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Front-of-Package Requirements for Food Labels in Canada: Simplifying or Confusing Consumers?

Posted on February 23 2017 | Author: Admin

On November 14, 2016, Health Canada released the consultation document “Toward Front-of-Package Nutrition Labels for Canadians” outlining their proposal to introduce mandatory requirements for labels that appear on “Front of Package” foods (FOP) that are high in nutrients of public health concern. These nutrients of public health concerns when at high levels are sodium (associated with hypertension), sugar (associated with diabetes) and saturated fatty acids (associated with obesity). Health Canada has requested input from consumers, stakeholders, industry members, researchers in academia and health professionals on the proposed FOP requirements.

Health Canada proposes applying FOP labelling through the use of a symbol (currently being determined by Health Canada with properties of being simple and intuitive) that is mandatory on the principal display panel when the prepackaged food exceeds the predetermined “high-in” threshold value for sodium, sugars, or saturated fats. Through this mandatory and simple approach, Health Canada feels that consumers can rely on quick information on key nutrients of concern that would allow them to easily compare products and help make healthier choices easier. Health Canada feels that consumers can be limited by time, motivation and other factors, so FOP symbols grants them an additional tool to help them with informed choices; being a simple visual cue. Health Canada also states that FOP labelling is transparent as consumers can verify which nutrient is being flagged in the FOP symbol and can verify its actual quantity on the Nutrition Fact Table on another panel.

The proposed threshold value for when a “high-in” FOP symbol would be required for sodium, sugar and saturated fats is suggested to be 15% of the dietary value for prepackaged food and 30% of the dietary values for prepackaged meals and combination dishes – though different threshold values are being proposed for foods with small reference amounts (condiments, butter, margarine, cookies etc.).

Health Canada is also permitting or considering permitting exemptions to FOP labelling for products with very small packages, small individual packages served in restaurants, food produced and prepackaged by retailers, alcoholic packages and packages of sugar and salt.

There has already been feedback from the industry that FOP labeling may actually increase, rather than decrease consumer confusion as intended as the consultation documents outlines many exemptions which could confuse consumers when encountering an exempted food versus a healthier food alternative that carries FOP labelling. Industry also has concerns that FOP labelling on the three nutrients of public health concern will cause consumers to focus on these three nutrients and not the other beneficial nutrients in the food (running contrary to a promotion of a balanced diet) and be frightened away from these products despite their other nutritional benefits. Some of the proposed FOP symbols are reminiscent of street signs (stop & yield) which may confuse consumers to be a “not-consume” warning rather than an indicator of a higher value of a certain nutrient that it actually is.

In addition to FOP labelling, the consultation documents also discusses update to nutrient content claims to make them consistent to the proposed FOP labelling and revising the current high-intensity sweetener regulations to align with those seen in international regulatory agencies around the world.

The current consultation has just recently closed on January 13th, 2017, though further consultations are planned again in June 2017.

dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand.

 

Article provided by dicentra

About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

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Census of Agriculture – What will the data tell us?

Posted on February 08 2017 | Author: Emily Hartwig

In order to develop effective and successful polices, regulators require extensive and highly detailed data. In the case of the Canadian agricultural policy, federal and provincial regulators rely on the statistical portrait created by the Census of Agriculture every 5 years. The goal of the census is to collect a comprehensive data set of Canadian farms and agricultural operators, including information covering major commodities, livestock, finances and new technologies.

Why the Census?

The Census of Agriculture data is collected on an individual basis and allows for a comprehensive view into the attributes and nuances that are unique to each farm community across Canada. The importance of the census cannot be overstated. The data is collected directly from those who will be most impacted by any resulting regulatory changes and thus enables industry to influence change and help shape the future of Canadian agriculture. As a result, all members of the agriculture community have the potential to benefit: farm operators will be able to formulate production, marketing and investment decisions; producer groups will be made aware of new industry trends and developments, and governments will be able to develop efficient and effective policies concerning agriculture.  

                             

 

New industries, new questions.

While every census includes certain basic questions, the most recent Census of Agriculture included questions pertaining to several new interest areas: the adoption of technology, direct marketing, on-farm practices and land features, land inputs, and renewable energy systems. These new sections of the census were added to reflect the ever-evolving nature of the agricultural industry as well as how farmers and agricultural operators are adapting. One can safely assume that any new policy introduced as a result of the census may include information pertaining to these new interest areas in Canadian agriculture.

