Is Big Brother getting too big?

18-09-2009 | |
Bob Luedtke Information Technology

The advances in Information Technology have definitely increased the safety of the feed/food supply chain. The track and trace information requirements that are in place from both industry and government compliance and regulations, ensure that the industry can respond quickly to an incident and narrow the scope of any recalls.

Technology has made it easier for companies to gather additional information up and down the supply chain. However, this raises a question on the appropriate use of technology. How much is too much information? What data should be considered proprietary to a company? We are starting to see these lines pushed. Some consider the lines have already been crossed.

A recent example: Some ingredient suppliers are receiving information on the feed companies’ sales of their products to customers, and in some cases are making the transmission of this data mandatory if the feed company wants to continue purchasing products from te supplier.

This raises many questions with few answers:

1. What information should be considered private for a company?

2. Can a supplier (or government) force a feed manufacturing company to divulge customer and sales information (they are, but should they)?

3. What governing body has oversight on these issues? Is there one?

4. Appropriate use of technology – just because we can easily gather and share information, should we?

Let me know your thoughts….




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