A recent article1 written by the Vice-Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission reiterates the importance of offering consumers accurate, consistent and easy-to-interpret information when making food purchases online. Being the fastest growing2 product segment online with a strong trajectory for future growth means that global authorities have to respond with a framework that strikes the “right balance between protection from risk, support for consumer choice and support for business growth and innovation.”The SGS Digicomply team looks forward to actively participating again at the upcoming GFSI Conference3 in Seattle, where this subject will be an important discussion in the GFSI government-to-business (G2B) meeting. We continue to focus on solutions that maximize the latest AI technology with our experience working hands-on to address regulatory challenges.
Navigating the various online product pages has become the equivalent of physically walking the aisles of a supermarket. For food producers this means that, literally, your brand “image” is of the highest quality, especially when considering that the consumer cannot touch and feel the product itself. For the authorities and online retailers alike, it’s ensuring that the consumer can make informed, safe, decisions on what they are purchasing. We already see authorities specifically mandating that the same labeling requirements such as allergen declarations, ingredient lists, and the nutritional panel, be made clearly visible online. Even with this being the case, our technology is often detecting cases in which this information is missing. It is also helping spot outdated product images for those concerned with brand protection.
In this new, online reality the metaphorical aisles are much longer and the number of sellers stocking these shelves much greater. The sheer volume of different product pages means that it is simply not possible to monitor it all without technology providing at minimum an initial scan to flag those at highest risk of being out of compliance. A forum like GFSI bringing together business, authorities and technology providers provides an excellent opportunity to uncover new approaches for solving the challenges of food sales online.
We will see you at GFSI in Seattle in this month!