Watch your food before global turmoil poisons it — Eskort CEO

Processed meat producer Eskort has warned of supply-chain challenges in the food industry, raising concerns over food quality and safety, and placing new-found emphasis on traceability systems.

Eskort CEO Arnold Prinsloo said food manufacturers have struggled with the ripple effects of the ongoing lockdown in Shanghai and trade disruptions in the Black Sea region, among other issues.

“Global turmoil raises the risk that food will not be distributed swiftly, which in turn risks outbreaks of contamination and food-borne illnesses,” he said.

“It’s never been more important for manufacturers and producers to be able to track and monitor ingredients every step of the way to ensure consumer health and safety.”

Shanghai citizens continue to face food shortages amid another extended lockdown caused by record Covid-19 cases in the city. Russian troops this week bombed a grain warehouse in Ukraine and tightened a blockade on Black Sea ports, sparking fears of a new global food crisis. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky warned the blockade will deprive dozens of countries of essential food supplies.

Prinsloo said the industry will have to spend money to ensure food is safe.

“We have an onsite laboratory for daily environmental testing and we also submit raw material samples to an external laboratory for independent verification. All proteins need to be tested before use to prevent food fraud and both our plants are under full camera surveillance.

“The costs involved are considerable, but absolute transparency and safety is make or break for food brands …. Investing in more rigid controls and systems represents a strategic opportunity to generate greater value for households and businesses.”

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