BREXIT and the Implications of Food Safety Cultural Compliance in the
Food Manufacturing Sector
Derek Watson1*, Stanley Yap2, Sophia Pandi3, John Husband4 and Fanos Tekelas5
1Senior Lecturer, University of Sunderland, UK
2Associate Professor, SEGi University, Malaysia
3PhD Research Student, University of Sunderland, UK
4Director, Consultancy and e-Learning, Totrain Company, UK
5Research Fellow, The Cyprus School of Business, UK
*Corresponding Author: Derek Watson, Senior Lecturer, University of Sunderland, UK.
February 23, 2018; Published: March 21, 2018
In theory food safety is a critical measurement, not just for economic and legal reasons but also for the moral integrity of the or
ganisation. However, in reality, the number of accidents or incidents particularly in the food manufacturing sector is a serious cause
for concern. The problem is further compounded with the onset of Brexit. Given the UK government’s floundering negotiation talks
and the pending conservative leadership challenge, it has resulted in a climate of uncertainty, a devaluation of currency and economic
instability. Food manufacturers along with other commercial businesses are reluctant to further invest until the economic future is
more transparent. In consequence, food manufacturers are seeking efficiency savings, whilst aiming not to compromise food safety
compliance. Whilst there are areas of best practice, sadly there are an increasing number of examples in which failure to comply to
food safety is resulting in lost of business, serious injury and in certain cases fatalities. This paper addresses Food Safety Cultural
Compliance within UK Food Manufacturers and identifies core issues that hinder the establishment of a proactive food safety culture.
The research study adopts a mixed methods approach in which five UK food manufacturers were consulted via 15 semi-structured
interviews with management and three focused groups. The data collected clearly indicates a commitment to food safety compliance.
However, the majority of organisations struggled to maintain consistent levels of food safety compliance despite implementing costly
training and development initiatives. Their strategic and operational drive to both enhance and maintain a positive food safety cul
ture was also undermined with the uncertainty of economic pressures and the quagmire of Brexit. The paper concludes with a series
of commercially viable recommendations within the context of the Brexit divorce and provides a clear contribution to the community
Keywords: Brexit; Food-Manufacturers; Food-Safety; Culture; Compliance
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