CIPS responds to Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report on food contamination

CIPS 17 July 2013

What now? The aftermath of the horsemeat scandal.

CIPS comments on the Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, recent report. The committee is headed by Anne McIntosh MP, and looked into food contamination after the horsemeat scandal.

“CIPS welcomes the report on food contamination for drawing attention to the importance of accountability along the supply chain. At CIPS, we believe that we will continue to witness scandals such as this, in a multitude of sectors, until investors, analysts, boardrooms and regulators place appropriate emphasis on the importance of the supply chain to businesses and take steps to ensure they are fit for purpose.

“Fiascos such as we observed around food contamination occur when businesses fail to impose and exact the same levels of scrutiny at every stage of the supply chain, from all its suppliers. This is more critical now than it has ever been as some businesses increasingly outsource functions to reduce costs. Businesses are not impervious to any risk because they have only scrutinised their first and second tier suppliers leaving responsibility for the third and fourth tiers to suppliers themselves. Absolving responsibility leads to fraud at worst and confusion at best, the scale of which is currently unknown. But companies must remember that the one thing they cannot outsource is the responsibility they have through their brand to provide customers with a genuine and safe product and protecting their own reputation and bottom line.

“We are working closely with our members to ensure that supply chains are fit for purpose, and more importantly, that they exact the level of trust that consumers expect.”

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