France's food safety market, emblematic of its commitment to culinary quality, has seen dynamic trends and regulatory developments since 2020. In particular, the market has seen a significant increase in inspection activities. At the same time, consumer confidence in farmers stands at an impressive 82%, reflecting confidence in food safety. These trends are mirrored globally, where the food safety testing market is expected to grow from $21.1 billion in 2022 to $31.1 billion in 2027, with an average annual growth rate of 8.1%.

Technological advances and heightened food safety concerns following the COVID-19 affair are driving this demand. France's robust system, with a network of 14,000 veterinary health inspectors and 5,000 inspectors supervising over 900,000 agricultural and food establishments, has resulted in consistent control practices and the implementation of the EGAlim law, which emphasizes balanced trade relations in agriculture and healthy, sustainable food options.

In addition, the increasing use of technologies, such as blockchain for traceability, illustrates the market's progressive response to growing demands for transparency.

France's growing demand for food safety and organic products

The French food safety market reflects the country's long-standing commitment to gastronomic excellence and food quality. Indications from recent studies describe a country where consumer demand for traceable and organic products is gaining momentum, with the organic market enjoying significant double-digit growth. Technological advances, particularly in digital traceability, are revolutionizing the way consumers access information on the origin and processing of food products - a trend amplified in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rise in consumer concerns about transparency and safety has been accompanied by rigorous national controls. France boasts a robust food safety system, employing between 10,000 and 20,000 veterinarians and inspectors, who collectively oversee a vast network of farms and food establishments, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. These entities are subject to meticulous inspections, and the record number of health checks reported in recent years testifies to France's unwavering vigilance when it comes to food safety.

Interestingly, the trend observed in 2021 and 2022 shows a French market that is more active than ever in the fight against food contamination. Despite slight variations in the figures, there appears to be a general increase in the number of inspections, particularly with regard to the regulation of imports from third countries. During this period, the number of batches inspected rose from around 90,000 to over 220,000, with rejections also peaking, suggesting an intensification of surveillance by the authorities.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of samples are analyzed every year, focusing mainly on physico-chemical contaminants in animal production, demonstrating the comprehensive nature of the country's food safety mechanisms. French consumer confidence levels are in line with the country's rigorous safety protocols. Data reveals that over 80% of French consumers trust their farmers to guarantee high food safety standards. Labels of proximity, origin and quality considerably boost consumer confidence. The country's membership of a series of distinctive food labels, such as Appellation d'Origine and Label Rouge, further reinforces this sentiment, accounting for anywhere from a few percent to over 60% of certain product categories marketed, with sales figures reaching between 2 and 25 billion euros in various categories.

On the production side, the market's dynamism is reflected in the significant growth of laboratories and companies specializing in food safety. In particular, technical inspection services falling under NAF activity code 71.20B have expanded spectacularly over the past decade, with establishments and employees in the sector increasing by around 20%.

key players in the French food safety market

The food safety sector in France is served by a variety of indispensable players, each playing a critical role in ensuring the integrity, quality and safety of the food consumed by millions of people. This chapter presents the key players who contribute to vigilance, regulation and technological advances in the French food safety market.

  • Regulatory and public health institutions

    • The French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA): Now part of the Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire (ANSES), AFSSA continues to uphold scientific rigor in the assessment and management of food safety risks in France.

    • Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF): This authority oversees overall market safety, focusing particularly on consumer information, food composition and compliance with quality requirements.

    • Direction générale de la santé (DGS) and Direction générale de l'alimentation (DGAL): While the DGS deals specifically with drinking water, the DGAL plays a key role in the broader aspect of food safety, carrying out numerous controls throughout the food chain.

    • Directions départementales de la protection des populations (DDPP): These local bodies are the arms of the national agencies, ensuring that regulations are respected at a more local level.

  • Specialized laboratories and reference networks

    • National Reference Laboratories (NRL) and Service Commun des Laboratoires (SCL): These accredited laboratories are pillars of the food safety infrastructure, providing accurate analysis and reference data essential to maintaining public health standards.

