Session 2 – What does the ideal scenario look like?
Session 1 identified possible gaps and weaknesses in the food supply network. Table 3 of local businesses has been asked to imagine it’s April 2017 and there is zero food crime on their patch
What is happening now in your part of the food supply network that means you’re certain food crime isn’t happening on your patch, either further up or downstream from you? How is everyone working together
We have to go back to the very start of the food chain. What checks need to be put in place?
A new agency needs setting up by the Government. The FSA, EHO, Defra and the police should create an intelligence team that investigates food crime issues close to the source, including overseas, with powers of enforcement.
Important to check those out-of-reach places, eg farms in Romania. Massive cost of this and concerns about the resources and political will required. There needs to be mandatory minimum standards (which need to be set very high) for overseas companies that supply food products into the UK.
Enforced compliance and serious penalties need to be part of a simple system.
Education is key at all parts of the network.
Communication is important – 90% of people don’t read the labelling, says one person. Clearer labelling, in layman’s terms, is important to help people understand what they are eating. What happens to fast food? Businesses selling chicken and chips for £1 – isn’t that in itself food crime? Chickens often pumped with brine. It’s certainly misleading.
What can we do to help people on low incomes?
Better use of brownfield sites. We need to utilise the land we have in the UK to grow more of our own food
The only time the Government will take serious action is if something incredibly serious happens, probably including lots of deaths. Certainly a lot more serious about the horse meat scandal.
If the public doesn’t care, systems should be in place so that manufacturers / suppliers etc can care on their behalf.
Minimum pricing discussed. This has been introduced for alcohol in Scotland – why can’t it be applied to food as well?