agriculture (3)


Maintaining the quality and safety of Australian food and fibre products for domestic and export markets is paramount. Product fraud is on the rise and has the potential to cause significant harm to Australia’s reputation for producing high-quality goods and ultimately reduce returns at the farm gate. Globally, food fraud is becoming a significant challenge, estimated to cost $40-50 billion a year, and $2-3 billion in Australia alone.

In aspiring to reach the National Farmers’ Federation’s target of $100 billion in farm gate value by 2030, Australian producers need to be able to mitigate incidents of product fraud to ensure that trust is maintained with consumers and that producers can capitalise on changing consumer and market trends.

This report, written by Deakin University, explores the range of product fraud cases – from simple substitution or incorrect labelling of a product to more sophisticated methods that result in consumers paying a premium price for a counterfeit product.

High-value products such as beef and seafood are particularly at risk of substitution, as well as the use of fillers to increase volume and mislabelling about provenance and quality. The drivers behind product fraud are commonly linked to shortages or constraint of supply in raw ingredients, and while our ability to detect fraud continues to improve, there is a need for a whole-of-supply-chain approach to combat the problem.

But while the problem is real, and on the rise, the report highlights technology solutions that exist and are ready to be deployed along the supply chain, to reduce the incidence of fraud. A plethora of solutions are needed to make an impact on global fraud. A coordinated supply chain approach is an important first step to mitigate the potential risks and protect Australia’s reputation in domestic and global markets.

Read full report.

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This study provides a preliminary quantitative and qualitative analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on European agriculture and the agri-food supply chain in light of the responses deployed by the European Union and its Member States to mitigate its effects.

• Overall, during the pandemic, the EU agri-food supply chain has demonstrated a high degree of resilience. The
value of the output of the agricultural industry declined by 1.4% in 2020 compared to 2019, although, when
compared to the 2015-2019 average, it grew by 2.9%. Nonetheless, sectors highly dependent on the food service
(e.g. wine, beef and veal) have faced major difficulties. Flowers and plants and sugar have also suffered
considerable financial losses.
• The EU response was highly effective in preserving the integrity of the Single market. Conversely, measures
adopted under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) had mixed results having been implemented partially or
inconsistently across Member States (MSs).
• The costs of the crisis for the EU agri-food sector will be borne primarily by MSs. National financial support - namely
in the form of State aids (estimated EUR 63.9 billion) and other instruments – has been significantly higher than
EU support (EUR 80 million in private storage aids).
• To better respond to future crises, policy responses should be designed following a ‘food systems approach’.
Moreover, the reasons behind the limited impact of CAP measures during the pandemic should be better
investigated. Consideration should also be given to the decoupling of the CAP crisis reserve from farmers’ direct
payments to reinforce EU financial capacity during crises. Finally, because of the economic consequences of the
pandemic, food assistance programmes for the most deprived are needed.

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With many reports of increasing levels of fraud in the organic food sector including from The Grocer in March 2018, the IFST statement on organic food is a useful guide that looks at current EU rules related to organic food, explores how this type of food should be labelled and advises on where to begin if a food business seeks to move into organic food production.

 It covers the following areas:

  • What is organic food
  • Labelling of organic food
  • What EU Regulation applies to organic food?
  • Where next
  • References

Read the full statement here.


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