Loss prevention strategies
Globally, trade in foods takes place in the framework of broad national, trading block and international agreements such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). However, the national food safety laws of importing countries, which primarily have the role of protecting the safety of consumers, can act as non-tariff barriers to trade, This has long been recognized by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which has been the main world body working for the technical harmonization of international trade agreements to ensure that their use is equitable and non-discriminatory (Lupien, 1993).
There is still much to be done in the area of avoidance or satisfactory settlement of disputes regarding quality of imported foods, The interested parties - the producer, the carrier and the receiver (consignee) - need to agree on the limits of their responsibility, yet each should be able to demonstrate due diligence in its execution. The implementation at points of production of systems of quality management compatible with the standards of the ISO 9000 series could be appropriate and should include control of product identification, product traceability and non-conforming products, The well-accepted Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system for food production is among the available tools. The ideas contained in this system could be extended to anticipated or imputed hazards in the chain of transportation of perishable foods (Pawsey, 1994,1995).
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Pawsey, R.K. 1995. The retrospective use of HACCP in the determination of point(s) of quality loss in transported containerised frozen foods. In Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Refrigeration, The Hague, the Netherlands, 20-25 August 1995. (In press)
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