As retailers continue to participate in a highly competitive race to the bottom in price wars, industry experts have warned that food quality may be jeopardised in the process. The Chief Executive of one of Europe’s largest food companies has cautioned that constantly pushing down prices makes the supply chain susceptible to fraud, as price is prioritised ahead of quality and security. Experts in compliance at QADEX agree, as competition between the supermarkets and big retailers is ever escalating.
Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “In today’s climate, having the lowest prices is seen as the best way to attract and retain custom, however this isn’t always in the best interest of the consumer. When companies focus on being more affordable rather than concentrating on quality, there is a temptation to cut corners and compromise security of output – perhaps even to break the law. It’s essential that those operating within the food industry learn from past mistakes and remember price is not the only factor; low quality, fraudulent foods will not be tolerated by the public.”
Having to compete with successful low-price retailers is tough, especially heading into the festive season where food budgets will be cut to allow spending in other areas. However, placing the loyalty of customers at risk by compromising quality, turning a blind eye to standards and potentially sacrificing credibility is not a choice taken lightly. The pressure is on for suppliers to deliver the same products cheaper, which makes the food chain highly vulnerable to fraud.
QADEX offers a simple software solution to unite every stage of the food chain – retailers, processors, suppliers and manufacturers – enabling every link to be accounted for. With supplier risk assessments, audits and specification management taken care of, retailers reduce the risk of food fraud to its customers and brand reputation. The food safety software is trusted by big brands across the nation to highlight traceability and protect companies from any illegal activity.
Tracey added, “Of course, food retailers want to be affordable but it’s essential not to jeopardise the quality and authenticity of produce in the name of competition. While it may seem that lower prices are beneficial to the customer, compromising on quality is not in the best interests of the general public. The industry must ask itself: if we are now offering an identical product at a much lower price than last year, how has that been possible? Affordability is not the only pressing factor that food businesses need to consider, as we are still recovering from Horsegate and food fraud is on the rise.”
To find out more about QADEX’s range of food safety and brand protection systems visit http://www.qadex.com/