Food Safety Certification

In an industry where demand is ever-increasing and safety is paramount, it is refreshing to report in this issue on the BRC’s Global Markets Programme – a food safety certification scheme that extends the certification to smaller food businesses. These businesses will be key to the industry’s future. The new BRC scheme offers a first step for smaller food businesses that may eventually want to progress to certification against the full Global Standard for Food Safety.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that by 2075 there will be 9.5 billion people to feed. This will require a significant increase in production, processing and manufacturing to satisfy the demand of this growing population. According to a 2013 report by the UK Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 4 billion metric tonnes of food is produced annually, but some 30-50% is not consumed by people or animals. Actions at every stage of the supply chain impact food waste rates. Is it becoming an epidemic?

If the UN estimates are correct, not only will the food industry have to grow, but it will also need to find smarter ways to manage natural resources, like water. We look at how water management can help the agriculture industry to maximise this precious resource.

One fast-growing food sector is halal. The global halal sector accounts for 16% of the global food industry, and is expected to rise to 20% in the near future. As demand grows, the market is increasingly looking for globally consistent standards and harmonised certification.

Undeclared allergens and pathogen contamination are the predominant causes of food product recalls and rejections. We look at the latest figures from RASFF, and explore the trends and underlying issues.

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SGS Agriculture and Food Team