Standing still is not an option. As food safety moves up the global agenda, demands are being made by consumers, retailers, regulators and stakeholders to raise the level of food protection around the world. Food safety has risen to prominence for several reasons including a growing population, scarcity of natural resources, globalisation, sustainability and advances in modern technology.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) 2019 Food Safety report, unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers. An estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year.
Unsafe food practices can have devastating consequences. A food safety incident in one part of the world has the potential to go global within hours. The human and business costs of failure can be catastrophic harm to consumers, loss of trust, damage to the brand, costs in terms of product recalls and redesign.
Every day, food and beverage manufacturers face demands for ever-higher standards of food safety and quality from consumers, retailers, regulators and shareholders. Consumers expect that the packaged food they buy will taste good and be safe to eat or drink. Retailers need to make sure that the packages on their shelves are attractive and have not been damaged on their way through the supply chain. Regulators are demanding, and increasingly legislating, to make sure manufacturers meet ever-higher food safety standards. And shareholders want to make sure their company’s reputation, growth and profitability are not put at risk by excessive waste or costly quality issues.
So how can the food and beverage (F&B) manufacturing industry adapt? How can it become smarter and more proactive through digital solutions to prevent food safety issues before they occur? Working together with partners, using smart technology will secure its transformation to meet the food safety challenges of the rapidly changing world of the future.