Collaboration needed to tackle food fraud

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The head of the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) National Food Crime Unit has renewed calls for collaboration between the organisation and manufacturers, to help prevent food fraud.

In this exclusive video interview, filmed at Food Manufacture’s​ Food Safety Conference, head of food crime Andy Morling questioned why manufacturers were not reporting instances of fraud.

“[Surveyed] food safety officials said that food fraud is on the increase. Well if that’s the case, why has it not been reported to my agency?” ​asked Morling, commenting on some of the findings of Food Manufacture​’s survey of hundreds of food industry managers (look out for the July issue for more details).

My worry is about the small percentage in industry who feel that we would not protect their anonymity or their business interests if they were to report to us.”

Victim of fraud

When a food business has become a victim of fraud, there is an ethical obligation for them to report the instance to the Food Crime Unit, argued Morling. However, he called for an end to a culture of “finger pointing”​ at businesses that had inadvertently passed on fraudulent products to their customers.

He added: “There’s only one person to blame for food fraud and that’s the person that commits the fraud.”

Morling also talked about the recent funding awarded to the FSA to help bolster its National Food Crime Unit, allowing the organisation to investigate the intelligence it gathers – instead of passing it on to other agencies. The funding would also increase the Food Crime Unit’s number of staff from 22 to 80.

Entitled ‘A focus on future law and threats’, Food Manufacture’s Food Safety Conference 2018 was held at etc.venues Maple House, Birmingham. It was sponsored by AIB International, Pal International, and Westgate Factory Dividers.

Please click this link​ to register your interest for next year’s conference.

Meanwhile, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has criticised Michael Gove​ for his statements regarding non-British vets, and warned that personnel shortages in the industry could lead to more incidents of food fraud.

Related topics Food Safety Supply Chain

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