Food Authenticity: Protecting your business from food fraud

Date: Friday 26 June, 2015

Venue: Teagasc Training and Conference Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15

Time: 09:45 - 15.45


We had seven excellent presentations. The first three speakers set the scene and conveyed how fraudulent activities can impact on the food chain and on food businesses. Our keynote address was given by Prof Chris Elliot of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queens University Belfast. Prof Elliott discussed the ramifications of his report – the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks – for the agri-food economy on the island of Ireland and in particular the red meat industry. Peter Whelan from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland gave a fascinating insight into the complexity of the criminal networks involved in food fraud activities. This was complemented by our Europol representative who gave an overview of Europol operations, particularly Operation Opson which was set up to counter the organised crime networks behind the illicit trade in counterfeit and unregulated food and drink.

The second half of the proceedings focussed on protecting food businesses from fraudulent activities. Lynn Patterson of LP Associates discussed approaches to assessing vulnerabilities that is now required for all food manufacturing companies. Prof Patrick Wall of University College Dublin presented on the importance for food businesses on fully controlling their supply chains. This was complemented by two case studies; Gillian O’Connell from the Musgrave Group took us through their approach to food authenticity and preventing food fraud, while Dr David Hammond from Eurofins took the example of the fruit juice industry as a case study on how food businesses can protect themselves against food fraud.

There followed a robust discussion session on the meeting theme that was facilitated by Prof Gerry Downey of the Teagasc Food Research Centre in Ashtown.

Programme and presentations

Time Topic Speaker
09:45 Registration (Tea, coffee)  
Morning session: food fraud in context Chair: James McIntosh, safefood
10.15 Introduction James McIntosh, safefood
10:20 Chris Elliott, Queen’s University Belfast
11.00 Peter Whelan, Food Safety Authority of Ireland
11:40 Operation OPSON (PDF, 6MB) Food fraud expert, Europol
12.20 Vulnerability assessment for manufacturers (PDF, 2MB) Lynn Patterson, LP Associates
13:00 Light lunch  
Afternoon session: protecting your business Chair: Ita White, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown
13:45 Introduction Ita White, Teagasc Food Research Centre
Food fraud prevention from the retailer’s
Gillian O’Connell, Musgrave Group
14:20 Food defence: fully controlling your supply chain (PDF, 6MB) Patrick Wall, University College Dublin
14:50 David Hammond, Eurofins
15:20 Open discussion on food fraud Gerard Downey, Teagasc Food Research Centre
15:45 Close