Food retailers, manufacturers distributors and producers are facing more demand for supply chain related data about ingredients, food fraud, ethical sourcing and sustainability credentials. Yet supply chain disruptions and widespread labour shortages continue to make their impact. The flow of reliable data and transparency desired by consumers has challenged many food industry companies for decades. It is for this reason that we created our food industry software solutions, to deliver actionable digital solutions and data insights that connect the global supply chain. For over 20 years we have driven more efficient production processes and improved safety, quality and sustainability of outputs.
We are proud to have a number of industry experts within our team and for our first blog of the year, we are asking them, on what they feel will be the trends and technological advancements that will have the biggest impact on the food industry in 2023.
Supply chain trends for 2023
Becca Gale - Product Director, Supply Chain & Sustainability
Food businesses are making great strides in increasing supply chain transparency. However, in recent years, events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather have disrupted supply. Switching to alternative origins can increase food safety & integrity risk, to put this into context, food fraud rose by 37% as a result of the C19 pandemic. Issues such as the war in Ukraine and avian influenza continue to challenge the sector into 2023. Dynamic risk mapping should be of high priority to food businesses and can be used to inform procurement decisions, target audits and laboratory testing to protect businesses and consumers.
Food quality trends for 2023
Andrew Philip - Product Lead, Quality Management
Food supply chain businesses are increasingly looking to ensure food quality, safety and compliance. Traceability and transparency are key areas in supporting this agenda. With food supply chains increasingly adopting or expanding process and data digitalisation to connect food supply chains we are finding more and more businesses turning to us, TELUS Consumer Goods to support these challenges. Digitising the food supply chain is the first step of the journey and enables the large quantities of data captured by food producers, suppliers and retailers to be used to power performance dashboards. Food waste and safety risks are challenges that benefit everyone when consistently kept to a minimum. Harnessing the power of data modelling and analytics to automate the prediction of risk, collaboratively targeting the right areas to improve is a positive step that I am excited to be piloting on this year.
Sustainability trends for 2023
Kevin Ramm- Head of Sustainability
Over the last few years food businesses have set and publicly disclosed bold Net Zero targets for reduction of net greenhouse (GHG) emissions. For most food businesses these targets go beyond their own operations and are targeting reductions in their extended supply chains (referred to as Scope 3). Targets of 50% emissions intensity reduction by 2030 are common for global food brands, as this broadly aligns to the ‘science based’ target endorsed by most governments.
Given that the majority of GHG emissions for most food products occur in primary production, food businesses will need significant improvements in the farming practices in their supply chain in order to meet those targets, whilst also considering alternative sources of supply to lower-emission production. Reliable reporting of GHG emissions will also be a priority as companies seek to provide credible disclosure of progress against their targets. In 2023 we can therefore expect to see more action from food businesses to engage with suppliers and farmers in their supply chains, and an acceleration and scaling of impactful improvements in both farming practices and reporting. 2023 will also see a strengthening of actions by food business to play their part in achieving the pledge by global governments at COP26 in 2022 to halt or reverse deforestation by 2030. Whilst many food businesses have voluntarily been working towards deforestation free supply chains, new legislation is emerging that will require all businesses in some markets to act.
Overall we can expect to see businesses seeking ways to scale progress across a broad range of sustainability topics in 2023 - including climate, deforestation, biodiversity, water, circularity - with digital tools playing an increasing role in enabling positive outcomes.
Technology trends for 2023
Mary-Ann Johnson - Product Owner
The food industry has an ever-increasing focus on sustainability, transparency and collaboration towards whole-supply-base targets. To support this, we have partnered with key industry players to build tools that enable brands and tier-1 suppliers to set up sustainability frameworks and KPIs for their supply base, easily collect the data and visualise it in ways that benefit both our customers and their suppliers.
Food safety & compliance trends for 2023
Aaron Day - Technical Sales Manager, EMEA
Predictive analytics - As the industry adopts digitisation and data integration becomes more prevalent, the use of predictive analytics and modelling will become a core part of supplier due diligence, food safety and quality practices. I’m excited by the pilots we are running in this space and look forward to talking about it more in the year ahead as our solutions continue to evolve.
EU changes in government policy & regulations
Hajo Rau - Senior Business Development Manager, Europe
The coming into force of the supply chain law in Germany from 2023 is just one concrete example of the challenges that the food industry is facing in general in the coming years. These include; high transparency in complex global supply chains with regard to different standards and the facility to easily exchange information with all supply chain partners - traceability of food - and the need to manage food and its production in a sustainable way to avoid waste.
These global challenges illustrate the underlying problem - that food supply chains are often not transparent and technologically connected enough. The implication of this is that important data is absent and businesses are not able to sufficiently analyse and react to problems, and worse still are missing out on using powerful predictive data models to foresee potential problems. However, technology and data are two of the most important factors in making informed decisions, having real-time control of processes and enabling companies to respond quickly to changing market conditions.
More regulation for Europe can be expected in the coming years. In the future, if companies do not use technology to leverage supply chain data in a targeted way, regardless of regulatory requirements, they will face problems with their competitiveness in a global context.
One of the most important trends for 2023 will be to further digitise supply chains and increase data sharing so that all supply chain partners can use data and business intelligence tools to work more sustainably, for the benefit of their organisation and humanity. We are in an excellent position to help companies in the food supply chain, retail, manufacturing and brands sector with connected software for digitising and using business intelligence tools for better efficiencies in global food supply chains.
Consumer trends in Australia for 2023
Jai Padey - Sales, ANZ
The Australian population are more conscious of the environmental impact food has, and consumers will favour food companies that are more environmentally focused. This has resulted in major retailers and suppliers here making bold commitments, such as increased usage of recyclable and sustainable packaging. I am particularly excited about our new Sustainability Management solution, as this will allow businesses to truly determine how sustainable they are and can support claims on their products, which in turn will attract the eyes of ANZ consumers.
Facility trends for 2023
James Cooke - Senior Key Account Manager
We’re seeing an increasing number of customers using Greenlight Quality Management for their facility and process compliance checks, moving away from legacy paper based approaches to management, which provide no validation, trend analysis or business insights. The great advantage of Greenlight Quality Management is its adaptability; being able to manage all process and facility compliance checks on the same solution and same mobile device application. This not only benefits ease of use and setup, but also allows our customers to make use of the existing Corrective Action Management functionality and Insights dashboards for reporting and business intelligence. For our customers who are BRC certified the Greenlight Quality Management solution has been critical for them in both achieving and increasing the grade of their BRC compliance.
Find out more about how our software solutions are helping food businesses across the globe.