Egg scandal highlights need for better chain management systems
Given how vast and complex the global food supply chain is – ingredients being sourced from multiple suppliers and countries worldwide – ineffective systems can make monitoring the supply chain much more difficult, and consequently result in such scares.
Urging organisations to use “transparent and easily navigable systems”, Trade Interchange claims that this “will simplify the auditing process (and put) the responsibility on a supplier to provide companies with the information required and allow the data to be gathered straight from the source.”
Although latest reports claim that over 700,000 contaminated eggs entered UK retailers’s, restaurants and caterers’s food chains during the outbreak, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the risk to human health was very low – despite Fipronil (the pesticide found in the eggs) being banned by the European Union for use on animals destined for human consumption. The re-call of products containing eggs by several big-name supermarkets also reflects the risk that such scares can pose to a business’s reputation.
Co-founder and managing director at Trade Interchange, Mike Edmunds, commented: “If UK businesses are not able to efficiently track their supply chain they are at risk of reputational damage which can lead to customers going elsewhere or loosing trust in a brand. This latest food safety scare and the 2013 horsemeat incident – which has not been forgotten by the public – reaffirms the role a carefully monitored supply chain has and shows where current, inefficient systems can fall down.
“This latest incident is another reminder for the industry. The responsibility for managing suppliers falls squarely on the shoulders of foodservice businesses operating in the UK. As such, the sector must continue to establish effective collaboration, monitoring and management within the supply chain.”