Insuring food safety: What's on the menu?

06 Oct 2016

Location: Rüschlikon/Zurich, Switzerland



The demand for food is growing. Globalisation has brought changes to the lifestyle and earning power of millions of people, including a shift in their eating habits. The rising popularity of convenience foods and ready-to-eat meals underscores an increasing tendency for households to delegate food safety to producers and processing companies. The latter find themselves in highly complex supply chains, or “supply webs,” which are also products of globalisation and which seriously complicate the task of ensuring the safety and quality that both retailers and consumers expect.

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Thursday, 6 October 2016
Moderator: Ramiro Dip, Senior Risk Engineer, Swiss Re


Registration and welcome coffee


Welcome and introduction
Steve Arora, Head Casualty Underwriting Reinsurance, Member of Reinsurance Executive Committee, Swiss Re


Food recall trends and the role of social media
Vince Shiers, Managing Director, RQA Group


Approach to crisis management: Protecting a global brand
Christophe Guillon, Operations Director, Findus Southern Europe


Case Study: Claims, pricing and accumulation
Sarah Anderegg, Business Steering Specialist, Swiss Re
Christian Lang, Senior Claims Expert, Attorney at Law, Swiss Re
Felix Rosenbaum, Senior Casualty Modeller, Swiss Re


Coffee break


Breakout sessions

  • Emerging technologies to transform food safety
    Robin Lougee, Research Industry Lead, Consumer Products & Agriculture, IBM Research

  • Functional food and nutraceuticals: Is there any scientific evidence for health claims?
    Gerhard Rechkemmer, President and Professor, Max Rubner-Institute

  • Global supply chain: Compliance with international standards and logistical challenges
    Michael E. Kampmann, Managing Director, Swiss Food Quality Business AG




Breakout sessions (repeat of earlier sessions)


Global food safety: The role of the food industry
Anita Scholte op Reimer, Vice-Chair Board of Directors, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), and Senior Director Quality Assurance and Product Sustainability, Albert Heijn - Royal Ahold


Coffee break


Emerging risks and technological advances
Béatrice Conde-Petit, Food Safety Officer, Bühler Technologies


Food safety: The role of insurance in risk mitigation
Jürg Busenhart, Senior Product Manager, Swiss Re
Melissa Li, Junior Economist - Graduate, Swiss Re


Telling the story through artwork
Richard Braitsch, Visual Artist


Closing remarks
Eric Schuh, Head Casualty Centre, Swiss Re

This event may be photographed, filmed and/ or recorded. A summary of the event, pictures and/or a video of the event in which you may appear may be posted and made available on Swiss Re’s and the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue’s internal and external websites and in printed materials.


Photos by David Ausserhofer

About the event

There are many reasons to recall food. It could be because of salmonella or listeria poisoning or because of failure to notify of potential allergens, such as milk or wheat; it could be that products contain foreign objects such as glass or metal fragments.

There is one factor that food recalls have in common - they are expensive. A US survey revealed that over half of the companies that had experienced a product recall reported recall costs in excess of USD 10 million, some even costing more than USD 100 million. The costs for public health of US recalls in 2013 amounted to a staggering USD 15.6 billion.

And the aggregate numbers of recalls are growing. They are growing as supply chains become stretched; as demand for convenience food increases; as consumers become more aware; and as regulators become more active.

At the conference we considered how the food industry can intensify its efforts to ensure greater food safety and how the insurance industry can help to mitigate emerging risks. A range of experts from food producers, food safety organisations, academic research and insurance discussed key issues and considered best-case responses.




Food safety in a globalised world

Risk management tools that ensure our food is safe already exist, but they must be applied and adapted to ever more complex global markets and supply chains. Adaptation also means spreading lessons learned. This publication is part of the process.

Click here to access the publication.


Food safety: international regulatory dynamics

This report provides an overview of the food industry and the hazards associated with it.

Click here to access the publication.


Food safety in comparison: EU - Italy - USA

With combined revenues of EUR 1.5 billion, the US and EU markets represent some of the largest food markets globally. What are the key trends relating to food safety?

Click here to access the publication.