Business Leaders’ Forum

Shah: Food manufacturers must become more transparent

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade

Food manufacturers need to become more transparent and willing to share data with other companies to boost the authenticity of the supply chain, the boss of a leading ingredients importer has urged.

In this exclusive video interview – filmed at Food Manufacture’s ​Business Leaders’ Forum in London on January 23 – Virani Food Products owner Milan Shah highlighted the need for manufacturers to share data to prevent another horsemeat scandal or Sudan 1 contamination in the future.

“The willingness to be open and transparent in the food industry is a key tenet for the future. I think the days of keeping things closed – working practices in the supply chain and manufacturing ­­– are gone,” ​said Shah.

‘Malpractice will be revealed’

“We’ve seen with what has happened at the 2 Sisters site – the world is becoming more transparent, so malpractice will be revealed. The philosophy for any food manufacturer now should reflect this.”

Sharing results would also help food producers to spot trends in the industry on a macro level, added Shah.

Commenting on Brexit and the effect it would have on his business, Shah said that Virani Food Products was prepared for when the UK left the EU.

International trade

There was still uncertainty surrounding international trade and whether the UK would seek a free trade agreement with the EU single market of 512M consumers, he noted.

However, the impact of World Trade Organization tariffs on Virani would “probably be quite minimal”​, claimed Shah, since the goods that the company imported – herbs, pulses and spices – were duty- and levy-free.

The annual Business Leaders’ Forum was sponsored by legal firm DWF and food waste reduction specialist Company Shop & Community Shop.

Meanwhile, Brexit could lead to further divergence in the UK’s food and drink policy,​ according to Dominic Watkins, head of food at law firm DWF, in this exclusive video interview.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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