“Did you know that globally, more money is made from food fraud than narcotics?” asks Steve Hammans, Business Development Manager of Food Forensics.
Little wonder then, that food testing is big business, and with the recent slew of high profile allergy cases and conversions to veganism only adding to the pressure it’s more important than ever that foodservice companies have their products regularly and thoroughly tested.
That’s where Food Forensics comes in. Says Steve, “We’re experts in food authentication and safety who primarily provide laboratory testing services to the food industry: everything from validating the origin/production system of food through to the more common allergen identification, nutritional composition, meat and fish speciation as well as microbiological requirements.”
Since at Erudus we’re all about clarity when it comes to food data, we sat down with Steve to find out more about how Food Forensics can help the foodservice industry…
Since establishing in 2011 the business model has changed slightly.
“Initially we set up to provide origin testing solutions – i.e. validation of UK origin, and quickly realised that businesses did not want to deal with specialist laboratories, but wanted a ‘one stop shop.’ We expanded our offer accordingly and Food Forensics has grown to become a leading player.”
Essentially, Food Forensics is about helping the foodservice industry.
“We’re driven by adding value to our customer’s businesses – it may sound cliché but it really is true! If we don’t think we can do something, we’re the first to say so but everyone – Producers, Manufacturers, Retailers, Wholesalers and Caterers – has a legal obligation to ensure food safety and subsequently needs to test products periodically, and what we tend to find is that their incumbent testing either isn’t delivering best value or achieving much beyond ‘box-ticking.’ Which seems ok…until you get a product recall that might have been prevented, coupled with some very damaging PR. Our approach usually saves money and expands scope, putting their business in the best place.”
They always start with a simple question.
“It’s within the “what, where, when, how and why” elements that we unlock client savings. Which is why we always start with the same question: what are you trying to achieve?”
Their customer base is more varied than you might think.
“At a granular level it’s Technical Managers, but more generically we serve every business community in the food supply chain with their testing requirements: producers, Manufacturers, Wholesalers, Retailers and Caterers, but also accreditation/certification bodies and government agencies.”
Food Forensics pride themselves on making life easier for Technical Managers.
“Technical Managers often complain about having to chase multiple laboratories for different test results; or even to simply establish capability. But our network of expert, UKAS accredited laboratories means we can provide every test – with just one point of contact. In addition, we ensure that results are sent out with an interpretation. There is nothing worse than looking at a certificate and wondering what the result means! Our support is completely targeted at making their life easy.”
Bespoke solutions are also on the menu.
“Aside from providing any test requirement (standard or a specialist) we also build bespoke solutions for customers who require a ‘Managed Service’, which is where we sit down and discuss an annual programme that’s tailored to their needs and dynamically changes in accordance with results and risks to depending on their product range.”
Check out their monthly newsletter for a quick introduction.
“We produce a monthly Risk Newsletter which is very popular. Designed to be skim read in less than 10 minutes, it provides an overview of areas you may want to look at. Our January 2020 risk newsletter is available for Erudus customers right now.”
Food Forensics and Erudus share some common goals.
“Both businesses occupy that supporting services part of the food industry landscape and if you’ve ever plugged into that network it isn’t long before you’ll hear about Erudus simply because nobody else is providing the proverbial oil (i.e. the master data!) that everyone’s engine needs to do business with – in a manner that’s trustworthy, cost effective and meets the needs of every part of the industry ecosystem.
Both Erudus and Food Forensics occupy that supporting role segment – providing vital services and solutions to a range of complex and demanding challenges faced by the food industry.”