With the rise of agri-technology, such as drones and precision agriculture, those affiliated with the agriculture industry will have a better insight into the long awaited structured and well-defined regulations.

The areas of conservation and sustainability efforts will likely begin to see these practices incorporated into regulation. Sustainable practices are not novel across the Canadian agricultural landscape but have become a hot topic as of late, and with its inclusion in the census, federal and provincial governments are starting to take note.

Questions regarding renewable energy systems also appeared in the census, and industry players may benefit from the data, encouraging the growth of sustainable business models and development of efficient market strategies.

The 2016 Census of Agriculture will begin to be released to the public May 10, 2017. 

 

Emily Hartwig
Analyst

Source: Statistics Canada – Census of Agriculture

Photo Credit: Static Pexels






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New proposed Canadian food safety regulations open for comments

Posted on January 31 2017 | Author: Admin

They’re finally here! The long-awaited Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (Regulations) have been pre-published in the Canada Gazette I for comment, and the CFIA has officially kicked off consultation on the proposed regulations.

The proposed Regulations are made under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (the Act), which was adopted back in 2012 with a view to improving the safety of the Canadian food supply through establishing consistent, prevention-focused requirements for food that is imported or prepared for export or interprovincial trade. The Act consolidates the authorities of the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

The highly anticipated Regulations, which put the meat on the bones of the Act, result from significant consultation with stakeholders that began in 2013. Key objectives of the Regulations include prevention, enhanced market access for Canadian exporters and consolidation of 14 different, overlapping and at times inconsistent, food-based regulations to a single set of outcome-based requirements to improve consistency, enable innovation and flexibility and level the playing field across foods and between importers and Canadian producers.

The proposed Regulations include a number of new, and some not-so-new requirements around licencing, preventive controls, traceability, ministerial exemptions, packaging, labelling, recognition of foreign systems, inspection legends, seizure and detention, organic products and some commodity-specific requirements. Below we provide a brief overview of three key food safety elements: licences, traceability requirements and preventive controls. The full text of the Regulations can be found here.

Licences

The Regulations would replace the current commodity-based licence regime by requiring licences based on activity, rather than commodity. Under the proposed Regulations, licences will be required for food importers, companies preparing food for export or for interprovincial trade, and for companies slaughtering food animals from which meat products for export or interprovincial trade may be derived. The Regulations provide for some exemptions, and the CFIA has provided this interactive tool to help industry determine whether it will require a licence.

The intent of the licensing regime is to provide enhanced oversight of the entirety of industry, resulting in the better identification of food safety risks, communication of food safety information and more efficient CFIA inspections and enforcement actions. Licences are proposed to be valid for two years, for a fee of approximately $250 and will be subject to suspension in the event of non-compliance.

Traceability requirements

Traceability requires a company to be able to track the movement of food one step back (to the person who provided it) and one step forward (to the person to whom it is provided) – one step forwards and one step backwards throughout the entire supply chain, up to the point of retail sale. The Regulations apply the international standard for traceability established by Codex to anyone importing, exporting and interprovincially trading food, as well as to other persons holding a licence issued under the Act, and to growers and harvesters of fresh fruits or vegetables that are to be exported or traded interprovincially

Industry will be permitted to keep either electronic or paper records, as long as they can be accessed and provided to Health Canada within 24 hours (or possibly less in the case of an imminent risk to human health). Records will have to be maintained for a minimum two years. The CFIA has provided additional information on traceability requirements and record-keeping here.

Preventive controls

The Regulations propose that food subject to the Regulations and all regulated activities be conducted in a manner consistent with internationally recognized good agricultural and manufacturing practices, i.e., GAPs, GMPs and HACCP. The proposed Regulations address certain key preventive control elements, including sanitation and pest control, transportation and equipment, storage, hygiene and complaints and recall.

Most regulated parties will be required to develop and maintain a written preventive control plan (PCP) that demonstrates how to identify and eliminate (or reduce) hazards and risks related to food products. The PCP should be developed based on HACCP principles and should address the seven key elements of an HACCP plan.

The CFIA has provided this interactive tool to help industry determine whether it will require a PCP. Additionally, draft PCP templates for Canadian food businesses and exporters can be found here and a draft step-by-step guide for preparing a PCP can be found here (Canadian business and exporters) and here (importers).

Next steps

The CFIA is proposing a phased approach for the coming into force of the proposed Regulations to account for different levels of industry-readiness and the concerns of small businesses. Additionally, it has promised support for industry in the form of guidance documents, continued communication and new compliance tools. The CFIA’swebsite on the Safe Food for Canadians Act provides additional information on the Act and proposed Regulations.

