Purpose: A traceability system is a key success factor in global food trade, but implementing it in vegetable oil industry is one of the most difficult undertakings in food supply chain management. This study aims to (1) identify typical operational barriers in the implementation of bulk-liquid traceability system in the Indonesian vegetable oil industry by considering the perspective of experts and (2) model the relationship between the barriers structurally in order to improve the reliability of the traceability system. Design/methodology/approach: To do so, data from in-depth interviews with experts were examined by using content analysis. Then the authors used a combination of decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL), interpretive structural modelling (ISM) and matrice d'impacts croisés multiplication appliqué un classement (MICMAC) to construct the hierarchical model and to cluster the typical barriers based on their driving power and dependence power. Findings: In total, 20 typical traceability barriers along the internal chain (supplier-input-process-output-customer) were identified. The interrelationships between these barriers were modeled in a hierarchical structure, seeking to answer why it is difficult to implement a traceability system and what actions should be taken to remove these barriers. Practical implications: The model can shed light on how to manage barriers in bulk-liquid food commodity industry, especially in the vegetable oil industry. An action map has been proposed to overcome the operational barriers. This model will also help tracing the critical points of the traceability system. Originality/value: Compared to other food commodities, operational barriers in vegetable oil chain has never been studied specifically. In fact, there are many operational aspects that hinder traceability. The Indonesian context entails social, economic and environmental factors as well, so it can inform decision-makers in formulating an action map.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1248
Number of pages26
JournalBritish Food Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2021


  • Bulk-liquid food industry
  • Traceability system
  • Typical operational barrier


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