Celebrating Excellence: Foods Connected with OSI

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Ahead of the 25th Supply Chain Excellence Awards, LogisticsManager.com caught up with Foods Connected and OSI, nominee in the Unipart Logistics Sustainability Award and the Kinaxia Logistics Award for Food and Drink categories.

Taking place next Monday night at the Hilton on Park Lane in London, the Supply Chain Excellence Awards are set to be a night of celebration, as the best in the logistics industry gather together on this very special 25th Anniversary.

How does it feel to have been shortlisted for a Supply Chain Excellence Award?
Foods Connected and OSI are honoured to be shortlisted for the prestigious Supply Chain Excellence Awards. We are grateful to be recognised for the hard work our dedicated team have delivered in this project and for the opportunity OSI have given us to lead and deliver the innovation and technology to drive up their supply chain sustainability! It is fantastic to see global leaders such as OSI prioritising sustainability and leading the charge!

We are really looking forward to celebrating (in person!) with our hard-working team after what’s been a tough couple of years for all of us. For us, this is all about coming together to celebrate the joint success between Foods Connected and OSI and to recognise those individuals without whom this project could not have happened

What has changed in your project since you entered?
Our Sustainability and CSR offering has developed and evolved since kickstarting this supply chain sustainability project with OSI. Foods Connected now offer an increasing amount of solutions to help businesses reach their sustainability goals and beyond. We have now launched a C02 Emissions calculator, solutions to measure and report on sustainable packaging, food waste, animal welfare and more. We have also welcomed onboard an Animal-Agri Specialist who is on hand with expertise to guide customer projects surrounding animal welfare and antibiotic use.

What are you most excited for on the night of the Awards?
We are really looking forward to celebrating (in person!) with our hard-working team after what’s been a tough couple of years for all of us. For us, this is all about coming together to celebrate the joint success between Foods Connected and OSI and to recognise those individuals without whom this project could not have happened.

What do you think is the most important thing to focus on now in the industry? What should be the biggest priority when it comes to change for the better?
There are a few big shifts happening within our industry at present. One of those for example, is that industry wide we are seeing a huge surge towards environmentally friendly, ‘green’ products and brands. Consumers are more concerned than ever with the environmental impact the brands they chose to buy from are making on this planet. As many as 1 in 3 consumers are saying they will only buy from brands they know are doing social and environmental good. This is of course, a change for the better and as a result of the increased demand at consumer level, we predict we will start to see more food brands looking to track, measure and report upon their sustainability goals – implementing well planned and consulted strategies.

Once a strategy is formed and expertise consulted, businesses need to adopt the right solutions to see out their plan, execute goals and continue to monitor, track and adapt for sustainable success

For us, the biggest priority when making long-term sustainable change for the better is ensuring that customer projects are designed to achieve their specific goals and targets, while addressing their pain points and ultimately resolving these issues and executing their goals within the resulting strategy. Once a strategy is formed and expertise consulted, businesses need to adopt the right solutions to see out their plan, execute goals and continue to monitor, track and adapt for sustainable success.

What are you looking forward to after the Awards?
We are looking forward to further addressing the specific challenges that the industry faces going into 2022 and continuing to innovate solutions that provide optimised transparency and control over the entire supply chain for our customers.

What made you decide to compete for the Supply Chain Excellence Awards?
We decided to compete for the Supply Chain Excellence Awards as these long-standing awards are setting a gold standard for supply chain best practice. We wanted to be recognised in this space as a high achiever for our work to date across the industry – optimising processes, driving up quality, saving unnecessary waste and cost and helping food businesses realise and execute their sustainability goals.

How will you celebrate if you win? Where will you keep the trophy?
Both Foods Connected and our partner OSI Group would be absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious award and bring home this hard-earned recognition to our respective teams to celebrate. We would keep the trophy in our main offices on display, as a reminder of the success that our teams have achieved together and a motivator to continue pursuing excellence in all projects.

What are your hopes for the project going forward? What are your next steps?
Foods Connected are passionate about transforming the way the food industry operates and conducts daily tasks, making food production safe, sustainable, ethical and simple. We look forward to continuing to educate the industry and work closely with our customers to assess what their pain points are, what could be improved to make their processes more effective and increase the visibility in their supply chains.

In the Foods Connected and OSI project we’re continuing to effectively manage supply chain sustainability together and lead best practices within the food industry. We’re currently finishing off a dashboard that suppliers will be able to access to see their individual performance, which means OSI don’t have to manually share the data with each supplier, reducing time massively and further streamlining processes. Once completed, the next stages will be to roll this out to suppliers in the remaining European countries, before moving into Pork and then Poultry suppliers.

The Supply Chain Excellence Awards are highly commended, recognising outstanding achievement and highlighting the importance of supply chain management

What difference did the project make for your company and for the sector?
At Foods Connected, we feel very privileged to be able to create sustainable change in other businesses through our software. We are dedicated to making a significant, positive environmental impact through our solutions, to not only our local communities, but also on a global scale. The Foods Connected software answered the challenges OSI was facing in evaluating the sustainability of its supply chain. Once up and running, this project was able to illuminate for OSI, the key players in their supply chain who were shining a light on ethical, sustainable practices and doing social, ethical and environmental good. This was also a key motivator amongst their supply chain to drive positive change. This past year alone, OSI has seen their individual supplier sustainability ranking increase by as much as 9.2% YoY. OSI have also seen suppliers increasingly focus on issues such as food waste within the supply chain (reduction targets for food waste are up 15.4% YoY) and deforestation (of which reduction targets are up 24.4% YoY.) These are all huge changes made within a relatively short time frame, that will continue to impact OSI, their customers, the industry and the wider environment for years to come. With key players such as OSI making such waves within the industry towards more sustainable practices, we expect this to form a domino effect and highlight to the industry as a whole that creating substantial change need not be impossible or even difficult when utilising the right solutions.

What are your impressions of the Supply Chain Excellence Awards generally?
The Supply Chain Excellence Awards are highly commended, recognising outstanding achievement and highlighting the importance of supply chain management. They are the gold standard within the industry and recognise those businesses of the highest standards. The high calibre of the judging process, in demanding valuable insight from businesses seeking to enter each category, highlights the quality of these awards and what they represent.

Can you sum up 2021 from a supply chain perspective?
2021 has been an interesting year for supply chains! We have seen a lot of positive change, as well as quite a few challenges – which no doubt will require innovation to resolve going into 2022. While we are seeing blue sky innovation and ideas increasingly adopted within supply chains and an increased curiosity toward doing things better, smarter and more sustainably, we are also seeing fundamental errors at a base level, which threaten the integrity and trust in our supply chains. Issues at the core such as raw material shortages, resulting in delays and wasted product, will no doubt demand serious consideration and well thought out resolutions as we move forward.

Do you have any advice for future Supply Chain Excellence Awards competitors?
Foods Connected would encourage any companies in this space to apply for these renowned and highly credible awards! Achieving recognition here is a fantastic form of recognition for any business operating with supply chains.

Want to see Foods Connected and OSI on the night, along with other industry leaders shortlisted for their excellence? Book your table today!

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