FSS launches food crime protection tool for businesses

Posted: 10 August 2023 | | No comments yet

Food Standards Scotland has unveiled its new online tool that it claims may prevent them becoming a victim of food crime.

food crime

Unveiling its new online tool, Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has urged food and drink businesses to sign up to use it as it believes it “may prevent them becoming a victim of food crime”.

The tool is called Food Crime Risk Profiling Tool and is an online programme which allows companies to assess their vulnerabilities to criminality.

FSS has said that, through using the tool, businesses will be able to asses themselves against a series of statements on topics, such as how they source materials and their supply methods, before being given an individual report at the end which will highlight areas of good practice as well including specific guidance on areas they may wish to improve on.

As a way of supporting food and drink businesses throughout the process, FSS has organised several free online workshops later this year to help develop opportunities to increase authenticity and improve food crime resilience, with those who sign up to the tool receiving an invite to the workshops.

“Food crime is serious fraud and related criminality in food supply chains. It could include adulteration, substitution or misrepresentation of origin amongst other criminal techniques,” said Ron McNaughton, Head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit at FSS.

How is FSS taming the perfect storm?

“We’ve decided to work with key stakeholders from the food industry and experts who have an interest in tackling fraud in food supply chains to develop an online, food crime risk profiling tool.”

McNaughton went on to note that he believes prevention is “key to winning to battle against food crime” before continuing: We felt it was important to support the food industry through crime prevention in order to protect businesses and, ultimately, consumers.”

The tool will also allow businesses to access their processes and procedures “accurately” in four key areas, these include: strategy, performance, organisation and culture. FSS has highlighted that statements within those categories will help guide the final report.

Commenting on the importance of preventing food crime, David Thomson, the CEO of Food and Drink Federation Scotland (FDFS), said: “This tool is a great opportunity for food and drink businesses in Scotland to actually look carefully at their risk to food crime and I would urge everyone to sign up for it.”