Acoura adds experience to help food clients

From L-R: Ton Christiaanse, Lisa Ackerley and David Gregory

Acoura has made three appointments to improve food safety and help customers battle fraud.

The firm said supply chain security and food safety form two of the biggest threats to customers’ reputations and brands.

It counts Arla, Baxters, 2 Sisters Food Group, Dunbia and Marine Harvest as customers.

David Gregory, Ex-Marks and Spencer technical director, Ton Christiaanse, Ex-Vion CEO and Professor Lisa Ackerley have been named as strategic advisers to the board of the food sector compliance business.

One area of the ‘strategic advice’ will be on how Acoura can identify and address issues within customer’s businesses and supply chains.

Growing areas of importance

Paul Egan, group chair, said issues such as sustainability, traceability, food fraud and supply chain management have never been more important.

Acoura believes that a pure audit based solution does not in itself solve the problem and that a more integrated approach is needed.

We are focussed on helping to do that and by bringing in David, Lisa and Ton we have added some of the most experienced operators in the food and drink sector to our team, they will in turn be able to pass their knowledge and insight on to our clients across the supply chain.

These people complement our existing teams by providing experiences from the highest level combined with an implicit understanding of our customers’ needs and the challenges they face. Between them their experience and knowledge of the food supply chain and the companies they have worked for speaks for itself.”

The appointments coincide with the implementation of Acoura’s supplier management system to a UK hospitality provider, which it did not name.

It allows them to manage compliance and risk within their portfolio of over 600 products from 120 suppliers including food and product issues (including recall), nutritional claims, allergens, quality and safety, provenance and supplier assurance.

Past experience

Gregory will step down as chair of the food assurance scheme Red Tractor after six years in office.

A visiting professor at the University of Reading Centre for Food Security, a member of the industrial advisory board of the Roslin Institute and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, Gregory spent 26 years working as technical director for Marks & Spencer.

Ton Christiaanse brings 25 years of expertise from work at board level with the likes of Sara Lee and Chiquita. He has experience of the FMCG market and was ‘instrumental’ in Vion becoming the second largest supplier to British retail, said Acoura.

Professor Ackerley appears on the BBC offering opinion on food safety legislation and food technology issues.

A Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, she is also a Visiting Professor of Environmental

Health at Salford University, Specialist Food Safety Adviser at the Royal Society of Public Health, and was presented with “The most Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award” from the Society of Food Hygiene Technology in 2011.

Acoura is a provider of BRC audits, Red Tractor traceability assessments and organic inspections to its 1,200+ food processing customers. 

It has international fish processing customers due to its position as a supplier of MSC Chain of Custody audits.

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