View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. News
September 27, 2011

WRC 2011: Training key to manage labelling change, retailers told

UK retailers need to focus on training to lessen the impact that the phasing out of food sell-by dates could have on how they manage their inventory, software supplier SAS has said.

UK retailers need to focus on training to lessen the impact that the phasing out of food sell-by dates could have on how they manage their inventory, software supplier SAS has said.

Earlier this month the UK government confirmed that food sell-by dates are to be scrapped in an attempt to tackle the country’s GBP12bn (US$18.9bn) food waste problem.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is advising manufacturers to remove sell-by and display-until labels, which relate to stock rotation, and only show the use-by and best-before dates.

The move poses problems for retailers’ efforts to minimise waste and avoid selling out-of-date produce but business analytics firm SAS believes training is the solution.

The soon-to-be banned sell-by and display-until labels relate to stock rotation and provide info for retail staff. When they go, retailers will have to tighten up thier processes.

Speaking at the World Retail Congress in Berlin yesterday (26 September), Diana McHenry, director of SAS’ global retail practice, said retailers usually have the data to ensure accurate stock rotation already exists and argued they just have to implement it effectively.

She said: “You can forecast and predict your stock levels, but it’s also about process and how you train your staff. A lot of supermarket chains and other grocery retailers have good training programmes that attract young talent and get them excited about the business. You have to train them, the people aspect is huge.”

Tightening up on inventory can yield other benefits, McHenry added. As well as using out-of-date fruit and vegetables as biofuel or donating it to charity, companies can also co-ordinate with suppliers to yield tangible business benefits.

“Grocers and food manufacturers can work together. [Retailer] SOK in Finland started with us in 2003 and by using space optimisation and collaborating with their supply chain, they know their customer better and have reduced wastage,” McHenry said. “In the UK, Waitrose built a focused system with us to improve on-shelf availability and they reduced their wastage by 4-8%. By knowing their customer better they have also reduced wastage.”

Related Companies

NEWSLETTER Sign up Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Friday. The industry's most comprehensive news and information delivered every other month.
I consent to GlobalData UK Limited collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
SUBSCRIBED

THANK YOU

Thank you for subscribing to Just Food