Eco Friendly Supermarkets with no Packaging

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

This is an interesting concept, putting the choice of whether you purchase a product with or without packaging in the hand of the consumers. Things have changed and it is up to us!
With the imminent arrival of the Christ Elliott review of the ‘Food Industry’ which was commissioned in the wake of the horse meat scandal, it appears that people are taking things into their own hands.

The concept of the supermarket with no packaging was created by a Berlin duo. They want to show the grocery conglomerates that there’s a more eco-friendly way to sell food.
The idea is to bring your own containers and have those weighed you then shop and when you get to the till, the weight of the containers is subtracted and you pay for the net weight of your groceries.
Founders Sara and Milena explain there is a rising demand for products and services that deal with sustainability and that people demand alternatives. This could be viewed as going hand in hand with the increase of consumers buying local. Consumers want to know the source of the products they are purchasing along with the desire not to contribute to the increasing carbon footprint.
In 2011 the UK produced nearly 11m tonnes of packaging waste.
But the ‘goods news’ is that we are getting better at managing waste; nearly 70% of the UK waste is recovered or recycled compared to 27% in 1998, so maybe this idea could take off in the UK
Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the US, it’s hard enough to get Americans to remember to bring reusable bags to the store

Supermarkets, supply chain managers and food producers need to collaborate to ensure Food Safety

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Supermarkets, Supply Chain Managers and Food Producers need to collaborate to ensure Food Safety

It is said that food quality and safety have long been the industry’s priority concerns but the constant nature of price pressure in what is a highly competitive sector has chipped away over time.

Unfortunately the consequences have been disastrous the reputation in the industry has been damaged and consumers trust has been broken down.
Retailers and food producers have been trying to publicise their attempts to rectify this.

Waitrose announced that they planned to source all its own branded beef products from one single supplier and Birds Eye committed to source all the beef from UK and Ireland.
This could be viewed as the fault of these large supermarket brands, driving down prices and holding suppliers to ransom has put unnecessary pressure on these businesses, which have made some disastrous decisions.
The likes of McDonald’s has seen sales across Asia plummet after withdrawing chicken and beef products from sale because their supplier was accused of repacking old meat as new. The severity of risk to the reputation of the brand is significant and this cannot be ignored.
This is why perhaps we have seen the trend move for both consumers and procurement to buy local. It is both the responsibility of the supply chain managers and consumers to know where our ingredients are actually coming from.
To prevent these things happening we have to see big brands, food producers and suppliers, collaborating for the greater good, not just to get the best prices, the biggest margins, but for all parties to achieve a margin without compromising on quality or pushing organisations into making unethical decisions

The Ancient Crime of Bootlegging Alcohol is Reviving

Monday, September 8th, 2014

International gangs are said to be diversifying elements of their operations from drug trafficking and armed robbery into alcohol and fraudulent foods.
Criminals have realised that they can make the same amount of money by dealing with counterfeit food and drink. Invariably the sentences are much lighter.

Michael Ellis assistant director of Interpol says that ‘in his experience, the patterns used by criminals involved in counterfeiting are very similar to those used in the dealing of drugs. They operate front companies, they employ front band accounts, they will have false declarations for the movement of their goods and they will mis-declare shipments’
The fact that the sentences are much lighter for food fraud (6 months is more likely for food crimes) , than drug trafficking is very concerning. Certainly it would appear that fines and sentences should be increased to reflect the severity of the crimes being committed.

Criminal gangs import truckloads of cheap beer from places such as Belgium and sell it to small retailers without paying duty. HM Revenue and Customs estimates that beer smuggling costs the Treasury around £500m a year. Duty has not been paid on at least one in ten, and possibly one in five, of all cans and bottles of beer on sale in Britain, thinks the all-party parliamentary beer group.

Gangs are even investing in machinery, raw materials and labour necessary to make fake food products. Drug dealers have moved to counterfeiting food and drink as everyone needs food.

Ultimately it could be said that ‘we as consumers need to be our policeman’ to put it bluntly we need to become curious about our food, we  need to be made aware of food crime, food fraud and the implications. Consumers need to be supported on whistle blowing and reporting on food crime. Or when we are buying a brand, question why are buying it because we know it has integrity of product and is a good brand and not just because we think it is good.

If you need help to tamper proof your product and stop counterfeiting crime get in touch