Consultation on the proposed Regulations closes on April 21, 2017. The CFIA is offering a number of in-person and web-based information sessions across the country through February and March – additional information about these sessions is available here. In the meantime, the CFIA has prepared this Handbook entitled “Understanding the Proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A Handbook for Food Businesses”.  

 

Érika Bergeron-Drolet
Associate, Norton Rose Fullbright

Sara Zborovski
Partner, Norton Rose Fullbright

 

Article provided by Norton Rose Fulbright

 

About Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright is a global legal practice that provides the world's pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. Norton Rose Fulbright lawyers share food and agribusiness sector knowledge and experience across provincial and national borders, enabling them to support their clients anywhere in the world. To learn more about Norton Rose Fulbright, please visit www.nortonrosefulbright.com

 

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Food Fax

Posted on January 06 2017 | Author: Admin

Read the lasted Food Fax newsletter from International Food Focus Ltd.’s President, Carol Culhane.  

 

©2016 International Food Focus Ltd., 211 Carlton Street, East Office, Toronto, ON M5A 2K9 E: focus@foodfocus.on.ca
Food Fax is archived at www.foodfocus.on.ca 






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Key Changes to the Finalized New Nutritional Facts Panel

Posted on December 20 2016 | Author: Admin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally formalized the new Nutritional Facts panel for packaged foods. There are six critical changes that the FDA has implemented to help consumers to make more informed choices about the food they consume. The changes are outlined below:

Serving Size

  • The quantity of the serving size has been increased to accurately reflect what people typically now consume on a daily basis.
  • The text size for “serving size” has increased to highlight this information to consumers.
  • There are new requirements for certain size packages that may be larger than one serving size, but could be consumed in one setting.

Calories

  • The text size for calories is now larger and bolder to help emphasize this information.
  • Fats
  • While “total fats”, “saturated fat”, and “trans fat” are still required on the panel, the declaration of “calories from fat” has been removed since emerging research has shown the type of fat a person consumes is more important than the amount.

Added Sugars

  • The quantity of “added sugars” in both grams and as a percentage of daily value (% DV) is now required.

Nutrients

  • Together with Calcium and Iron, Vitamin D and Potassium declaration is now required since Americans are not getting the recommended daily amounts of these two nutrients. However, Vitamin A and Vitamin C declaration are no longer required.
  • The daily values for a large number of the vitamins and minerals have been updated.

Footnote

  • The footnote at the bottom of the panel has been updated to better inform the consumer the exact meaning of the percentage daily values.

Food manufactures in the United States have until July 26, 2018 to update their label with these new requirements. Though, businesses with less than 10 million dollars in revenue have an additional year to comply, making their effective date July 26, 2019.

 

Article provided by dicentra

About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

Click here to view the original article. 






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The Dangers of Executive Magical Thinking

Posted on December 16 2016 | Author: Admin

Today’s new executive standard calls for leaders with the ability to embrace the grey and drive to black and white. Yet when we peer into the toolbox that leaders use in the effort, we sometimes find excessive use of a very dangerous tool: magical thinking.

What is magical thinking?
Executive magical thinking can be broadly defined as relying on something other than leadership, judgment, and hard work to build success. Examples include:

  • Magical Direction
  • Magical Hiring
  • Magical Systems
  • Magical Marketing

Magical Direction
We know of a CEO who is a devoted reader of the latest books by business leaders. Whenever his leadership team sees a new book on his desk, they brace themselves because they know a change in management style is coming. That CEO believes that if only he follows the thinking of whomever he is reading, he can magically transform his own organization.

On the other hand, consider the case of the executive who asked his lieutenant for two good options to address a pressing issue. After the lieutenant presented both options – with their pros and cons – the boss simply said, “You pick.” When the early career lieutenant pressed her boss for his preference, he replied, “These are both viable. Just decide and go implement and make your decision good.”

So who is the better leader? The one who makes a good decision, or the one who makes his or her decision good? Up to that point, the lieutenant had believed the boss would make the decision, so she felt both relieved and somewhat distanced from responsibility for the outcome. But once the lieutenant was empowered to make her own choices, she was more than ready to pick one and make it a success.

