73 percent of consumers believe covid will affect viability of global food chain

Posted: 16 October 2020 | | No comments yet

Mars Global Food Safety Center (GFSC) has discovered that more than half of consumers believe food safety and security is top global issue.

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A survey from Mars Global Food Safety Center (GFSC), which questioned over 1,750 people across the US, UK and China, found that 52 percent consider food safety a top three global issue, while 77 percent rank it as a top 10 concern.

There is no doubt that Covid has intensified food insecurity across the world and the Mars survey did reveal fears from consumers over such matters, with 73 percent of respondents believing the pandemic will impact the viability of the global supply chain. Moreover, 71 percent think it will affect global access to food. The survey results also discovered that these consumers are thinking about food safety and security just as much as climate change and pollution, 39 percent and 38 percent respectively. 

“New food safety threats, like those posed by COVID-19, are constantly emerging through a combination of factors including global warming, increased globalisation of trade, as well as changes in agriculture practices and food production,” said David Crean, Mars Chief Science Officer and Vice President of Corporate R&D. “We believe everyone has a right to safe food and it’s also our responsibility to share our knowledge (82 percent of survey respondents expressed their desire to learn more), expertise and tools to enable safe food for all.”

Mars infographic

Mars Global Food Safety Center addresses food concerns

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Mars GFSC, a Beijing-based research and training facility which aims to overcome the biggest food safety challenges we currently face.

The centre has set ambitious targets in three critical areas of food safety, which all align with concerns expressed in the survey. The areas are as follows: 

  1. Mycotoxin risk management
  2. Microbial risk management
  3. Food integrity

Sixty percent of respondents said they are worried about keeping food safe from toxins, as well as bacteria, and 58 percent revealed they are concerned about preventing food fraud.

The survey also identified that consumers see Government and private organisations, such as the GFSC, as vital. Eighty-five percent said it was critical for such entities to continue focusing on preventing food safety issues, while 84 percent acknowledged the importance of investing in early detection programmes and 80 percent in managing global food safety.