Economic Reasons for Embracing Food Safety

Economic Reasons for Embracing Food Safety

The benefits of embracing food safety standards seem obvious. After all, who wants to contribute to making the public sick or worse? Corporate boardrooms are also realizing that accepting food safety regulation makes Economic sense as well.

The obvious benefit is to reduce foodborne illnesses and fatalities. E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella, for example, sicken thousands every year and put hundreds in early graves. The ability to reduce outbreaks through prevention and quickly trace contaminated food back to its source benefits everyone.

And the world is getting better at this. Much of the improvement is due to government focus. Recently, the food industry has come under political scrutiny and legislation is emerging worldwide to bolster food safety regulation.

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in 2011 in the U.S. is a good example of government reacting to preventable outbreaks with strong regulation. Of course, we will have to wait to see how well the FDA implements the FSMA to gauge its effectiveness.

Change does not come easy. Some corporations are fighting back with an army of lobbyist claiming that fees levied against them to support enforcement of new legislation will increase costs and prices. But the public isn’t buying it, nor should they. In the long run, companies in the food supply chain will enjoy lower costs and avoid legal hassles by embracing the FSMA and its global brethren.

Less tainted food means fewer recalls which means less waste, all of which drops to the bottom line. As food providers implement and enforce standards (like those benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative – GFSI), costs will decease while safety increases. Streamlined, consistent procedures, sanitized facilities, and rigid hazard analysis and control will drive down expenses while improving productivity.

There is also the often overlooked cost of fighting legal battles and paying out settlements for negligence. Food providers can save millions simply by making this expenditure go away. Besides the moral imperative, courts are casting a dim eye towards sloppiness within the food industry. It is no longer acceptable to treat legal battles as the cost of doing business.

Moreover, food providers must protect their brands. Enjoying a good track record on food safety is important in today’s market. Alienating buyers through bad publicity can quickly put a company and its products into a tailspin. That is why major retailers like Wal-Mart swiftly embraced food safety and now require their suppliers to be certified under universal standards.

As the Borg on Star Trek say, “Resistance is futile.” Food providers, processors, packagers, distributors and retailers really have no choice. Enhanced regulation is here to stay. Every time there are major outbreaks, more regulation and tighter enforcement is a possibility.

Fighting it is senseless. Those that embrace emerging food safety standards and enforcement ultimately enjoy access to larger markets and higher profits. Companies attempting to buck or mitigate this trend are an endangered species.


Economic Reasons for Embracing Food Safety

Food safety is a critical issue for consumers, businesses, and governments around the world. Ensuring the safety of the food supply is not only a matter of public health, but it also has significant economic implications. In this article, we will explore the economic reasons for embracing food safety and why it is in the best interest of businesses and governments to do so.

  1. Protection of consumer health

The most obvious economic reason for embracing food safety is to protect the health of consumers. Foodborne illnesses can have significant economic costs, including lost productivity, medical expenses, and decreased consumer confidence in the food industry. By implementing and enforcing food safety regulations, businesses and governments can reduce the incidence of foodborne illnesses and the associated economic costs.

  1. Protection of brand reputation

Food safety incidents can have a significant impact on a company’s brand reputation. A single incident of contaminated food can lead to a loss of consumer confidence, negative media coverage, and a decrease in sales. On the other hand, businesses that prioritize food safety can build a positive reputation for providing safe and high-quality food products, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and a competitive advantage.

  1. Increased market access

In today’s global economy, food safety is an important factor in international trade. Countries that do not meet international food safety standards may face barriers to trade, which can limit their access to global markets. By embracing food safety and meeting international standards, businesses and governments can increase their market access and competitiveness in the global marketplace.

  1. Reduced costs

Food safety incidents can be expensive for businesses, both in terms of direct costs such as product recalls and legal expenses, as well as indirect costs such as lost sales and damage to brand reputation. By investing in food safety measures, businesses can reduce the risk of incidents and the associated costs. In addition, efficient food safety management systems can lead to cost savings through improved supply chain management, reduced waste, and increased productivity.

  1. Compliance with regulations

Governments around the world have established regulations to ensure the safety of the food supply. By complying with these regulations, businesses can avoid fines, legal action, and reputational damage. In addition, compliance with food safety regulations can help businesses to demonstrate their commitment to consumer safety and build trust with customers.

In conclusion, food safety is not only a matter of public health but also has significant economic implications. Embracing food safety can lead to increased consumer confidence, improved brand reputation, increased market access, reduced costs, and compliance with regulations. By prioritizing food safety, businesses and governments can create a safer and more competitive food industry.


Liberty Magazine requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
Prepare and write by:

Author: Mohammed A Bazzoun

If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask in comments.


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