Building a successful food and beverage business is demanding. Not only do owners have to turn profits with narrow margins, but it is also particularly vulnerable to consumer trends, the ever-changing industrial climate and worldwide crises like the Covid 19 pandemic and other uncontrollable events that disrupt supply chains.
The industry is also awash with other challenges including false claims, food safety, misleading packaging and technology. The food industry can never be completely immune to external events that threaten product safety, but there are risk management tools and practices that have been designed to protect businesses against uncontrollable factors. Work with an experienced team of litigation lawyers to manage these potential risks and read on to find out what you can do to protect your business on a day-to-day basis.
Strengthen your supply chain
An operating supply chain is crucial to completing orders on time and maintaining a good relationship with customers. If one part of the supply chain fails to hold its end of the bargain, the whole operation is compromised.
In order to avoid this unfortunate turn of events, carefully negotiate and review your terms in B2B contracts to get the best prices and terms and conditions. Use reliable companies and investigate their track record before signing a contract with them. You also have a responsibility to pay your suppliers on time, so make sure to be punctual in order to create a good relationship with them.
Make sure you’re operating safely
One way to ensure absolute safety throughout your company is by training your employees properly. They handle the day-to-day processes, so risks inevitably start with your own people. Invest time training them in equipment handling, customer service and hygiene and safety procedures. Don’t assume that your employees know how to operate certain machines, regardless of whether it might seem self-explanatory to you.
Communication is also crucial if you want to operate safely. Contamination is commonplace when items aren’t correctly labelled, or products aren’t logged. Utilise technology to avoid this by implementing automated manual processes where possible, thereby minimising human error.
Consider also investing in risk management software that can establish safety plans that meets all official food safety standards, optimises operations and standardises practices to keep your business streamlined and safe.
Tackle food fraud
Food fraud is a huge problem that plagues the industry. One survey found that a huge 97% of senior executives across the beverage sector were affected by food fraud, with 80% believing it is a growing trend that is cause for concern. Misleading packaging, unexpected ingredients and confused logistics all play a role in the issue. To gain trust with your customers, be transparent about your supply chain and closely monitor the food logistics. It doesn’t hurt to thoroughly research the operations of your food suppliers too.