Food Fraud Initiatives
In 2013, Professor Christopher Elliott from Queens University, Belfast conducted a review into the integrity of food supply networks.
The subsequent ‘Elliott Report’ outlined the need for the industry to create a ‘safe haven to collect, collate, analyse and disseminate information and intelligence to protect the interests of the consumer.
A number of initiatives have been developed which enables a collaborative and targeted approach to addressing fraud in the food and feed chain. For example:
Operation OPSON is a Europol INTERPOL joint operation targeting fake and substandard food and beverages. European and national legislations on intellectual property rights and food safety were enforced during the operation. The police forces of Europe and the world decide on what type of food stuffs should be sampled and tested right across the world.
DG Santé’s Food Fraud Network
Within Europe each member state has started to identify its specific resources to tackle food fraud. DG SANTE, a Directorate-General of the European Commission for Health and Food Safety, has started to link up all the capabilities of individual member states in the EU Food Fraud Network.
This allows EU Member States to work in matters where the national authorities are confronted with possible intentional violations of EU agri-food chain legislation with a cross-border impact. As a result we are starting to see a lot more policy initiatives and enforcement linked to food fraud.
DG Research’s FoodIntegrity Project
FoodIntegrity is a five year (2014-2018) worth 12 million Euro which aims to reduce the current barriers to data sharing and utilisation that is crucial to combating food fraud by supplying methods and tools that will address both enforcement and industry needs. The project involves 60 participants from 18 European Countries and one from China and One from Argentina.
Authent-Net Food Authentic Research Network
Authent-Net Food Fraud Authenticity Research Network addresses the need to bring together national research funding bodies to facilitate the development of transnational research programmes which allows Member States to jointly fund anti-fraud research. Autent-Net comprises a core group of 19 participants from 10 member states, 1 NGO and the US, who are either National research funding bodies; experts in food authenticity, and/or experts in transnational funding mechanisms.
Food Industry Intelligence Network
The Food Industry Intelligence Network (FINN) was established in 2015 by a group of 21 industry technical leaders who represent a cross section of the food industry from retail, to manufacture and food service in the United Kingdom.
On a quarterly basis, members of FINN submit data relating to raw material or ingredient testing, including both analytical and/or supply chain traceability, into the FINN via legal post, Campden BRI. The data is then anonymised and consolidated, and a report is produced using the combined data.