Contaminated egg scandal ‘could have been avoided’

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The imported contaminated eggs scandal could have been avoided with better supply chain management, claimed Adjuno
The imported contaminated eggs scandal could have been avoided with better supply chain management, claimed Adjuno

Related tags: Supply chain, Supply chain management

The fipronil imported egg scandal – which saw at least 700,000 eggs contaminated with the insecticide enter the UK – could have been avoided with stronger supply chain management, claims consultancy Adjuno.

It highlighted the need for companies to have full visibility of their supply chains, according to Adjuno’s business development director Alan Gunner.

“Without having a clear view of who their suppliers are and where their products are coming from, firms are more and more at risk of having to rush their products off the shelves and sacrifice consumer confidence, which is quite frankly unacceptable,” ​said Gunner.

“To tighten up their supply chain management, organisations need to make sure that they have visibility of each step of the supply chain, whilst automating as many phases as possible and keeping all the data reliable and in one, easy access place, so that red flags are less likely to be missed.”

Sharing supply chain information

Gunner called for companies to set up a system to ensure every supplier meets minimum standards across multiple compliance measures, while sharing supply chain information in real time through a standardised portal.

“This open door strategy will help build trust and foster fair and transparent supplier partnerships,”​ added Gunner.

“Within this collaborative area, organisations should also make performance measures visible to their suppliers, in order to inspire them to make proactive improvements in their service and ethical practices.”

Gunner also warned short-term cost control measures by manufacturers could tempt some suppliers to use illegal methods to stay in business.

“This can cause adversarial combats with buyers pushing down the price while disgruntled suppliers watch their profits evaporate, or turn to less than ethical measures to try to avert any possible profit losses.

‘Less than ethical measures’

“In the long-term, those practices can hurt brands more than the few extra pounds they may have to spend to avoid them.”

British Lion Egg Processors also urged food manufacturers to reconsider their egg sourcing, in light of the contaminated egg scandal. It was an opportunity for companies to reassure shoppers that they use British eggs, claimed British Lion Egg.

Gunner added: “Businesses that can pride themselves on responsible sourcing, and then follow through on that claim, will be the ones that hold a strong market position and quite rightly. However, fall short of delivering on that promise and the consequences can be fatal – even deadly, to the consumer.”

Meanwhile, last week, the probe into imported egg products contaminated with fipronil has spread to food products made with imported liquid eggs​, manufacturers have been warned, after Professor Chris Elliott predicted an intensification of the scandal.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Meat, poultry & seafood

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