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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Third party perfection

Emma Verkaik explains how the UK AND BCMPA are helping partners achieve sustainable outsourcing success


Third-party outsourcing partners play a fundamental role in helping to ensure that consumers today can enjoy a diverse range of food and drink products. Brand owners, retailers and entrepreneurs rely on the expertise of contract manufacturers, packers and fulfilment providers to produce and deliver goods across often complex global supply chains.

With sustainability key to today’s retailers and brand owners, minimising a product’s carbon footprint is meaning UK production is once again front of mind. Onshoring or reshoring – the practice of transferring a business operation that was moved overseas back to the country from which it was originally relocated – is increasingly prevalent.

In addition, the challenges experienced by global supply chains, as recently evidenced with the attacks on global shipping in the Red Sea, are leading to significant increases in both the delivery time and cost for many items. Just-in-time production is under pressure as products sourced worldwide are delayed. From raw ingredients to packaging, without the full complement of materials, production comes to a halt and customers are let down.

This growing trend is being seen by the BCMPA as members report a need from clients to avoid the difficulties of sourcing from overseas. Turning to local production is ensuring greater security and resilience in supply, as well as reducing the impact of transportation miles and importation costs, while helping improve quality control.

Indeed, it is this message of the importance of tapping into an established UK infrastructure, one provided by outsourcing partners, that the BCMPA will be promoting at IFE Manufacturing, part of the Food, Drink & Hospitality Week at ExCel, held on 25-27th March. Visitors to stand 142 will be guided on how to find a third-party contract manufacturing, packing and fulfilment partner from the 200+ BCMPA membership, as well as shown how to use its valuable online search facility.

Alongside helping to minimise global supply chain challenges, having a trusted UK supplier operating to all the relevant quality assurance standards is also ensured. Local third-party providers implement a wide range of quality certification systems and ensure that ever-increasing consumer demands are met. The need to safeguard that various ‘free-from’ alternatives are available to suit different dietary requirements and implement strict allergen controls is now key to modern production. Be it BRCGS Food Safety accreditations or Soil Association certification, products can be manufactured to highly specific standards, and are also far more easily audited in the UK.

As a part of the Food, Drink & Hospitality Week, the BCMPA will also moderate a panel discussion, covering the benefits of using third-party UK contract manufacturers and packers in taking products to market. The panel, on Tuesday 26th March, will feature experts from Rain Nutrience and Sauce Shed alongside Nick Henson from FIFST, and provide an opportunity for UK food and drink manufacturers to learn from the best practices and experiences of the BCMPA.

The role of outsourcing has never been more important in increasingly complex times, helping customers to navigate the changing landscape and allowing them to focus on their own business without being weighed down by the day-to-day operational issues. BCMPA members deliver effective solutions day in, day out, and Food, Drink & Hospitality Week is the perfect opportunity for brand owners and retailers to understand the benefits of using third-party UK contract manufacturers and packers in sustainably taking products to market.

Emma Verkaik is the CEO of BCMPA – The Association for Contract Manufacturing, Packing, Fulfilment & Logistics


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