Number four in the overall ranking last year, Food & Product Safety – including standards, traceability and consumer confidence – is now in second place as a concern, knocking the Economy & Consumer demand into third place from its pole position last year.
The rise is fuelled by manufacturers who, during the past year, have faced the recall of half a billion eggs in the US, and then meat & eggs from Germany being tainted with dioxin. And consumers point the finger at manufacturers, not retailers, according to the figures from Nielsen presented at the Consumer Goods Forum Food Safety Conference in Washington last year.
In particular, food manufacturers in the Top of Mind survey voiced their concerns about …
Many of these concerns were addressed at the Consumer Goods Forum Food Safety Conference in London this year, where many positive stories were provided by speakers from blue chip manufacturers who have adopted GFSI practices to impressive effect.
Carletta Ooton, vice president and chief quality & product integrity officer of The Coca-Cola Company highlighted how the company has benefited from tapping into the GFSI for its suppliers.
“GFSI is part of a network of people, resources and tools to enable food safety throughout our enterprise – it’s now part of our culture,” said Ms Ooton, who did point to a lack of qualified auditors in places such as Africa as a possible barrier to having 100% of the company’s suppliers certified to GFSI in the short-term. “We need global consistency, and our suppliers can use any of the GFSI benchmarked schemes.”
The GFSI is stepping up to meet its challenges, with the introduction of its new GFSI Capacity Building Programme – Global Markets, which has been set up to help suppliers around the world achieve the levels of safety recognised by the GFSI standards. And the new GFSI Packaging Technical Working Group, which is designed to support an ‘end to end supply chain approach’ for food safety to cover packaging in the same way as it does ingredients and manufacturing processes.
Further, better communication of its activities is part of the GFSI’s strategic priorities for this year, so watch this space. There’s support at hand and there has never been a better time to be addressing food safety in a global context.
Claire Rowan is managing editor of Food & Beverage International magazine. Subscribe here.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019