PwC backs app launch to fight “food fraud”

Mislabelling and counterfeit products cost industry an estimated €40 billion a year

  Kerry Group is one of the main backers of the food safety app designed to identify problems in the food supply chain. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Kerry Group is one of the main backers of the food safety app designed to identify problems in the food supply chain. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

PricewaterHouse Coopers (PwC) and SSAFE, a global food safety non-profit backed by McDonalds and Kerry Group, have launched a free app for companies in the food industry to help them detect fraud.

PwC estimates that so-called “food fraud”, such as mislabelling food as organic or counterfeit food products, cost the industry up to $40 billion globally each year. The app, PwC says, will help companies identify weaknesses in their supply chain.

A PwC survey has suggested that one in three food companies is affected by food fraud, while half of companies believe that there are simple techniques available to counterfeit their products.

The firm said the app, which was developed with a Dutch university, is freely available for download, and helps companies assess the risks involved in the management of its products and suppliers.

“ Food supply chains are now vast webs of tangled transactions that are continuing to expand and become more complicated,” said John Dillon, head of PwC Ireland’s retail, consumer & food industries group.

“Expectations on quality and value are increasing, competition is driving down margins. So, is it really surprising that we increasingly hear of new problems in the food supply chain?”

Mr Dillon added: “In Ireland it is important to continue to protect our reputation as food ambassadors and that the industry focus on not risking our reputation and ensure that food fraud risks continue to be front of mind.”