The overriding conclusion is that the objectives of the trial have been met; the SaFES concept has been proven. On the whole, the technical challenges have been overcome although some psychological ones remain. Up-coming EU-wide food hygiene legislation will generate a market for slick HACCP Design and monitoring tools for food processors. Our industry specialist, Scanfo Aps has confirmed that SaFES complies with EU, Danish and USDA legislation and that the tool is generic enough to satisfy the international poultry industry. SaFES has also been trialled in a meat cooking plant and the tool can be easily modified to suit general food applications in other sectors. The trial has afforded the opportunity to gather industry requirements; feedback from the Assessment and Evaluation phase is invaluable to focus on the ensuing commercialisation of the SaFES tool. SaFES is particularly beneficial as it ties the CCPs identified during the HACCP Design stage with the day-to-day monitoring of the same CCPs in a 1-1 correspondence and it can be used to support audit and/or due diligence processes. An embedded training facility makes for a user-friendly HCI requiring minimal training.
It should however be noted that there is reticence from food producers to produce their data transparently to other than knowledgeable bodies for fear of misunderstanding and misrepresentation. There is reticence from regulatory bodies to steer too far away from their tried and tested paper-based systems. There is reticence from auditors who believe that there is a need to have a hybrid approach spanning at least HACCP and GMP.
SaFES is a big concept; it has been proven in the trial but it will not necessarily gain acceptance overnight. The trial has shown that there are benefits for food processors, resellers, auditors, HACCP consultants. Each representative organisation has recognised the power of the concept, the opportunities for cost-efficient HACCP derivation and day-to-day operation, the alleviation of fallibility associated with human beings gathering data in terms of continuity and correctness, the positive effects on the supply chain and indirectly to make a positive impact on the quality of food processing and its implications on human health.
SaFES is an egalitarian catalyst for change, harnessing ubiquitous web technology to yield solutions that are affordable to SMEs (in the food industry) whilst changing business processes that have major implications for supply chain management and food safety. Support is welcomed to facilitate its passage.
To reiterate, the objectives of the trial have been met. The complementary nature of the team has provided the right conditions to acquire globally and functionally cross-border useful information, which we are all using to pioneer the way forward in terms of products, papers and further uptake of ICT in Europe. The issues pertaining to e-Working are transportable to a myriad of other applications.