Moo Free unveils new traceability tool, The Hub

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The Hub allows Moo Free to trace every part of its supply chain
The Hub allows Moo Free to trace every part of its supply chain

Related tags Sustainability

Dairy-free chocolate maker Moo Free is strengthening its sustainability credentials with the launch of The Hub, a business tool offering the manufacturer complete traceability across its supply chain.

Developed off the back of a 2014 investment into traceability technology, the system has developed over time to cater for the changing requirements of the business.

The Hub holds information such as product make-ups and recipe formulations to raw materials and packaging, and feeds into the planning tool to manage usage and stock levels.

It logs all traceability information, from raw materials to finished goods, and holds all historical sales data by customer by line, as well as all orders, shipments, and invoicing. 

"The Hub is a new programme developed to aid the running of Moo Free,”​ explained Louise Adams, Moo Free’s Technical Director. “Installing this technology was vital to ensure we had close controls on our raw materials and finished goods.

Developing the system

The manufacturer has tried to use a number of systems in the past, but none of them were able to deliver on all the things it needed.

Co-founder Mike Jessop continued to develop the system – with input from department heads and operators – to keep up with Moo Free’s ongoing growth and create better user experience, quicker information gathering and seamless processes to manage all aspects of the business.

“As Mike Jessop is an experienced computer programmer and has had first-hand knowledge with the issues from off the shelf systems, it was something he set off to find a solution for,” ​said Adams.

“One of the main gaps from other systems was their batch traceability functions. Due to the category we are in, and the free-from status we have, it is imperative we have this traceability information on hand. This is a great example of where this technology is superior to others.”

Moo Free’s traceability process also includes: supplier auditing to ensure they meet the company’s brand standards; product recipe make up management; raw ingredient intake management; production line and operator information; best before dates of ingredients; production units; and dispatch management to end customers.

Food Safety Quality Management

The data in The Hub supports Moo Free’s ‘Food Safety Quality Management’ system and has regularly aided the business during audits to compile and present full traceability information in a quick and timely manner.

Adams said the system has proven invaluable to the business, especially when it is required to complete traceability exercises.

“The system allows both forward and backward traceability of raw materials, packaging and finished goods,”​ she continued. “The trace data is captured throughout the production process and onto the despatch of products, linked to customer orders.

“This is all achievable instantly within a few 'clicks' of The Hub. The amount of time this has saved is unmeasurable and the days of trying to reconcile archie paperwork are thankfully a thing of the past.” 

Moo Free supplies its free-from chocolate to all the major multiples in the UK as well as wholesalers, b2b manufacturing and export customers. Moo Free went on to report a record year end for 2023 with 20 per cent growth versus 2022. This is in part thanks to gaining retail distribution in recent months for their award-winning chocolate, with new listings in Sainsbury’s and deepened retail distribution in other major grocers including Tesco, Asda, and Morrisons.