Over 2 million people in the UK have a clinically diagnosed food allergy according to statistics from a Food Standards Agency (FSA) report. And that staggering number doesn't include those who also suffer with food intolerances or diseases such as coeliac.
This number is growing year on year with many people becoming sensitive to certain food groups and ingredients, meaning they have to observe a very strict avoidance lifestyle and be exceptionally careful with what they consume.
As tiresome as it may be, allergen sufferers have to check the ingredients and labelling on all food and drink produce to ensure there is nothing in there that could, or would, spark a reaction or ultimately result in death.
Each year there are a number of food allergy related fatalities, resulting in over 4500 hospital admissions and 10 deaths per year, that could have been avoided through factors such as better consistencies in food manufacturing processes and procedures.
But with so much legislation to comply with, as well as keeping food quality and production standards high, how do you manage and monitor all that effectively? What systems do you need to have in place to ensure full traceability and accountability and provide manufacturers with the overall ability to correctly record what goes into these products and the process they endure from plant to plate?
The death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, hit the news after she tragically died following the consumption of a sandwich from Pret-a-Manger that had inadequate advice about what it contained. Her fatal story has since sparked the Government to introduce Natasha’s Law, a regulation that now tightens the previous legislation and requires all pre-packed foods to carry a full list of ingredients to give allergy sufferers greater trust in the food they buy, and ultimately the manufacturers that produce them.
The introduction of Natasha’s Law is just one addition to many regulations that food and drink manufacturers have to adhere to. This legislation puts greater responsibility on food and drink manufacturers to ensure all ingredients are tracked, traced and labelled in the correct way, in accordance with Government and FSA standards.
And it’s not just the ingredients that need to be labelled properly. The entire process needs to follow strict procedures and have full traceability of every single element and ingredient – from staff and cleaning to packaging, monitoring and recording. Every part of the manufacturing process, from farm to fork, must follow the correct processes to ensure full compliance with laws and regulations when it comes to food standards and safety and so they are not putting anyone’s life at risk.
Relying on flexible ERP software to navigate growing standards & regulation changes
Modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are a must for food and drink manufacturers to utilise to ensure manufacturing compliance. And ensuring the systems you have in place are compatible with current practices isn’t just a smart move – it’s also profitable in the long term too.
This technology holds the key to competitive advantage and growth for any business looking for success.
Old, heavily modified ERP systems that were implemented a number of years, if not decades, ago can no longer support the increasingly complex demands of the food and drink industry. Especially with new laws and regulations continuously being implemented and revised.
Alongside this is the constant push to innovate, which adds increasing pressure on food and beverage manufacturers to a number of already complex compliance issues.
New varieties, flavours, ingredients and packaging – whilst they offer niche opportunities for manufacturers they also come with a direct correlation to labelling complexities. And after so many recorded fatalities and the introduction of Natasha’s Law, it’s easy to see why. A new list of ingredients means a new list of potential errors and issues.
As such, many organisations have to now take a fresh look at their business processes to determine the best path for future success.
The systems you have in place to achieve all this is crucial to the core competencies and future-proofing of your business. As well as ensuring everything that leaves your factory is safe for a consumer, with or without allergies, to purchase.
Implementing a new, or upgrading an outdated, ERP system will help you to stay ahead of these industry challenges. With modern technology platforms you can transform your processes to become compliant and more efficient.
An effective ERP system supports you at every stage of the manufacturing and production process and helps manage complex operations; from financial management, manufacturing and scheduling to quality and compliance requirements.
You’ll find many out there as well that have been built specifically with the food and drink industry in mind. Such solutions include the Infor Cloudsuite Food and Beverage ERP platform (formerly known as Infor M3), which offers you the tools you need to bring new products to market faster and implement better efficiencies across the board.
Having these future-proof technologies in place doesn’t just offer true business agility and value. They bring with it a modern digital platform to enable future growth and ensure that the complex demands of the food and beverage industry are met throughout your entire manufacturing process.
Keeping informed on manufacturing compliance and the Food and Beverage industry’s software
So, if you’re current ERP systems and food production processes quite simply aren’t cutting the grain and you’re looking for a more advanced solution to help you tackle the industry challenges and remain compliant then get in touch. Our team of Cloudsuite Food and Beverage experts are primed and ready to help you start your journey of digital transformation today.
Why not also join us on Tuesday 10th September 2019 for our Addressing the Issues in Food and Manufacturing webinar. From the introduction of new legislation and compliance pressures to demand for greater product innovation, transparency and full scale traceability, we’ll be discussing some of the key disruptive trends and exploring the solutions available through the use of modern technology and food and drink focused software.