Food Security, Transparency, Sustainability Spotlighted at GS1 HK Food Safety Forum
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GS1 Hong Kong (GS1 HK) organised the annual Food Safety Forum 2022 with the theme “Food Safety and Consumer Trust: Navigating the Road Ahead”, where food manufacturers, services providers, brands, importers / exporters, logistics providers and retailers gathered to discuss food safety and supply issues brought by the persisting pandemic, and looked into ways to foster consumer trust and sustainable industry development. Mr. Tse Chin-wan, Secretary for Environment and Ecology of the HKSAR Government, delivered a recorded opening message as the Guest of Honour to kick-start the event. Mr. Anthony Li, Deputy Secretary for Environment and Ecology (Food) of the HKSAR Government, Hon. Tommy Cheung, Executive Council Member & Legislative Council Member (Catering) and Hon. Peter Shiu, Legislative Councilor (Wholesale and Retail) were the Award Presenters to support the occasion.
In his opening message, Mr. Tse highlighted the Government efforts in ensuring food safety and referenced the Centre for Food Safety taking over 66,000 food samples at the import, wholesale and retail levels for testing, with the overall satisfactory rate of 99.9% in 2021. The Centre has also been making use of social media, to proactively gauge the pulse of the public on various safety issues, and deliver targeted messages on social media platforms, to raise food safety awareness and dispel doubts and concerns on timely manner.
“Food safety is an issue that entails tripartite collaboration of the Government, the trade and the public. We would continue working closely with all stakeholders in making Hong Kong a healthy city where consumers can enjoy food that is safe for human consumption,” He added.
Transparency is the Key to Build Consumer Trust
Ms. May Chung, Chairperson of GS1 HK’s Food and Beverage Industry Advisory Board, cited a report from Europe that only one-third of the consumers surveyed believe that manufacturers are honest about their role in the food system – pointing to a lack of transparency in food production being at the root of this lack of trust, “If we in the food industry are to improve sustainability of the industry, consumers will need to trust how food is produced, manufactured, distributed, sold and governed, with confidence that information about these processes is both accessible and transparent. I’m thrilled to see how the industry has come together rallied by GS1 HK to dwell on this important subject.”
At the Pioneers Panel Discussion, Prof. Terence Lau, Interim Chief Innovation Officer of Hong Kong Baptist University, Mr. Keith Wu, Vice Chairman & CEO of Fulum Group, Mr. Jeff Law, Managing Director of Sun Fat Heung Food Products and Mr. Chris Chan, General Manager (Global Supply Chain Management Division) of Yamato Logistics (HK), exchanged their insights and experience on how technologies and the use of data analytics can push forward food safety, traceability and supply chain transparency in Hong Kong.
Digital Technologies Help Enhance Traceability, Transparency & Consumer Trust
Ms. Anna Lin, Chief Executive of GS1 HK appreciated the speakers’ insight. Being one of the representatives at APEC Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS), she was delighted that The APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security had accepted her submission on strengthening the food supply chain resilience and safety by wider adoption of Global Data Standards, which has been included in the APEC Food Security Roadmap towards 2030.
On the consumer trust issue towards food companies, Anna believes some simple digital technologies can help enhance food traceability, transparency and consumer trust, “GS1 HK’s ‘1QR’ is an excellent example: with just 1 QR code, businesses can offer consumers extensive information, such as nutrition information, certification and so on. When combined with GS1 HK’s track-and-trace and authentication capabilities, merchants can uplift product credibility and safety that help promote local food quality. By harnessing the power of technology and our partners’ strength, GS1 HK remains committed to reducing food safety risk and accelerating industry growth.”
22 Food Companies Awarded by Quality Food Scheme
Co-located with the Forum, the award presentation ceremony of “Quality Food Scheme+” and “Quality Food Scheme” were organised to recognise the achievement of 22 food-related companies that demonstrated outstanding performance in food safety management, control and traceability.
Recognised Companies of “Quality Food Scheme+” (in alphabetical order):
- A.S. Watson Group - Watsons Water
- Café de Coral Holdings Ltd.
- DKSH Hong Kong Ltd.
- FrieslandCampina (HK) Ltd.
- Hop Hing Oils & Fats (HK) Ltd.
- Maxim's Caterers Ltd.
- Nestlé Hong Kong Ltd.
- Sims Trading Co. Ltd.
- Sun Fat Heung Food Products Ltd.
- Swire Coca-Cola HK
- Tong Shun Hing Poultry (HK) Co. Ltd.
- Tsit Wing International Holdings Ltd.
- Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd.
- Wyeth (HK) Holding Co. Ltd.
- DCH Food Mart
- Hi-Speed Supply Chain Ltd.
- International Gourmet Foods Ltd.
- Tai Luen Coffee Co. Ltd.
Recognised Companies of “Quality Food Scheme” (in alphabetical order):
- AEON Stores (HK) Co. Ltd.
- Aquaculture Technologies Asia Ltd.
- DCH Logistics Co. Ltd.
- Sun Yik Food Ltd.