Suppliers: go big on tech

Sir, The Sainsbury’s-Asda merger will have a huge impact on the ability of those in the retail market to compete, especially with the promise of 10% price cuts. While this may sound appealing for shoppers, it leaves margins for suppliers squeezed.

Like any other major change in the industry, M&As are a good opportunity for suppliers to move to a more technology-centric model. By leveraging predictive analytics for example, you can anticipate future problems. Similarly, consumption monitoring tools allow you to create customer-specific service offerings, instantly putting your business ahead of competitors.

Paul Black, CEO, Sales-i

Golden age of organic?

Sir, With a new study saying that people who eat organic are 25% less likely to get cancer, I can’t help but wonder whether we are about to enter a new golden age of organic.

Organic has had its ups and downs, but news such as this weakens the case of organic naysayers who claim organic is a fad. The fact is, organic isn’t only better for the environment, it’s considerably better for people as well. And consumers are noticing. Last year, sales of organic products in the UK rose to a record £2.2bn.

Amid regular news about how industrial farming is damaging the world we inhabit, I believe the time has come for food and drink manufactures to truly embrace organic as the best farming method to protect our planet and keep people safe and healthy. By doing so we can all reap the rewards.

Suranga Herath, CEO, English Tea Shop

PHE needs new approach

Sir, It seems to me that PHE is crying out for new approaches to food formulation, manufacturing and marketing. That message is perfectly clear to me - whereas the food industry is ready to go to war for the right to continue painting over the rust (‘Food and drink faces 145 targets for reformulation’).

It would be better for society if ‘Big Food’ became part of the solution. But if Big Food opts out for short term gain, it’ll only have itself to blame when a wave of disruptive food businesses step up to the challenge.

Uber vs black cabs, Blockbuster vs Netflix, Monzo vs every bank, Airbnb vs hotels, do we need any more examples? Beyond Meat, anyone?

Leo Campbell, via