Skip to main content
English Cymraeg

Emerging challenges and opportunities

What are the risks and opportunities presented by shifts and disruptions in the food system, including new and emerging technologies, and how should we regulate food in the future?

The overarching aim of this Area of Research Interest (ARI) is to support the FSA’s response to emerging challenges and opportunities in a timely and effective manner to ensure we are an effective regulator in the UK food system. This means identifying current and future disruptive trends and changes and understanding what they might mean for the UK food system and how it impacts the FSA’s remit. This can encompass a broad range of topics including:

  • horizon scanning activities in the near term, including support to incidents management
  • longer-term strategic forecasting and futures work
  • research into specific thematic areas that have been identified as presenting strategic challenges or opportunities
  • mapping the food system and identifying vulnerabilities and interactions within it.

The outputs of this ARI will inform strategic and policy decision making in the FSA to help us be an effective regulator in a swiftly changing environment. The outputs will also often act to identify specific issues that might be of interest to other ARI and require further research and analysis under their auspices.


Research projects related to the programme

Understanding platform businesses in the food ecosystem

This report takes a snapshot of platform businesses in the food ecosystem as they operate today, as well as related changes in the industry. We know that the landscape will continue to shift and evolve, and it is our responsibility as the regulator to understand and adapt to those changes in the coming years.

Food in the platform economy

Research exploring if existing FSA resources can be joined into a tool to assess food safety and integrity risks in the context of the platform economy.

Food in a Pandemic

This report explores people’s experiences of Covid-19 to better understand how a new food environment created during the pandemic has impacted the public’s behaviours and preferences

Market and safety analysis of alternatives to plastic food packaging

This project was undertaken to investigate the health and economic implications of plastic food packaging alternatives. It is designed to facilitate an evidence-based, coordinated response to the proliferation of plastic alternatives, one that considers balancing consumer safety with innovation.