Food safety worries emerge as key challenge this year

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Photo by Peter Bond on Unsplash

The hoarse cry of tea sellers at railway stations and roadside peddler of oily noodles have always been ubiquitous to India, but their trade are likely in for tougher times in the wake of pandemic.

That as a global research study by Tetra Pak and Ipsos shows that food safety has emerged as a far bigger concern this year. Worries about food safety has risen to 40% from 30% last year.

Two-thirds of consumers said that being healthy is being safe in the pandemic and 60% of consumers saying they worry about food safety.

Consumers are also turning more suspicious about food with a lot of packaging worldwide. Globally, 57% of consumers said they would avoid such products, with China and India ranking among the top with 71% and 60% such people respectively.

There is a growing demand for transparency around food production methods and governance. Buying local emerged as a key factor in India, China, France and the US.

When asked what is the key for them in a package, consumers indicated that ensuring food safety is the main purpose.

“The covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the status quo, accelerated trends and created a new landscape of consumer needs and opportunities for companies to build on,” said Adolfo Orive, president and chief executive officer of Tetra Pak.

“In particular, the industry needs to address the growing dilemma around food safety and the environment, stepping up towards the twin goals of meeting the human need for food while protecting our planet’s ecosystem,” he said.

Online conversations in India also show a strong link between reducing food waste and preventing hunger, with a focus on the responsibilities of government, business and individuals to work together to that end.

The impact of covid-19 on supply chains has accelerated awareness of food waste as a pressing issue. 

There is a likelihood that this sentiment will grow going forward, as the world strives to feed its growing population, according to the report.

Consumers cited food waste reduction as both the number one environmental issue they can influence themselves and one of the top three priorities for manufacturers.

“With a growing global population set to require up to 70% more food by 2050, at a time when biodiversity, climate change and food security are becoming ever more pressing, there is an urgent need for change,” said Dan Esty, Hill house professor at Yale University.

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