Plough to Plate Report

The Plough to Plate Report provides a framework for the Food and Drinks Industry for identifying and prioritising the challenges of running a responsible business and highlights best practice.

This report aims to provide the Food and Drink industry with a Framework to be able to scan the horizon to identify the areas of greatest risk and opportunity and examples of good practice on how to respond to the challenges identified in this report.

- Paul Kelly,
Chairman, Plough to Plate Steering Group
The report highlights what industry is already doing to address these challenges, where the industry needs to continue to improve performance, and where the sector can better communicate existing good practice. It also provides a framework to identify the challenges across the supply chain. You may also like to download the Plough to Plate executive summary.

If the UK’s food and drink sectors are to compete successfully in domestic and international markets, we must create relationships that are collaborative, responsible and transparent; relationships that put aside the commodity-led and short-term approach that unfortunately still defines parts of the supply chain.

We now know that successful partnerships between retailers, primary producers and processors, when focussed on long term sustainability, can improve consumer confidence as well as create valuable brands. However in order to succeed, trust and communication throughout the chain is crucial.

The good practice identified in this report is really encouraging. The case studies illustrate that it is possible for players in the food chain to work together so that everyone benefits. On the other hand, the study has uncovered a gap between industry practice and consumer perception. While there is evidence that increasing numbers of consumers will pay more when it is clear that food is locally or regionally sourced or has other benefits, there is still widespread customer confusion. Much remains to be done in order to communicate benefits, such as higher animal welfare
or environmental standards, more effectively.

The industry too has a unique opportunity to encourage people to make the right nutritional choices and to use the most up to date technological developments to the benefit of consumers and the environment. The case studies in this report illustrate that the companies taking the lead in addressing these opportunities have enhanced their reputations and developed their markets.

We now need to see the principles of good practice identified in this report translated into action across the whole food and farming sector.