With over 80 years’ experience working with a variety of food based businesses across the East Midlands, we are able to offer sound commercial and strategic advice to companies within the food sector.
We understand the importance of effective distribution channels and methods of transportation having advised a number of our clients in the chilled, ambient and frozen food sectors. Our specialist team have in-depth knowledge of the food sector, recognising the specific challenges that food businesses face, while helping to reduce the impact of these on business performance:
Lack of funding & increased compliance costs
With emerging technologies in food processing intensifying competition in the food industry, it’s a challenging time for small food and drink businesses. A major by-product of this revolution is the lack of funding availability to support business growth, impacting on product development as well as the essential R&D required to comply with industry standards. Coupled with the increasing cost of compliance to meet regulatory requirements, these challenges require food retailers, distributors and restaurant owners to operate more cost efficiently. As a result, more emphasis has been placed on customer retention, expense management and overall cost reduction.
Commodity price fluctuations
Due to continued global growth placing pressure on food demand, in addition to increased agriculture and food production costs, food businesses are likely to experience fluctuating prices for some time. It is possible that commodity prices will be exposed to periods of volatility in future, due to shocks in production caused by extreme weather as a result of global warming. As cost of goods are a key driver behind profitability for food and food services, price fluctuations not only cause significant financial uncertainty for businesses but also negatively impact on operational costs and bottom line profits. Food services, producers, manufacturers and retailers need robust, commercial advice from experienced food sector experts to tackle these issues, while maximising value and minimising costs to the business.
High staff turnover reducing productivity
A common challenge for food businesses, particularly in the current economic climate, is keeping labour costs to a minimum while retaining high profits. This has caused a productivity crisis among the food industry, due to the ‘revolving door’ culture that has formed as a direct result of staff cuts to reduce operational costs. In turn, many food and food service businesses are faced with a less productive workforce, increased skills gap and over-reliance on temporary staff to fix the shortages. As one of the main customer retention drivers in the food industry is quality service, declines in customer experience levels inevitably forces sales to take a hit, further intensifying productivity issues. One key solution to this problem is the implementation of focused staff recruitment and retention strategies, alongside effective performance management practices.
Supply chain management
Food businesses often have to contend with a complex supply chain process that can trigger invisible expenditure and cost inefficiencies for the business. Unique pricing structures, lack of understanding of margins as well as an imbalance of power that independent food producers have in comparison to major supermarket retailers are all key factors that contribute to increased costs. The costs of compliance imposed by larger businesses, from the pesticides used by growers to the strict standards enforced around contamination, are often passed to the smaller groups within the supply chain to absorb. Producers need to have the right expertise in place to fully understand and manage the costs involved in the process to ensure return on investment for their business.
We are able to provide specialist advice on UK and European agricultural policy/subsidies, business planning, HR solutions, taxation, raising debt or equity funding, and acquisitions and disposals.
For more information, please email email@example.com.