The Provision Trade Federation has called for greater standardisation of the IT used by retailers to collect product specs from own-­label suppliers.

It argued that the current system, whereby manufacturers with more than one customer have to submit large quantities of technical information to each retailer separately, was in­efficient.

There needed to be greater collaboration between the multiples in this area, it said.

In December, John Clague, head of technical services for Asda, told The Grocer there was potential for retailers' systems to share non-competitive details of similar products, such as allergen information.