The amount of preparation that goes into the packaging, labelling, and distribution of food products is hard to ignore. If your business is active in food production, manufacture, food wholesale, distribution or supply, your mandate is to ensure you are complying with the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (DAFF) regulations. You also need to ensure that tracking, inventory and distribution are supported by quality marking, labelling and packaging.
Food manufacturers who focus on the European market – as well as those who wish to keep pace with international benchmarks – are gearing up for more complex labelling requirements under the new EU Food Information Regulation.
The US Food and Drug Administration has issued a final rule detailing the criteria of concluding that the use of a substance in human or animal food is generally recognised as safe (GRAS). Unlike food additives, GRAS substances are not subject to FDA pre-market approval; however, they must meet the same safety standards as approved food additives.
Maintaining food security remains a significant challenge for governments worldwide. In general, there is less food and more people, with demand outstripping supply. One of the solutions to this problem could be in creating ingredient substitutes. Governments can now look to laboratories to help navigate challenges such as changing climate, decreasing seeding, soil erosion and reduction in labour forces in rural areas.
In December 2015, the Department of Trade And Industry (dti) and the National Consumer Commission hosted a seminar on Food Labelling and Consumer Protection in Pretoria. The mislabelling of various products is common in South Africa, and not only violates food regulations, but poses a number of economic, ethical as well as health challenges.