While COVID-19 is not spread through food, the industry must mitigate against the substantial risks associated with the close contact between possibly-infected food service workers, the food being prepared, and the end consumer. Instilling faith in customers that the food delivered to them is safe, and ensuring to have safety processes during food preparation, packaging, handling and delivery is the only way forward in combating end-user apprehensions. 

impact of covid-19

– Industry downsizing: The pressures of this pandemic have forced layoffs of labour force, reduction in overall demand of non- essential food items, and shrinkflation of restaurants, cafes and hotels.

– Transportation and economic restrictions are disrupting food systems leading to increased shortage of raw materials in various sectors of food industry thereby affecting production of essential food items.

– Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide most production and post-farm agricultural services face financial ruin as a result of the economic shutdowns mandated for pandemic control.

– Food safety throughout is questioned leading to a huge decrease in out-of-home food consumption among the population all over the world.

challenges that lay ahead

– Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) revival in food sector is a huge challenge. Export bans and border closures may make things worse.

– Exports and import restrictions on various raw materials will affect food production industries. Self-reliance in resource sector could be pushed by governments to ensure support for local producers and suppliers which may not work for all organizations.

– Maintenance of stringent regulation on hygiene, social distancing at workplace, space requirements, changes in processes etc. may be very difficult to implement in a short while and may not be feasible by all

– Job losses economy-wide will rapidly diminish the food purchasing power of many households, thus leading to deflation of prices of non-essential food products and lesser operational margins.
– The industry could see a significant increase in need for investment in improving supply chain data tracking and transparency to ensure food safety. This could include early testing and adoption of Blockchain solutions which would be a capital-intensive affair.
– Building customer confidence again in out-of-home food will require substantial effort and marketing expenditure.

silver lining

– Increased domestic sourcing: Another change we expect to see is an increase in local and domestic sourcing and a move to reduce dependency on foreign sources that are now perceived to be riskier.

– Long-term relationships: Change is expensive and brings risk. Manufacturers with the willingness and capability to align with their top accounts will see greater access, loyalty and growth opportunities.

– Improved good manufacturing practices in the industry, more emphasis on HACCP, Food Safety Management Systems are key to ensure industry continuity; end consumers are guaranteed of safer food products.

– Organizations that have a great potential in online sale of their products will see a significant growth in demand, subsequently, food-delivery services will see a big boom.

solutions to adopt post covid-19

– Internal trainings to all members involved with food handling on food hygiene and safe practices in the work environment will be an essential start.

– Showcasing your commitment to food safety will be a key factor to win the trust of your customers. Openly communicating with them and bringing awareness among them about your proactivity in ensuring food hygiene will go a long way.

– It is time for business continuity plans to be implemented, rework all your support functions, internal factors and strategy plans; inventory management systems to be put in place to ensure minimum stock requirements for minimum outputs in case of any future disruptions/emergencies.

– Stringent practice of international management systems will be crucial to address vendor management, inventory management, food safety programmes, best

storage, handling and packaging practices; a push to the lower management personnel must given to implement such systems.
– Prioritize projects that will give you long- term competitive advantages as against short-term pay-outs. Your organization should work towards sectors that are looking at opportunities which would eventually gain customers over the long-term. Take up challenging projects and ensure to survive the crisis; long-term relations will keep you afloat throughout.

– Online sale of food and its related products will be on the rise; enter the online model soon with a sustainable view and choose certified delivery partners.

– Third party audits and certifications will be essential to ensure your safety practices are up to the mark. This will also double as a confidence building tool with your existing and new clients alike.

how we can help

We have services that primarily help with the resolution of a lot of challenges mentioned herein. As a part of our response to the current situation, we have teams dedicated to this industry who are available 24/7 to address any queries/requirements you may have. We have also ensured that our services are delivered with promptness and we have tried to keep the consulting and certification process itself as flexible as possible to meet your timeline needs. Food Safety Management System, HACCP, FSSC 22000, HALAL, KOSHER are some of our services aimed at assisting organizations during this crisis.

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