State of the Industry: Competition and staff shortages have most impact

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock/LindasPhotography. More than 930 people answered our survey
Picture: iStock/LindasPhotography. More than 930 people answered our survey
Competition and skilled staff shortages were the two things that had the most impact on business in the last 12 months, according to our readership.

Competition was cited by 20% as having the most impact while staff issues were felt by 17% of respondents.

Respondents acknowledged there are many similar products and it was difficult to break into the ‘noisy’ marketplace.

More than six in 10 agreed it was ‘difficult’ to recruit people with the appropriate skills and experience.

Answers are from representatives of ANSES, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Unilever, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Kellogg’s, Fera, Buhler, Sciex, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Cargill among others.     

FQN annual survey

Findings come from the FoodQualityNews second annual ‘state of the industry​’ survey.

The objective was to gauge views about safety and quality control in the food industry.

More than 930 people answered the second survey - up from 897 last year.

People in the US, UK, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, Netherlands, India, Germany, France, Canada and Australia answered questions in the survey.

A quarter of respondents described their job function as quality assurance, followed by research/NPD/science, general management and quality control.  

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was the most important factor in the last 12 months for 13% of our readers.

For these, it was usually due to the money and time spent to ensure compliance.

A further 12% said EU regulation most impacted business which included hygiene criteria for Campylobacter and challenges when it came to imports/exports.

An equal percentage said geographical differences in standards effected work in the last year.

More than 60% agreed that varying country regulations have a negative impact on business.

What you want to read about

News on HACCP/HARPC/GMP forms the backbone of what readers wish to hear about, closely followed by Regulation and Food Fraud.

Scoring more than 40% in terms of interest were areas including recalls and withdrawals, foodborne outbreaks, allergens, research and cleaning, sanitation and hygiene.

Topics such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data, nanomaterials and Blockchain have not captured the interest of our subscribers.

Almost nine in 10 said social media was essential or useful in keeping existing and reaching new clients.

The majority (83%) agreed there was a food safety culture throughout the business – showing this term is not just a buzzword.

Almost three quarters of respondents (74%) agreed that there is increasing market co-operation on food safety issues.

A less positive finding was just over one in four (26%) disagreed that funds allocated to food safety were increasing.

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