Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business



October 2013

Pig in a poke… Supermarket giant Tesco has recently expressed its disappointment that one of its ‘British’ pork chop proved to be sourced from Holland.

Dr Mark Johnson, Associate Professor of Operations Management at Warwick Business School, said that the news though unfortunate, was not unexpected.

He commented: “As firms outsource to other firms – creating supply chains – they lose control and visibility of what is going on as suppliers outsource to other suppliers in the drive for lowest cost. UK labelled Dutch pork is one example of this occurring, the recent horse meat scandal another, with the Mattel recall of toys yet another. So, what can be done to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are buying? Firms with lengthy and complex supply chains need to understand what they actually look like.

"They also need to build relationships with suppliers to ensure transparency. In the short-term this is more expensive. In the longer-term, it leads to improved consumer confidence and can highlight areas where additional value – profitability or cost savings - can be made. For example Waitrose work with farmers to assist with the certification of organic produce, which has higher value to shoppers."

UK & NI Ireland | supply chain

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