FRANCE – DNV GL, one of the world’s leading certification bodies, and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) in collaboration with The Consumer Goods Forum have identified certification as the most efficient tool for the advancement of food safety.
Based on a survey carried out on 1600 industry experts, majority (79%) of companies view certification a necessity and a ‘passport to trade’ in business whilst more than half (53%) view certification as a means of improving food safety across the industry.
According to the experts, improved ability to comply with regulations is the highest rated benefit of certification, with improved safety and quality coming in second.
Certification is also a key factor in driving improvements across the industry’s food safety programmes and supply chains.
“Certification represents a rising concern for key actors of the food industry, but it also presents massive opportunity.
The results of the survey clearly show that certification is at the heart of businesses looking to drive positive change across their value chains.
Manufacturers and retailers must maintain full transparency in the certification process to help bridge the trust gap between their efforts and consumers’ concerns.
Although there is still a tentative approach to technology investment, having the correct framework in place will let organisations focus on producing safer products, while keeping the consumer at the heart,” said Veronique Discours-Buhot, Director at the Global Food Safety Initiative.
Certifications and digital solutions in food safety
While certification is placed as top priority, industry leaders are also exploring digital solutions in improving food safety.
The survey indicated that today, only 1 in 10 companies are currently using new digital technologies to a great extent to ensure food safety and 4 in 10 said they were considering the same.
A journey to digital solutions is primarily determined by the amount of investment required, with more than a quarter of companies saying they do not know how much they will invest in digital solutions in the next 12 to 18 months.
14% of the industry experts said they will not spend in this area at all.
Consumer health, compliance and customer needs were some of the key factors identified to be driving advancement of food safety, which remains core for all players in the value chain.
Looking ahead, food safety culture and digitalization are rising opportunities.
The rise of Food safety culture on the agenda emphasizes the human element.
New digital technologies do not seem to be a widespread means to address food safety.
However, we already see companies benefitting, increasing transparency in the certification process, managing supply chains and building consumer trust.
Digitalization offers new opportunities to advance food safety and the only way to fully utilize the potential is to continue to work together,” said Ingunn Midttun Godal, Global Director Business Development, DNV GL-Business Assurance.
Certification is vital as it helps most organisations and businesses to consistently produce safe, quality food that meets specification.