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Frost & Sullivan host GIL Europe 2014 May 14, London

A ‘high risk’ industry: how can food producers survive and succeed?

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By Rachel Arthur+

Last updated the 15-May-2014 at 19:13 GMT

Food producers need to keep up with technology, adopt risk management practices, and work together to meet the increasing demand for food in the coming years; according to Frost & Sullivan.

Ms Tosin Jack, senior industry analyst for chemicals, materials and food, Frost & Sullivan, told the industry faces the global challenge of feeding a growing population with nutritious products.

At the same time, it faces issues such as extreme weather patterns, limited natural resources, competition for land, and changing economies in the face of globalization.

Improve yields, increase efficiency

The food industry is a high risk one, and producers will need to ensure they stay in business to meet the increasing demand for food,” said Ms Jack.

Food producers will have to keep up with technology in the food industry to improve yields while increasing efficiency and ensuring sustainability. This will require investment in research and development.

Partnerships across the supply chain will need to be formed to deal with these challenges as a consolidated unit. This will spread the costs associated with overcoming the issues.”

The industry needs to be well-informed by good market intelligence to identify challenges and openings, added Ms Jack.

Producers will have to remember they are running businesses, and will need to adopt risk management practices and opportunities that will protect them from the impact of high-risk events such as extreme weather patterns,” she added.

Demand for nutritious food

As well as producing enough food to meet demand, the industry needs to offer products with a good nutritional value, said Ms Jack.

Trends that will continue to impact the food industry are health and wellness – consumers will become increasingly aware of foods that are good for their health.

 “An increasing population means there will be more mouths to feed as people continue to adopt more healthy lifestyles and live longer. An increase in per capita income means people will be able to afford higher quality food.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says food security exists when everyone has access to ‘sufficient, safe and nutritious food’ to meet dietary needs for an active and healthy lifestyle.

The safe and nutritious part of the FAO’s definition is becoming increasingly important, and a lot of governments are paying more attention to this,” said Ms Jack. “Therefore, there are an increasing number of regulations which food processors need to adhere to. Processors have to stay on top of government regulations and ensure they understand the impact of these on their businesses.

Growth, Innovation and Leadership

Frost & Sullivan’s growth, innovation, and leadership community (GIL) encourages ideas and fresh perspectives as a resource to address global challenges. GIL 2014 (Europe) will be held Wednesday May 14, at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London.

The keynote ‘Disrupt, Collapse and Transform’ by Dorman Followwill, partner and director, Frost & Sullivan, will address ‘Why innovation is critical to success.’ Other speakers include Mark van der Linden, country manager UK and Ireland, Google Enterprise.

The event concludes with the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Growth Excellence Awards Banquet.

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