food supply chain (10)

10047990673?profile=RESIZE_710xFood and You 2 is a biannual survey which measures self-reported consumer knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to food safety and other food issues amongst adults in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The survey is primarily carried out online using a methodology known as ‘push-to-web’.

Fieldwork was conducted between 28 April 2021 and 25 June 2021. A total of 6,271 adults from 4,338 households across England, Wales and Northern Ireland completed the survey.

Topics covered in the Food and You 2: Wave 3 Key Findings report include:

  • Confidence in food safety, authenticity and the food supply chain  
  • Concerns about food  
  • Food security
  • Food shopping and labelling 
  • Online platforms 
  • Food-related behaviours and eating habits.

Main findings

  • Most respondents (90%) reported that they were confident that the food they buy is safe to eat
  • More than 8 in 10 (83%) respondents were confident that the information on food labels is accurate
  • Almost three quarters of respondents (73%) reported that they had confidence in the food supply chain
  • Three quarters (75%) of respondents who had at least some knowledge of the FSA reported that they trusted the FSA to make sure ‘food is safe and what it says it is’
  • Most respondents (80%) had no concerns about the food they eat, and only 20% of respondents reported that they had a concern. The most common prompted concerns, from a given list of food related issues, were related to the amount of sugar in food (63%), and food waste (61%).
  • Across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, 85% of respondents were classified as food secure (72% high, 13% marginal) and 15% of respondents were classified as food insecure (9% low, 6% very low)
  • Most respondents reported that they often check the use-by (84%) or best before (82%) date when they have bought food.
  • Most respondents (83%) who go food shopping and take into consideration a person who has a food allergy or intolerance were confident that the information provided on food labelling allows them to identify foods that will cause a bad or unpleasant physical reaction
  • Around half (52%) of respondents had ordered food or drink via on online ordering and delivery company (for example, Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Eats) and 30% had ordered via an online marketplace (for example Amazon, Gumtree, Etsy)
  • Eating habits had changed for most respondents in the last 12 months, with only 19% of respondents indicating that there had been no change in their eating habits

Read final report and technical report.

DOI https://doi.org/10.46756/sci.fsa.ejl793

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Abstract

Background

Food fraud is the deliberate and intentional act of substituting, altering or misrepresenting foodstuff for financial gain. Economical motivations for food fraud result in criminals focusing on opportunities to commit fraud rather than targeting specific products, thus reducing the probability of food fraud being detected. Although primarily for financial gain, food fraud can impact consumer wellbeing. Therefore, authenticating food is a key stage in protecting consumers and the supply chain. Food manufacturers, processors and retailers are increasingly fighting back as occurrences of food fraud become more prevalent, resulting in a greater focus on detection and prevention.

Scope and approach

The aim of this review paper is to highlight and assess food fraud and authenticity throughout the food supply chain. Food fraud is a significant issue across the food industry, with many high-profile cases coming to public attention. Hence, this paper shall discuss the impact of food fraud on both consumers and manufacturers, the current and future trends in food fraud and methods of defence that are currently in use. Furthermore, emerging issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, shall be discussed alongside the challenges they yield in terms of food fraud detection and prevention.

Key findings and conclusions

The incidence of food fraud is diverse across the sector, rendering it difficult to quantify and detect. As such, there are numerous food safety and traceability systems in use to ensure the safety and authenticity of food. However, as food fraud continues to diversify and evolve, current methods of detection for guaranteeing authenticity will be drastically challenged. Issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit, have instigated increased demand for food. This combined with reduced industry inspections, weakened governance, audits and ever-increasing pressure on the food industry has exposed greater weaknesses within an already complex system.

Access full paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2021.108171

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Report on Food Fraud in Canada

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This report contextualises the topic of food fraud across Canada’s agri-food system and presents a novel intervention framework to Deter, Identify and Prosecute (DIP) food fraud.

In this context, deter refers to the strengthening of regulatory and legal deterrents. Identify refers to the
scientific methods to identify food fraud and prosecute refers to the ability to use
the scientific evidence as a basis to prosecute bad actors.

The authors believe that this novel framework captures and integrates the key components which are essential
to reducing the risk of food fraud in Canada.

