Food fraud is not something new, as it goes back to the Middle Ages, where milk was diluted with water or spices were mixed with soil, nut shells or seeds. These days, we are living in a globalized world where food is sourced from increasingly diverse and extensive supply chains. This is why the methods used in food fraud have also become much more complex, so that, in some cases, it may be difficult to detect them by using conventional approaches in terms of food safety.
During the 24th meeting of the FAO / WHO joint program on food standards of the CODEX Committee on Inspection and Certifications Systems of Food Imports and Exports. The electronic working group, chaired by the Islamic Republic of Iran and co-chaired by the European Union and Canada, determined that the common elements identified in a food fraud were:
“Any deliberate action by a company or individual to mislead others regarding the integrity of a food for improper profit.”
Currently, various types of actions are identified to fall within this food fraud concept, among which we can mention: adulteration, counterfeit or imitation, black market and mislabeling.
Within adulteration, we can have various types as well:
In its 2020 version of comparative evaluation requirements, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) includes elements to control food fraud.
These establish that companies should implement and preserve a vulnerability evaluation procedure to food fraud, in order to identify potential vulnerability and prioritize food fraud mitigation measures.
These also establish that there must be a documented plan specifying the measures implemented to mitigate the public health risks of the vulnerabilities identified in food fraud. This plan must be supported by the food safety management system of the organization.
Due to the above, and also to the Eleven Rivers Growers commitment to always comply with the most significant food safety requirements internationally, it is established within our audit criteria that member companies of the Veggies From Mexico community have measures in place, in order to mitigate food fraud.