Developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the Seasoning and Spice Association (SSA) – in liaison with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) – the guide is designed to provide food firms with industry best practice on the assessment and protection of the authenticity of culinary dried herbs and spices.
Of main benefit to food producers is a decision-tree, which navigates them through a series of potential vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain.
Simon Cripps, chairman of the SSA, said: “This guide has proven that these organisations can sit together around the same table, work together, and basically understand each other. There’s no reason why we can’t do similar initiatives together.”
Securing the supply chain
Elizabeth Andoh-Kesson, food policy advisor at the BRC, said it was great to collaborate with experts, from manufacturers and suppliers, “to make a positive contribution to securing the supply chain and reinforcing consumer confidence”.
Meanwhile, Kerina Cheesman, policy and food integrity manager at the FDF, said the practical guidance would give food companies the confidence to ensure they had the appropriate measures in place to protect themselves from fraud.
“This is about equipping people to ask the right questions about the supply chain,” said Cheesman.
‘Ask the right questions’
“It doesn’t necessarily require companies to deal with every vulnerability themselves, it’s about making sure they know what needs to be done, and that they have the confidence that their suppliers are taking the right measures for them.”
The authors said the guide would be a “live document” that would be reviewed and developed, and further background information was available.
The trade bodies came together after it emerged that certain batches of ground cumin and paprika were testing positive for undeclared peanut protein in the US and Canada.