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Blockchain technology has emerged as a promising technology providing numerous benefits that improve trust in the extended food supply chains (FSCs). It can enhance traceability, enable more efficient recall, and aids in risk reduction of counterfeits and other forms of illicit trade. This open-access review presents the findings from a systematic study of 61 journal articles. The main benefits of blockchain technology in FCSs are improved food traceability, enhanced collaboration, operational efficiencies and streamlined food trading processes. Potential challenges include technical, organisational and regulatory issues. The review also examines the theoretical and practical implications of the study, and presents several ideas for future research.  

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The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across the food supply network.

The Chairman of our Advisory Board, Sterling Crew, has published a paper for the IFST, in which he reviews the potential food authenticity challenges created by the pandemic and the mitigation of the emerging risks and threats.

Many of the risk factors for food fraud have increased across the global food supply network due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Steps taken following the horsemeat incident and the Elliott report have strengthened the UK’s food supply network authenticity controls and helped to mitigate vulnerability to COVID-19 related fraud..Chris Elliott

The pandemic has highlighted some of the weaknesses in the nature and complexity of the global food network. The UK food industry must assure the authenticity of food by continuing to minimise the vulnerability to food fraud , by building resilience to possible future shocks and by mitigation of the emerging authenticity risks and created by COVID-19.

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5767594452?profile=RESIZE_400x Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly used in the food supply chain to improve traceability, but the trade-offs between implementation challenges and achievable impact remain unclear. Danish researchers have undertaken a study on six cases of blockchain-based technologies in the food supply chain by applying a technology assessment framework that distinguishes between four different components of a technology: technique, knowledge, organisation, and product. The results highlight how blockchain is not a stand-alone-technology, but rather one element in a system of technologies. While blockchain-based technologies are expected to bring a variety of impacts, only some are directly attributable to the blockchain element such as increased transparency, traceability, and trust. Other impacts such as improved data management are a side-effect of digitising non-digital processes. The long-term impacts of implementing blockchain in the food chain are not yet proven, and require further study.

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4817817072?profile=RESIZE_710xTwo fraudulent horsemeat shipments were seized in Europe last week, marking the start of an expected surge in food fraud.

The seizures have reinforced concerns among food safety experts that criminals will target food supply chains disrupted by the pandemic.

The horsemeat samples were held in the Netherlands and Denmark, with one intended for “unauthorised placing on the market,” according to the EU’s RASFF food safety register.

“You’ll see that regulators across Europe will probably now be looking at horsemeat and the labelling of it much more closely because those two cases have been identified,” said Louise Manning, professor of agri-food and supply chain security at Royal Agricultural University.

It was “unusual” to have two horsemeat seizures in as many days, she said, though it was unclear whether it was due to increased fraud activity or greater vigilance.

The risk of food crime has soared during the pandemic as the collapse of foodservice and the closure of meat processing plants has created a dramatic imbalance in supply and demand.

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The UK food industry has asked the government to waive aspects of competition law to allow firms to co-ordinate and direct supplies with each other after a no-deal Brexit.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said it repeatedly asked ministers for clarity on a no-deal scenario.

Existing rules prohibit suppliers and retailers discussing supply or pricing.

The industry says leaving in the autumn could pose more supply problems than the original Brexit date last March.

The FDF, which represents a wide range of food companies and trade associations, said: "We asked for these reassurances at the end of last year. But we're still waiting."

The boss of one leading retailer told the BBC: "At the extreme, people like me and people from government will have to decide where lorries go to keep the food supply chain going. And in that scenario we'd have to work with competitors, and the government would have to suspend competition laws."

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The British Retail Consortium sends 'no deal brexit letter' to MPs at the House of Commons warning of the consequences of a 'no deal Brexit' for consumers and the food supply chain. The letter is signed by the CEOs of ten leading retailers and says that "We are extremely concerned that our customers will be among the first to experience the realities of a no deal Brexit. We anticipate significant risks to maintaining the choice, quality and durability of food that our customers have come to expect in our stores, and there will be inevitable pressure on food prices from higher transport costs, currency devaluation and tariffs.

We are therefore asking you to work with your colleagues in Parliament urgently to find a solution that avoids the shock of a no deal Brexit on 29 March and removes these risks for UK consumers."

Read full letter here.

 

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