 0 incidents, 0 defects and 0 losses – and this will not be possible without 100 percent employee involvement.” 

He described an Integrated Quality Management Approach that focuses on systems across key factors in the supply chain: “Risk categories (covering chemical, microbiology and physical risks) are addressed along several steps (Design, Procure, Covert, Distribute, Trade and Consumer) using various quality risk prevention programs such as design safety analysis; HACCP; allergen management; supplier QA; material monitoring; continuous improvement; traceability, complaint management, process capability/ Six Sigma; warehouse controls and labeling.” 

Begg described Mondelēz’ quality and food safety programs that help assess, manage, and mitigate risk: 

Risk Assessment:

  • Supplier approval and management: determines suppliers risk profile and ability to meet MDLZ standards before use and on an ongoing basis;
  • Design Safety Analysis: new/changed product concepts are evaluated to design out potential physical hazards;
  • Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) – focused on prevention, identifies conversion risks, controls, and monitoring compliance; and
  • Third Party Validation – validation of key systems; Design, HACCP, Micro, Allergen, Supplier, Auditing. 

Risk Management:

  • Auditing – risk based approach to assesses compliance to policy and execution of programs leading to corrective/ preventive actions;
  • Material Monitoring – incoming material testing program to verify the effectiveness of preventative programs;
  • Training – drives awareness of policies, programs, roles & responsibilities and enhances organizational competency;
  • Traceability – programs to manage and trace materials thru finished goods; 
  • Spec Management – specification development and change management process for materials, processes, and finished goods; and
  • Contingency Planning for single/ sole source and regionally isolated ingredients. 

Risk Mitigation:

  • Special Situations Management – defined company-wide process for proactive and effective management of issues minimizing potential impact to the business. 

Mondelēz has made a strong commitment to the Global Food Safety Initiative. According to Begg, the company has asked its nearly 3000 raw material suppliers globally to get certified under a GFSI benchmarked standard by 2015. All internal manufacturing facilities will have a GFSI certification (FSSC 22000) by the end of 2015 as well (currently 80 percent of facilities are certified). The company is also promoting GFSI to its external partners including joint ventures and external manufacturers.

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