Privatisation of safety standards

Madhura Rao discusses the impact of private food safety standards on global agri-food supply chains.

Food products hardly ever carry food safety labels. In the developed world, safety is seen as the minimum requirement a food product must meet if it is to be placed on the market. Consumers are never put in a position where they must choose between safe and unsafe foods.

Despite not being marketed as such, ensuring the safety of food is a rigorous process. Given that today’s food supply chains are more complex and globalised than ever before, ensuring that food meets safety requirements is not an easy feat. This is especially true for products that are imported from countries with different food regulations. Thus, private food safety standards were developed by the food industry as a way to manage these risks.