International

Food companies are left behind by the digital revolution

IT & Logistic

Operational risk, such as contamination, and the lack of food safety culture are the overwhelming food safety threats for firms, says new study from DNV GL.

Posted on Mar 28 ,12:16

Food companies are left behind by the digital revolution

A survey carried out by DNV GL and GFSI found that only 1 in 10 food companies are currently using new technology to ensure food safety. In medium-term though, 4 in 10 firms are claiming that will make use of these technologies. The importance of digitalisation in food safety is well known among the industry experts but the lack of understanding of how to apply solutions like blockchain for this purpose is keeping the food industry one step behind the digital revolution.
Of the new wave of digital technologies, sensors and beacons (44% today, 56% in three years) are the most widely used solution followed by blockchain (15% today, 40% in three years). However, the lack of clarity is impacting investment decisions 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 and 14% answered that they will not spend in this area at all. Asian companies, in particular, see value in blockchain, with 57% expecting to use the technology in three years, which is significantly higher than in other regions.
"Digital technologies such as blockchain will transform many industries, especially those in the retail sector, but this survey indicates that to many food and beverage companies these technologies have yet to transition from buzzwords to real applications. At DNV GL we introduced blockchain to raise transparency in the certification process and to help brands bridge the trust gap between their efforts and consumers’ concerns, but it is clear we must work together as an industry to fully utilize the potential of new digital technologies to improve food safety,", said Luca Crisciotti, CEO – Business Assurance, DNV GL.
Other facts revealed by the survey :
- 27% of firms say they do not know how much they will invest in digital technologies for food safety in the next 12-18 months
- Only 8% of respondents say new digital technology is playing a role to a “great extent” in food safety, compared to 13% who say “not at all”
- safeguarding the health of consumers (88%) was shown to be the main driver of food safety, followed by laws and regulation (69%) and needs/requests from customers (60%)
- Operational risk (76%), such as contamination, is perceived to be the standout threat whilst a lack of food safety culture (30%) and compliance to regulations (28%) are the next two biggest risks
- Europe is the region where the fear of operational risks is especially strong (82%).

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