A GFSC Food Fraud report shares insights from thought-leaders and leading global food safety experts at tackling food fraud across global supply chains.
"Although food fraud does not always lead to food safety problems, it hurts the interests of consumers, negatively impacting economic development domestically and even tarnishing a nation's image. There is a growing awareness among government officials and industry leaders for the urgent need to develop measures to prevent and combat food fraud." Dr. Zhong Kai, Deputy Director of the China Food Information Center, 2017.
The growing risk of food fraud typically refers to illicit efforts to dilute, mislabel or deliberately substitute key ingredients. While the perpetrators are motivated by greater profits, food fraud threatens the integrity of the food supply chain, introduces significant risks to public health and inflicts greater cost on the food industry.
The combination of complex, global supply chains and cash-poor workers lured by attractive economic motivations, inconsistent regulation and comparatively small penal repercussions, has led to a significant rise in food fraud crimes. Food fraud is estimated to cost the food and drinks industry between $10 billion and $15 billion per year, affecting approximately 10% of all commercially sold food products.
In 2017, The Mars Global Food Safety Center (GFSC) joined forces with the Department of Food Science at Universite Laval Quebec, Food Safety@Danone, and the Institute of Global Food Security of Queen's University (QEB), to schedule a series of food fraud symposia to discuss a global action plan to devise a food fraud prevention framework. The final meeting in Beijing, China brought together more than 100 experts from many countries to discuss food fraud prevention and identify combative measures. The follow up report: Addressing the Emerging Food Fraud Threat: Pushing for Global Consensus, highlights the steps world-leading food safety experts from academia, government, regulators, NGO's and industry are taking to develop a global 'gold standard' on food fraud prevention.
The report shares insights from thought-leaders and leading global food safety experts that attended the meetings aimed at tackling food fraud across the global supply chain. As Dr. Zhong Kai said in the report: " While some countries have gained significant experience in tackling food fraud, and benefitted others through mutual learning and communication, there is still much work to be done."