The Importance of Credentials and Safety Regulations of Food Suppliers

A food and beverage business is one of the largest industries globally, providing an array of products such as food and drink, including fresh produce and meats to catalogues, alcohol, and even cigarettes. F&B suppliers in Singapore that are looking for reliable food suppliers always try to make sure they find the best ones. But how do you define the term “best”? Are these companies certified? Do we have confidence in them? Can they guarantee the freshness and quality of their products?

As a food manufacturer, if you find yourself trying to create your shortcuts and take a more straightforward approach, you will likely cut corners and hire the wrong food distributors in Singapore. This can end up costing you in more ways than one, including less than satisfactory services that lead to increased cost for poor quality and services.

Here is a quick look at some of the most important things you need to consider before hiring a food supplier.

Know the Different Food Suppliers

Even though there are many types of food businesses, they all have the same basic need: supplies of good-quality products that can be delivered on time at competitive prices. And while this may sound simple enough, finding the right supplier can be more difficult than it appears. 

When we talk about food suppliers, we’re talking about businesses that provide products to restaurants, quick-serve eateries, cafeterias, and other establishments in the food industry. The kinds of products these businesses get from suppliers include (but aren’t limited to) meats, cheeses, and other dairy products, raw ingredients for making food items, and beverages.

In general, when people talk about food suppliers, they’re referring to food wholesalers or distributors. Wholesalers take ownership of products from manufacturers and sell them to retailers, who then sell them to consumers. On the other hand, distributors do not own the products they distribute. Instead, they act as independent sales agents for manufacturers and facilitate a transaction between the manufacturer and retail store without taking possession of any goods themselves.

There are many types of food suppliers in the industry, but we’ll focus on these four:

Manufacturers – These are companies that produce food products. They will often specialize in a specific product type, or they may be generalists that provide a range of products. If a supplier is a manufacturer, they may have their brand(s) directly to the customer.

Primary suppliers: These companies supply raw ingredients to manufacturers and other organizations. For example, meat processors often use direct suppliers for their meat products.

Wholesalers – Wholesalers take ownership of products from manufacturers and sell them in bulk quantities to retailers, who then sell them to consumers. 

Distributors – Distributors are responsible for bringing the product from the manufacturer to a retail store (or restaurant). They often deliver the product to various locations on behalf of the manufacturer and may also be responsible for selling it directly to the end-user if required.

Know their credentials from the background, licenses, certifications, and sanitary conditions.

Make sure that all the legal documents check out. They should have the required certifications and licenses to buy and sell food products. Such permits are issued by the government or other authorities that authorize their food supplier operation. A license is a proof that they have legally complied with all requirements set by the law for their industry. 

Aside from those, inquire about safety requirements. Check whether they follow the food safety norms while sourcing and storing the raw materials. Consider those with high sanitation standards on their premises and those who practice safe food handling procedures to minimize contamination.

Find out if they have any experience supplying goods to restaurants or cafeterias. Make sure that the foods are packed to ensure they won’t be exposed to extreme temperatures and other conditions that can compromise quality. The best food suppliers will pack foods in a way that preserves freshness and makes them easy to ship. They usually have their own food supply chain business or collaborate with a reliable cold-chain logistics company to achieve this.

The incredible diversity among suppliers in the food business industry makes it impossible to cover everything. There are just too many suppliers and too many things to consider about them. In other words, this isn’t an exact science. However, the guidelines we covered above should at least point you in the right direction toward finding everything you need from a wholesaler or supplier in today’s market.

TreeDots has developed a new business arm, TreeLogs, that focuses on providing cold-chain logistics support to procure food supplies and their delivery services. We offer multiple options to fit your needs, so fill up our contact form to get started.