On October 18, 2018, we asked CanadaGAP program participants to participate in a food safety efficacy study – Food safety: what’s next to assure its future? – led by The Consumer Goods Forum/GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) and project partner DNV GL.

Key highlights from the survey results, which were presented at the 2019 GFSI Conference, can now be shared. The survey was conducted in November and December 2018 and involved over 1,640 respondents from the food and beverage industry. Respondents included a sample of small (less than 50 employees) to large companies (more than 1,000 employees) from North America, Europe, Central and South America, and Asia. Eighty-eight percent of the companies are certified against a GFSI-recognized program, such as BRC, IFS, SQF and CanadaGAP.

Key Survey Highlights

Approximately 15% (241) of total respondents were identified as ‘leaders’ based on the following attributes:

  • companies that consider food safety important to a great extent for the overall company’s business strategy
  • companies that currently define themselves as a leader in food safety management
  • companies that are going to invest in food safety equally or more than today in three years from now

The following data offers interesting insight on how survey participants overall responded to certain questions. The top three answers listed in percentages are included below.

  • Why is food safety important for your company?
    • Safeguarding the health of consumers – 88%
    • Protecting consumers – Law and regulations – 69%
    • Meeting customer needs/requests – 61%
  • Select the main risk areas related to food safety in your company.
    • Operational risks (chemical, physical, microbiological contamination, allergen cross contact) are viewed as the main threat – 71%
    • Lack of food safety culture – 31%
    • Compliance with regulatory requirements – 28%
  • Select the planned or undertaken actions to evaluate or mitigate identified risks.
    • Having a HACCP-based system – 85%
    • Procedures to ensure food safety from design – 68%
    • Operating a management system – 66%
  • A company may gain different benefits from certification of their food safety system. How much do you agree with the benefits listed below?
    • Ability to comply with legal requirements – 86%
    • Improved product quality and safer food – 79%
    • Better employee awareness and engagement – 78%
  • What are the main benefits for your company from supplier certification?
    • Provides more confidence in the supplier and products – 73%
    • Contributes to safer products – 67%
    • Ensures compliance to specifications/requirements – 65%
  • Which of the following digital technologies does your company use for supporting food safety?
    • Sensors and beacons – 44%
    • Blockchain – 15%
    • Smart tags and labels – 10%

CanadaGAP would like to thank all program participants who participated in the GFSI efficacy study. Anyone who is interested in obtaining a copy of the GFSI Powerpoint presentation containing survey highlights may contact the CanadaGAP office by emailing infocanadagap.ca or by calling 613-829-4711.

Additional information about the survey can be found on the GFSI website.