Industry network strives for targeted authenticity approach

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

The FIIN network focus is supply chain integrity and authenticity. ©iStock/rmbarricarte
The FIIN network focus is supply chain integrity and authenticity. ©iStock/rmbarricarte

Related tags: Campden bri, Food

Campden BRI is to manage membership of a network created to share intelligence on food authenticity.

The firm will curate a database to collect anonymised industry data on authenticity testing and analyse it producing quarterly reports for Food Industry Intelligence Network (FIIN) members.

FIIN was established in 2015 by industry and has 21 members in the UK including retailers, manufacturers and food service companies.

Members submit data relating to finished products, raw material or ingredient testing via the legal host and Eversheds collects this and anonymises the inputs.

These are consolidated and a report has been issued to members every quarter since the end of 2015.

Anonymised industry data

Helen Sisson, group technical director, Greencore and co-chair of FIIN, said Campden BRI would work with FIIN to enhance the reporting back to the members.

“Their skills in managing the membership will allow us to meet our ambition to grow the network and make it available to any company who wishes to participate.

FIIN members

Bakkavor, Samworth Brothers, 2 Sisters Food Group, Compass Group, Aldi, Young’s, Premier Foods, Tesco, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Brakes, Kerry Foods, Booker, Moy Park, Waitrose, Greencore, Arla, Coop and ABP Food Group.

“FIIN is unique in that we do share data and we are not just sitting around and talking about doing it.

“It is to protect the food chain and consumers. We see it evolving over time and it is likely we will work with other partnerships like Campden BRI. We have presented FIIN to other countries and some are looking at setting up something similar.

“A good level of information allows members to be targeted, there is a huge level of testing not finding anything, so it is about being wise on the approach.”

One recommendation of the Elliott Report in 2013, by Professor Chris Elliott, director of the Global Institute for Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, was for industry to establish a ‘safe haven’ to collect, collate, analyse and disseminate information and intelligence.

Supply chain integrity and authenticity

The scope is supply chain integrity and authenticity. It is not intended to address industry programmes for food safety control and reporting.

FIIN said insight and intelligence allows members to adopt a more targeted approach to supply chain assurance.

Another report by Queen’s University Belfast provides an overview of supply chain integrity on a global basis and makes recommendations to the membership on what testing and checks to do.

Members pay a subscription to participate in the network.

Martin Hall, director of science at Campden BRI, said: “Authenticity assurance remains one of the biggest challenges currently faced by the food and drink industry. FIIN is an important industry network and we are pleased to be able to support it and its members in proactively addressing the issue of food and drink fraud.”

FIIN is in contact with the FSA including the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU), Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

In August an agreement was signed between FIIN and Food Standards Scotland.

Paul Willgoss, co-chair of FIIN, said it is generating insight into supply chain authenticity and is seeing a more targeted approach as a result of the data.

“We have had fantastic support from our founder members to get this network operational and we now look forward to expanding the network with new members and delivering stronger intelligence and insight to all stakeholders.”

Professor Chris Elliott, independent advisor to FIIN, said: “I believe the progress to date has been substantial and the network is already serving to protect its members and the UK consumer from food fraud.

I give this initiative my full endorsement and hope that the network continues to grow and becomes an exemplar of good practice in the food industry for the rest of the world to follow.”

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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