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.
Produce Retailer: Panelists at the Center for Produce Safety Symposium described better traceback as essential to containing foodborne illness outbreaks and urged companies to invest in that infrastructure. The somber and frank discussion, moderated by Produce Marketing Association CEO Cathy Burns, started with a review of the recent spate of E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce. Burns asked each member of the group to share his biggest takeaway from the romaine debacle.
Reuters: French retailer Carrefour SA has seen sales boosted by the use of blockchain ledger technology to track meat, milk and fruit from farms to stores and will extend it to more products to increase shopper trust, an executive said on Monday.
Stuff.co.nz: New Zealanders were surprised to learn that those forces for good in human health – lettuce and carrots – were identified as a common link in the outbreak of Yersinia infections that made at least 220 people sick and sent 70 to hospital in 2014. [T]he source of the New Zealand outbreak was never proven, and this was mainly because of the difficulty of tracing all the ingredients of a mixed salad.
Software Testing News: IBM has successfully launched its blockchain platform in a data centre located in Melbourne, Australia, according to a ZDNet report published last Monday (Feb.11th). The platform will allow customers to run their applications on the cloud, provided that they abide by data sovereignty requirements. Colchester explained that the blockchain platform will be used to revolutionise the whole supply chain and food safety industry in Australia.
Food & Beverage Magazine: What is the significance of barcoding every single apple in a mountain of fruit at the supermarket? It seems a tedious process when an apple is surely just an apple. But, an apple is much more than what is seen at face value. It comes with a history – a place of origin, a past in which it was grown in specific soil and shipped in a certain container. This is valuable information, even for the humble apple, as a food recall could affect any product at any time.
Food Safety News: Federal officials won’t say definitively that contaminated canal water was behind this year’s deadly E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, but they are saying they “found no evidence in support of alternative explanations.” Another point made clear in an outbreak investigation report released yesterday puts the FDA firmly on record when it comes to antiquated shipping and receiving recordkeeping used by many in the leafy greens industry.
Food & Beverage Magazine: A national traceability project, which will help Australian farmers show the origins and quality of their produce, is underway. Australian minister for agriculture, David Littleproud, said the project would enhance trust in Australian-grown products and give farmers a competitive edge. ”We’ll be able to more easily find where a biosecurity or food safety problem began so an isolated incident won’t impact a whole industry,” said Littleproud.
PMA: Blockchain continues to be a hot topic, and it has developed beyond pilot programs to practical applications in the industry. In a recent webinar, we discussed how blockchain is being used today by retailers, grower-shippers and technology solution providers. This webinar includes; a recap of what blockchain is; how blockchain is being utilized to address today’s supply chain issues; and opportunities, challenges and recommendations to get started with a blockchain program.
Global Food Safety Initiative: Over the last 17 years the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements have evolved considerably. As the food industry adapts and changes, we’re always looking to keep up to date and reflect best practices. If I had to sum up the key additions to this latest version in a few words, I’d say “improved auditor competency” and “covering the supply chain from farm to fork”.
Read the full article at the Global Food Safety Initiative website