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With no universal standard available that would fully address supply chain quality improvement goals, Marks and Spencer introduced its own programme, Field to Fork, in 2003.
This code of practice covers all aspects of quality, hygiene and safety within their fresh produce supply chain, allowing them to categorise crops based on the level of risk to consumers. It is comprehensively described for suppliers in a Codes of Practice document and the auditing standard is set out in the Field to Fork Assessment document.
“We believe our Field to Fork scheme goes way beyond the British assurance schemes used by other retailers, being the first to include such a wide range of requirements.” M&S, Corporate Social Responsibility report, June 2005.
Muddy Boots Software was implemented to enable data to be gathered through a pocket or mobile device that prompts and disciplines the Assessment process. Once collected, the data does not need to be re-entered so Assessment completion is very quick and the resulting information and actions are available immediately. The Greenlight Assessment software dramatically reduces the risk of error and minimises food safety issues.
“The M&S brand depends on the quality of our products. M&S ‘Field to Fork’ and Muddy Boots is key to helping us maintain the highest standards with our suppliers and a core element in meeting our Plan A corporate and social responsibilities.” Paul Willgoss, Head of Technology, Marks and Spencer.
“The Field to Fork audit is not only an excellent compliance tool, but because it is carried out by M&S Direct Suppliers, it is well suited to promoting continuous improvement in technical standards,” Niall Cameron, Produce Technical Manager, Bakkavor Group.