Insights from food industry survey respondents cover food fraud, international trade, food safety, regulations, innovation and social responsibility

GUELPH, Ontario — NSF International, a global public health and safety organization with over 70 years of expertise in water, food safety and quality, will present the findings of a national survey of more than 10,000 food experts from industry, academia and the regulatory arena. Respondents were asked about key issues and challenges facing the Canadian food industry such as food fraud, safety and quality. The survey results will be presented by a diverse panel of thought leaders at a plenary session at SIAL Canada in Montreal on April 14, 2016 at 8:30 - 9:15 a.m. in room 513C.

“We gathered these insights to learn more about the Canadian food industry from industry experts and leaders,” said Serban Teodoresco, Global Managing Director, Consulting and Technical Services, NSF International. “The NSF International survey covers important issues such as food fraud, social responsibility, international trade, social media, innovation, food safety and regulations. The results pinpoint trends to help guide organizations eager to learn what they should be prepared for to protect consumers and limit brand risk.”

Below is a sampling of two important issues revealed in the survey*:

  • Who bears the most responsibility for addressing food fraud risks?
    • 39 percent of respondents believe ingredient suppliers bear the most responsibility.
    • 26 percent of respondents believe the manufacturer using the ingredients bears the most responsibility.

Food fraud is a criminal activity. Manufacturers should understand that responsibility for food fraud mitigation cannot be placed only on the ingredient supplier. Manufacturers must take an active role to understand where they are vulnerable, develop a systematic plan to addresses the vulnerabilities, and implement monitoring, verification and testing programs. Consistent use of these systems across the supply chain is necessary to reduce or eliminate the potential for fraudulent activities within the supply chain.

  • What is the Canadian food industry’s ability to respond to social media crisis?
    • 30 percent of respondents indicated they can respond to a social media crisis within the first hour.
    • 26 percent of respondents indicated said they cannot respond to a social media crisis within 12 hours or at all.

To ensure customer confidence, reduce brand risk and maintain a competitive edge, food industry companies need to have a crisis response system in place, especially given the 24/7 news cycle and the fast-moving world of social media. Customers can learn about an issue before the affected company does and news organizations now rely on social media as a source of their reporting. Poor responsiveness can reduce confidence and trust in a company.

*final survey results may vary

These findings and more will be discussed at SIAL Canada on April 14. NSF International Global Food Division experts will be available to discuss all aspects of food safety and quality at exhibit booth #2030.

Editor’s Note: For media interested in more information or to schedule an interview with Serban Teodoresco, Global Managing Director, Consulting and Technical Services, NSF International, please contact Liz Nowland-Margolis at media@nsf.org or +1 734-418-6624.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. Operating in more than 165 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

The NSF Global Food Division provides expertise and accredited services across all supply chain sectors, including agriculture, animal feed and welfare, produce, processing, distribution, dairy, seafood, quality management software, retail and restaurants. Services include Global Food Safety Initiative, foodservice equipment and nonfood compounds certification, HACCP validation and inspection, label claims verification and certification, DNA and food package testing, product and process development, and organic food certification through Quality Assurance International (QAI). We also offer expert auditing, consulting and training.