At least one of the major supermarkets in the UK is looking into signing up own-label drinks suppliers to a traffic-light rating system based on risk management.

The scheme is being developed by insurer and risk management specialist Marsh, which has confirmed it is in talks with at least one of the UK's 'big four' grocers and several other retailers outside the UK.

Jeremy Moore, head of the European Product Risk Practice at Marsh, has developed an online programme that retailers can use to rate suppliers on product safety and risk management.

Red would denote a supplier that represented an unacceptable risk to a retailer and green a 'good risk'.

Retailers could also use the system to identify where problems within the supply chain lie - if there are any - and how to fix them.

"There is a particular emphasis in the assessment on recall strategies and regulatory compliance and we hope that use of the scheme will result in a lower level of product recalls," said Moore.

"Ultimately retailers want to protect the reputation of their brands and to retain the loyalty of their customers and this system will help them do that."

Moore believes there are also benefits for the supplier. "Potentially a supplier identified as a green risk would be far more beneficial in a retailer's eyes," he said.

Moore also says there is potential for the scheme to be rolled out across all own-label suppliers, not just the drinks category.

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