Food certification is verification by regulatory bodies, which ensures that the processes, systems, and products in the food supply chain are according to the accepted limits of food safety standard. It is based on results of inspections, audits, and tests, which provide assurance to the consumer that the food products are according to the national and international food quality standard. It includes processes related to the storage, handling, and preparation of food products. The benefits of food certification are consistent production of safe and quality food products with reduced risks of contamination, which decreases food recalls from the market. According to the report published in December 2015 by World Health Organization (WHO), 1 out of 10 people suffers from foodborne illness and 420,000 die due to consuming contaminated food. Increasing incidents of foodborne illness are raising awareness among consumers. For instance, in 2017, chicken eggs which were distributed in European and Asian markets were found to be contaminated with fipronil, which is a hazardous Class II pesticide, as classified by World Health Organization (WHO). Consumption of fipronil causes nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, and seizures.
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Market players are adopting various inorganic and organic strategies to improve their market positions. Key players operating food certification market include ALS Limited, Bureau Veritas, Dekra SE, DNV GL Group AS, Intertek Group Plc., SGS SA, TÜV SÜD AG, and Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
The demand for good quality food, increasing health consciousness, increasing demand for convenience food, and government intervention are the major drivers for the growth of food certification market. The time-consuming and expensive certification process and lack of resources and infrastructure in emerging economies are major challenges for food certification market.
Food Certification -Market Outlook
Europe holds a dominant position in the food certification market due to demand for high quality and hygienic food products by the consumers. United Kingdom, France and, Germany has the most lucrative food certification market.
Asia Pacific is the fastest growing market for food certification, which is attributed to the causalities associated with foodborne illness, in turn increasing the awareness of food certification among the consumers. Growing urban population and rise in purchasing ability of consumers enables them to buy branded food products, which is fueling the growth of food certification market. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), autonomous body established under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India has planned an investment of US$ 72.3 million to improve food testing infrastructure and set up new mobile testing laboratories in India. Such investments are estimated to drive the Indian food certification market.
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North America has a significant demand for food certification market. The consumers in North America pay attention to the claims made on label and prefer to buy products certified by reliable agencies.
In the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa the lack of infrastructure and resources are the challenges for food certification market. Increasing health awareness and government strategies to meet international food quality standards for exporting the food products are propelling the food certification market.