food (9)

300Over a quarter of consumers actively stated that they distrust government authorities and manufacturers (29% and 26% respectively) found the EIT #FoodTrustReport.

What's damaging consumer trust? Anthony Warner - known as The Angry Chef - says: "there's too much information [about food choices]. It's all very confusing."

In this episode of #EITFoodFight, he and Liesbet Vranken explore:

➡️ Food marketing and health claims like 'detox'
➡️ The role of social media influencers
➡️ Where consumers can get trustworthy information.

Read more…

Food in a Pandemic report published

8676946872?profile=RESIZE_584x

The Food in a Pandemic report, commissioned by the FSA and produced by Demos as part of Renew Normal: The People’s Commission on Life after Covid, looks to understand how a new food environment created during the pandemic has impacted the public’s behaviours and preferences. The research included: a nationally representative survey of 10,069 UK adults, a nationally representative online deliberative method called Polis with 1,006 UK respondents, a series of four deliberative workshops, and an open access survey of 911 adults.

Key findings on the public’s experience during the pandemic 

Food insecurity 

The report shows that people have stepped in to help prevent new forms of food insecurity caused by people self-isolating by offering informal forms of support such as shopping for others   

Findings also show there is a public appetite for the government to take action to help feed those without the means to feed themselves. People also tend to be more supportive of preventative actions for food insecurity, such as ensuring well-paid jobs are available to all. Just under two thirds (63%) agreed in the Polis that ‘it is the government’s responsibility to make sure no-one goes hungry’. 

UK food supply 

It’s reported a significant proportion of the population have bought food more locally or grown more food during the pandemic, reflecting a wider move towards individual self-sufficiency. Many of those who have made this move expect it to continue after the pandemic. 

78% of those surveyed supported the UK keeping its current food quality standards, even if food is more expensive and less competitive in the global market. A similar proportion (82%) also supported maintaining the UK’s current animal welfare standards, when presented with the same trade-off against prices and competitiveness. 

Diet and eating habits 

There has been a complex shift in people’s diets during Covid-19, with more home cooking. Although a third (32%) of respondents in the poll reported eating more healthy main meals, a third (33%) ate more unhealthy snacks. 

Some of the restrictions and public health advice, such as stay at home, might have encouraged more healthy eating. Those who have cooked more or eaten healthier main meals tend to expect this change to continue. However, this is likely to be somewhat dependent on the other changes, such as continued flexible working.  

Read full report.

 

Read more…

8425356096?profile=RESIZE_710x

A study of the grain trade during 2020 indicates that policies to protect supply chains must be enacted to avoid supply chain shocks such as COVID-19 and locust swarms exacerbating food insecurity in global regions that rely on food imports.

Food insecurity is complex — there is no silver bullet of policy or market intervention that can lead to a situation where all people at all times will have continuous access to healthy, affordable diets. And though global food systems are interdependent and also complex, food insecurity in many regions has been precipitated by pestilence, environmental disaster and conflict. Pestilence is a fatal epidemic or pandemic disease affecting humans, crops or livestock that impacts food supply and production; insect and rodent plagues remain a major threat to human food security1,2,3,4,5. Recently, swarms of locusts larger than any recorded in recent decades detrimentally affected more than 330,000 hectares of land from Ethiopia to India6, whilst the COVID-19 pandemic — and the controls implemented to curb infection rates — affected food production and supply3.

In times of crisis, the demand for staple foods increases in ways that can destabilize local and global supply chains and cause social unrest3,7. In this issue of Nature Food, Falkendal et al.8 quantify wheat, rice and maize supply chain disruption from 2020 locust swarms and COVID-19-related effects on food prices, stock levels, international trade and export restrictions. The study considers two dimensions of food security, first outlined nearly a quarter of a century ago at the World Food Summit in 1996, namely: physical availability of food (production output, stock levels and trade dynamics) and economic and physical access to food (the ability to buy food, for example, ratio of prices to income, and accessible marketing channels). The authors frame their argument in terms of stability and the socio-economic shocks (political instability, unemployment and drastic loss of income) that the COVID-19 pandemic brings with it that will lead to greater food insecurity in the short and medium term.

In their model, Falkendal and colleagues find that export restrictions and precautionary purchasing in response to COVID-19 could destabilize global grain trade, leading to many low- and middle-income countries that rely on grain imports potentially experiencing further food insecurity that exacerbates the effects felt from shocks such as COVID-19 and locust swarms. Thus, protectionist measures initiated by governments, institutions or market actors to secure national food security will affect those who are food vulnerable, and consumer support policy measures should be introduced to mitigate the risk of food insecurity. The authors call for incremental rather than blunt, binary ‘borders open or borders closed’ food security policies, and a need for mutually agreed solutions to address food insecurity — rather than unilateral national decision-making based primarily on self-interest. Whether altruist or self-serving food security policies are implemented by governments and market actors will be demonstrated in practice over the coming months.

The impact of economic stabilization policies following the 2007 economic crash highlights how individuals and households can transition instantly from a higher standard of living into a situation where they must survive with less, raising the question as to what is the minimum standard for an acceptable life9. In the UK, the last time minimum standards with regard to food for an acceptable life were determined was the food rationing legislation on 15 September 194110 — the Hansard report makes challenging reading when comparing the proposed austere diet to our typical food consumption in the UK. The UN Sustainable Development Goals also determine the dynamics of an acceptable life, and multi-level consensus building and action is essential to safeguard food supply – especially if, as a global community, we seek to deliver the two targets of “no poverty and zero hunger”. Despite having policy and technological tools to reduce the impact of many human, zoonotic and plant diseases, collective strategic risk at local, regional and global levels cannot be ignored. Falkendal and colleagues have shown that a proactive strategy and a co-ordinated collective response with shared goals and co-operative actions is necessary as the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and natural events such as locust swarms arise in order to ensure that the grain trade remains stable, equitable and accessible to all.