Magical Hiring
Magical thinking can show up in the hiring process, too — most often in an over-reliance on psychometric tests to choose employees. These tests are fine as one minor component of the hiring process that also includes the hard work of interviewing, thorough vetting, and then careful thinking through whom should ultimately be hired for a position. Tests can confirm what a behavior-based interview assessment has concluded, or they can highlight inconsistencies – even point out something that was missed. But tests become magical thinking when a manager uses a score alone to make a hiring decision, or as a pre-screening pass/fail and thus relieve him or her from the responsibility of a careful, holistic hiring process.

Magical Systems
“Our sales will really take off once we invest in a full-function Customer Relationship Management system.” The idea that employees who were not terribly proactive or productive to begin with will suddenly become so because of a new system is simply magical thinking. Training and equipping a sales force is hard work. Systems can help management, but they are not a substitute for the daily discipline and accountability of business development.

Another example of Magical Systems is an investment firm that relies solely on spreadsheets or formulas to pick winners and then waits to see what happens. They fail to realize the difference between passive reliance on numbers and analytics versus nurturing of a culture that not only picks potential winners, but then works hard to maximize the return on each one over the long haul.

Magical Marketing
We also see firms searching for that magical marketing “silver bullet.” They believe, “If we can just get our people more engaged in social media, then they will become more engaged with our clients.” Never mind that they are not picking up the phone or getting on a plane to see prospects now. What they are really saying is that they want to avoid personal contact.

Similarly, the company may think the answer is a new website, the right catch-phrase, or a stellar commercial. Any or all of these may be smart, but they are magical thinking if they lack an intellectually honest assessment of whether or not the product is right – and fail to make sure that those who field the incoming leads are fully equipped to take advantage of the fruit of the marketing effort.

Final Thoughts
Looking for magical solutions doesn’t work because … there are no magical solutions. Deflecting results onto a “thing” is avoiding the reality that people are the ultimate determinant of success. Effective leaders don’t build castles in the air. They chart a course, hire the best talent they can, and then free their team to pursue the chosen course. They make decisions, take action, and then make their decisions good.

 

Greg Duerksen
President, Kincannon & Reed

 

Article provided by Kincannon & Reed

 

About Kincannon & Reed
Kincannon & Reed recruits leaders for organizations that feed the world and keep it healthy. Their focus is on the interrelated realms of food, agribusiness, and life science. Their clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as investment funds, financial institutions, industry associations, universities, and non-profit and development organizations. This sector knowledge streamlines the search process and enables them to better asses a candidates organizational fit and more compellingly present to them a client’s opportunity. In addition, the principals at Kincannon & Reed are former senior executives from the sectors they serve. This distinctive difference allows them to understand at a personal level, not just at an intellectual level, the environment in which you operate. The result is a quality conversation around your needs and a smoother recruitment process. To learn more about Kincannon & Reed, visit: www.KRsearch.com



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How Aspiring Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From Proper Business Communication

Posted on December 14 2016 | Author: Andrew Forgeron

For an entrepreneur there are many aspects to running a successful, well-rounded business. One significant factor to success is proper communication among employees and management, as well as B2B and B2C interactions. Without successful business communication, a business could suffer massive losses, injuries and even fatal mistakes can occur. An entrepreneur needs to be able to understand common challenges of business communication, characteristics of communication effectiveness as well as the importance of being able to adapt with technological change and its relation to communication.

Problems Surrounding Business Communication
Problems in business communication can come in numerous forms, and can have very different, problematic effects. For an entrepreneur to succeed they need to be aware of potential barriers within the communication process and how to avoid them. A few specific examples of barriers in business communication are:

Filtering – A barrier created by a speaker manipulating information they communicated to highlight positive aspects within a conversation and filter out the negative topics so that the audience does not know about problems and the severity they may possess.

Selective perception – This is a barrier put up by the receiver to select which information they want to see and hear based on their own specific needs.

Nonverbal communication – This is one of the most common barriers in communication. Many individuals may take nonverbal queues the wrong way, distorting the message that is being communicated.

Regardless of how the information is communicated; it needs to be conveyed in the clearest form possible. The communication process diagram demonstrates the varying areas in which barriers from employees, clients, partners, or other indirect consumers can easily arise and distort the message being communicated. An entrepreneur needs to be able to identify where the problem is originating and how to handle it as fast as possible.

Communication Process Diagram:


 

How to use Business Communication Effectively
Effective business communication has three specific characteristics that entrepreneurs need to follow for business success.

 1. Strategy in business communication comes from an individual’s ability to pre-plan a message. This planning phase involves developing the message, determining a target audience and the most appropriate medium for delivery. With strategy comes plenty of research – and in most instances, an entrepreneur should know the age, race, and gender of the audience to ensure their message will be communicated effectively and avoid misunderstanding.

