Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Open access COVID-19 resource base launched to combat food fraud

The Food Authenticity Network has launched a COVID-19 Resource Base for Food Fraud to help combat threats to the food supply chain in the wake of the global pandemic.

Recent reports from Europol and the UK’s Anti-Counterfeiting Group suggest the potential for increased food fraud in global food supply chains due to the impact of COVID-19.

Since then, Europe has seen the seizure of two fraudulent horsemeat shipments and a report of criminal gangs involved in livestock theft.

The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board convened an extraordinary meeting earlier this month and, given the disruption to global food supply chains caused by COVID-19, coupled with the greatly diminished level of surveillance, the Board’s view is that increased food fraud was inevitable.

Thus, it is vital that we continue the good practice embedded in businesses to protect the safety and security of food supply chains.

“By sharing best practice and working together, we can minimise the impact of food fraud,” said Selvarani Elahi, Executive Director of the Food Authenticity Network.

“This is why we’ve created a dedicated COVID-19 page on the Food Authenticity Network that pulls together global resources available to businesses to help them combat food fraud.”

The Food Authenticity Network provides valuable information to help businesses secure food supply chains by mitigating food fraud, including food fraud mitigation services, guides and reports, access to food authenticity centres or expertise and sign-posting for where to find other useful services and resources.

Sterling Crew, Chair of the Advisory Board, Food Authenticity Network, said: “The security of the global food supply chain has been disrupted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, opening up new opportunities for unscrupulous food fraudsters.

“The prevention of this food fraud during the pandemic is paramount to ensure we protect the trust of our consumers and to maintain safe, fair, and sustainable business practices. The Food Authenticity Network is well placed to help as a trusted resource with its new COVID-19 Resource Base.”

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