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Food Industry Executives Gather for Exclusive Breakfast Debate

On 25th June Anglia Business Solutions hosted and chaired an exclusive breakfast debate for the food industry on “Remaining Profitable in a Demanding and Highly Competitive Channel”.  Executives from a wide range of food industry organisations gathered for breakfast at the prestigious One Aldwych hotel on The Strand in London. Organisations represented at the debate included Bakkavor, Deloitte Agribusiness, Diageo, Elisabeth the Chef, Ferndale Foods, Fresh Produce Consortium, Microsoft, Montana Bakery, Reynolds Catering Supplies, Wealmoor and Vitacress.

Breakfast Briefing Jun 09The debate commenced with short introductions from guest speakers Peter Thornton, CEO of Noble Foods, and Michael Dudbridge from the Centre for Food Manufacturing at The University of Lincoln.  Peter talked about his experiences and the challenges of working in the food industry. He outlined the steps that he has taken to ensure Noble Foods operate as efficiently as possible whilst maintaining the highest levels of customer service.  Michael explained the changing trends and landscape of the food industry today and the role that Information Technology can play in ensuring an efficient supply chain.

The key themes covered during the debate were:

¨      The challenges imposed by regulatory compliance

¨      The importance of effective cost control mechanisms

¨      The ever present pressures of changing consumer and retail demands

¨      The effective use of ERP solutions to streamline supply chains

¨      Emerging niche and consolidation opportunities in the food sector

Speaking afterwards, event facilitator and Managing Director of Anglia Business Solutions, David Hurley said, “What was clear from this lively and informative debate was the commonality of business challenges faced by organisations serving the food industry. Margins are under pressure as supermarkets battle for market share. Compliance with traceability regulations coupled with tighter quality and delivery demands are making it difficult to generate acceptable returns.”

“What also emerged was that ERP systems had a key role to play in efficiently managing supply chains. There was general agreement that eliminating islands of data could help by providing an insight into events as they happen. We have seen that modern ERP technology can assist by reducing waste and improving productivity while providing real time access to key business information. This event confirmed our view that the food and drink sector is becoming increasingly aware of the potential of well implemented business management solutions as a competitive aid”.

Download Summary of Discussion (PDF)

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