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Joining efforts of all supply chain members from field to shelf is the solution capable of minimizing product recalls and claims from final consumer within food industry. That was the conclusion of the conference «Quality Forum: Assuring food quality throughout the chain raw material – processing – trade», where outstanding issues related to food quality management in Russia were discussed.

The event gathered over 100 food market players, including retailers, producers of raw materials and finished products, catering chains. Metro Cash & Carry, real,-Hypermarket, Auchan, SPAR, Lenta, Tander, McDonald’s, Chaynaya Lozhka, Bonduelle-Kuban, Wimm-Bill-Dann, EFKO, Yug Rusi, Unilever, Cargill, Ehrmann, Russkoye More, Petelinskiy Poultry Processing Plant and many others took active part in the Forum’s activities. The event was organised by SGS Group – the global leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification services.

Food supply chain integrity became the Forum’s tuning fork. Lack of communication within the Russian food market players results in making them not partners but opposed parties, thus hindering from developing effective quality solutions. Still, as it was rightly formulated by one of the Russian retailers, «during the conference we got the understanding that producer and retailer are standing not at opposite sides of a barricade but all in the same boat».

Firstly, it is important to develop a single approach to quality within the Russian food supply chain; secondly, to determine and legally fix scopes of responsibility for each chain member; and thirdly, to assure implementation of one’s commitment. Various approaches towards food quality and safety assurance were discussed at the SGS Forum, and particular attention of the participants was drawn by international standards that have been so far few known and practically not applied in Russia: IFS, GLOBALGAP, ISO 22000 и and other standards stipulating common requirements to quality and food safety management systems. The global experience proves that single approach within a supply chain is feasible and effective. And although the Russian food business community has not yet completed its way toward its single approach, the SGS Forum gave the opportunity to make the first step in this direction.