Carmichael Fisher was very pleased to welcome Helen Munday (Chief Scientific Officer for Food and Drink Federation) and Christine Tacon (Groceries Code Adjudicator) to Tower 42. Following the success of our networking event back in February, this was another great opportunity to work alongside the food and drink industry to bring together like-minded senior industry figures to discuss current affairs topics.
Following opening introduction from Rob Nugent (Chairman of Provision Trade Federation and Operations Director of Direct Table), the key organiser and sponsor to the event, we heard first from Helen Munday.
Helen was covering the topic of “Regulation Through a Brexit Lens” a highly uncertain and fast evolving industry topic. Helen openly admitted that she did not have all the answers but the discussion was to cover areas for wider thought, specific consideration on regulation transfer and what the future may hold for UK food and drink regulations post Brexit.
Some of the core topics for wider UK food and drink legislation include our access to EU workers, trade regulations, providing consumers with the same safety and quality standards but also looking at future opportunities. The key theme to the presentation was around delivering an agenda which would allow as seamless transfer of current regulations whilst ensuring that the UK market remained at the forefront of quality and food safety standards. Helen’s tone seemed relatively optimistic throughout discussions that this could be achieved but was also quick to caution that there remain some key challenges around resource, structure and naturally the political nature to be resolved.
We were then introduced to Christine Tacon who delivered a discussion around her current role as Groceries Code Adjudicator, titled Driving Change, Making an Impact. A more in-depth write up can be found here in the Food Manufacturer but in short, this was an insight into Christine’s recent successes and future focused on managing the relationships between manufacturers and retailers.
Given the enormous pressures facing both the UK retail market and the food and drink manufacturing segment, it is vitally important that there is a collaborative approach across the supply chain. Christine and her team have taken a pragmatic and transparent approach to bring both sides to the table and deliver a code that offers mutual benefits for all parties. We were impressed by the ambition and scale of Christine’s scope as well her proven success across a range of important topics such as forensic auditing, margin maintenance and consumer complaints handling. We look forward to seeing how Christine’s priorities will evolve, and in particular, how she is able to create further engagement with suppliers in the sector.
Carmichael Fisher realise that we operate in turbulent and changing times in the Food and Drink sector and evenings like this help to throw some light onto some of the challenges both we and our clients are facing. We are open to discussions with any individuals or business actively affected by the topics discussed in this article.