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How to assure food safety and satisfy the modern consumer – those questions were in the focus of the discussion of the Third SGS Food Forum: Tasteful and Safe – Deeds, not Words, which took place on July 7-8, 2011 in Moscow. The Forum gathered over 100 professionals of the food industry from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Moldova, including Rospotrebnadzor, Rosselkhoznadzor, suppliers of raw materials, ingredients and packaging, food manufacturers, logistics companies, national retail chains and NGOs. The event was organized by the SGS Group (headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland), the world’s leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification. Managers from Х5 Retail Group, Auchan Russia, Tander, SPAR Middle Volga, the Organizing Committee Sochi 2014, Coca-Cola HBC Eurasia, MARR RUSSIA, Belaya Dacha Trading, Russkiy Product, United Bakers, Bunge CIS, PRODO Management, Dirol Cadbury, Russkoye More, Savushkin Product, Carlsberg Kazakhstan, Dohler NF & BI, FM Logistic, Forest Stewardship Council, ECR-Russia, the Society for Consumer Rights Protection “Public Control” and many others took a part in the discussion.

Government plays an important part in food safety assurance and presentations from supervising authorities traditionally attracted the interest of businesses, in particular with regard to the technical regulation reform in Russia.

The major focus of sessions of the Third SGS Food Forum was put on practical toolkit: various food chain members shared their best practices, food quality and safety achievements, management system implementation experience and interaction with partners in the food chain. Particular attention was paid to supplier management, specifically, to such tools as monitoring and evaluation systems, training of suppliers and auditing.

However, the most advanced quality management tools are senseless when the food chain is closed on itself without assuring feed-back from consumers. And the forum’s discussion focused on communication issues of food chain members with the modern consumer who is trustless, has access to lots of information and is ready to defend his rights. The only way to neutralize the negative noise that is inevitable in the conditions of an information society is the effective communication with consumers. Facts say the following: when business is openly facing the consumer and starts to perceive a claim not as a problem but as an opportunity to improve service or product quality, then the consumer’s trust towards brand automatically grows, the number of loyal customers grows and what is most important in view of quality management the satisfaction level increases. In this connection, the rather young international standard ISO 10002:2004 is of great interest. In fact, this is a practical guideline on development and implementation of an effective claim handling process.

A special session of the forum was devoted to latest trends in the global food market. In particular, the topics such as “green” packaging and FSC trademark, social responsibility and ethical supplies, as well as energy management in connection with the new international standard ISO 50001 publication were raised. In the framework of the event a comparative analysis was made of BRC, IFS, FSSC 22000 and some other international food safety standards recognized by GFSI. All of them are based on pro-activity – to prevent the problem before it occurs, to manage risks. All of them are voluntary to use. And the interest that has been manifested by food enterprises of post-Soviet countries towards international business principles clearly demonstrates that the food market in Russia and in other CIS countries becomes more civilized.

Tatiana Apatovskaya
Marketing Manager for Russia, SGS
m: +7 (916) 901 34 04

ABOUT SGS

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 64,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.