Gallagher has launched a specialist food-production practice to address the increasingly complex risks associated with the sector, as the country cements its position as a top-10 global foodie destination.
The global brokerage noted that food production is big business in Australia, with consumer spending on food and wine by overseas visitors surging by nearly 40% in 2017, creating an additional $6bn of income for government coffers.
Stephen Elms, national head of food production, said the new practice will help organisations build appropriate risk-mitigation framework against increasing and more complex risks associated with production and manufacturing, including extreme weather impact, food sabotage, product recalls, and environmental risks.
“Put simply, our food production practice looks at the ‘field to fork’ concept from an end-to-end insurance and risk perspective – developing a comprehensive insurance program to manage the supply side consideration, through to reviewing the bolt-on manufacturing and production capability such as irrigators and ensuring waste water treatment and engineering works are appropriately managed,” Elms said.
Elms identified more stringent labelling requirements and quality standards, food contamination, and hazard of chemicals leaching into the soil and water supply as among the concerns faced by the sector. Also a growing concern among Australian food producers is reputational risk in the event of a mass product recall.
"Where Gallagher differs from other brokerages is in that we deal directly with the underwriters to ensure the cover meets the specific needs of a business, rather than generic ‘wrap-around’ style coverage,” Elms said. “I think this is important if you’re committed to getting the best outcome for clients.”