The value of Silver Framework experience in the FMCG industry

After speaking with FMCG professionals, Real Staffing’s Food & FMCG team have seen a trend in the demand for Silver Framework experience as an essential skillset. With leading companies enforcing this demand, we look at how this is impacting the entire industry.

What is the Silver Framework?

As one of the largest retailers in the UK, Marks & Spencer (M&S) have begun changing the entire FMCG industry with their framework requirements. Operating with bronze, silver, and gold metrics, suppliers are having to meet the key M&S requirements within ethics, efficiency (lean manufacturing), and environmental sustainability. By 2020, all M&S suppliers must meet the criteria for silver framework to continue to do business with them. When a supplier site reaches Silver, they will undergo a validation to verify a score. To meet the requirements before 2020, suppliers must be focused on meeting the following objectives:

  • Able to demonstrate progress over time and regularly achieving targets

  • Good governance systems in place with correct training

  • Evidence of change embedded with staff and a culture of CI at all levels

  • Belong to a top tier of sites within industry

How the Silver Framework will impact the FMCG industry

With M&S being a leader in the UK food market, suppliers cannot risk the decrease in business by not adhering to these new standards. From this drive, M&S has helped change the entire FMCG industry, by changing the requirements and cultures with their suppliers, who may also operate as suppliers for other retailers. Due to this requirement, smaller businesses are also looking for experience with silver (or above) framework, making it essential experience for FMCG professionals. As suppliers seek to meet the criteria of silver framework, the main strategy to meet the requirements are:


  • Risk assessments of the supplier’s raw materials, and their impact on the environment

  • To create significant reductions to energy, water and waste by implementing larger projects.

  • Enabling a percentage of a supplier’s site can create on-site renewable energy.

Ethical Trade

  • To create staff surveys, that exceed 60% in engagement.

  • Reflect and represent the site’s workforce via an elected worker.

  • In-depth diversity training for all supervisors and management within each site.

Efficiency (Lean Manufacturing)

  • Working as a team with suppliers to develop improvements.

  • Implementation of high-level process analysis by senior managers, to improve process and strategy development.

  • Cultural drives with staff to enforce a continuous improvement mind set.

The value of Silver Framework experience

The adaption of silver framework is becoming an industry standard, Real Staffing’s FMCG specialist, Yasmin Bunn, explains, “In the last 12 months I’ve seen a surge in my clients asking for Silver Framework experience. With 2020 being the deadline for all M&S suppliers, interims are being brought in to train the site on the new requirements. A successful candidate can train a team on how to present Silver Framework presentations, as well as managing site audits and providing the knowledge for future potential challenges within the team.”
M&S have proven to lead the industry in the past by being the first to introduce practises such as creating milk bottles from recycled material, offering 100% free range eggs, converting tea and coffee products to being Fairtrade, and to offer only 100% wild fish from sustainable sources. With these innovations in the history of FMCG, it’s expected the adaption of Silver Framework will be a required skillset in the future of the industry.

If you already have Silver Framework experience, now is the time to consider your next role and take advantage of this focus within the industry. Use our job search to find your next role. And if you’d like to find out more about how to gain this experience, speak with Yasmin today to find out more.

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