Food production is being streamlined in a way that seeks to maximise economic output through leaner processes and consolidating suppliers. This drive alongside the globalisation of distribution channels paves the way for longer, more complicated supply chains. The risk of this intensification of our food system leads to issues around traceability, food safety management and the authenticity or provenance of our food. This has been indicated time and time again over recent years from horsemeat, campylobacter levels in chicken and food fraud cases on anything from Serano ham (PDO) to Glens vodka. The protein category, one of our most costly items in the weekly shop is often the most high profile of targets when it comes to keeping costs low and production high.
The production of cheap meat to satisfy our population’s carnivore instincts comes at a price. British pork which, has long been recognised for its high quality, in part due to the higher animal welfare standards we have as standard practice in the UK is more expensive to produce compared to it’s European counterparts. In a time where customers demand more choice, more value, often more luxury it is challenging to streamline these producers from several countries, ensure processing efficiency and offer packaged goods ready for direct sale. That coupled for a drive for less handling, less downtime and increased logistics efficiency is there any way that errors can be avoided? There are a number of cleaver ways of finding out if systems in industry are working but how are the practices in the first place?
Taking a step back from industry we look at how we produce and consume food. This is a luxury the food industry largely doesn’t have, the ability to look and challenge the whole system.
Can we as sustainable food advocates actually align our objectives for the benefit of society whilst not at the expense of industry?
Here at FoodSync we take a realist view, looking for marginal gains in order to drive sustainability of the whole food system. Fundamentally this revolves around shortening the supply chain from producer to consumer; Re-localising supply chains, making them viable alternatives. Supporting independent producers to operate at scale whilst facilitating and developing new, more exciting and in-tune ways to consume food which are compatible with this dynamic approach to producing food. To do this we need to increase the knowledge and skills of the producers and work with consumers to improve food culture. Uniting these two builds more than a food system, it builds a food positive food culture, embedding integrity, passion and aptitude into the heart of a more sustainable model.