Webinar – Innovation Agenda: Opportunities to Improve the Audit Process
Date and Time: 10-11am (AEDT), Tuesday 10 March 2020
Webinar – Innovation Agenda: Opportunities to Improve the Audit Process – a view from Lucy MacLennan from Red Tractor
Presented by the FPSC A&NZ and Freshcare.
This webinar will be in two parts: the first part will be an overview of the UK’s Red Tractor and its assurance scheme for fresh produce. The second part will be Lucy’s personal views about the opportunities to improve the audit process, as part of a project she is undertaking for a Nuffield Scholarship.
About the Speaker: Lucy MacLennan is a specialist consultant to the food industry having worked as a food technologist for more than 20 years. Her work has taken her around the world improving the quality and safety of fresh produce as well as ambient grocery products and high care chilled prepared foods.
She is currently a 2020 Nuffield Scholar, having previously obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Agrifood from the University of Nottingham, an MBA from Cranfield University and her undergraduate degree BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Surrey.
Lucy’s career has seen her work for leading UK retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, as well as working extensively throughout their supply bases. Her consultancy work has led to the development of the Marks & Spencer Select Grower standard which has step changed food safety standards within the fresh produce industry.
As well as her consultancy work, Lucy is Chief Executive of The Organic Research Centre, an organisation which seeks to redesign and deliver better farming practices based on organic and agroecological principles. She is also Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Fresh Produce Board Committee at Red Tractor Assurance.
This webinar will be in two parts:
Part A – Red Tractor Assurance is the leading farm assurance scheme in the UK. It is one of the biggest brands in the UK, with its logo appearing on almost £15bn food sold. The scheme covers 6 industry sectors: beef and lamb, poultry, dairy, crops, pigs and fresh produce. Lucy is Chairman of the Fresh Produce Sector Board and Non Executive Director for Red Tractor and will provide an overview of the state of the fresh produce sector in the UK and how Red Tractor has responded and shaped its strategy accordingly. In addition she will provide an overview of how the fresh produce standard is managed and implemented.
Part B – Lucy has built a wealth of experience developing GAP standards for UK retailers and has seen first hand where they work well but also the issues associated with audit and assurance schemes. Her perception is that food safety audits are currently viewed as something of a necessary evil within supply chains – certification is a market entry requirement so the process is tolerated rather than really used by anyone to improve standards on farm. But auditing on one day of the year can provide a false sense of year round compliance particularly regarding food safety. She believes that there is an opportunity farm businesses to take more responsibility for their own continuous improvement of agricultural practices and that with improved attitudes, ownership of the challenge and building knowledge, ultimately the need for external audit could be reduced – or even eliminated and instead more emphasis should be placed on internal audit and leadership culture. It is this opportunity that Lucy is exploring as part of her studies for her Nuffield Farming Scholarship. In the course of her studies she will explore different fresh produce food safety standards around the world but in addition she will explore how audit has developed in other industries such as medicine, finance and the military in order to see whether there are opportunities to learn from their experience.