DNA testing on meat

Multi-faceted fraud fight

Sir, It is important that Chris Elliott has a continuous voice in your magazine, reminding us how much effort is required to guarantee safe food for shoppers (‘We need a UK fortress’, 8 April, p27). Each of our designed actions will act as a barrier against risks and each one alone is not effective: only the combination of them from different angles will help us to minimise the risk. Companies should strengthen their supply chain by introducing more barriers, like DNA for speciation analysis, or new techniques like SIRA and trace elements analysis for origin verification.

Rupert Hodges, executive director, Oritain UK

Are you NLW compliant?

Sir, The national living wage, applying to workers aged 25 and over, is set for an increase this month from £7.20 to £7.50/hour, effectively an almost 12% rise in salary over 18 months for workers on the minimum wage. The government’s plan is for the NLW to increase to over £9/hour by 2020, in its bid to move towards a high wage, low welfare economy. The change has hit retail and hospitality hard, with small businesses set to suffer more than larger ones.

NLW fines can reach £20,000 per unpaid worker and criminal prosecutions can disqualify company directors for up to 15 years. A key pitfall will be understanding what counts towards the NLW. Benefits, pension payments, allowances and overtime premiums are all excluded, which can sometimes cause employers unwittingly to break the law.

Keely Rushmore, senior associate, SA Law employment team

Shift the data dynamic

Sir, Last week saw coverage of the GCA investigation into claims of favouritism, suggesting that clients of Dunnhumby’s data service get preferential treatment from Tesco.

Dunnhumby was singled out somewhat unfairly. Retailers, not just Tesco, are at fault. Moreover, data services are just the tip of the iceberg as retailers sell 10 times more shopper media than they do insight to their suppliers. While retailers over-charge for data or media, or worse use it as a Trojan horse for charging fees to brands, the market for these services will stagnate. A shift in dynamics is needed so that brands are able to make genuine and effective investments in insight and media that drive sales for both brands and retailers alike.

Matt Lee, director at shopper media agency Capture