James Butcher

James Butcher is an experienced director and entrepreneur with over 25 years’ experience in retail, food, manufacturing and packaging. Initially with a focus on packaging coding labelling, artwork and inspection systems, James helped to revolutionise the retail barcode labelling market with Prestek. Following a trade sale to Markem, James helped achieve an estimated 70% worldwide market share for its SmartDate range of thermal overprinters as global product manager. This was achieved across categories including food, beverage and pharmaceuticals, working with both global brands and private brand manufacturers. In the late 1990s, James was founding director of Claricom, which progressed to world market leader for Packaging Coding Management software and consulted to major retailers on barcodes, artwork management and best practice coding and traceability. James Butcher joined Solutions 4 Retail Brands (S4RB) in 2009 as managing director, and has led the transformation of the business from specialist advisers on retail brands, to the market leader in consultancy-led software provision of cloud-based tools for Supplier Engagement and UBX (Unified Brand Experience).

Recent Posts

How many people does it take to implement a PLM?

The question may not be as pithy as a pending bar room joke, but in discussion with an own brand retailer, we recently found ourselves having this very discussion.
16 January, 2019

Is supplier engagement a nice to have?

Regular readers will know that we are huge exponents of retail own brand teams working with their store brand suppliers as ‘one team’- and meaning it (as opposed to just talking to it).
09 January, 2019

The importance of supplier engagement to achieve nutritional improvements

When asked what we mean by ‘supplier engagement’ - which is still a relatively new concept in many own brand retailers - it is about better facilitating supply related processes or supplier related initiatives through better communication, better...
26 September, 2018

Supermarkets ask suppliers to prepare for Brexit 'no deal'

The noise about Brexit is only on the increase as the ‘deadline’ approaches.  However, many of the issues discussed in the press are intangible to the proverbial ‘man in the street’.  
24 August, 2018


At a recent FoodEx and associated exhibition I attended in the UK, there were some great artisan products on show. There was an array of assorted cheeses, an increased prevalence of chilli and a small number of speciality gins including the...
22 August, 2018

Are labels confusing customers?

Clean label has been focused on the removal of 'bad' ingredients, with consumers demanding a return to transparency through authenticity.  Unsurprisingly, ‘Free From’ and other such health trends were at the forefront at the 2018 Food & Drink...
15 August, 2018

Price versus provenance: the challenge facing retailers

There is a lot of discussion about the need for transparency in the supply chain. The 'clean labelling' initiative continues to grow, with the driver for clear and unambiguous labelling, simpler 'pure' ingredients and clear provenance.
01 August, 2018

The history of the barcode

We all now take for granted barcodes in our daily life.  We scan them at the checkout for a daily or weekly shop.  We scan them on event tickets.  We even now expect to scan them on our smart phones.  Although most of those technically aren’t...
27 June, 2018

Own brands need a clear brand proposition

Against the news that Italian restaurant chain Prezzo is to close 94 of its 300 restaurant outlets (in the same week the FT reported that profits at the top 100 UK restaurants dive 64% in a year), I was interested in the comment by Ingo Braeunlich,...
23 May, 2018

Convenience drives footfall

At last month's FoodEx and associated exhibitions there were some great artisan products on show. There was the usual array of cheeses, an increased prevalence of chilli and, dare I say, a decline in speciality gins?  But most striking was the...
02 May, 2018
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