It’s a new year and sadly we still can’t claim to be ‘post-pandemic’. But we certainly can be more prepared than before for the unexpected changes that the world keeps throwing at us. Safety is a good place to start. Keeping our people virus-free, our services efficient and our products protected is a priority for businesses globally. So, what safety measures have we put in place at Quattro HQ? We still need to maintain social distancing in the workplace as much as we can, to protect those at work, which has meant investing in additional depositing equipment and refurbishing the staff canteen, so more people can work and rest at the same time.
People are, of course, a priority, but what about the food we produce? We manufacture and distribute our products widely but the whole sector will soon be subject to new and different rules emerging from a host of countries. Some are politically motivated and others necessitated by the pandemic. Covid is still impacting the food sector and has created the need for new trade rules and embargoes as well as a clarification of global food safety strategies. As well as growing restrictions on international trade, many other changes will be making waves in the food manufacturing and distribution arena in the coming months.
Change is afoot
Food companies that want to export products to China will have to register with the Chinese customs agency and display registration numbers on labels and packages from January 2022 and some categories of foods will require special registration such as meat, dairy and egg products, nuts and seeds, dried fruits and health food.
The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are publishing updated food safety strategies in 2022 and WHO has also launched a Food Safety Community of Practice, which will allow industry professionals access to webinars, monthly updates and food safety resources, and businesses like Quattro will be able to announce events or share content with the community.
And for us UK-based food manufacturers, changes are coming fast and furious. Now that we’ve left the EU we have different rules to consider. Dramatic changes are ongoing way beyond Europe too. Discussions are taking place regarding controls on food imports from Japan following the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011. Food authorities will be making announcements in the coming months – watch this space.
The pandemic has had a serious negative effect on the global economy including the food supply chain. Covid has impacted the whole process from the field to the consumer. Challenges in the food supply chain mean there is now considerable concern about food production, processing and distribution. The virus has restricted the movement of workers, disrupted production operations for some time and increased financial pressures across the sector.
What’s the answer? A good starting point would be governments facilitating the movement of workers and offering farmers more financial support. Is the supply chain flexible enough to respond to these challenges? It has to be, or the whole sector will continue to suffer the effects of the pandemic, no matter which restrictions are lifted.
So, together we’ll keep working to make 2022 a turning point in our industry.