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Sustainability and food safety

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GMO

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 01:23 PM

You can tell it's a bank holiday in the UK!

If you look at some of the sustainability targets nationally and internationally, do you have any awareness on how that could impact you as a Technical / Food Safety professional?  The kind of things which might be coming down the track could include:

Widening specifications to avoid food waste

Lengthening shelf life to avoid food waste

Challenges on whether a use by date is appropriate for all chilled foods (rather than best before)

Challenge on food waste in general

Reusing containers

Recycling more and more segregation of waste

Reducing meat content in foods, especially red meat and the challenges in sourcing alternatives

Challenges on how we clean, especially where it includes heat processes

Challenges on amount of water used in cleaning

Challenge on temperature of chilling

Challenge on methods of cooking and looking to more novel methods

 

Then there are the lagging issues which are an output of the world not acting sooner

 

Failed harvests, supply issues and associated fraud risk

Poor quality harvest and the manufacturing challenges

Increased pest movements and risks in extreme weather events

Sudden changes in consumer behaviours due to extreme weather events

Equipment failing never having been specified for the weathers it's dealing with (last summer in the UK was interesting!)

Spoilage due to chill chain failures not in your control

 

Etc etc... It's coming but I have to admit it feels like it's gathering exponential pace.  Are you seeing this yet?



Scampi

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 02:03 PM

What we've known in food processing over the last 50 years will be drastically different in 10 years time

 

I think you've identified the biggest challenges

 

Failed harvests, supply issues and associated fraud risk

Poor quality harvest and the manufacturing challenges

Increased pest movements and risks in extreme weather events

 

I'm think specifically about avian diseases---Canada has had more cases of avian flu ever AND this spring along, 3 farms identified a disease in flocks I have not seen at all in my 15+ years in poultry

 

Quite frankly, the fraud risk is real--but low on the list for me---------as a planet--we are already aware that we DO NOT make enough food to feed every human

 

So not only have we the rapidly changing climate to contend with, but a rapidly expanding population

 

Fields are disappearing at an exponential rate----sure, vertical farming works-but is that sustainable??????


Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs


jfrey123

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 04:11 PM

I think about these a little more now that one of our retail customers is including "sustainability" goals as part of their vendor approval process.  I'm all for clean water and protecting open spaces as an outdoorsman, but this retailer seems to apply all of these sustainability measures against their food and non-food vendors alike.  Telling us, a fresh cut fruit and vegetable maker, that we need to reduce plastic usage in our finish products when they spec plastic containers to sell the products is a bit silly.



GMO

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Posted 30 May 2023 - 11:47 AM

I think about these a little more now that one of our retail customers is including "sustainability" goals as part of their vendor approval process.  I'm all for clean water and protecting open spaces as an outdoorsman, but this retailer seems to apply all of these sustainability measures against their food and non-food vendors alike.  Telling us, a fresh cut fruit and vegetable maker, that we need to reduce plastic usage in our finish products when they spec plastic containers to sell the products is a bit silly.

 

I think there is a lot of this kind of approach with retailers. We know what we want you to change but we're not joined up.

 

I suppose what we will need to do is approach them with initiatives but then why would you?  Although for you I'd probably focus first on what happens with your food waste and seeing whether there is a way to push it up the waste hierarchy.  Plastic is always going to be hard for you to avoid.

 

It does beg the question on whether we should be doing some of the food processing we are as well.  I suppose the argument for fresh cut fruit is you may as a consumer be able to buy a smaller portion so have less food waste in a small house?  





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