Building Food System Resilience within a Learning Organization

Ir. Cornelis van Elst, John T. Hoffman, Carl C. J. Unis Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 42, no. 4, pp. 338-344, Jul 2022 Volume 42, Issue 4: Pages 338–344 DOI: 2022

Our global food supply chains are changing very quickly, driven by increasing demand, growing complexity, longer and longer input supply chains. Industry consolidation is outpacing the capability of managers to assimilate and integrate acquisitions. The reality today is that the perception of growing corporate wealth within this critical global infrastructure is a target for both thieves and nation states, for firms large and small. Most firms in our global supply system do not adapt well to change. They are slow to mature against a vast array of risks. They simply cannot get ahead of the risk environment. These growing complexity challenges, organizational, technological and regulatory, means they lack resilience.

The expanding role of technology is very much a food safety and food system protection issue. We propose concepts intended to help firms sort the various issues, place them into a logical self-assessment framework and to aid them in approaching these challenges from a systems thinking approach. A firm that embraces the concepts of a learning organization will be far more agile, resilient and successful in protecting their consumers and investors. They will also become a less suitable target for the range of threats faced today from Economically Motivated Adulteration
(EMA) to ransomware.

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