Details Matter or the importance of authenticity

Our two-day food authenticity and integrity training programme is for managers in technical, marketing and branding, 3rd party auditors and others.

What is food authenticity?

Food authenticity means that foods and food ingredients are accurately and appropriately represented to the customer (whether that be another food company or the final consumer). This concept of accurate and appropriate representation can apply to the contents of the food as well as the production methods, geographic origin, and other relevant characteristics.”

Quality Assurance and Food Safety magazine (August 2018)

One way of describing food authenticity is to say it does what it says on the tin!  But is this enough to satisfy the increasingly sophisticated demands of customers in a modern social media rich world?

Our newly revised Food Authenticity and Integrity Verification training course would suggest this is not enough.   While the law requires businesses to deliver on the details as laid out on a label or supplier specification, a conscientious and committed producer may want to go further.  They may also want to deliver on those qualities that are implied by their brand.  Even though these may be intangible they are expected by the customer.

The implications that brand, marketing and packaging have on the expectations of consumers for quality, authenticity and integrity are fundamental to our approach to this training programme. The combination of brand identity and the details on the label all contribute to the offer.

The label may state that your pack contains 500g of cooked prawns, squid, mussels, and clams, but what does the branding say about the quality of these ingredients and the amounts of each ingredient?  How do you ensure that the reality of the product lives up to the reasonable expectations of the consumer?

What you can expect to learn

During our two day training programme we will address issues of food crime, Vulnerability Assessment and Critical Control Points (VACCP), Threat Assessment and Critical Control Points (TACCP) and Quality Analysis Critical Control Points (QUACCP).  The main focus of our programme however will be on a new concept called Business Operator Control Verification (BOCV).

This new concept is derived from Food Standards Scotland’s Official Control Verification (OCV) methodology used by Environmental Health Officer (EHOs) to audit food businesses.  We have taken this approach and turned it into an effective management tool for food business operators.

Business control starts by understanding the nature of the offer to the customer and finishes when you are able to affirm that your food product is of the nature, substance or quality that customers would expect.

A key part of the training programme is an in depth analysis of a seafood product to establish what is expected of that product and how you will routinely evidence that you are meeting or exceeding the expectations of both the law and your customers. 

Companies that can understand the nature of their offer and evidence that they are living up to that expectation can have true confidence in their people, systems and products.

Course dates and further information

The programme is currently 50% funded for UK seafood businesses and our next remote course is on Tuesday 28 and Thursday 30 September 2021, with a further course scheduled for Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 October 2021.

Visit our Food Authenticity and Integrity Verification programme webpage to find out more about the course or email the onshore training team at Seafish.