SAN ANTONIO — Nov 19, 2019 — RizePoint and other leaders in the food industry gathered in San Antonio, Texas, on Nov 5-7 to learn, talk trends, and network at the Safe Quality Food Institute’s (SQFI) annual conference. The conference included several learning labs and talks that directly related to the challenges of traceability and corporate social responsibility demanded by a more involved consumer base.
RizePoint identified five food industry trends from SQF 2019 to focus on in 2020.
1. Increasing Internal Audits & Quality Checks
The demand from consumers for transparency and corporate social responsibility will only grow in the coming years. Food safety leaders are beginning to find ways to create a compliance-conscious culture throughout their entire organizations — from the CEO to consumer-facing employees. This includes an uptick in virtually all audit and assessment types, such as quick checks, process and quality audits, self-assessments, and internal surveys.
2. Streamlining & Automating Audits
With the trend for an expansion of internal audits and quick checks comes the need for better, faster ways of auditing, including managing the increased amount of data that comes with it. Organizations that still use pencil and paper, rely heavily on spreadsheets, and operate with manual document management will become less competitive and relevant than those who fully embrace robust quality management software and other tech-based solutions.
3. Fighting Food Fraud
Fake food or food fraud is estimated to become an even bigger problem in the coming years as bad actors become more sophisticated and harder to detect. Intentional food adulteration can mean anything from “acts of terrorism, with the intent to cause wide-spread harm to public health” to cutting pure food products with fillers to increase profits, such as the wood pulp in parmesan scandal in 2016. It’s apparent that the national and global food safety communities will need to work together to reduce food fraud in 2020 and beyond.
4. Reducing Label Mistakes & Recalls
According to Food Engineering Magazine, 60 percent of FDA recalls are due to labelling recalls. Unlabeled allergens and labels that aren’t updated with ingredient changes are responsible for the largest share of recalls, but missing expiration dates and other nonconformances play a role as well. Upcoming FSMA updates from the FDA are likely to include more comprehensive rules to help reduce risks and recalls due to poor labeling.
5. Standardizing Cannabis Regulation
Even though cannabis doesn’t have a national stage in the U.S. for regulatory compliance yet, there is a growing need on a state, county, and city level for clear industry-promoted best practices for cannabis edibles. These standards and best practices are needed to both protect consumers and to build legitimacy of the growing cannabis market. Consultants in the cannabis industry are partnering with standards bodies to more clearly define and enforce best practices for both SMB and enterprise operations, including growers, manufacturers, distribution channels, and store fronts.
Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) is a standards body with a mission to deliver consistent, globally recognized food safety and quality certification programs based on sound scientific principles, consistently applied across all industry sectors, and valued by all stakeholders. SQFI is based in Arlington, VA. For more information visit www.sqfi.com/.
RizePoint offers a robust and flexible software solution that helps companies keep brand promises through their quality, safety, and compliance efforts. Customers gather better data, see necessary actions earlier, and act faster to correct issues before they become costly liabilities. Considered an industry leader for food service, hospitality, and retail solutions, RizePoint’s mobile auditing and cloud-based solutions serve millions of audits every year for the world’s best brands. RizePoint is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, visit RizePoint.com.