Industry sector

Dairy Frozen foods Fruits, vegetables & nuts Ingredients (for industry) Meat, poultry and fish Multi-product Snacks/confectionary Soft drinks

Job level/seniority

Founder/Co-Founder

What are your biggest challenges in compliance management?

Auditing: overlapping audits needed by multiple customers, unclear/changing regulations Differing auditing standards Traceability, record-keeping, use of technology

What are your biggest challenges in safety management?

Auditing: overlapping audits needed by multiple customers, unclear/changing regulations Factory floor hazards: allergen control, microbiology, cross-contamination Increasingly complex supply chains, sustainability/climate change & environmental factors

In what way are supply chains affecting food safety & quality?

Increasingly complex and globalised supply chains Quality variability across suppliers

To what extent does advanced technology play a role in your food safety program?

Advanced tech is used in auditing roles e.g. remote auditing Advanced technology is used on the factory floor AI is used to make sense of data gathered

To what extent are budgets constraining food safety & quality improvements?

Budget is not an issue Overlapping, and unnecessary audits can impede growth The latest tech can be very expensive

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Recent Comments

May 29, 2024

Building on the discussion and a topic I will be addressing at the up-coming Food Sure Summit in Madrid - The Intersection between Food Safety and the Green agenda

 In the previous piece in this series on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) a question was asked as to whether your company is using ERM to manage the intersection between Food Safety and the Green Agenda.

 The FAO has indicated 5 ways climate change (rising temeratures) can impact on Food Safety

  • Increase food and waterborne diseases
  • Increase uptake of toxic heavy metals in staple crops
  • Increase spread of fungal infections
  • Increase spread of plant pathogens driving an increase in pesticide use
  • Increase harmful algae in sea food

 But are there other ways that Companies response to addressing the Green Agenda may impact on Food Safety. The answer is yes: many years ago, and in an early attempt to do the right thing in terms of the environment a multinational food company switched to using recycled cardboard for its outer packaging. The unintended consequences was the unexcepted migration across the plastic inner packaging of unlooked for chemicals present in the recycled cardboard. When the issue was discovered and reported by NGOs it resulted in large and expensive recalls and significant damage to the company’s reputation, even though the intentions were undoubtably good.

 The answer to the question – can you use ERM to manage the intersection between Food Safety and the Green Agenda – the answer is yes. So the answer to the question – should I be using ERM to manage the intersection between Food safety and the Green agenda – is also yes.

 The method/process involves identifying what are the main areas where the Green Agenda will impact your supply chain (e.g. water use, recycled packaging, Changes in agricultural practice including reduced pesticide use and regenerative agriculture) and identifying the potential impact of these changes on the know hazards (microbiological, chemical, physical). The final steps are then identifying the correct risk response (avoidance, reduction or acceptance) and setting the correct monitoring.

 Questions

1/ which of the following elements of the Green Agenda are likely to impact your business´s food safety controls – Energy use reduction, water recycling in agriculture or manufacturing plants, regenerative agriculture, reduced plastic use, reduced sanitiser use, packaging recycling?

 2/ Will the consumer accept lower levels of food safety as part of a company response to meeting is sustainability objectives?

 3/ is your food safety budget increasing to help meet the increasing complexity of meeting both the food safety and sustainability commitments?

 4/ how well do you believe your companies senior execs and Board understand the impact on Food Safety of meeting Sustainability commitments?

Apr 25, 2024
Replying to Hugo Gutierrez

All: good discussion topic! My answer and comments below :

1 - yes 

2- at least two times a year with a leadership team to review progress, and one owner per risk to ensure progress and execution of agreed actions 

3 - not really, however they have assessed the process with consultants

4- each risk has  a template with objective, team members , actions, etc. This also includes KPI’s for each risk. Food safety includes audits, complaints and plant risk profile. New and proactive KPIs such as program implementation %

5- partially. They assess compliance .. some FS knowledge

comments: a proactive approach is needed. For instance, we should   Measuring : CAPA closure % and its effectiveness, culture and behaviors, FS capital approval and execution. Technology to track execution, maturity of the programs is key

Hi Hugo - I agree we need to move towards more proactive approach looking at the KPIs - Going forward I am convinced we need to move away from looking at food safety in just terms of compliance. I would also add that the best dialogue will be with people who have been practitioners in the field.

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