Vulnerability Management Initiatives

Date: June, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-905767-90-8

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VMI-Cover.jpgThe food chain on the island of Ireland is now part of a much larger and more complex interconnected global food chain. In recent years, a number of high-profile events such as the 2013 horsemeat scandal have called into question the resilience of the food supply chain to withstand the impact of economically motivated adulteration or ideologically motivated attacks. These so called high impact / low probability or “black swan” events present challenges for food businesses and regulators both in terms of protecting public health and offsetting any reputational risks associated with such events.

This report highlights the findings of an investigation into the perspectives and practices of key food chain stakeholders on the island of Ireland vis-a-vis such challenges. It also looked at approaches being taken in other selected member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to manage vulnerabilities in the food chain that could be exploited for economically motivated adulteration or ideologically motivated threat.

The key characteristics of these vulnerabilities were identified and the resulting cross-country analysis of Vulnerability Management Initiatives has led to the development of a Vulnerability Management Framework. This is used to illustrate strategies for detecting, deterring and preventing economically or ideologically-motivated food product adulteration. The strategies are set within an institutional landscape in which both public and private organisations play a role in establishing regulations, standards and processes that influence behaviour at both the organisational and individual levels.