Press release 07/2012: New regulations – New challanges

External experts can help in the fast implementation of new legal regulations


What crazy times for the food sector! To blame are the constant new regulations and directives which the food industry is subjected to and which have to be complied with.  The drivers of such developments are the governmental legal regulation departments, the customers, and the trade in particular with their supermarkets, as well as export regulations if companies want to export their food products.

It is no wonder that food producers sometimes feel as though they are facing a jungle. On the one hand where is the entrance? Then, how can they hack your way through it so that they can comply with the “official” requirements? On the other hand, there are also the questions of how to satisfy their own needs such as efficient production, cost sensitivity and fulfillment of the end consumers’ expectations. This formidable, frustrating situation makes it difficult for food producers to find the right starting point.

As a result of this many food producers start taking wild measures without really knowing if the requirements will be met. This is due to the fact that some governmental regulations seem to be totally impracticable. With the rightly justified necessity of improving food safety for the end consumer, the legislators are not sufficiently involved in the industrial food process procedures to evaluate what the effect for the food producer will be, or how easy it will be to implement the measures into the production processes, or whether it will really makes sense from a food production point of view.

For example, if a regulation for meat processed products were introduced that these products had to be made from 100% meat and that connective tissues were no longer allowed, the question would arise as to whether they would really know how this change could affect the sensorial profile of a sausage.  For instance, connective tissues are essential in sausages to guarantee their juiciness and the mouth feeling.  Similarly, nobody can prevent small particles of liver coming into contact with the meat during the deboning process, particularly with small animals like chicken. However, from a regulatory perspective this would not be allowed.

In such situations, the companies are faced with the challenge of quickly finding a suitable solution since time is an important cost factor for them. External experts can provide the remedy because as they are not involved in the daily production process they tend to think out of the box.  They can independently analyse the situation in the company and question something which seems to be completely normal, but which ultimately is not. Based on that analysis, valuable recommendations emerge which help to improve the production process substantially and efficiently.  Very often external experts (and maybe even from abroad) have the right solutions in their portfolio: What seems to be new in one country has perhaps been in force for many years in another. That enables very easy transfer of knowledge to the local situation.

Similarly external experts can also help to identify the true, crucial points of the regulation and then to advise the customer on the best way to handle them. Mostly companies and employees are so completely involved in the daily production that they do not have any chance whatsoever to “look beyond their own nose”.

Of course such help and support incurs costs, but fast, successful return on investment is guaranteed thanks to improved efficiency. It is worth using reliable, professional support, instead of trying to resolve the challenges by trial and error.