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Fighting Food Fraud to Protect Brand Australia

By Steve Lapidge

The global fake food trade rivals narcotics in scale. What can the Australian food industry do to safeguard its reputation for producing safe, high-quality food?

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The counterfeiting of Australian food and wine products in key export markets is potentially costing Australia nearly $2 billion each year, economic modelling released in late 2017 by Food Innovation Australia Ltd has shown. Topping the list are dairy ($360 million p.a.), wine ($303 million p.a.) and red meat ($272 million p.a.) losses, with horticulture and seafood following closely behind.

Due to Australia’s global reputation as a supplier of high quality and safe food and wine in the international marketplace, Brand Australia is increasingly being hijacked by unscrupulous operators copying our products. Pricewaterhouse Coopers reported that global food fraud costs the food industry more than $50 billion each year, and is on the rise, with 10–20% of all food and wine products not what they claim to be. This puts the global fake food trade on par with narcotics.

Food fraud occurs when products are deliberately tampered with, substituted with another product, diluted or mislabelled. One high profile example was when milk and infant formula was adulterated with melamine, a white plastics precursor, in China in 2008, leading to six fatalities from kidney damage as well as illness in 300,000 babies.

More recently there has been major horse meat scandals in Europe, whereby horse meat was being deliberately mislabelled as beef. Why? Because horse meat is...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.