Food Safety. Guidance for Directors.

Gilbert-Wood, Chris, Kerridge, Andy, Manning, Louise , Treacy, Denis and Ward, Rachel (2022) Food Safety. Guidance for Directors. [Impact]

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Food Safety. Guidance for Directors.
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Abstract

Food safety has always been critical for all involved in the food supply chain. They all understand that consumers have a legitimate expectation that the food they buy is safe and wholesome, notwithstanding the legal requirement for this to be the case. The UK has an enviable reputation and track record in this regard, one that we must protect, nurture, and enhance. Food safety leadership and commitment comes from the very top of any food business.

As with workplace health and safety, financial governance or employee wellbeing, food safety
is an essential business risk that must be effectively mitigated. In the past, some saw both health and safety, and food safety, as a cost burden - the reality is that the cost of having an unsafe workplace or producing unsafe food is much greater. Modern understanding clearly demonstrates that a well-managed organisation which considers all risks at a strategic level, including food safety, is more efficient, productive, competitive and has a far more engaged and collaborative workforce aligned to the business strategic goals.

Food safety failures can be costly in direct costs, such as high waste, increased working capital, lost production time, lower agility, before we even consider product destruction, withdrawals, product recalls and the associated fines from regulators or retailers. Still, other costs such as loss of business focus, reputation and consumer trust can weigh more heavily.
Collectively, they can lead to company failure. The efficient response is to develop organisation-wide systems and organisational culture that can recognise, evaluate, and prevent or mitigate these issues.

Done well – food safety will deliver financial efficiency, shareholder value and competitive advantage as well as consumer protection.

Done poorly – It will negatively impact business resilience and potentially a business’s very existence, a scenario that every business will want to manage to mitigate against.

This document will help directors understand the importance of food safety governance, their key legal responsibilities in respect of it, and their role in assuring food safety performance, a critical measure of business performance. It will also discuss the tools to monitor and verify food safety system performance and the essentials of good food safety governance, and these themes are summarised with a generic directors’ food safety checklist. While written mainly for directors and boards, this document is equally relevant to senior executives and business owners in the broader food industry.

Keywords:food safety, responsibilities, directors, Board of directors, Guidance
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D690 Food studies not elsewhere classified
N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:College of Science > Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology
ID Code:49951
Deposited On:19 Jul 2022 13:44

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