Frequently Asked Questions…
What is Authenticate?
Authenticate is an online platform that was created to help food businesses map out their supply chains and manage all of the associated data in one place.
Members can subscribe to various software services to gain visibility of their direct and indirect suppliers and access additional features which enable them to monitor technical compliance as well as ethical, social and environmental standards throughout their trading network.
Who uses Authenticate?
Hundreds of food businesses use the platform, including farmers/growers, manufacturers, wholesalers, specialist suppliers, restaurants and retailers (including 4 of the top 6 supermarkets in the UK). For more specific examples, find our member case studies in the 'News' section.
The Authenticate directory contains over 15,000 company profiles from all around the world, including fresh/frozen fish/seafood, meat and dairy, fruit and veg, spices, nuts, ready meals, convenience foods, beverages, agents, and hauliers.
How does it work for Enterprise members?
Enterprise members submit a list of their products and suppliers to the Authenticate data team, who use a combination of custom-built software (designed by our own in-house developers) and traditional research methods to build up a full picture of their supply chains for all of their products on the platform.
The Authenticate Client Services team then help members to unlock the benefits of supply chain transparency and make the best possible use of all of the platform's key features, such as reporting tools, online auditing and KPI tracking to measure the performance of their suppliers.
How does it work for Basic members?
If your customer has asked you to join the platform, look out for an email which will contain a set of instructions to help you create your Authenticate profile.
Once you have logged in, simply click to accept links for the products you supply, or reject the ones you don't.
You will then be asked to map further down the chain so that we can send links to the next tier of suppliers, unless you are a grower/producer, in which case the process ends with you.
You will also be notified of any self-assessments that your customer requires you to complete, along with a set of instructions.
Am I able to view my supplier's certificates?
Once a product link has been accepted, Enterprise members have the ability to view accreditation certificates (such as Sedex, BRC, Soil Association, Marine Conservation Society) of their direct/indirect suppliers.
Will my certificates update automatically on the platform?
For the certification bodies we have live links to - yes, these will be automatically updated on the platform. Other certificates can be updated manually.
Who will be able to see my suppliers?
The customers that you are linked to can see the companies that appear in your supply chain, however your suppliers will not see any of your other linked customers. There is only visibility for members one tier up the chain and all the way down the chain.
What kind of reports can I create on the platform?
Enterprise members can run multiple reports for product lines. For example, these can include allergen/nutritional information (if this data has been added). You can also run various compliance reports for both your direct and in-direct suppliers, as well as geo-mapped location reports.
How are my suppliers notified and what are they requested to do?
This will depend on whether your suppliers are already members of Authenticate. If they are members, they will simply receive an email notifying them that they have a new link which they can either accept or reject. This is done very easily via the platform.
If they are not members, they will receive an email notification informing them that you have listed them as a supplier, along with an invitation to join the platform and accept product links, with detailed instructions on how to do so.
Who can see my company information?
Your customers and suppliers (providing they are Authenticate members), as well as the Authenticate team, will see the company information that you have made available on the platform. If you have added any private company or site notes, they will not be seen by anyone apart from the users of your platform. Your customers and suppliers won’t be able to see these notes.
Who will have access to the data I enter?
You are in control of the information you input onto the platform. If you choose to accept a product link request from one of your customers, they will then be able to see the supply chain information for that one product. However, this will not allow them to view other product chains and they cannot view other customers of yours.
Is the platform GDPR compliant?
Yes. In accordance with Article 6 of the GDPR legislation, Authenticate uses Legitimate Interest as the lawful basis for processing data and has carried out an Impact Assessment for all aspects of the service.
Authenticate's Information Systems Management has been audited and was shown to be compliant with ISO27001 information security standards, operating in line with international best practice.
Am I able to link up to my customers or do I have to wait for them to link with me?
There is not currently a function for you to send a link to your customers; links can only be sent down the chain to your suppliers. However, if you have a customer that is already using Authenticate, we could facilitate a product request and get you linked up.
I have to send questionnaires to my new suppliers for approval, can that be done on Authenticate?
Yes. The ‘Advanced Assessments’ tool allows you to create, send and collate responses to your own bespoke questionnaires. You can build a number of templates and send these out to direct suppliers, indirect suppliers or potential new suppliers that are a part of the Authenticate network. You can then use this to apply risk scores to any questionnaires gain an overview of supplier compliance.
Can I use Authenticate to store all of my product information?
Yes! All members can use Authenticate as a central repository for all of their product data. This includes all allergen/nutritional information, assurance data & environmental data. You can even build fully comprehensive specifications for each of your products using the new Spec Builder, although this is an additional paid feature.
Why should I become an Enterprise member?
Basic members are only able to create a company profile and accept product links from their customers, but Enterprise members benefit from several different features including deep supply chain mapping, full product data records, supplier performance management, online supplier audits and assessments. It's now also possible to create and share fully comprehensive product specifications with our add-on Spec Builder tool.
If you would like to find out more about Enterprise membership, fill in the form on the 'Contact us' page and we'll get back to you.
What is Authenticate trying to do?
Our mission is simple:
To establish a joined-up approach to transparency throughout the global food supply chain via a collaborative data platform
To support compliance through the key areas of product quality, environmental standards and social responsibility
To bring clarity and insight to the complex world of food and drink production
Can I talk to someone about this?
Absolutely! Our Client Services team (located at Authenticate HQ in Harrogate, North Yorkshire) can be reached by phone every day from 9am - 5.30pm. If you need help using the platform, or want to find out more about becoming an Enterprise member, give us a call: 01423 548583