Food supply chain thefts up nearly 30%

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Food thefts now account for a third of all supply chain robberies. Credit: Getty / shironosov
Food thefts now account for a third of all supply chain robberies. Credit: Getty / shironosov

Related tags Food crime

The number of food supply chain thefts committed during 2023 increased by 29% when compared to 2022.

The newly published BSI Supply Chain Risk Insights Report 2023 found that food is the commodity most at risk of being stolen in the global supply chain and now accounts for a third of all thefts.

The analysis from supply chain intelligence firm BSI revealed that food and beverage items represented 22% of all thefts in 2023, up from up from 17% in 2022 and 14% in 2021. Meanwhile, agricultural products accounted for 10% of hijacking incidents.

In the UK specifically, 24% of products stolen were food and beverages, while 10% were alcoholic drinks.

Amid the ongoing impact of inflation globally, BSI said that the data suggests thieves are increasingly targeting basic goods that have experienced significant price increases. Thefts of food in transit is often relatively easy in comparison to higher-value commodities, as it tends not to be shipped with tracking devices and anti-theft technologies.

'2023 was remarkable year for supply chain'

Commenting on the trends uncovered by the data, BSI chief executive Susan Taylor Martin said that 2023 had period a “remarkable​” period in the global supply chain.

“In addition to recent events in the Red Sea, we have seen everything from geopolitical tensions to economic uncertainty, and from extreme weather events to technology-powered digital disruption​,” she said.

The convergence of these powerful factors provides a volatile and complex backdrop for organizations seeking to accelerate progress to a fair society and sustainable world by reducing their environmental impact and improving social responsibility in their supply chain​.”

Looking ahead to 2024, Taylor Martin added: “Collaboration can empower organizations seeking to open up the opportunity presented by today’s supply chain challenges and respond to everything from rising theft to climate related disruption​.”

Meanwhile, BSI global director for supply chain solutions Jim Yarbrough noted that inflation has played a key role in the number of food thefts.

The shared experience of the global pandemic and subsequent geopolitical and economic challenges has taught us that no single organization can handle supply chain management on their own​,” concluded Yarbrough.

In other news, UK egg producer Noble Foods has opened its new added-value manufacturing site in Leicestershire.

Related topics Legal Supply Chain

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