What does ‘responsible innovation’ really mean?

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing

Many food firms talk about the need for ‘responsible innovation’, but what does this buzzword actually mean to the consumer and the industry?

Speaking to leading figures in the food and beverage industry at the recent Food Vision event, we asked experts to offer up their thoughts on what the term ‘responsible innovation’ really means to them.

Who should companies be responsible to? What issues are the main focus of responsible innovation, and who really benefits from these? And, are SMEs and ‘big business’ equally responsible?

Francois Scheffler, vice president and head of BASF’s Human Nutrition business commented that responsible innovation ‘has to be for everybody’.

“I think you cannot say that you are responsible for a company, but not for the people, the consumers, that are going to buy the product.”

Market strategy expert Virpi Varjonen of Invenire Market Intelligence added that even business to business (B2B) focussed ingredients companies must be more ‘consumer-centric’, while Jens Bleiel, CEO of Food For Health Ireland warned that the ‘profit striving’ activities of some companies focuses too much on the short-term.

“At the long end, I think we all have to be able to live in this world,”​ he said.

Related topics: Markets

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