PRESS RELEASE - July 19th 2016
S4RB, the global leader in supplier engagement, has urged private brand retailers across the US to act now and provide clear labeling around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on products.
This follows the Vermont Act 120 and Senate’s subsequent passing of a nationwide GMO food labeling bill. The Vermont law, which came into force on July 1st, states that all food packaged and processed for retail sale must highlight on the label if genetically engineered ingredients have been used.
Retailers are responsible for ensuring all private brand products meet the terms of the legislation, which is to be replaced by the nationwide labeling bill. Retailers must either remove non-compliant products from the shelves and lose sales - or keep them and risk penalties.
The new law provides a six-month grace period, allowing time for brands to get their houses in order and comply. When it comes to the retailers’ own brands the scale of change is significant as it requires a coordinated activity with all suppliers and manufacturers.
In response, S4RB offers a GMO labeling assessment to discover whether products contain these ingredients and advise on relevant packaging changes. Using its supplierENGAGE™ software, firms can efficiently contact suppliers, identify the presence of GMOs and aid the collection of more detailed information alongside PIM or PLM systems.
S4RB cleans and enriches the retailers’ own data before issuing pre-populated supplier surveys - where possible, saving time and ensuring better accuracy of responses.
Retailers benefit from a progress dashboard that provides real-time access to results and offers immediate visibility of suppliers or product categories requiring action.
Steven Howell, S4RB’s director of Business Development for North America, explains that supplierENGAGE™ not only helps with compliance but also enables private brand retailers to get ahead of the competition:
“Consumers are increasingly exercising their right to know how food is produced and that includes a demand for transparency about GMOs in food.
“Our system means that private brands can align their products closely with national brands on the labeling standard and get ahead of their private brand competitors. There’s opportunity to fill the gap left by national brands, which have pulled products in Vermont until the national standard for labeling is implemented. We see this being repeated in other states as the nationwide labeling bill takes shape.”