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FT-Mar17-eMag 11 T he UK food and drink sector is an economic success and encompasses producers, raw material suppliers, processing, manufacturing, packaging, retail – an integrated and complete supply chain. Within such a diverse industry there is lots of scope for innovation and growth. Product provenance is one opportunity that food and drink companies should make use of. In England, Wales and Scotland, food and drinks companies are forecasting healthy growth over the next five years. Scottish companies forecast a 24% growth in turnover in this timescale; companies in England and Wales predict growth of 19% on average. Certainly enough to sustain the title of ‘the single largest manufacturing sector in the UK’. The growing use of provenance as a marketing scheme has the added benefit of driving up demand for services throughout the food and drink supply chain. Products ‘locally sourced’, ‘made by’ and ‘made in’ Britain touch a lot of companies within the supply chain. Almost half of the companies expecting growth in Great Britain are planning to increase their market penetration internally as a major avenue for growth. But provenance continues to be a source of opportunity. In Scotland, it is the SMEs that have been capitalising on the reputation of the country’s produce – 91% already make use of provenance to drive up consumer demand. Companies in England and Wales have so far been less active on this score, although 86% of respondents do believe there is a reputation to capitalise on. Packaging and labelling companies in particular will benefit from more manufacturers and retailers increasing their messaging around product provenance. It’s likely many products on the shelves would also fit the locally grown, sourced or made requirements, and a new run of packaging will be required to highlight this to the consumer perusing the supermarket shelves. As competition increases, companies will need to experiment with different eye-catching packaging options. There is a challenge in proving provenance in a credible way. If you sign up to a certification programme, there is evidence that must be supplied. Regardless of whether you join a scheme or not, visibility throughout the supply chain is required. This often proves an administrative burden that SMEs, in particular, struggle with. After all, an opportunity is only lucrative while the costs don’t cancel out the profits. Where there is an administrative pain, there is a software solution that can ease that pain. Making use of a quality management system is a cost-effective way of demonstrating provenance, especially if this QMS allows suppliers to upload relevant tractability documents directly into the company’s system. That’s one tip to take away – small but significant. Ideagen is a UK-based company that supplies information management software for clients in Britain, the European Union, the United States and the Middle East. Its customer base of more than 3000 organisations includes Emirates, Shell, European Central Bank and 150 hospitals in the UK and US. Download Ideagen’s food safety white paper, ‘A Guide to Managing Food Safety Successfully’. PROVENANCE DRIVING BRITISH FOOD & DRINK SECTOR Product provenance is one opportunity that the food and drink sector must take seriously, Ideagen food and drink marketing executive Jennifer Sillars warns Making use of a quality management system is a costeffective way of demonstrating provenance... Scottish companies forecast a 24% growth in turnover in this timescale companies in England and Wales predict growth of 19% on average.

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