Food Fraud Gap Analysis – Spend 2023 Budget to Jumpstart 2024 Prevention

When getting ready for a new year, conducting a ‘gap analysis’ of your activities is a crucial step. You can spend your remaining 2023 budget dollars to book a workshop in 2024. Food fraud prevention is 10 years old but constantly needs to evolve and update its strategies.

Gap Analysis Workshop

We provide a one-day gap analysis workshop, usually conducted remotely (see the details in the attachment below). Since this is an online activity, it can usually be scheduled on very short notice and efficiently include your global colleagues.

It has never been more timely or more important for you to conduct a gap analysis of your food fraud prevention strategy. A gap analysis is not a commitment to anything other than reviewing your activities. This is a best practice in management strategy, to step back and ‘check’ the system – that is core to the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act/ PDCA’ cycle of continuous improvement. (This is often referred to as ‘The Deming Wheel,’ named after W. Edwards Deming who is often thought of as the godfather of quality management.)

Gap Analysis Process

This activity is based on our research publication that led to the development of the ‘Food Fraud Gap Analysis Survey Questions.’ The basic starting point in our ‘Food Fraud Gap Analysis’ is a series of simple ‘yes or no’ questions. The workshop reviews the responses and considers adjustments that would increase the confidence in each process.

This is summarized in our Primer on Food Fraud Compliance. For a full review, see:

Food Fraud Compliance Requirements — The general compliance requirement questions for food fraud prevention are:

  1. Have you conducted a Food Fraud Vulnerability Assessment? (Y/N)
  2. Is it written – how soon could you show it to me? (Y/N)
  3. Have you created a Food Fraud Prevention Strategy? (Y/N)
  4. Is it written – how soon could you show it to me? (Y/N)
  5. Can you demonstrate implementation? (Y/N)
  6. Do you have executive level sign-off (an officer of your company)? (Y/N)
  7. Have you minimally conducted an annual Food Fraud Incident Review? (Y/N)
  8. Do you have a method to review your incidents and general market incidents? (Y/N)
  9. Plus: Confirm this addresses all types of food fraud. (Y/N)
  10. Plus: Confirm this addresses all products from incoming goods (e.g., ingredients) and outgoing goods (e.g., finished goods) to the consumer. (Y/N)

    Urgency for Gap Analysis Reviews: Global Supply Uncertainty

    The global supply chain is under as much stress as we’ve experienced in 20 or more years. The supply shortages post-COVID have been stressed by many types of supply chain disruptions. Inflation is fluctuating and supply shortages often occur for unexpected products.

    In addition to quite a few in-depth discussions when teaching my undergraduate courses, and when working with companies, our food fraud prevention message has been global:

    • International Food Safety & Quality (CIFSQ) (Nov 2, 2023 – Beijing/ Virtual): This was my fourth year presenting at this event.
    • World Trade Organization (Dec 11, 2023 – Geneva/ Virtual): This was the second annual food symposium I have been invited to present to yearly.
    • INTERPOL/ Europol Operation OPSON (Dec 12, 2023 – Republic of Georgia/ Virtual): This was my fifth presentation at the OPSON event, which is going into its fourteenth year of operation.

    Key Food Fraud Trend Insights

    During my presentations and in recent research, there have been several recurring themes that  emphasize the importance of an effective Food Fraud Prevention Strategy:

    2023/2024 — Increased focus on Supply Chain Disruptions and related risks:

    • The Board of Directors expanded the emphasis on reducing uncertainty.
    • Enterprise Risk Management/ COSO is being implemented in the front-line operations.
    • There are new risks but the same vulnerabilities (new actions from fraudsters who are exploiting the same vulnerabilities).
    • The same basic procedures apply (root causes vulnerabilities).
    • It’s time to get more formal with policies and a holistic approach (from a project to a real management system).

    Fortunately, while the risks change, the vulnerabilities are essentially the same. This means the changes needed are usually just tweaks or adjustments to your current food fraud prevention strategies. A gap analysis helps you identify new problems and clarify the necessary adjustments.

    Takeaway Points

    • Competent, continuous improvement includes a ‘check’ of your system, such as a gap analysis.
    • Uncertainty of the Uncertainty: While we usually know the types of general problems our own companies will face, the global problems are so different that there is even ‘uncertainty’ in the type of ‘uncertainty.’
    • Fortunately, the emerging trends and insights reveal that most food fraud prevention strategies just need to be adjusted and not overhauled.


    Project Summary:  “Food Fraud Strategy Review and Gap Analysis”: This half-day engagement can be conducted in a virtual meeting, though it is exponentially better when delivered in person. This can also be used as preparation for a 2nd or 3rd party audit. I request to receive: (1) your Food Fraud-related documents and (2) policy/ strategy documents for food safety and food defense. The engagement includes: (1) going through a review of your overall Food Fraud system, and then (2) you will be emailed a 1-page review of the day and the recommendations. This is NOT a 2nd part audit, and there is NO certification.

    1. Fee (contact us for details): This project fee expands if there are more preliminary or post-meeting activities. Additional travel fees may apply.
    2. Deliverable: The main deliverable is the awareness and actions identified during the meeting. My follow-up document is just a written summary of that meeting.
    3. Time Commitment: The entire process is conducted in a half-day session. There is no development work, and the core materials are edited based on your needs. There is no pre-work provided or required from you. The questions are presented before the meeting. The follow-up report is delivered within five business days of the end of the engagement.

    Contact information for questions or to schedule the workshop: [email protected]

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