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How GS1 standards helped Mammy Jamia’s grow internationally

Date: July 27, 2016

Category: Opinion piece


Author: Gary Lynch

In the second part of Gary Lynch’s interview with Andrew Cairns, he explains how GS1 standards are helping him grow his business, Mammy Jamia’s, and access the international markets.

Andrew is the CEO at Mammy Jamia’s and a member of our Supervisory Board, representing our SMEs. Mammy Jamia’s creates premium fruit preserves, based on a family recipe. Their journey started at a humble market stall in Cheshire but now they’re enjoying international success.

Andrew Cairns - Mammy Jamia’s

Gary Lynch, CEO at GS1 UK: How has the adoption of GS1 standards helped you grow Mammy Jamia’s – what is it that made the biggest difference in its success?

Andrew Cairns, CEO at Mammy Jamia’s: Over the years of working on Mammy Jamia’s I’ve dealt with a number of the major UK retailers and it’s clear and exciting to me that there is a real demand from some of them for high quality ‘retail ready’ products from British, and indeed overseas, suppliers.

Buyers from the retailers are always on the look-out for innovative, creative and unique products for the different categories they work in, to help enhance the overall offering of their category but also provide something fresh and different for their customers. The strategic vision of brands like Mammy Jamia’s is to create and develop a brand with products that meet the demand – but we must ensure those products are ready for the shelf.

How GS1 standards helped Mammy Jamia’s grow internationally

Having GS1 barcodes is a massive box ticked for the buyers you meet and enhances the credibility of the product you’re presenting. GS1 standards help us, and other brand innovators, ensure our products are retail-ready with industry recognised standards being met and allowing a smooth transition into the multiple retail market place and efficient management of our stock in the supply chain.

Buyers from supermarkets like Waitrose and Morrison’s, where our products are stocked, are very impressed when you turn up to introduce new products and already have a barcode and GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) and are ready for the shelf.

Gary: How have GS1 standards helped you access the international markets?

Andrew: One major benefit of GS1 standards is that they’re indeed global and therefore the barcodes and GTINs are recognised and functional for multiple retailers, whether they be in the UK, Spain, the US, the UAE and beyond. This is hugely helpful – just imagine the time and effort required to set up labelling with different and specific coding systems for every country you want to trade in. In fact, that would make international export almost impossible with our particular model.

To be more specific, one issue we have is that we can’t do short runs of each of the SKUs we sell – so to have to alter the label design of each SKU for each country we are exporting to would be a real problem for our producers and our production model. As the barcodes and GTINs don’t have to be altered for each country we are exporting to, we can have larger production runs for export stock which is much more cost effective.

How GS1 standards helped Mammy Jamia’s grow internationally

In truth and quite simply, we wouldn’t be able to trade in the market places where we do without GS1 standards. Whether that be a multiple retailer in the UK or internationally, the globally recognised GS1 standards we are automatically grafted into when we joined GS1 UK, are fundamental to our ability to trade. The supply chain models of our target retailers all use GS1 standards and so it’s a simple ‘no-brainer’ for us to do the same.

And there’s also a great deal of specific and relevant added value you receive when you become a GS1 UK member – industry focused tutorials, webinars, articles and guidance is available online or via the wonderful telephone helpline support.

Without bias I can say GS1 UK are a fantastic organisation that try and do everything they can to ensure they are doing what’s best for their members. The GS1 vision is one of industry engagement, ensuring future market relevance and providing valued support for their membership.

I’m so glad we’re part of an organisation like that, I’m so glad we’re part of GS1 UK.

Gary: Thanks Andrew, that’s been a fascinating conversation about how challenging but also rewarding it is, to set up and grow a successful small business when already working full-time and how GS1 standards can help grow this business. Thank you Andrew.

Andrew: Thanks Gary.

Why Andrew thinks it’s so much more than just barcodes



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How a small family run business has grown into a global success - First part of Gary's interview with Andrew Cairns

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