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Forces Shaping The Future Of Global Food Safety

The global food safety industry will also see a shift away from traditional models to a more modernist set of digital disruptors

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The food industry has grown into one of the world’s largest industries, with food safety becoming a focus area. With globalization, food supply chains have become longer and complex and the ability of these food systems to provide healthy and sustainable diets to billions of people around the world needs to be examined. The way food is grown, handled, stored and transported before it is even consumed all expose it to the risk of contamination.

June 7 th , 2020 was the second World Food Safety Day. It is a time to raise awareness and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks. The food industry plays an important role in reinforcing food safety and hygiene practices, especially in the wake of COVID-19. The biggest takeaway from this pandemic is the increased focus on health, personal hygiene and sanitation. Future trends will see automation in food packaging to avoid human touch, sanitized delivery vehicles, adhering to personal hygiene and social distancing norms and rising importance of environmental monitoring plan and swab testing, will be the new normal.

The global food safety industry will also see a shift away from traditional models to a more modernist set of digital disruptors, given below.

Data, the New Gold

The usage of big data is a new trend in food safety which not just helps assess potential risks, but also enables early detection and thereafter support decision making. We need data-driven solutions for better management of food safety issues.

Today, consumers are well-aware and expect information about nutrition and provenance on the foods they consume. The availability of technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, will allow for transparency, and help eliminate inefficiencies from the food supply chain. This incorporates not only food safety but segmenting populations to customize actions, replacing human decision making and innovating new business models and products. Artificial Intelligence will also improve the productivity of agriculture to unprecedented levels, which will be needed to overcome current and future food production issues.

New skill sets

To feed the global population nutritiously and sustainably by 2030, future food scientists will require new skill sets to help mould the future of the global food industry in a more efficient way. The rise of emerging technologies like Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will lead to increased demand for skill sets that have a sustainable economic advantage. We will need different agilities to lead food safety in the future which would comprises of technical, data, project and networking and add well trained workforce with required knowledge.

Public-Private Partnerships

Partnership between the public and private sectors, including government, industries and academia, is central to achieve the vision of safe food for consumers everywhere. In today's interconnected world, multi-stakeholder collaboration is needed to make a difference across global supply chains. This would incorporate capacity building and enforcement of good regulatory practices. Food companies across the world are widely using science-based standards for the effective management of food resources. The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is leading a growing dialogue with regulators and governments to share the achievements of the private sector and to promote recognition by regulators of private sector food safety assessments. Every country aims to provide safe and nutritious food; hence a set of common parameters are required to ensure this.

Given the complexity of the landscape ahead, it will take the combined efforts of scientists, entrepreneurial start-ups, large food companies, governments and the society at large to create a future where less food is wasted, and nutrition is sustainable and meets food safety demands.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Simon George

President Cargill India

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