QUALITY ASSURANCE & FOOD SAFETY 08/02/21 2021’s Supply Chain Trends to Watch - From COVID-19, to blockchain and food fraud, these six trends could have major impacts on the food industry this year. Plenty of Zoom meeting jokes were had as milk, chicken and baking yeast were among the items in short supply on store shelves during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
A combination of panic shopping and food facilities shutting down or curbing production sent reverberations through the supply chain. “The trust in our supply chain was definitely shaken,” said Kevin Kenny, a global food safety expert and chief operating officer of Decernis. But Kenny is more positive now, as panic shopping has dipped, due in part to the supply chain being more prepared than it was a year ago. “We’ve all had a little bit of time to plan and to better what we’re doing,” he said. “You’re not going to see dramatic changes in the supply chain in the next six to nine months.” But that doesn’t mean 2021 won’t be a year of alterations. “When this is over, and when people get to a postmortem, there are going to be dramatic changes,” said Kenny. FOODINGREDIENTSFIRST 11/02/21 Is food fraud escalating amid COVID-19? Labeling watchdogs flag supply chain vulnerabilities. 11 Feb 2021 --- COVID-19’s pressures have left regulatory surveillance systems more vulnerable to food fraud, with global labeling compliance bodies questioning whether the issue is more widespread than what is currently reported in official alerts.
A new investigation reveals significantly more media reports (81 more media reports) concerning food fraud than official alerts (19 more official reports) since the start of the pandemic. The analysis compares data collected from the time frame of January to June 2020 to the same period in 2019. It was published by Food Authenticity Network (FAN) in collaboration with food testing provider Mérieux Nutrisciences and the UK government. “The increasing number of official alerts where the [fraudulent] food is cited as being from an ‘unknown origin country’ is also concerning as it creates additional confusion,” the authors of the report flag. FoodIngredientsFirst has reached out to the authors for comment.
By Benjamin Ferrer. GOV_UK 08/02/21 Impact of Covid-19 on food fraud incidence. IFST - 2020 - Has COVID-19 caused a significant increase in observed food fraud incidents? SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST 28/11/20 Covid-19 pandemic forces endangered species smugglers into using cargo shipments, resulting in Hong Kong seizing HK$149 million worth of goods. FOOD NAVIGATOR 09/11/20 Brexit and COVID-19 raise threat of food fraud: ‘The food industry is facing unprecedented challenges and an uncertain future’ Elementar UK, which produces elemental analysers and isotope ratio mass spectrometers for the food safety sector, has suggested that a ‘growing influx’ of adulterated and fraudulent products have been ‘flooding’ the market over the past six months.
Over the summer, Interpol and Europol coordinated Operation Opson IX, during which more than $40 million of fake food and drink were seized, with 19 organised crime groups disrupted and 407 individuals arrested. The items seized included cheese that tested positive for E.coli bacteria, meat from illegally slaughtered animals and 6,500 litres of expired drinks. Elementar says that these activities suggest COVID-19 is unlocking fresh opportunities for fraudsters. Operation Opson IX seizures of expired food items, or foods where the expiry dates had been altered, were ‘significantly higher’ than during previous operations – and a shipment of seafood was even being smuggled by being falsely declared as personal protective equipment. FOODMANUFACTURE_CO_UK 15/07/20 Coronavirus has ‘catastrophic’ food fraud implications.
Concerns were raised earlier this month about food fraud in global supply chains.
A webinar from Foodchain ID pointed to lack of inspections across the globe, which could lead to increased food fraud. Lloyd’s Register, one of the leading service providers of food safety certification, said the supply chain continued to be affected by the ongoing pandemic. And it pointed to growing concerns across the global food and beverage industry that vigilance against the varied types of food fraud was “critically low”. Immense stress The global supply had been under immense stress due to disruptions related to transport, labour and reduced production capacity, it added, resulting in varying food quality. FOOD NAVIGATOR 07/07/20 Regulator warns on food fraud risk: ‘COVID-19 has created potential opportunities for unscrupulous traders to cut corners’ The food safety regulator said food and beverage companies should ‘be alert’ for ‘potential food crime activity’ in their supply chains.
