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Food & Beverage

From farm to fork, Marsh collaborates with food and beverage companies to identify and mitigate the various risks they face.

As consumers become more health, social, and environmentally conscious, food and beverage companies around the world are evolving their business models to meet these needs.

Companies are increasing their adoption of technology and expanding supply chain structures to maintain market share, while facing challenges from severe weather events, increasing regulations, and cyberattacks. The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated and exacerbated many of these risks as some supply chains failed or were severely curtailed.

While these evolving trends carry significant risks, they also create new opportunities. Choosing cost-effective risk financing alternatives and implementing risk management practices that exceed industry standards is critical for many food and beverage businesses, especially while capital is tight as they emerge from the lowest points of the pandemic and seek to capitalize on new commercial possibilities.

Marsh helps food and beverage companies – from manufacturers and processors to distributors, wholesalers, and restaurants – anticipate the risks they face, understand their impacts, and implement comprehensive plans to mitigate them.


Some of the top risks facing food and beverage companies include:

  • Cyber risk: Cyber risk has implications beyond customer privacy concerns. In addition to the possible theft of customer data, companies should be aware of malware and ransomware attacks which can shut down operations.
  • Property risks stemming from severe weather events: The increasing severity and frequency of weather events can damage crops, shut down processing facilities, or otherwise disrupt the supply chain.
  • Product contamination: Product contamination can lead to foodborne illnesses and have catastrophic outcomes, including loss of life. Such incidents can damage a company's reputation and affect its bottom line.
  • Employee safety: Workers in the food and beverage industry are at risk of on-the-job injuries due to operating large equipment or working in often hectic food preparation environments. Medical, return-to-work, and claims costs tend to have the greatest impact on a company's total cost of risk.

The insurance needs of food and beverage companies may vary by geographic location, product type, and other factors.

In many developed nations, companies of any description are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance (sometimes called “workers’ comp”) or its equivalent, in case of accidental injury to or the death of an employee. Due to the inherent risks of working in the food and beverage industry, especially for personnel assigned to production lines with heavy equipment, it is essential that any employer provide this type of coverage where legally obligated.

Other types of insurance may include general liability insurance, which can sometimes be bundled into a general business owner’s policy that includes property insurance, commercial auto liability insurance for business-related transportation, and liquor liability insurance. In the event of international transport or shipping, for example of food commodities or large-scale production of consumer packaged goods, more specialized insurance coverage may also be warranted.

Cyber insurance is an important coverage that food and beverage companies should consider as they are increasingly leveraging technology in their business models and day-to-day operations. A cyberattack can significantly impact your organization, from business interruption to other financial losses.

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Sarah Koo

Vice President, Corporate Risk Services