    • Laboratoires Départementaux d'Analyse (LDA): Located in different départements, LDAs support the national network with quality analyses, and are generally managed by departmental councils.

  • Market solution providers

    • Ecolab: Based in Arcueil, France, Ecolab is a titan of technological innovation in hygiene, offering sophisticated solutions to improve food safety standards worldwide.

    • Mérieux Nutrisciences: A company that has raised the bar on food safety by investing in technologies such as blockchain to improve traceability, revolutionizing the way information about the origin and handling of food is shared with consumers.

    • Eurofins Scientific and Carso: Drawing on years of expertise, these two companies offer first-rate analytical services covering the full range of food products.
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  • Last update : 11/12/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

France, with its rich gastronomic tradition and commitment to food quality and excellence, is at the forefront of discussions on food safety. Our market study dedicated to food safety in France aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the factors influencing this sector. By putting national regulatory frameworks, food safety initiatives and local consumer practices under the microscope, we are committed to uncovering the trends, challenges and opportunities that characterize the French market.

France is recognized as having one of the best-performing food safety systems in the world. In all, the country boasts14,000 government-appointed veterinary surgeonsand5,000 inspectorsto control more than500,000 agriculturalcoleand over400,000 processing, distribution and catering establishments.

In 2021 and 2022, France carried out a record number of health checks, reflecting its commitment to food safety and quality. Trends show a growing demand for organic and traceable products, with the organic market seeing double-digit growth in recent years. What's more, the rise of digital technology has spawned a revolution in traceability and transparency, giving consumers easy access to information on the origin and processing of the products they consume.

The COVID-19 pandemic also acted as a catalyst, accelerating the integration of safe, sustainable food practices. Increasingly well-informed consumers now prefer short distribution channels and products bearing quality and safety labels. This study presents key market figures, analyzes companies' responses to new demands, and highlights emerging opportunities for players in the field. It is designed to be a strategic tool for navigating the complex landscape of food safety in France, offering perspectives for an industry in the throes of change.

1.2 A fast-growing global market

The report on the food safety testing market forecasts growth from $**.* billion in **** to $**.* billion by ****, at a CAGR of *.*%. It underlines the importance of testing in ensuring food quality and consumer health, highlighting concerns over food contamination and technological advances. The market includes various types of food and testing methods. ...

1.3 The domestic market

France is recognized as having one of the most effective food safety systems in the world. The country has a total of **,*** government-appointed veterinary health inspectors and *,*** inspectors, who monitor over ***,*** farmsand more than ***,*** processing, distribution and catering establishments. [***]

The annual cost is estimated by the government at around *** million euros ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Increasing the number of inspections

The graph illustrates the evolution of import controls from third countries into France from **** to ****. It shows two sets of data: the number of batches inspected and the number of batches rejected. In ****, a total of ***,*** batches were inspected, with *,*** batches refused. This activity decreases in ****, with **,*** lots inspected and only ...

2.2 Consumer confidence in the purchase or consumption of food products

In ****, French people's confidence in farmers to guaranteea high level of food safety for their products is particularly high, reaching **%.

French people's confidence in products from French agriculture France, ****, in Source: ****

Confidence in processed foods bought in supermarkets France, ****, in Source: ****

French people's opinions on changes in the safety of products ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The importance of public bodies in the food safety market

Responsibility for food safety in France is shared between various public bodies:

The Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Alimentaires (***): AFSSA is responsible for the scientific side of food safety in France. The Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et la Répression des Fraudes ...

3.2 Laboratory testing and bioanalysis companies

In addition to these reference laboratories, many other companies market sanitary control solutions or sanitary self-controls. The main players include Mérieux Nutrisciences, Eurofins Scientific and Carso.

These companies are grouped together under the NAF activity code **.**B, entitled "Technical analysis, testing and inspection". This code covers both food safety and ...

