“Food Supply Chains are Susceptible to Fraud and Adulteration ‘More Than Ever’”

This is just one of the most recent headlines or warnings from the food industry. Food Fraud is not only as big of a problem as it was after the melamine and horsemeat incidents, but the years of supply chain disruptions have also morphed and evolved into new types of fraud.

Article Interview – Overview

A recent article published in the Food Ingredients 1st Newsletter was an interview with Noeleen Donegan, global vice president of Food Safety at Kerry Group. While I have heard concerns mentioned over the last few months, this was one of the most direct and severe calls to action.

“With key ingredients less readily available and the industry under pressure to limit retail price increases, she states that the global supply chain is now – more than ever – susceptible to food fraud and adulteration.”

Of course, the supply chain disruptions from COVID-19, and the ongoing supply shortages and inflation, have impacted the food industry. Especially at the start of the pandemic, the focus and energy properly shifted to protecting the employees and even the essential ‘assurance of supply’ – just getting enough people and products to operate a business was arduous.

During the worst crisis period, many new prevention or risk management projects, such as food fraud prevention, were scaled back or idled. The quotes in this article are a reminder of where we were pre-COVID. Food fraud was a top-of-mind concern.

The article emphasizes that food fraud has not gone away, and that the problem has actually become  worse.

Article Interview – Call for More Collaboration

The food fraud discussion expanded to call for more collaboration and the creation of a harmonized approach. When there is a more harmonized approach, there can be more collaboration and sharing of best practices.

“Donegan says that ‘industry must continue to collaborate if we are to achieve a fully transparent supply chain and the ability to share food fraud information across its increasingly global operations.’”

Kerry Group has been a leader through involvement with groups such as the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the SSAFE organization. They have also collaborated on education and training, including with our group.

Fortunately, the food industry works together to support collaboration, research, and development in the ‘pre-competitive’ space of food safety, food integrity, and food fraud prevention.

Kerry Global Supply Quality Group Funded Report on Enterprise Risk Management

Kerry Group, specifically Kerry’s Global Supply Quality team, has been developing very advanced food fraud prevention and communication systems. The Global Supply Quality team funded our 2017 Applying Enterprise Risk Management to Food Fraud Prevention report.

This paper was supported by Kerry’s Global Supply Quality team’s program, case studies, and vendor management requirements. Link to Kerry Group: http://www.kerrygroup.com/

The ERM 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.

The entire Food Fraud Prevention Cycle provides a foundation for a rational and integrated approach that “connects everything to everything.”

Takeaway Points:

  • Food Fraud is not only as big of a problem as it was after the melamine and horsemeat incidents, but the years of supply chain disruptions have also morphed and evolved into new types of fraud.
  • The most efficient way to implement a food fraud prevention strategy is to implement and update a rigorous management system. A comprehensive management system could lead to REDUCING your activities while also INCREASING your comprehensive prevention of problems.
  • Fortunately, there are active collaborations like our Food Fraud Prevention Academy. Please see our website for many free training and education resources.


Food Ingredients 1st Newsletter, “’Food supply chains are susceptible to fraud and adulteration ‘more than ever,’ warns Kerry’” Edited by Elizabeth Green, September 5, 2022, https://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/food-supply-chains-are-susceptible-to-fraud-and-adulteration-more-than-ever-warns-kerry.html

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