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Retailers welcome the findings of the Elliott Review into the horsemeat incident

04 September 2014

Retailers welcome the Elliott Review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks, commissioned by the Departments of Health, and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs following the horsemeat incident. 

Andrew Opie, Director, Food and Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said:

“The Elliott report makes a valuable contribution to strengthening supply chain controls – a fundamental issue for all retailers. We particularly welcome the recognition that this requires good co-ordination along the supply chain and with Governments here and in Europe and that all parties must accept and meet their responsibilities.

“The retail sector has played its part by carrying out an extensive review of how we exchange intelligence, how we can tighten up testing and auditing and shorten our supply chains. The BRC itself has developed new key tools for auditing the supply chain that will strengthen controls and directly target food fraud.”

For more detail on some of what the retail sector and the BRC are doing to help prevent food fraud please see below:

Enhanced Supply Chain Controls

  • The development of the new BRC Global Standard for Food Safety issue 7 includes a section intended to assist businesses in assessing their vulnerability to fraud. The finalised standard will be published in January 2015. The new Standard includes the provision for additional voluntary modules either general or retailer specific which provides the opportunity to reduce the need for multiple overlapping audits of food manufacturers.

  • Retailers have implemented enhanced controls including re-approval of suppliers to produce dedicated suppliers lists and wider implementation of unannounced supplier audits.

  • The BRC introduced an agents and brokers standard to cover businesses within the supply chain not routinely subject to traceability audits.

Intelligence Gathering and Sharing

  • The retail sector has improved its communication via the development of two new groups which provide a platform for intelligence sharing discussions. These are the BRC emerging risks group and the European retail food fraud group run by our EU trade association Eurocommerce.

  • Cross-sector communication has been formalised by the set-up of the joint BRC and Food & Drink Federation (FDF) Emerging Issues Group.

  • The BRC is a member of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) emerging risks consultative group and as part of which are involved in the discussions on the new intelligence hub being developed by the FSA


  • Retailers have significantly increased the volume and frequency of meat speciation testing with thousands of tests conducted to date.

  • All retailers have detailed authenticity programmes in place appropriate to their business.

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