of note – Regulatory horizon scanning: three things you need to know

02 November, 2018

How might important aspects of the food and beverage industry be regulated in the future? Legislative uncertainty is rife in the sector. But regulatory horizon scanning can mitigate risk and boost organizational resilience, whatever the future may hold.

Understanding forthcoming and proposed food and beverage legislation is critical for informed decision making. But what about the future developments that you don’t know about yet? This is where horizon scanning comes in. Used strategically and intelligently, it’s an effective way to keep abreast of environmental, macroeconomic, market and consumer factors that could shape regulatory developments and impact your business. It also allows businesses to influence developing legislation before it is published.

If you want to know what might be in store across all the markets you operate in, bear these three points in mind.

1. Official documents are just the tip of the iceberg

When it comes to changes that are already in the pipeline, checking official journals and documents is sufficient. But true regulatory horizon scanning starts much earlier and goes far deeper than this. It operates at a global level to monitor stakeholder discussions and other indicators of potential long-term change. And it follows developments right through to the stage where draft or proposed regulations are published.

Regulatory change is driven by the full spectrum of PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental) factors. So, it is important that horizon scanning works systematically to cover a wide base that goes beyond legal sources.

Recent activity surrounding the levels of salt and sugar in products illustrates how this can manifest itself in practice...

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