Food service directors call for common codes

30 May 2013

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A group of leading food manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and operators believes plans to adopt common standards in the supply chain could generate potential savings of £100 million over the next five years.

The Food Service Directors' Group (FSDG), a new body facilitated by independent supply chain standards and solutions organisation GS1 UK, is calling for a common supply chain data management approach among trading partners by the end of 2015. Members include senior directors from companies including Brakes, Mitchells & Butlers, Unilever, Whitbread and Compass.

The FSDG is urging trading partners to adopt a unique set of identification numbers for products, companies, locations, services, assets, logistics units and customers. “This will help ensure that the right product, with the right information is in the right place at the right time, and at the right cost – for the benefit of the entire food service supply chain,” said the FSDG.

It said the industry must collaborate to address the issue of inaccurate information head on.

Gary Lynch, CEO at GS1 UK, said the initiative was designed to ensure the industry was able to keep pace with rising information demands. “Demand for information on product characteristics is set to double over the next five years,” he said. “This is a result of consumers wishing to eat more healthily, legislative changes on labelling, a greater focus on corporate responsibility, and the rise of the savvy shopper.”

Lynch said failure to implement a common system would cost companies money through unnecessary additional work and wastage, as well as presenting a risk to consumers.

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