17 Jul 2019 Why is approving suppliers in a food business important?
As consumers, we are driven by primarily selfish goals when it comes to choosing where we buy our supplies from. We want to know that we are getting the best deal for ourselves, that our health will not be impacted, and that the company we buy from follows good ethical procedures. The exact same can, therefore, be applied to how we act as a business. The food industry deals with such a vast array of different suppliers that it’s easy to let negligence creep in when it comes to stringent supply approval programmes. But there are several clear reasons why this should never be the case.
Perhaps the most obvious argument is to guarantee the health and wellbeing of our customers. Food businesses rely as much on their reputation as they do the quality of their product. It doesn’t matter if a restaurant has the finest menu, or a sandwich producer has the tastiest sandwich; if they choose suppliers with poor food safety practices, or who lack a HACCP-compliant system, and someone gets sick as a result, no one will want to buy their product anymore.
Companies who demonstrate non-compliance with food safety regulations are at risk of stiff fines or even being shut down. Legislation such as the Food Safety Act 1990 gives the government the right to impose these penalties on any company that does not meet national standards of food safety. Given that the government agency responsible for administering this, the Sentencing Council, now has the mean penalty set at around £6000-7000, many companies, particularly SMEs, cannot afford to be negligent in approving their suppliers.
As much as a bad reputation can drive customers away, demonstrating commitment to customer safety and satisfaction can, in turn, increase revenue and growth. Customers are increasingly willing to show loyalty to those companies that demonstrate a commitment to maintaining a quality of service, such as bringing in health and safety consultants or providing their staff with online food safety training. Ultimately, businesses that choose reliable suppliers will have a better chance of gaining loyal customers.
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