Much has been written recently about “ethical” and “responsible” supply chain practices, certification and the need to safeguard provenance and quality of supply. This is not least to ensure that businesses maintain high standards and integrity (including in their dealings with their own suppliers), as well as promoting values and practices that are aligned to those of their customers. Indeed, unduly pressuring your suppliers (eg by failing to comply with basic payment terms) may inadvertently lead to them, in turn, cutting corners and increasing your exposure to unacceptable risks. Get it wrong and you have a social media crisis on your hands – and possibly far worse! Get it right and increased transparency could improve customer loyalty, enhance brand value and ensure your business is properly prepared for future supply chain crises.
In the article recently produced by our food law team in the UK on some regulatory considerations arising from the “horsemeat” supply chain scandal that hit food businesses across Europe 2 years ago and, in particular, on progress to date in implementing recommendations made in the Elliott Report published by the UK Government in September 2014. The article raises some generic supply chain issues and, in particular, the need to have reasonable precautions and due diligence procedures in place to ensure that the product you are buying and onward supplying is exactly what it says it is!