Lack of consistency in supply chain, says KPMG

KPMG, a provider of professional services has said there has been a “lack of consistency” in the way produce in the supply chain has been monitored.

In a statement, head of supply chain at KPMG Andrew Underwood said: “From farm to fork there has been a lack of consistency in the way produce has been monitored, meaning it has been too easy to take advantage of gaps in the food supply chain.  It cannot be accidental that we are seeing serious problems emerging when the backdrop is the continuing poor economic climate.

“Many companies use supply chains that revolve around a web of international partners, but these vast networks can bring additional risk. One study has shown that, from conception to consumption, there are more than 450 critical control points. It means there are opportunities at almost every step of the way, such as at the abattoir, the processing plant, and at the point of packaging, where checking needs to be done, not just at the end of the production line.

“The important thing is that food suppliers and retailers need to build stronger relationships with the companies that they work with, build in measures that allow for checks, share reward more evenly, and impose punitive measures for failure. In other words, they need to proactively manage the supplier relationship.

“In recent years random drug testing in sport has driven down the incidence of illegal substances used to enhance performance. If the links in the food supply chain are more visible and transparent, there is no reason why the same approach at any point in the production process cannot produce equally effective results and rebuild consumers’ trust.”

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