SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - EuropeUS edition | Asian edition

News > Policy

Read more breaking news

 

 
Loading...
FOODEX 2014

Beware due diligence issues post-horsegate – lawyer

By Rod Addy+

28-Mar-2014
Last updated on 28-Mar-2014 at 12:08 GMT

Due diligence has weaknesses and isn’t a perfect defence against food fraud, despite offering firms legal protection, Dominic Watkins, partner and head of food at law firm DWF has warned.

Watkins was a panellist for Food Manufacture’s Big Video Debate, Horsegate: one year on at the Foodex trade show, which ran from March 24–26 at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. The debate asked whether a food fraud scandal similar to horsegate could recur and how firms could protect themselves.

“The phrase is due diligence … is there a definition, is there a list of things one can do? No there’s not,” Watkins told FoodManufacture.co.uk in this exclusive video held directly after the debate.

“The reality is you need to have your contracts in place with your suppliers, you need to know what you’re buying, where you’re buying it from and who you’re buying it from and then do checks and audits to ensure you’re getting what you expect to get.

‘Just a snapshot in time’

“The risk of course is any audit is just a snapshot in time – it’s simply what is happening on that day and doesn’t give you the viewpoint 365 days a year.”

However, it was still important to ensure due diligence processes were taken seriously and were robust, said Watkins. That could include introducing additional testing, covering areas such as DNA speciation, he added.

And Watkins again stressed the need for better enforcement, rather than changes and additions to legislation. That required more resources and more analysts on the ground, he said.

“ … We’ve seen over the last five years with austerity measures … local authorities no longer have the budgets they once did to carry out testing … And at the sharp end we’ve seen cutbacks from enforcers, we’ve seen enforcers less able to do the amount of checks they would have done, which perhaps might mean that in certain areas of the sector things are being missed.”

Meanwhile, during the debate, fellow panellist and former Food Standards Agency boss Jeff Rooker argued forcefully that responsibility for food competition and adulteration should be returned urgently to the agency to protect public safety.

William Reed Business Media Holiday video

Happy Holidays 2014 from William Reed Business Media!

The holidays are fast upon us, so let’s put ‘business’ to one side and...

‘Wine world is under attack, and needs to up its game’, Wine Economist

‘The wine world is under attack, and it needs to up its game’, Wine Economist Mike Veseth

Eminent wine writer and economist Mike Veseth warns that the wine world needs to...

‘People should forget their brands and just market wine!’ Wine Riot

‘People should stop thinking about their own brands and just market wine!’ Wine Riot founder

The brains behind the successful Wine Riot events in the US, Tyler Balliet, believes...

‘Great Napa Valley wines will rival Bordeaux’: Moët-Hennessy CEO

‘Great Napa Valley wines will rival Bordeaux First Growths’: Moët-Hennessy Estates & Wine CEO

Jean-Guillaume Prats, Moët-Hennessy Estates and Wine CEO, says he believes great wine produced in...

Tesco soft drinks buyer warns brands PowerPoint can be painful

'PowerPoint can be painful!’ Tesco soft drinks buyer warns entrepreneurs

The head of Tesco’s soft drinks buying team David Beardmore has urged aspiring brands...

Taste genetics: A new way to look at policy and segment consumers?

Taste genetics: A new way to look at policy and segment consumers?

Can new research in to the genetic basis of taste could help manufacturers and...

Delicious disasters: Marketing expert warns manufacturers on 'disruptive innovation' and learning from mistakes

Delicious disasters: Marketing expert warns manufacturers on 'disruptive innovation' and learning from mistakes

Everybody is chasing innovation and the next big idea, but when it comes to...

Global ID: 'Demand for Non-GMO-Project verification doubled after Whole Foods put its GMO cards on the table...'

Global ID: 'Demand for Non-GMO-Project verification doubled after Whole Foods put its GMO cards on the table...'

The growth of the Non-GMO Project verification scheme has been nothing short of explosive...

Merging industries: Top chefs and the food companies can learn a lot from each other, says chef

Merging industries: Top chefs and the food companies can learn a lot from each other, says chef

While there are some differences between high end catering and the large scale manufacturing...

Creepy proteins will be hot

New proteins are creeping on trend

Alternative proteins are a “hot area” of interest and products such as sandwich spreads...

Salt reduction not a priority for UK consumers: LoSalt survey

Salt reduction not a priority for UK consumers, finds LoSalt survey

Caroline Klinge

sales and marketing manager, LoSalt

‘Nice wine, no corkscrew?’ Mirabeau En Provence wins 8m+ YouTube views

‘Nice wine, no corkscrew?’ Mirabeau En Provence solution strikes YouTube gold with 8 million+ views

Mirabeau En Provence owner Stephen Cronk says the desire for a direct consumer connection...

DSM claims craft brewer interest in gluten-free beer enzyme

DSM claims craft brewer interest in gluten-free beer enzyme

DSM Food Specialities claims that, far from being cautious, craft brewers are embracing the...

Smoothie brand Froosh warns of ‘social washing’ within supply chain

Smoothie brand Froosh warns of ‘social washing’ on supply chain sustainability

Scandinavia’s top-selling smoothie manufacturer Froosh has called for ‘trade not aid’ in developing countries...

Saturated fat guidelines out, food guidelines in?

Get rid of nutrients and focus on foods in guidelines, says sat fat researcher

Benoit Lamarche

Saturated fat researcher, Laval University

Saturated fats may not cause heart disease: Researcher

Saturated fats may not cause heart disease: Researcher

Prof. Philippe Legrand

Director of the biochemistry laboratory, Agrocampus Ouest

GM camelina matches fish oil omega-3 levels

The road to fish-oil equivalent GM camelina

Rothamsted Research has achieved omega-3 levels comparable to fish oil in its first GM...

Malaysia to double palm oil production by 2020

Malaysia hopes to double palm oil production by 2020

Kalanithi Nesaretnam

Minister, Embassy of Malaysia in Brussels

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Events from partners...