Download PDF.

 

 

 

 

Read more…

8017971267?profile=RESIZE_584x Registration is now open for a free online conference, run in partnership between the UK Food Standards Agency and the University of Sheffield, on Monday 9 November 2020 as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science.

The COVID 19 outbreak has necessitated a move away from more traditional data collection methods and accelerated the innovative use of digital data. In partnership with the University of Sheffield, this virtual half-day event will demonstrate how digital data collection and analysis can inform our understanding of food, and outline key findings related to the digitalisation of food behaviours.  

It will cover the recent review of the FSA flagship survey, Food and You, digital self-report methods on handwashing behaviour and key findings from recent social media analysis, including COVID-19 trends in food behaviour.    

The event offers an excellent opportunity for anyone in the social science community to hear about how social science directly informs real life policy-making in a government context under rapidly changing circumstances. As well as learning about the work and priorities of the FSA and international colleagues, virtual panel sessions will provide an opportunity to discuss ideas with experts from academia, industry and policy.  

To book your place, please register using Eventbrite.  

Read more…

7857420698?profile=RESIZE_710xThe State of Counterfeiting in India 2020 report, performed by the Authentication Solution Provider's Association (ASPA), determined that counterfeit incidents rose by nearly a quarter between 2018 and 2019, with a 21% rise specifically in the food & beverage sector.

The rise in food fraud could negatively impact India's new "Make In India" campaign, which was launched in 2014 and aimed at making India a global hub of manufacturing by encouraging companies to manufacture their products in the companyThe report emphasises the importance of ensuring products are genuine and safe to consumer trust.

Read more about the report and it's details here on Food Navigator Asia.

Read more…

6900213260?profile=RESIZE_710x

Over 25 stakeholders from various cannabis industry sectors in Canada, USA and the EU, participated in the recent Cannabis Authenticity and Purity Standard (CAPS) Steering Committee Session, on June 23 2020, to hear more about the need for standardized safety and quality measures throughout the medicinal, edible, beverage, topical and recreational cannabis product supply chain.  

Cannabis and hemp are natural products increasingly consumed for their perceived health benefits by those seeking alternative nutrition and medicine to deal with common ailments such as chronic pain, anxiety, infections, and compromised immunity. In many jurisdictions where these products are legally available, government regulations tend to stipulate only the basic safety requirements. In most other established industry sectors, brands, retailers, and consumers demand far more than the minimum regulatory requirements and usually impose more rigorous safety and quality brand protection measures from their suppliers.

Steering Committee participants also interacted with presenters such as Roger Muse, a Vice President at the ANSI American National Accreditation Board (ANAB), who spoke about the value of third-party accreditation, standards, and testing methods specifically designed for the cannabis industry. “We are excited to be working with Purity-IQ whose CAPS third-party certification will combine requirements for ISO/IEC 17065 accreditation process together with ISO/IEC 17025 laboratory accreditation. As a condition for doing business, the CAPS certification process will provide brands and specifiers with much needed safety and consistency assurances.”

Read full article.

Read more…

The guidance for food business operators and their employees is aimed to assist all food businesses in following government guidance on infection prevention and control measures against COVID-19.

Scottish Government requirements to close restaurants, cafes and public houses to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has led many of these businesses to offer new take-away or delivery services to their customers. The closure of many catering businesses has also resulted in increased demand for existing take-away businesses.  In recognition of the challenges faced by small businesses in the food take-away sector we have produced a practical guide to help them communicate consistently to their customers, including model notices that can be used to maintain social distancing requirements at their premises.

The guidance is being continually reviewed and will be updated to reflect developments so please refer to the FSS website for their latest advice.

4977960079?profile=RESIZE_400x
Read more…

An introduction to DNA melting curve analysis

3677931475?profile=RESIZE_710x

This e-seminar, entitled “An introduction to DNA melting curve analysis”, describes the principles behind, as well as best practice guidelines for the application of the post-PCR analytical method of DNA melting curve analysis. The information presented will provide the viewer with a general introduction to PCR-based DNA melting analysis as a method for food authenticity testing, and provide guidance on how to design, implement and analyse PCR DNA melting assay data. Topics covered will include the principles underpinning DNA melting analysis, designing PCR DNA melting assays, examples of PCR instruments compatible with DNA melting analysis, and guidance on troubleshooting. Those who should consider viewing this e-seminar include individuals currently working within the foods molecular testing area, particularly representatives from UK Official Control Laboratories, industry and members of organisations associated with the UK official control network.

View e-seminar here.

The production of this e-seminar was funded by Defra, FSA, FSS and BEIS under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis.

Read more…

Crowe Clark Whitehill has published a report about consumers expectations, food and drink businesses, and their approach to counter fraud.

The report highlights the divergence between common industry practice and consumer expectations.  For example, consumers expect that food and drink businesses to share information early and not wait until all the facts are known.

Consumers also expect businesses to share information about incidents that result in a financial loss, not just incidents that could cause a health risk. 

Consumers expect businesses to share detailed information with the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit/National Food Crime Unit rather than combined and anonymised data.

The overarching message across the various findings is that consumers expect more transparency. Which is a reasonable expectation. The report is available here: https://lnkd.in/e-G4qNd

Read more…