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Perspectives on food traceability: a systematic literature review

Henrik Ringsberg (Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 2 September 2014




This paper aims to increase our understanding of perspectives on food traceability in four supply chain risk management (SCRM) approaches to ensure food safety. The occurrence of food safety failures has led to increased attention on food traceability as a means of identifying the causes of deficiencies in supply chains.


This paper presents a literature review and synthesizes the broader domain of food traceability by analyzing perspectives based on SCRM approaches. In all, 129 published papers were selected and evaluated using content analysis.


A framework of SCRM approaches on food traceability is presented. Eight perspectives on food traceability are identified and grouped according to four SCRM approaches: food supply chain complexity and unique identification of goods (logistics management); transparency and interoperability (information management); in-house production and outsourcing (production management); and food quality and safety requirements and the monitoring of food characteristics (quality management).

Research limitations/implications

The findings provide an in-depth understanding and research suggestions for the management of traceability to ensure food safety in food supply chains. Conclusions are drawn from secondary sources, thus excluding empirical evaluation.

Practical implications

The implementation of food traceability can result in changes to existing management systems. This paper addresses the perspectives and management challenges that can influence the implication of food traceability to ensure food safety.


Perspectives on food traceability according to SCRM approaches are presented. Food traceability is analyzed using the philosophy of scientific framework and suggestions for further research are offered.



Ringsberg, H. (2014), "Perspectives on food traceability: a systematic literature review", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 19 No. 5/6, pp. 558-576.



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