 2. Being professional while communicating is such an important characteristic for entrepreneurs to follow – it could ultimately be the deciding factor of making a deal or losing one. Professional communication whether in person, via email, over the phone, etc., will foster a positive business reputation.

 3.  Adaptability in business communication trends is a very important aspect of corporate success. Entrepreneurs need to be able to adjust the way they communicate depending on the situation at hand. The situational context of an entrepreneur’s communication can affect how an entrepreneur approaches others and how the recipient deciphers the messages.

Business Communication and Technological Change
Being able to adapt to new communication technology will greatly benefit a new business’ progress by adding efficiency and ease to the workday. Entrepreneurs need to be familiar with technological software like email, video chat applications and online meeting websites.

 Communicating with consumers has greatly changed since the invention of the television and radio. Through technological change, social media has been introduced and developed as a top B2C tool. With over a billion active users on Facebook alone, it is no surprise that entrepreneurs thrive when social media is used effectively as a marketing tool. An entrepreneur must use their social media page correctly by following the three business communication strategies as mentioned above to ensure their messages are communicated properly to their audience.

 

Andrew Forgeron
Corporate Program Assistant 

 

Sources
Barriers to Effective Communication
Business To Business - B To B
Business To Consumer - B To C
How to Adapt the Way You Communicate to Different Situations
Three Steps to Effective Communication
What is Strategic Communications?

 






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Health Canada Approves Use of Stevia as a Sweetener in Nutritional Supplement Bars

Posted on December 08 2016 | Author: Admin

On August 24, Health Canada’s Food Directorate issued a Notice of Modification to Enable the Use of Steviol Glycosides (the active ingredient in stevia leaf extract) as a Sweetener in Nutritional Supplement Bars.

This is great news for the industry, as approval for stevia in various food products has lagged behind the US market for some time, with many customers wondering why low-calorie nutritional bars do not have stevia as an ingredient.

This also led to an unfair playing field in the industry, as Canadian manufacturers were limited in their choice of sweeteners to add to low-calorie Nutritional Supplement bars.

This Notice of Modification adds to expand the list of foods in Canada that can include steviol glycosides (stevia leaf extract) as a sweetener.

While the term is not in common use, Nutritional Supplements are a specific category of food within the Canadian Food and Drugs Regulations (FDR). They are located in FDR Division 24, Foods for Special Dietary Use, specifically in Section B.24.200.

While most consumers will not be familiar with this category as a distinct type of food, most people are aware of the concept of Meal Replacements. Meal Replacements are also found in Division 24 of the FDR. Up until now, Meal Replacements were allowed to use stevia, but Nutritional Supplements were not.

The two categories are quite similar in terms of compositional requirements of the products. The biggest differences are that Nutritional Supplements are permitted to have a lower total calorie count than Meal Replacements, and in addition they cannot be advertised as a replacement for a meal.  The easiest way for the general public to think of Nutritional Supplements is that they are a Low-Cal version of Meal Replacements.

 

Article provided by dicentra


About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

Click here to view the original article. 






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A User’s Guide to Social Media Strategies

Posted on November 30 2016 | Author: Rachael Piccoli Kuschke

In the past, it took 60 years for television to reach 1 billion households. In this generation, it only took 5 years for cellphones to reach the same amount of people. In today’s generation, the increase in cellphone users goes hand in hand with the use of social media platforms due to the growing amount of people who use their phone for the internet and social networking apps. Technology is growing rapidly, requiring consumers, and more importantly businesses, to grow with it. With 70% of the global population expected to have smartphones by 2020, it is imperative businesses are active on social media.

Social media can be a great tool for organizations to reach a large segment of their consumers, help them interact with users and uncover consumer needs. Two of the most popular social media platforms used by businesses are Twitter and Facebook. Each of these platforms has unique strategies and goals associated with it.

Twitter
Twitter focuses on 4 key pillars: public, conversational, real time and distributed information. Since each post is limited to 140 characters, Twitter is not about creating long, in-depth messages– it is about grabbing the users attention, being seen and engaging with the public multiple times a day.

Did you know that 80% of customer service requests come from Twitter?

It is important for businesses to interact with customers to identify needs, areas of improvement and to keep the “conversation going”. It is not often that people take their complaints into a store anymore; businesses should prioritize activity on the platforms that consumers favour and use to express their opinions.  This can assist with fostering customer satisfaction and even staying ahead of the competition.

