Meat sector contributes toward 140% rise in fresh produce quality management

According to food safety, quality, and sustainability insight company Muddy Boots, there has been a 140% rise in fresh produce quality management since the 2013 horsemeat scandal. These statistics also cover the meat sector.

Muddy Boots, which counts ABP Food Group among its biggest customers, said this showed the urgency to rebuild on consumer trust and ensure that only the safest-quality fresh produce reaches the supermarket shelves.

The company developed a Greenlight Quality Control (QC) system that centralises product specifications online for all areas of the supply chain to easily access, update and instantly share information. As a result of this, complete visibility of the performance of sites, suppliers and products in real-time is available. Greenlight QC is now believed to be used in an estimated 70% of the UK’s fresh produce supply chain.

“The vast adoption of Greenlight QC over the last couple of years, in particular, validates the importance of quality assurance across a supply chain,” said Mark Powell, product development manager at Muddy Boots.

“The consequences for getting it wrong can be catastrophic; damaging both sales and reputation.”

Powell added that connecting the supply chain on a single platform could reduce waste by up to 50%.

“Traditionally, the produce arrives at the supermarket depot and, at that point, the retailer either accepts and sells the goods, or rejects and discards it. This is a risky and costly approach that makes working efficiently and sustainably a real challenge.

“However, when all members of your supply chain are accessing the same data via Greenlight QC, everyone is clear on the required specification from the get-go; the supplier, and even his suppliers, have confidence that the produce is the appropriate quality for the customer before it’s shopped, and the retailer has confidence that all produce about to arrive at depot is fit-for-purpose.”

Powell said that the early warning system allowed suppliers to recognise produce that the retailer might reject before it was shipped, hence allowing him or her to redistribute to another customer. “The end-result is a significant reduction in waste, and increase in efficiency and stronger supply chain relationships,” he concluded.

Muddy Boots hopes to see this field grow further with the launch of the Greenlight Quality Control iPad app in early 2016.


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