Paul Shattock, food and drink sector specialist at commercial insurer the National Farmers Union - trading as NFU Mutual - has reminded manufacturers of the importance of risk management to avoid product recall issues on a global scale.

Shattock’s reminder is in response to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announcement last week regarding government intentions to increase Britain’s non-EU exporting potential to £2.9bn by 2020, with 75% of the growth outside the EU.

Shattock said: “It’s very exciting to hear the plans released last week from Defra. With a rise in interest in British-manufactured food, this is a great time for producers to break into new markets and increase sales on existing exports. With new markets come new challenges, and it’s important that manufacturers have robust risk management strategies in place to prevent large-scale hitches from hindering new business relationships.

“Aside from major disasters such as fire, and public or employee liability matters, there are few more potentially costly situations for food and drink manufacturers than facing a product recall. While recalls can be required for most types of products, food and drink manufacturers are particularly vulnerable to risks that might compromise their products – such as mislabelling and contamination.”

Research from NFU Mutual, released in May this year, showed that following a product recall, 17% of people would not buy a product again. Younger age brackets are more heavily influenced by product recalls with 23% of 18- to 24-year-olds losing trust in a brand.