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Promoting food logistics excellence across the board

05 November 2014

The FSDF is the sole trade body which represents and supports the interests of the entire food logistics industry. Working closely with members to identify the issues that really matter, the CEO, Chris Sturman and the federation’s administration team are committed to ensuring its members’ voices are heard by all the relevant governmental departments, NGO’s, trade bodies and organisations, in UK and Europe.

Its purpose is to ‘Promote excellence in food and drink logistics’ and it does this by providing support and advice on cost efficiencies, environmental impact and sustainability, good business practice and legislation.  It also generates new business and networking opportunities, and through the organisation’s profile with Government and local boroughs, academia and other allied trade bodies, it ensures that the industry's interests are represented at the highest levels.

The Federation covers the whole temperature controlled storage and distribution industry, from frozen to ambient.  With its main members from the food and drink storage and distribution sector, the FSDF also has retail, foodservice and wholesaler membership and Associate members who supply a wide range of equipment, vehicles and support services.

As the industry is subject to stringent controls and legislation, the FSDF supports its members with professional advice and assistance on Food Safety, Health and Safety, Transport Regulations and a host of other complex legislative areas. This is delivered through specialist advisory groups and established two-way working relationships with relevant academic research institutions and Government Departments such as Defra and Department of Energy & Climate Change.

In the wake of the Elliott Report, the FSDF has a position on the newly formed Food Standard Agency Data and Intelligence Working Group, which has been formed as part of the national food crime prevention network. This is, in effect, an intelligence hub which will address data collection and intelligence about illegal activities across the supply chain, overseeing trends in commodity trading and pricing across commodities which have the potential for adulteration.

The FSDF was also one of the first organisations to create a Primary Authority Partnership Scheme, aligning with Slough Borough Council to help tackle the key compliance issues affecting members’ businesses and ensure members benefit from legitimate compliance advice, reducing the associated risks and costs of non-compliance.

Chris Sturman commented: "The Food sector is quite rightly subject to considerable and ever changing regulations that can prove difficult for businesses to fully understand what is required and when it is required.  The FSDF creates connections and builds relationships with the people and organisations that can make a difference to our members and offer support and guidance when it matters. When it comes to compliance, the team at Slough Borough Council PAP offers our members complete peace of mind that they are meeting the industry regulations, therefore reducing risk and potential costs.”

Health & Safety Leadership
The FSDF has a developed working relationship with the HSE and has successfully represented members’ interests by influencing the HSE health and safety strategy for the relevant industry sector. In order to encourage further active engagement between its members and the HSE, the FSDF launched its Health and Safety Leadership Programme - a highly visible initiative designed for member companies who are more progressive and wish to assure they achieve the highest standards of health and safety performance.

Being part of the Health and Safety Leadership Programme, members have a proven commitment to ensuring their organisation’s health and safety programmes are in line with the aims of the HSE strategy, based upon the following essential principles:

  • Business leaders will be accountable for the prevention of harm from work activities and to recognise that it is part of the way they do business throughout the food logistics supply chain. 
  • Individuals at all levels will accept their roles and responsibilities for health and safety. 
  • Members continually strive to reduce both accidents and incidents within their businesses.
  • Recognition of the wider perspective regarding health and safety and the need to actively support and share best practice to improve the health and safety performance within our industry sector. 

The Technical & Safety Committee (TASC) of the Food Storage and Distribution Federation (FSDF) was recently named the winner of the Health and Safety category at the prestigious TCS&D Awards 2014 event where judges noted that the Health and Safety Leadership Programme was recognised by the HSE as exactly the sort of guidance in this area that the Government wants to achieve. 

TASC was selected by the independent judging panel as a clear winner, highlighting its dedication to raising the standards of health and safety, not just for its members but also for the industry as a whole. 

Specialist services and advice
The FSDF has a range of specialist committees formed of representatives from within the industry, who offer expertise from within the specific sector or industry.

The Technical and Safety Committee (TASC) supports members by helping them develop a better understanding of relevant legislation and safety regulations that affect their businesses, as well as encouraging and sharing best practice.

Chris Sturman also commented: "Health and Safety in the workplace is such an important issue, historically and currently, and the FSDF’s Technical and Safety committee (TASC) represents the future. It demonstrates the prowess, knowledge and experience of highly professional individuals with a great depth of experience in the food and drink logistics supply chain. The committee is comprised of experienced individuals in engineering and refrigeration, as well as safety advisors and specialists who use their considerable knowledge of best practice to enhance services for FSDF members.”

Following the integration of Transfrigoroute UK into the FSDF, the FSDF Transport Committee is the dedicated transport-focused area of the organisation, building on the internationally recognised brand name to provide the combined membership with an even louder, stronger voice throughout the UK and Europe.

The FSDF Transport Committee comprises 17 representatives from distribution operators, refrigeration manufacturers such as Thermo King, Carrier and Frigoblock, equipment manufacturers, fleet engineers and fleet management experts. The committee focuses on a full range of vehicle and trailer issues and supports the members in their understanding and liabilities surrounding new regulations. Other active committees include Business Affairs and Education and Training.

A global voice
The FSDF has built close connections with fellow trade associations, and also sits on DEFRA and Department for Transport industry committees. The Federation also frequently interacts with trade bodies such as the British Hospitality Association, the Food and Drink Federation, the British Retail Consortium, UK Dairy and Chilled Foods Association.

The FSDF has a global reach, as an affiliate partner of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses, working with the America based World Food Logistics Organisation, the Global Cold Chain Alliance and ECSLA, the GCCA European Division.