Tag - Elliott Review

Birmingham helping lead the way in tackling food crime.

What is Food Crime?

By Kate Cooper

photo of Kate Cooper

photo by Graeme Braidwood

The first time I ever heard the phrase ‘food crime’ was from Professor Chris Elliott. He’d been commissioned by the Government to investigate our food supply network after the ‘Horsegate’ scandal, and he’d asked to see me because of The New Optimists work with scientists.

Continue reading “Birmingham helping lead the way in tackling food crime.”

Food Crime and Integrity in Birmingham

Last night Birmingham Food Council held an event to look at what’s happening in Birmingham following on from the release of The Elliott Report, The report commissioned in response the horse meat scandal.

Professor Chris Elliott, the author of the report joined us to give us an update on the national picture – What has happened since the release of the publication, and Nick Lowe from Birmingham City Council came and gave us a talk on where the council sits – What they are doing to stop food crime and preserve food integrity across the city.

The whole night was live blogged over on the Birmingham Food Council’s website, and you can go there now to get a flavour of the discussions that have taken place.

You can also add your thoughts by joining the #FoodCrime conversation on twitter.

The New Optimists Summer Update

FrontPage_TNO_Update_2014I did some totting up in compiling this latest Update. Over 220 people have taken part one way or t’other with The New Optimists.

As you’d expect, a fair few (over 130 and counting) are scientists. Have they had any impact? But of course. They have a book, a Kindle, 27 reports and papers (including the substantial Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project Report), podcasts and video-interviews to their collective credit.

Plus four great spin-offs — and here they are in order of appearance:

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The Elliott Report and the Elliott Review Birmingham



The Elliott Report into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks is finally published today.

Here in Birmingham, we contributed to the Prof’s review. Birmingham has offered to take the lead in tackling food crime in the UK. The Elliott Review Birmingham can be found here.

And the Prof’s final report can be found here.



Elliott Review: Workshop outputs


The Elliott Review was set up by HM Government in response to the horsemeat scandal; they asked the Prof to lead it. A great choice; he’s Director of the Global Food Safety Institute as well as a top-notch molecular bioscientist.

The Prof asked us to help him and his Review team draw a case study of how a major UK city could tackle food crime for inclusion in their final Report.

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#BrumElliott – Reflections on the day from Chris Elliott

Elliott Review

Final thoughts from The Elliott Review in Birmingham from Professor Chris Elliott and Kate Cooper, founder of The New Optimists…

Professor Chris Elliott said the mixture of people at the event in Birmingham today was quite phenomenal. There have been 200 meetings as part of the review – this has been the most interesting, he said, with lots of examples of the complex difficulties faced in addressing the issues concerned with food crime.

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#BrumElliott – Today’s event in pictures




Table notes - on the table clothes

Session 3 post its

Elliot Review Birmingham

Elliot Review Birmingham

Elliot Review Birmingham

Be “relentless” Sinead Edom: Purchasing Manager, Sargeant Partnerships (who own the Handmade Burger Co)

Sinead Edom  is responsible for the supplies for the Handamade Burger Co restuarant chain – which has grown nationally from it’s start in Birmingham.  She has found that even apparently perfectly labelled and stamped food can have come from places you don’t expect. How does she know that – because she checks everything.  She phone’s the organisations who’s stamps are being sued she checks and tracks. For her food safety is about being determined, sitting on hold for hours, making 10 phone calls, being “relentless”.


#BrumElliott session 3 – Birmingham, the eyes and ears for the UK?

Elliott Review

What resources are needed to make change happen? What changes in the way we work together would need to take place?

Education – first, an acceptance has to be made that there is a problem. The food industry needs to link issues of food crime with the health and wellbeing agenda. Education in schools is key. Jamie Oliver tried to fix school meals and met huge blocks to making progress. Progress has been made, but it has been a huge effort.

Continue reading “#BrumElliott session 3 – Birmingham, the eyes and ears for the UK?”

Session 3: What we want and what we need

zoomSo how do we tackle the problem of food crime and food standards? In an ideal world there would be a basket of measures. But here’s a few things we need to know before we take our ideas along to the checkout.

We’d need to share best practice so we’d need to be able to communicate it far, far better.

We’d need to be aware that there is a powerful food lobby that would be resistant to change.

Continue reading “Session 3: What we want and what we need”

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