Food and ag traders are experiencing a global regulatory landscape that poses significant challenges for companies of all sizes.
Everything Everywhere All at Once seems like a good description of many things these days. It certainly applies to the world of regulatory compliance for food, beverage, and agricultural exporters. Bryant Christie Inc. has been at the forefront of global agriculture and food trade for 30 years. We don’t recall a time as active as now for regulatory change. Governments are issuing a steady stream of new requirements to access their markets and inform consumers about the products they purchase.
- By November 2023, the EU will require ingredient labels or a QR code on wines
- On November 1, Colombia will apply a new tax on processed foods
- In December 2022, Canada banned the import and manufacturing of several single-use plastics (SUPs). On December 20, 2023, Canada will ban the sale of these SUPs.
These are just a few examples of developments that manufacturers must stay on top of to ensure their company and products can remain in markets and on store shelves.
Every day, BCI’s analysts monitor for regulatory changes that could impact the export success and global competitiveness of food and beverage producers. Over the coming weeks, we will share insights into three policy areas that all companies should be tracking, including: government efforts to promote healthy eating, multi-faceted policies to reduce packaging waste, and the emerging issue of eco-labeling.
Every day, BCI’s analysts monitor for regulatory changes that could impact the export success and global competitiveness of food and beverage producers.
Public concerns around health and the environment are widely held and feel urgent, propelling many governments to rush down parallel, but different, pathways in pursuit of regulatory responses. The result is a global regulatory landscape that poses significant challenges for companies of all sizes.
Emerging regulations have inconsistencies across markets.
- Key definitions have not been standardized – such as the definitions of ‘compostable’ packaging or ‘healthy’ food
- Thresholds for applicability differ – e.g., whether your food product is regulated as “high in” sugar depends on where it is sold
- Required package markings have unique designs, with even small differences impacting your label compliance costs – e.g., Latin American front-of-pack nutrition symbols
Eco-labeling policies are next on the horizon, with even more fraught debate about what is green, what is green washing, and what regulations can actually align consumer actions with public goals.
Keeping on top of the many requirements is complicated by the fact that they are emerging not only at the national level, but also at the level of the state/province or even metropolitan area. Additionally, significant evolution often takes place from first proposals to adoption and implementation. With the opacity of some markets, it is a challenge and burden for companies to identify new regulations early, keep visibility through revised versions, remain aware of public comment opportunities to raise practical compliance constraints with rule-making bodies, and prepare for timely and efficient compliance actions.
All of these challenges have real implications for compliance and operating costs, market access, and commercial success. Every week, BCI monitors over 500 resources to help our clients in the agriculture, food and beverage, and foodservice industries increase their compliance lead times and decrease risk, cost, and staffing pressures. Over the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing our insights on healthy eating, packaging sustainability, and eco-labeling policies around the world.
Are there other regulatory topics you would like us to shed light on? Let us know!
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