News & Insights

Tech development in food production brings added risks

Published 20 December 2018

Connect with an expert Technology is changing the food production industry. Smarter growing techniques, more efficient transportation and delivery and automation within factories and warehouses is bringing untold opportunities to the sector.

While food producers are rightly looking to technology to help boost their businesses, technology also brings risks that the food industry has never had to deal with.

“In the last decade we have seen major advances in technology that are being used by the food production industry,” Stephen Elms, National Head – Food Production at Gallagher, says.

“We have seen, and continue to see, fully automated factories and smarter warehouses that allow producers to manage and ship their stock more efficiently. While these changes do have many positive benefits, they also bring up risks that the industry needs to bear in mind, such as cyber risk.”

Data breaches and cyber attacks are commonplace among businesses and while the food production industry may think that they are not a target that is not the case. The food industry has been called a “prime target” for cyber attack by a British expert and this risk will continue to grow as the industry utilises more automation and connected devices.

“It is not uncommon now for food producers to have large, Amazon-style warehouses that utilise automation and robotics,” Elms says. “If a food producer like this did suffer a cyber attack it could cripple their business.”


For businesses looking to technology, cyber insurance is a must-have cover. . While policies may differ, cyber insurance usually allows for a team of experts to assist clients to limit the damage of a data breach, identify further areas of concern and help a business respond publicly to an attack. A breach can also relate to automated infrastructure and control systems being taken control of and hackers taking control of the whole automation within the business.

As technology continues to develop, and food producers continue to utilise new systems, Elms advises that working alongside a specialist broker is paramount to reducing risk and ensuring that a food production business is protected.

“A specialist insurance broker can help your business identify its risks both now and in the future,” Elms says.

Talk to our experienced food production insurance experts

Specialised industry knowledge means a food production insurance expert can identify the potential risks presented by the processes involved as well as the roll-on effects, such as the need for product recall, and collateral damage, to reputation, for example, and formulate a risk management and insurance cover program accordingly.


Our team of food production specialists calls on the Gallagher legacy of 75+ years in servicing food production enterprises, which means that whether you are a primary producer, in processing, transit or grocery wholesaling, we have deep understanding of the risks associated with each step of the supply chain and how to manage and mitigate them. 


Connect with an expert


Further reading

Food production insurance and risk management expertise

Insurance market update: food production challenges from farm to table

Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and benefits consulting services for clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance and/or risk management perspective, and offer broad information about risk mitigation, loss control strategy and potential claim exposures. We have prepared this commentary and other news alerts for general information purposes only and the material is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, legal or client-specific risk management advice. General insurance descriptions contained herein do not include complete insurance policy definitions, terms and/or conditions, and should not be relied on for coverage interpretation. The information may not include current governmental or insurance developments, is provided without knowledge of the individual recipient’s industry or specific business or coverage circumstances, and in no way reflects or promises to provide insurance coverage outcomes that only insurance carriers’ control.

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