3.3 The players in food safety solutions

Finally, the last type of player to be highlighted in the food safety market is that of food safety solutions providers. These are not the companies and laboratories that carry out controls, but the companies that offer and install various solutions enabling catering establishments, sales outlets or food processing plants to ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Food controls in France by type of establishment

As reported by the Cour des Comptes in its February **** report on food safety controls, the number of controls carried out by public bodies has fallen overall. In particular, controls in distribution and catering establishments fell by -**% between **** and ****. In this sector, the coverage rate (***) thus reached a very low ...

4.2 Labels of origin and quality

Labels of origin and quality, as previously mentioned, are one of the key drivers of consumer confidence in food products. In France, the label nomenclature is managed by INAO (***). [***]

Today, there are * distinct labels:

Appellation d'origine (***) : this label designates a product whose production respects recognized stages and know-how, in a defined ...

4.3 Supply trends: new technologies for food safety and traceability

In ****, Mérieux Nutrisciences invested in start-up Crystalchain (***), developing a new offering using blockchain and data for food traceability. The two companies are aiming for total market transparency as to the provenance of foodstuffs, via comprehensive information that consumers can access at any time.

The benefits of this new offering are ...

5 Regulations

5.1 The main principles of food hygiene in France

All foodstuffs are subject to the general provisions of the French Consumer Code in terms of conformity (***).

Several regulations lay down the legislative foundations for food hygiene in France:

Regulation n°***/**** on the general principles and requirements of food law[***] Regulation n°***/**** on the hygiene of foodstuffs[***] Regulation n°***/**** laying down ...

5.2 Food safety in the EGAlim law

The EGAlim law, or Loi pour l'équilibre des relations commerciales dans le secteur agricole et une alimentation saine et durable, passed on October *, **** and promulgated on November*, ****.

The objectives of this law are as follows:

Relaunch the creation of value in agriculture and agri-food and ensure its proper distribution Enable ...

List of charts

  • Global market for food safety analysis
  • Notifications and alerts
  • RASFF notifications by type
  • RASFF notification by type
  • Share of European total
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Latest news

Val-d'Oise: Bureau Veritas invests and relocates its laboratory - 22/11/2023
  • Bureau Veritas in Saint-Ouen-l'Aumône for over 30 years
  • The subsidiary employs 120 people
  • The Bureau Veritas group employs 82,000 people worldwide, including 8,000 in France
  • Bureau Veritas Group sales of 5.6 billion euros
Eurofins, the testing champion - 20/07/2023
  • In 1987, Gilles Martin founded Eurofins, based in Nantes.
  • In 1996, Eurofins establishes a presence in the United States.
  • In 2011, the U.S. entity reported sales of $100 million and employed around 1,000 people.
  • Eurofins has made over 400 acquisitions since its IPO in 1997
  • The company carries out 200,000 different tests and analyzes 450 million samples every year
  • Eurofins' sales and earnings reached €6.7 billion and €610 million respectively in 2020
  • Eurofins joined the CAC 40 in September 2021, with a market capitalization of €11.9 billion
  • Eurofins' main markets are Europe and North America, which account for 85% of its sales.
Kersia signs joint venture agreement with Chinese company Klenzan - 11/04/2023
  • Kersia and Klenzan sign joint venture agreement.
  • Expected sales: €550 million.
  • Total workforce: 2,200 employees.
  • Presence in 120 countries
  • Klenzan :
    • Based in Shanghai
    • Annual sales: 30 million euros
    • 175 employees
    • Business sectors: cleaning and disinfection, food and beverages, dairy and soft drinks, institutional markets.
    • Two plants in the Shanghai and Beijing regions.
    • Plans to build a third plant in Shanghai.
  • Kersia acquires a majority stake in Kalinisian Chemicals Corporation.
  • Kersia acquires Bioarmor, specialist in natural solutions for livestock farming.
Bureau Veritas buoyed by the greening of the economy - 23/02/2023
  • The world's number two in inspection
  • Organic growth of 7.8
  • 80,000 employees in 1,600 offices and laboratories, a p

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Siliker (groupe Mérieux Nutrisciences)
Eurofins Groupe
Securitest France (SGS groupe)
Bureau Veritas BV

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