The statement was made after FSS said its Scottish Food Crime ad Incidents Unit (SFCIU) was made aware ‘via recent reports’ that the circumstances surrounding the current coronavirus crisis had created an opening for food crime. A spokesperson for the agency told FoodNavigator that it is unable to comment on specific reports because some are live and ongoing food crime investigations. “The vast majority of Scotland’s food and drink industry is legitimate and has adapted superbly to the challenges presented by the current epidemic, but unfortunately there is a small minority using the pandemic to commit fraud, with potential to impact business reputation and public health,” Ron McNaughton, Head of SFCIU, elaborated.
To mitigate supply chain risk, McNaughton said companies needed to carry out due diligence. DEADLINEWS 03/07/20 Food Standards Scotland urges consumers to lookout for ‘tell-tale’ signs of food crime during COVID-19 lockdown. Food Standards Scotland is making consumers in Scotland aware that there may be an increased risk of food crime during the COVID-19 outbreak.
While most of Scotland’s food industry remains legitimate and has adapted well to the current circumstances, there are a small minority of individuals willing to cut corners and take advantage of the pandemic. The Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU) is aware that COVID-19 circumstances has created a factor or motivation in recent reports of food crime. The SFCIU are now urging consumers to be aware of three key ‘tell-tale’ signs which can help avoid falling victim to food fraudsters looking to exploit the lockdown. These include: The price seems too good to be true If you’ve been offered a product from the back of a van or outside your home for a fraction of the usual price you would pay at your local butcher, fishmonger or supermarket, the seller may be trying to deceive you.
FOOD & DRINK 20/05/20 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. FOOD SAFETY TECH 01/05/20 COVID-19 and Food Fraud Risk. While foodborne transmission of the novel coronavirus is unlikely , the virus has significantly affected all aspects of food production, food manufacturing, retail sales, and foodservice.
The food and agriculture sector has been designated as a “critical infrastructure,” meaning that everyone from farm workers to pest control companies to grocery store employees has been deemed essential during this public health crisis.* As a society, we need the food and agriculture sector to continue to operate during a time when severe illnesses, stay-at-home orders and widespread economic impacts are occurring. PROCESS 17/04/20 Covid-19 : Le risque de fraude alimentaire s'accroit. Le risque de fraudes alimentaires serait en augmentation du fait de l’épidémie de Covid-19.
C’est ce que plusieurs experts laissent entendre. En Belgique, l’Agence fédérale pour la sécurité de la chaîne alimentaire a signalé fin mars des compléments alimentaires frauduleux que les consommateurs pouvaient se procurer sur Internet. L’objet du délit ? Des thés censés soigner contre la grippe et surtout le virus SARS-CoV-2. Dans un message assurant la continuité de son activité, la DGCCRF indique avoir renforcé ses contrôles sur les offres de tout produit portant des allégations liées au Covid-19, souvent trompeuses. « Depuis le début de la crise, la fraude alimentaire augmente sensiblement dans le monde », affirme Ulrich Singer, consultant expert pour Mérieux Nutrisciences.
Rester prudent et actualiser son analyse de vulnérabilité « Les organisations criminelles sont toujours à l’affût d'opportunités. FOOD SAFETY NEWS 22/05/20 Food fraud rise ‘inevitable’ because of COVID-19. Food authenticity experts have said an increase in food fraud is inevitable because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board had a meeting earlier this month and, given the disruption to global supply chains caused by COVID-19 and the diminished level of surveillance, they reported they believes a rise in food fraud is likely. Multiple packages with counterfeit food supplements were seized during a recent investigation in the EU, according to Europol. The parcels came from Brazil, China and Hong Kong, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
They were falsely declared as confectionery or a specific or generically-named dietary supplement.