Seafood fraud is commonly reported on food fraud databases and deceptive practices are highlighted by numerous studies, with impacts on the economy, health and marine conservation.

Food fraud assessments are a widely accepted fraud mitigation and prevention activity undertaken to identify possible points of deception within a supply chain.

This study aims to understand the food fraud vulnerability of post-harvest seafood supply chains in the UK and determine if there are differences according to commodity, supply chain node, business size and certification status.

The SSAFE food fraud vulnerability assessment tool was used to assess 48 fraud factors relating to opportunities, motivations and controls. The analysis found seafood supply chains to have a medium vulnerability to food fraud, with the highest perceived vulnerability in technical opportunities.

Certification status was a stronger determinant of vulnerability than any other factor, particularly in the level of controls, a factor that also indicated a higher perceived level of vulnerability in smaller companies and the food service industry. This paper also reviews historic food fraud trends in the sector to provide additional insights and the analysis indicates that certain areas of the supply chain, including uncertified prawn supply chains, salmon supply chains and food service companies, may be at higher risk of food fraud. This study conducts an in-depth examination of food fraud vulnerability relating to the UK and for seafood supply chains and contributes to a growing body of literature identifying areas of vulnerability and resilience to food related criminality within the global food system.

Read full paper: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41538-024-00272-z 

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