2. PROJECT OVERVIEW
SaFES is an on-line software tool used in improving the quality of processes within food manufacturing plants. The project uses ‘off the shelf’ hardware and ‘low entry’ code generators with a graphical interface to produce a web enabled HACCP management system. Food producers are required to use HACCP, a well established risk management system, to improve the microbiological quality of their products thereby reducing food-borne illness as well as eliminating the introduction of chemical and physical hazards. Currently, most HACCPs being paper-based are costly to implement and maintain; SaFES is designed to reduce these costs. SaFES is built around two functions: HACCP design and automated data collection. The HACCP Design tool allows the development of a HACCP Plan. The output from both functions can be remotely monitored via internet technology providing easy accessibility of audit data for all members of the supply chain. The automatic collection of data also has the added advantage of reducing the cost and fallibility associated with manual data collection.
2.1 Consortium Composition
The SaFES Consortium comprises a necessary and sufficient number of companies from complementary disciplines as indicated in the table below. The consortium comprises technical, project management, marketing, food consultancy, hardware/internet communications/data acquisition development skills and is supplemented by user, reseller and audit/quality assurance organisations to provide the market feedback to ensure the market requirements are met.
The European Commission appointees involved in the technical aspects of the Project are listed below:
Van Helsing Limited has acted as the Project Co-ordinator for the SaFES project and has, as such, provided the main interface between the project and the EC. Furthermore, van Helsing has taken the lead on the UK dissemination and dissemination within the Commission including concertation activities and international conferences, the Assessment and Evaluation activities and has provided input into the system design process.
EQMC Ltd., the developer of the off-line SaFES product has been the main focus of the development activities within the trial, namely to web-enable the existing SaFES tool for use in the cooked meats and poultry processing industries.
The Users within the consortium namely: Padborg Poultry, Emborg Foods and Oak Crown Cooked Meats have all worked very closely with the technology providers in order that the site specific requirements (as representative generic users) are embedded within the SaFES tool. The users also carried out hardware installation and wiring at their site where necessary and took an important role in the trial’s evaluation process.
Scanfo, the consortium’s food consultant performed two roles, namely that of provision of HACCP technical know-how and as a potential user within their consultancy. Scanfo has thus influenced the design and human computer interface (HCI) to hone the product so that it is suitable for implementing HACCP into SMEs. Scanfo has undertaken the lead on Danish dissemination activities and on the evaluation of HACCP against national and EU directives.
NQA have acted as an "arm’s length" independent Quality Assessor for the use of SAFES in remote auditing and have therefore played an important role in the evaluation of the trial.
2.2 Main Achievements of the Project
In general there are three areas of results from the trial. These are listed below.
In the case of the first result, an ensuing product has been envisaged from the beginning of the SaFES trial and a plan for the exploitation of this product has been detailed in the Dissemination and Use Plan, Deliverable D2 to this contract. It is obvious that as EQMC Ltd. owns the SaFES tool software in this system. EQMC is therefore crucial in the exploitation and use of this product and they are pursuing their exploitation plan to make best commercial use of the trial with respect to their product.
It is self-evident that the Padborg-owned HACCP Plan is a crucial part of Padborg’s business and will continue to be exploited by their business. It must however be remembered that this data is, as a consequence of the trial, embedded within the SaFES software.
As with any trial of this type, the knowledge gained by the partners is a build-up of their input to the project and the knowledge gained from sharing of the other partners’ public input and experiences gained during the trial. The full extent of knowledge gained during the trial only starts to crystallise at the end of the trial. Therefore the dissemination and usage potential are only now becoming apparent.
Indications of what benefits the individual partners have derived from participating in the project are given in Section 9.