Twitter is also a great place to keep up with current news and trends. If there is a specific issue that everyone is tweeting about – businesses should consider becoming a part of the conversation! Organizations can increase engagement when they express an opinion, encouraging their consumers to share their views as well. It also indicates to consumers that your organization is keeping up with current trends, news and is active on the platform.

Facebook
Facebook has changed significantly since its launch in 2004. It has grown from a standard image-sharing network to a marketing hub. Today, Facebook is populated with multiple advertisements, promotions, pages, interests and “likes” posted to your profile. This gives companies access to information that they have never been able to see before!

Consumers are able to “like” different company pages, share articles, videos and photos they enjoy as well as comment on all content circulating the platform. This has allowed users to become very interactive online and has created a space to share thoughts and opinions on practically anything. Since consumers can share information online so easily, Facebook is a great way for companies to utilize social marketing. By promoting your organization on Facebook, you allow people to easily share your content with their networks, who can then share with their networks and so on. With features that allow you to “like” and comment, it is easy for consumers to receive feedback and identify what pages their friends are “liking”, and thus, possibly influencing brand behaviour. 

A recent study found that trusted social media users play a larger role in purchase decisions than product manufactures/retailers – these users are often referred to as “influencers”. Consumers value other consumers’ opinions, which means that “influencers” can play a huge part in the marketing of a brand – especially on social media where more than half of the population is active!

By promoting your product on Facebook, it gives people the opportunity to share their interest in your product with their network and potentially promote it with the click of a button. “Likes” and positive comments can help enhance a brand’s reputation and help you promote your product or business.

Growing With Technology
The way consumers use technology has changed, making it extremely important for businesses to adapt and understand how consumers are engaging with it.  Since the invention of smartphones, consumers are using various social media apps to converse and share opinions online. This is the new way of communicating in today’s generation, making it essential for businesses to be part of social media and its communication platform.

Hopefully this post has provided you with more information on using social media across different platforms.

 

Rachael Piccoli Kuschke
Marketing & Events Assistant 

 

Sources
5 Social Media Metrics that Your Business Should be Tracking
70 Percent of Population Will Have Smartphones by 2020
Hootsuite Conference 2016
Impact of Social Influence in E-Commerce Decision Making

 

Photo
Pixabay
 






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Are You Meeting FSMA Produce Safety Rule?

Posted on November 24 2016 | Author: Admin

The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) requires growers to initially establish a Microbial Water Quality Profile (MWQP) for each untreated surface agricultural water source used during growing activities of covered produce (other than sprouts).

The Produce Safety Rules (PSR) must be applied for each water source using a direct water application method and annual surveys must be conducted for that water source in subsequent years.

The water quality profile is based on the levels of generic E. coli in your agricultural water using 100mL sample sizes. The method of testing for generic E. coli must be conducted following U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 1603. Methods other than 1603 may be used but they must be scientifically valid and shown to be at least equivalent to EPA Method 1603 in accuracy, precision, and sensitivity.

Some experts have stated that testing water samples with 100mL sample size is not sufficient and may not detect pathogens if they are at very low levels.

Research led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is examining a new irrigation water sample collection and testing methods that are expected to enable better detection of pathogens and fecal organisms other than E.coli for irrigation water. Ultra filtration water sampling techniques seem to be offering better options for risk assessment. The technique involves robust filters with minute pours that can trap bacteria, parasites and viruses. A battery powered portable pump is used to filter water from rivers, lakes or ponds at rates of 2 to 4 liters per minute.

Agricultural water is defined in part “as water that is intended to, or likely to, contact the harvestable portion of covered produce or food-contact surfaces.”

Geometric Mean (GM): GM is essentially the average amount of generic E. coli in your water source. FSMA Produce Safety Rule criteria requires a GM at or below 126 E. coli CFU/100mL.

Statistical Threshold Value (STV): STV is a measure of variability of generic E. coli levels in your water source. In simple terms, it is the level where 90 percent of the samples (log values) are below the value. Produce Safety Rule requires an STV at or below 410 E. coli CFU/100mL.

CFU (colony forming units) is the estimate of bacterial concentration in your water per 100mL.

 

Article provided by dicentra

About dicentra
dicentra is a professional consulting firm that specializes in addressing all matters related to safety, quality and compliance for all product categories in the health sciences and food industries. We evaluate, implement, and provide all the necessary support for your products and operations to gain market access and build confidence in your brand. To learn more about dicentra, please visit www.dicentra.com

Click here to view the original article. 






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