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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Technology and competitiveness trends in the food industry



...another trend is the increasing importance of bioscience, resulting in new biotechnologies. On the one hand, this starts to link agricultural and food products with health. Cheaper methods for gene mapping and more know-how in the relationship between food and health have the potential to change the way we think about eating and drinking. On the other hand, many of these new technologies are not automatically accepted by the public. Europeans favour a high level of environmental services and food safety and are risk averse concerning new technologies. Public acceptance of new technologies is first of all a responsibility of regulatory bodies, and an integral part of the innovation process for those who develop them should be cooperation with such bodies. It requires educated and informed consumers.

Education on the science underlying food should start in school. Furthermore, appropriate labelling could contribute to better informing consumers and reduce confusion on healthy food choices. However, at this stage a number of major concerns in relation to the development of the agrofood industry are evident.

The competitiveness of the entire food supply chain depends on efficient coordination in the relations along the food chain and on the full and proper implementation of the internal market. Due to changes in consumer demand, technology and the opening of markets, relations in the food chain, especially between retailers and the agro-food industry, as well as between the agro-food industry and farming, are changing. A highly fragmented agro-food and retail sectors have been highlighted as having serious downsides. In a market economy, the search for efficiency results in negotiations and exercise of market power by all operators along the supply chain, resulting in best price to the final benefit of consumers. Moreover, pressure on industry actors, especially on the agro-food SMEs, is considerable. It has been generally highlighted that SMEs across the supply chain have a persistent lack of resources as regards financial capital, workforce and time, a fact that weakens their competitiveness. In addition, a level playing field for the different actors in the supply chain is sometimes lacking.

VIDEO
Food Inc - Official Trailer [HD]

TEXT
From "High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry Report" 
European Commission
Enterprise and Industry Directorate General
Food Industry Unit




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