UK Grocery retail is facing an estimated tenfold increase in costs across the supply chain owing to upcoming plastic and packaging regulation changes. The new ‘Plastic Packaging Tax’ and updates to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) up the ante on packaging waste reduction. They also move the focus beyond recyclability to recycled content as consumer awareness reaches a fever pitch in the wake of Sir David Attenborough’s 2017 Blue Planet II series.
Whilst the financial impact will be spread across the supply chain, it will ultimately ripple through to retailers and consumers. Therefore, retailers need to collaborate with suppliers now to mitigate these costs and execute on their existing commitments to industry initiatives like the UK Plastics PACT. With own brand products (also referred to as private or store brands) responsible for around 50% of UK grocery sales, the need to drive change across the supplier-base is especially true for retailer own brand teams. That is why own brand supplier engagement experts Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) are working with leading provider of environmental compliance services, Valpak, to offer retailers insights and change management to minimise packaging, maximise recycled content and maximise recyclability.
“S4RB are experts in own brand supplier engagement and work with many of the top own brand retailers. They have proven expertise to align, engage and activate private brand suppliers to drive the understanding and action required for transition” explains Steve Gough (CEO, Valpak). “S4RB have a proven track record to integrate with existing data systems such as product lifecycle management (PLM) and Oracle ORBC, and to share the right KPI with suppliers to drive change. We are excited to combine S4RB’s expertise with our Valpak packaging insights and regulatory expertise to enable retailers to drive change and reduce costs for their own brands”.
“Supplier engagement is built on three pillars – communication, transparency and support”. Explains James Butcher, CEO of S4RB. “In simple terms, businesses need to determine what they need to achieve and by when, set clear KPIs and monitor them effectively in order to continuously improve. S4RB have significant experience and expertise in helping manage this change process within own brand retail – from legislative changes such as the 2014-16 Food Information Regulation, ‘Natasha’s Law’ and Brexit to nutritional improvements. Packaging represents a massive opportunity for change and working with Valpak we’re confident we can support retailers to reduce costs, minimise packaging and ensure own brand products that deliver against the increasing consumer demand for sustainable solutions.”