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Supply Chain Traceability for Agri-Food Manufacturing

An orange world map overlaid with a network of connected products and computer code, plus two exclamation points in triangles.

Technology products are commonly built using components and services supplied by third-party manufacturers and suppliers, making them difficult to secure effectively against malware and other threats.

Credit: N. Hanacek/NIST

Modern supply chains are geographically diverse and quickly formed in response to market opportunities. While this creates many advantages for manufacturers and consumers alike, it has also created new risks such as manufacturing process disruption, quality problems, product recalls, and cyberattacks. If unaddressed, these risks can erode customer trust. Advances in information technology (such as sensors, IoT, cloud computing, ubiquitous GIS, and powerful new platforms for integration and analytics) are providing new data and services to partially address some of these challenges. However, traceability of products in the agri-food manufacturing sector requires sharing and merging diverse data across supply chains. In addition, trust between agri-food manufacturing supply chain partners requires on-demand demonstration of compliance with cybersecurity practices that are traceable to business requirements. These tasks are difficult today due to lack of common practices, standards, platforms and even common IT readiness levels among supply chain participants. The Supply Chain Traceability for Agri-Food Manufacturing project will develop common models for key data entities for traceability and security assurance, work with industry and SDOs to enhance standards to support these entities, and provide mechanisms to enable the exchange of this information. 

The new technical idea is to develop the measurement science basis for the definition of the information entities and exchange mechanisms necessary to support traceability in the agri-food manufacturing sector.  This includes both the information and management infrastructure necessary to enable agri-food manufacturing traceability system development and deployment, and the information, policies, and guidelines necessary for supply chain partners to demonstrate compliance with business-specific cybersecurity requirements.

Created March 17, 2021