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This is the "IN" Way
Frequent consumers of Mos Burger, may have noticed that there is always a piece of small blackboard at the entrance with chalk writing about the origin or farm of the fresh vegetables, lettuces and tomatoes. Careful observers would also notice that the small blackboard disappears during the period from May to September each year.
The growing season for lettuce and tomatoes in Taiwan runs from October to April. During this period, the Mos Burger which insists on using fresh, local ingredients, uses this small blackboard to let the consumers know when fresh native Taiwan vegetables are available. Mos removes this blackboard when the vegetables, lettuces and tomatoes are imported. Consumers could search for information about the production and marketing (Tracking System) of the agricultural products through Mos Burger's website.
What better way is there for Mos Burger to inform of the traceability of its agricultural products than a small blackboard chalking it out before your very eyes!
Early in 2004, Mos Burger started to implement its Agricultural Products Traceability System. Manager of the Commodity Section of Mos Burger Company Ms. Wu Hui-Ping remembers that, when the Agricultural Products Traceability System project was still on the drawing board, they muddled through every step of the production process by themselves. Due to limited experience and supply channel difficulties, not only did they find the quality and quantity of products were not good, information was difficult to obtain. A more successful logistic model is necessary to evolve away from mistakes and learn from experiences. It is important to work with contracted farmers for long-term success.
At the end of the same year, the Agricultural Product Tracking System of the Council of Agriculture became officially available. This system offers lots of benefits to the Mos chain of fast food restaurants. Ms. Wu pointed out that there are lots of available resources and information that can be used to solve key problems effectively after the system goes into operation. The key problems included a shortage of products and the instability of quality, etc. This system makes things more completed for Mos and effective methods on the management of the traceability of the fresh ingredients.
In fact, Mos went to Alishan (Mt. Ali) to find farming land and even negotiatesd with indigenous farmers about how to grow lettuce, in order to use the fresh vegetables which are native to Taiwan throughout the year especially to recover the shortage of production between May and September. Unfortunately, due to the numbers of typhoons during summertime in Taiwan, lettuces could not be harvested and there was a need to rely on imports. However, Mos hasn’t given up yet.
Ms. Hui-Ping Wu indicated that Japan has been a successful example for Mos and the Agricultural Product Tracking System, which was promoted by current agriculture units. The idea for the domestic Agricultural Product Tracking System of Japan used the concept of "movement" in its promotion. The government invested manpower and resources and the results were incredible. To also achieve this goal in Taiwan, Ms. Wu said that that promotion of the domestic Agricultural Product Tracking System is the job of the government because only the government has abundant resources and manpower.
The Tracking System can only work from end to end by establishing SOPs, whereas the role of retailer is to cooperate with the government. For example, last year, Mos cooperated with the Council of Agriculture to promote Taiwan's Agricultural Product Tracking System. Many consumers became aware of the concept and the importance of the Tracking System and pleased to accept this agricultural products though this campaign. This can encourage the producers to join Tracking System. They complement one another.
No doubt, the experience of Mos serves as a useful frame of reference. In "the Demonstration pattern establishment plan from Production to Marketing of the Agricultural Product Traceability" system which was provided by the Council of Agriculture to Taiwan Association of Logistics Management this year, Mos is one that adopted the basic concept and structure of the traceability of ingredients in restaurants and fast food restaurants.
In the meantime, the Council of Agriculture selected Yogi House, Natural Home and Yam restaurants as test cases to establish the use of the Agricultural Product Traceability in expanding targets and obtaining practical experience.
Ms. Hui-Ping Wu believes that carrying out the Agricultural Product Tracking System is important and urgent in light of her experiences over the years. Due to an ability to provide quality products to consumers, the Tracking System allows Mos to gain trust with consumers and establish the Mos brand. For instance, Mos has successfully sold the ingredients of its rice burgers to retail customers. Mos in Japan had a similar experience. This method could encourages the producers to place orders for the traceable products and provides for mutual benefit.
Ms. Wu said that, at the early stage of the Agricultural Product Tracking System, the quantity and the sustainability of the supply chain should improve. In the future, Mos hopes to obtain onions and cabbages on the local tracking system. In addition, the resolution of inspection problems should be reached.