During October, World Vegetarian Awareness Month celebrated vegetarianism and the benefits it can give to people. It is estimated that nearly 5% of the UK population now consider themselves vegetarian. Even the number of light meat-eaters, consuming meat only about three times a week, is up by 80% in the last two years. As consumers are choosing to live healthier lifestyles, they want fresher food.
It is said that vegetarian ‘comfort food’ is on the rise and that more people are now likely to order mashed cauliflower instead of rice and pasta or, to request a vegetable crust as a healthier pizza option. There has also been a rise in ‘healthy’ fast food with more and more restaurants offering vegetarian options such as veggie burgers. With increasing concerns over food standards and safety, it is important that manufacturers comply with regulations to prevent recalls and damages to their reputation.
The perishable nature of fresh produce creates many challenges as manufacturers have to work to tight distribution windows. This means that quality controls are important in checking that all produce complies with food standards and food safety. Fresh food cannot be stored in a warehouse or a supermarket shelf past their sell by date as this will affect the product’s quality. To tackle this problem, and get the best out of their raw products, food manufacturers must have a comprehensive quality management system in place. Otherwise, there will be increased costs from unusable stock.
Fresh food manufacturers must also keep their recipes in line with regulatory standards. With government guidelines such as the Sugar Tax being introduced in the near future, manufacturers must make sure that their recipes are following regulations and that the products are clearly labelled. Manufacturers must ensure that the listed ingredients on their labels match exactly to the contents of the product. If the manufacturer fails to disclose all the ingredients, especially if there are any that could result in allergic reactions, then the products may have to be recalled. Faulty stock will create increased costs and low productivity which both have the potential to be damaging to a business.
A comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system will give manufacturers transparency across the supply chain which means that they will have the agility to make quick, accurate decisions. Industry-specific modules in the ERP will mean that a quality management system and recipe checks will make sure that the produce complies with food regulations. The system will help in making sure that the produce matches the label the manufacturer is using and will put the product through quality checks to ensure it is produced correctly the first time. Both of these steps will help manufacturers avoid costly and time consuming recalls.
To find out how ERP systems can help reduce food waste, read our blog post here