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Frequently Asked Questions

In this section you will find an answer to frequently asked questions on the topic of the agri-food supply chain and food integrity.
F A O Letters.

In this section you will find an answer to frequently asked questions on the topic of the agri-food supply chain and food integrity.

1. What is the agri-food chain?

The agri-food chain encompasses the individuals and/or businesses involved in the agricultural and processing of food, encompassing production and processing, storage, trading, distribution and consumption.

2. What are food supply chains?

A food supply chain can be described as a series of movements and transactions of food and/or food products upstream and/or downstream, by a network of stakeholders from the original supplier, in the food and/or food products simplest form to the final consumer in the intended form of use. Rather than being linear, food supply chains typically take the form of networks of nodes with upstream and downstream linkages.

3. What is food security?

Food Security exists when all people, at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and health life.

4. What is food integrity?

Food Integrity exists when all people, at all times, have access to food which is safe, authentic and nutritious. The systems used to produce the food are sustainable, ethical, respect the environment and protect the human rights of all workers.

5. What are the seven principles of food integrity?

Professor Elliott has broken food integrity down into the seven principles of food integrity:

  • The food we produce is safe
  • The food we produce is authentic
  • The food we produce is nutritious
  • The systems used to produce food are sustainable
  • Our food is produced to the highest ethical standards
  • We respect the environment
  • We respect those who work in the food industry

6. What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The United Nations (UN), an international organisation that brings together it’s member states to confront common challenges, developed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s_ as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.

The food system is at the core of a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). In particular, the second of the United Nation’s SDG’s is Zero Hunger, to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

7. What does food law cover in the European Union?

Food Law in the European Union covers all stages of the production and distribution chain, adopting the farm-to-fork approach. It covers regulation of food control, food safety and relevant aspects of food trade. The food law aims to ensure the health and welfare of humans, animals, plants and the environment and establishes the rights of the consumer to safe, authentic and accurate information.

8. What is HACCP?

Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), is a risk-based approach which is advocated in legislation to ensure all stages of food production and distribution are systematically assessed to identify and control critical points for safe food and feed. This risk based approach is advantageous as it concentrates resources on the critical points in the food chain which pose the highest risk, based on historic or existing knowledge.

9. What is VACCP and TACCP?

Vulnerability Analysis Critical Control Point (VACCP) and Threat Analysis Critical Control Point (TACCP) are approaches which focus on predicted medium-long term issues to allow effective preventative action and eliminate opportunities by opportunistic and malicious individuals who want to exploit and infiltrate the food system.

10. What is RASFF?

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed Safety (RASFF) represents the European Unions integrated approach to food and feed safety. It was established in 1979 to provide EU control authorities with a tool to exchange information on the detection of food and feed risks.

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Understanding Food Supply Chains in a Time of Crisis

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