Consumers are clever and discerning; they want independent assurance that the food they are eating is safe and free from genetic modification, is sustainably sourced and is exactly as it claims to be on the packaging.
Consumer assurance is LRQA’s brand promise; our range of services from product authentication through to being assured as non-GMO - all underpinned by the latest technology from Clear Labs and DNA1, means that we can drive consumer trust in brands, whilst reducing the risk of costly recalls for manufacturers.
Simon Batters – Our Voice on Technology Solutions - talks about how consumer assurance will deliver brand protection and peace of mind to consumers worldwide.
You talk about consumer assurance being your brand promise; what does that mean?
Over the years, there have been multiple recalls and a steady erosion in consumer confidence. With technology underpinning food supply chain assurance, LRQA is now able to deliver information straight into the hand of the consumer to give them back the confidence that the food they are buying is authenticated and safe to eat.
At LRQA, we are committed to working together for a safer world and this underpins everything that we do.
Are there a range of services available spanning Non-GMO, product authentication?
Yes we realise that consumers need assurance for a number of attributes that cause them concern, which are in addition to food safety, such as, authenticity being GMO and Gluten free and being fully Organic. Initially we will focus on two DNA1 services; “100% Authentic” and “Non-GMO” these will be followed by “Organic” and “Gluten Free”.
So how does it all work and where do Clear Labs and DNA1 fit into this offer?
DNA1 is based on two key elements, the first is a New Genomic Sequencing (NGS) DNA test that is carried out independently by Clear Labs on the food product at batch level, this confirms the product’s contents, origins and composition. Secondly LRQA conducts an independent management system audit with certification to ensure that the product that is DNA1 assured by batch number, is from the same batch that has been tested.
For Authenticity, Clear Labs’ delivers high-resolution, universal NGS DNA tests that cover every potential biological adulterant. Powering stronger food safety systems and guarantee ingredient and product integrity. For Non-GMO, one Clear Labs NGS DNA test gives all possible GMO sequences within a sample. This scientifically guarantees that a product is in fact GMO-free through NGS technology.
What sort of information could a consumer expect to see on a QR code?
When a product displays the DNA1 Assurance mark it also carries a QR Code, consumers can scan this code and instantly view LRQA's DNA1 Certificate of Assurance for the product, detailing the brand, product name, ‘SKU’ number and batch/lot number that has passed the NGS DNA test for either ‘100% Authenticity’ or ‘Non-GMO’.
What’s the value in consumer assurance and are there different target markets?
We believe that putting assurance in consumer’s hands – literally - while they make important choices regarding what their family should eat is of significant value. Currently most food related assurance schemes are not geared to meet the consumer’s needs, many lack clarity, objectivity or independence.
There is a lot of noise in the marketplace about product assurance, what makes the LRQA offer unique?
LRQA's DNA1 offers a unique blend of factors, The digital consumer assurance certificate is delivered via QR Code in real time from two independent points of truth, LRQA's certification database and Clear Labs NGS DNA test results database. DNA1 uses NGS DNA testing on the actual product by batch before shipment and DNA doesn’t lie!
Your heritage spans back over 250 years and you talk about consumer assurance being in your DNA; what do you mean by that?
LRQA has been delivering independent assurance for the past 258 years. We help businesses manage food safety and authenticity risks and now we will help consumers make safe and healthy choices through extending independent assurance to consumers.
We exist to assure a better future for our clients their customers, consumers and the wider world. The profits we generate fund the LRQA Foundation, a charity which supports research, education and public engagement around everything we do. All of this helps us stand by the purpose that drives us every single day, it really is in our DNA!
You talk about consumer assurance helping with brand protection; how does it do that?
As new technology facilitates more accessible and effective assurance for the consumer, this same technology can be employed to deliver heightened brand protection through better control throughout the supply chain. Brands that embrace Independent Consumer Assurance products such as DNA1 will demonstrate a proactive approach to consumer assurance and brand protection.
How does consumer assurance work across supply chains?
DNA1 works on the final production batches before packaging and release to the market or along the next step within the supply chain. So it is safety net for each supplier across the supply chain.
Why should an organisation choose LRQA to drive their consumer assurance programmes?
LRQA is a well-respected supplier of independent assurance services through virtually every industry worldwide, over the past 250+ years LRQA has led the way with innovative approaches to deliver assurance across all sectors, as I mentioned earlier we exist to assure a better future for our clients their customers, consumers and the wider world. The profits we generate fund the LRQA Foundation, a charity which supports research, education and public engagement around everything we do. All of this helps us stand by the purpose that drives us every single day.