Costs of up to £450m could be stripped from the foodservice supply chain in a major initiative by the leading companies and organisations in the industry. The Federation of Wholesale Distributors and the Food and Drink Federation have teamed up with leading suppliers and distributors to form the Optimum Foodservice Supply Chain Initiative. The organisation was unveiled at a conference this week and set itself four objectives ­ removing unnecessary costs from the supply chain, shortening lead times, reducing working capital in the chain and to drive service levels. OFSCI intends to set up industry standards in a number of areas and is looking at the use of barcodes throughout the foodservice sector and web based ordering systems. The first outcome of the OFSCI's work will be a standard structured product database and New Lines Form that will be available via the internet, and utilise technology supplied by Udex, which is already being implemented by Tesco, Sainsbury and Iceland. Fred Barnes, chief executive of 3663 and chairman of OFSCI s steering group, said: "The onward march of technology presents huge opportunities to remove innefficiency and unnecessary costs, right across our industry. "The possible financial benefits of OFSCI's work could be as much as £450m in the UK alone, spread evenly across the foodservice supply chain. "The intention is then to extend these practices across Europe where potential savings are even greater." Members of OFSCI include Brake Bros, 3663, DBC, King UK, Heinz Singleservice. Kellogg's, Kraft, MasterFoodServices, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and RHM Foodservice. More details about the OFSCI will be released at the FWD annual conference at Celtic Manor, Newport, South Wales on April 15-16. {{NEWS }}