Reports listed on this page:
- Thinking like a food fraudster – overview, Glenn Taylor, May 2016
- Thinking like a food fraudster – “Attack”, Glenn Taylor, June 2016
- Thinking like a food fraudster – Defence Strategies, Glenn Taylor, July 2016
- How do you use intelligence to defend against food fraud? Glenn Taylor, September 2016
- Michigan State University Food Fraud Initiative Report – Applying Enterprise Risk Management to Food Fraud Prevention
- European Commission's monthly report on food fraud and authenticity
1. Thinking like a food fraudster – overview, Glenn Taylor, May 2016
Professor Chris Elliott was asked to conduct a review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks, and to make recommendations in response to Horsegate (the substitution of beef with horse meat detected in 2013). He challenged all involved to work differently and start “thinking like a criminal” to better understand fraud. In response to that challenge, I was asked by the Food Law Enforcement Practitioners group (FLEP) to lead world-wide research in conjunction with EU enforcement partners, academia and industry. TiFSiP is at the heart of this work as some of its Advisory Board members were integral to this research. As the subject is vast, this is one of three short articles, based on the research, which are being published to promote debate, discussion and thinking.
At the outset the research team debated the factors that lead people to choose a criminal life-style and the fact that fraudsters may simply look for any opportunity irrespective of the market. After further consideration it was decided to focus on food fraud alone and therefore “thinking like a food fraudster” became the mantra. They concentrated on activities that tricked or cheated consumers in order to profit through adulteration or misrepresentation. This first article sets the background to food fraud, the second (below) will highlight where a fraudster might strike and the third focusses on defence strategies.
For the report visit: http://www.tifsip.org/
2. Thinking like a food fraudster – “Attack”, Glenn Taylor, June 2016
This is the second article, in a series of 3, focussing on thinking like a food fraudster and is based on research with EU partners (FLEP), TiFSiP (now CIEH), academics, enforcement and members of the food industry. It is best read in conjunction with the first: Thinking like a food fraudster – overview.
Continuing the game theory approach this second article deals with areas where a fraudster may attack. Research from PKF Littlejohn states that only 3% of fraud is detected and, that it focusses on the high volume, low value areas because they are harder to detect e.g. horsemeat substitution for beef. It has been suggested that food fraud affects around 10% of the foods we eat and costs around $40billion each year.
For the report visit: http://www.tifsip.org/
3. Thinking like a food fraudster – Defence Strategies, Glenn Taylor, July 2016
This third article, in a trilogy, looks at defence strategies to reduce vulnerability to food fraud. The two previous articles: overview and attack summarised the world-wide research I led with Food Law Enforcement Practitioners group (FLEP) colleagues in conjunction with TiFSiP, EU enforcement partners, academics and members of the food industry (the research group).
How to defend against fraud
The importance of communication: A “burglar alarm for Britain”
The research group agreed that the UK would benefit by the creation of a “virtual burglar alarm” to demonstrate resilience against the threat of food fraud. The basis for the proposal was that a burglar alarm deters crime by its visible presence on the outside of a property.
To develop this approach, food companies would need to clearly communicate that they will not tolerate fraud, are actively monitoring for its emergence and will prosecute whenever it is identified. To support this, a proactive and timely media strategy that publicises the action taken when fraud is detected and the consequences and costs for the “criminals” involved will be essential.
The research group also agreed that at the highest level, Government must also adopt a similar stance by taking a lead and actively adopting strategies such as those set out in Professor Elliott’s recommendations after the horse meat scandal. Successes in supporting the food industry and protecting the public from food fraud should be highlighted.
And given the pan-European nature of the UK food supply, the burglar alarm approach should be extended across the European Union (EU), for greatest effect.
For the report visit: http://www.tifsip.org
4. How do you use intelligence to defend against food fraud? Glenn Taylor, September 2016
The definition of a Holy Grail might be something desirable that is unobtainable. Some argue that getting the large food businesses to share intelligence across the globe is a Holy Grail. Many in the food enforcement arena have confided in me that they do not think it is possible. It has and is happening in other areas, particularly police, so perhaps a look at what they are achieving will help. The challenge for all in enforcement has been the prediction of crime and the use of innovative techniques that stop crime occurring rather than detect it afterwards. Sir Richard Mayne – Joint first Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis said (in 1829):
"The primary object of an efficient police (force) is the prevention of crime: the next that of detection and punishment of offenders if crime is committed.”
This (prevention, through prediction of crime) is one of the five key principles behind the National Intelligence Model (NIM) developed in the UK and used by police across the world.
The key principles are as follows:
- Target scarce resources in areas most needed
- There are three levels of crime (which may intertwine):
- Local crime
- Cross police area crime
- Serious Organised crime
- Don’t respond – predict
- Engage the public
- Place the data in the public domain to enable them to use the information
Researchers suggest that as data emerges there is a point where it is possible to predict an emerging threat and to take action to stop it.
For the report visit: http://www.tifsip.org/
5. Michigan State University Food Fraud Initiative Report – Applying Enterprise Risk Management to Food Fraud Prevention with a Case Study Example of a Food Fraud Management System
Food fraud is illegal deception for economic gain using food. Over the last 10 years a series of incidents has raised awareness and urgency in addressing food fraud including the focus on a proactive prevention approach. This holistic and all‐encompassing approach includes specialized methods to assess past incidents in the marketplace, review the fraud opportunity, conduct assessments, connecting to enterprise‐wide decision‐making systems such as Enterprise Risk Management, and refine internal control systems. Methods: This report builds upon previous food fraud prevention and food fraud Enterprise Risk Management research to provide a case study example of a complex food fraud management system. The case study was on the Kerry Group’s specific Global Supply Quality Risk and Vulnerability Management and Governance system. Results: The report and case study demonstrate how a holistic and all‐encompassing approach to food fraud prevention created control systems and risk communication for an enterprise. Conclusion: The entire Food Fraud Prevention Cycle provides a foundation for a rational and integrated approach that “connects everything to everything.”
For the report visit: http://foodfraud.msu.edu/
6. European Commission's monthly report on food fraud and authenticity
To support health and consumer protection, the European Commission's Joint research Center (JRC) conducts research, among others, on food authenticity and quality. In this context, the JRC has launched a monthly summary of articles on food fraud and adulteration, with the objective of informing stakeholders of potential fraud cases in the global feed/food chain, giving them the opportunity for taking actions to counter fraud.
The summary presents articles from media globally, retrieved from the Medical Information System (MedISys), the JRC-developed internet monitoring and analysis system, based on the Europe Media Monitor. The second source is the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), an electronic tool to exchange information about serious risks detected in relation to food or feed among EU Member States. The types of foods being searched for are those on the list of commodities often subject to fraud as defined by the EU Parliament in its resolution of 14 January 2014 on the food crisis, fraud in the food chain and the control thereof: olive oil, fish, organic products, grains, honey, coffee, tea, spices, wine, certain fruit juices, milk and meat.
For the latest monthly report, visit: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research-topic/food-authenticity-and-quality
For European Commission’s Food Fraud Network Annual Activity Reports, visit: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/food-fraud/reports_en