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Advice on defending against food crime

13 June 2024

Campden BRI has launched an e-book designed to help businesses defend themselves against the threat of food crime.

Entitled ‘Beating food crime: How to defend your business against the threat of food fraud and malicious attacks’ it covers the complex subject of food fraud and food defence, including recent global examples, and it offers insight into new methodology to protect businesses against food crime, alongside advice on crisis management should the worst happen. 

Food fraud can include misrepresenting ingredients, mislabelling, tampering, bulking genuine products with other ingredients, or false health and well-being statements. At its worst, food fraud can pose a severe threat to health, such as when peanut shells –  a serious allergen for some –  are used to bulk out cumin spice. 

Food defence covers malicious attacks on food supplies designed to disrupt or contaminate supply chains. While food fraud often goes undetected, malicious attacks are, by their nature, more conspicuous. This type of food crime can include theft, illegal processing, misrepresentation, falsifying documents, substituting an inferior substance or product, adulterating foreign substances that are not on the product’s label, and waste diversion.

Bertrand Emond from Campden BRI, said: “We live in challenging times so we must be aware of the potential triggers and drivers for risks such as adulteration and other fraudulent activities that may affect our supply chains. The new e-book provides support and guidance for food companies to help avoid falling foul of the growing threat of food crime.

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, adulteration cases increased by 30% globally in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The war in Ukraine led to global prices for cereals, sunflower oil and fertiliser reaching record highs. Furthermore, bad harvests, extreme weather events, and other causes of shortages and cost rises, can all act as triggers for potential food fraud.”

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