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Elliott Review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks - Which? briefing

The horsemeat scandal highlighted the complexity of the food supply chain and the weaknesses in current controls. It has raised a number of wider issues that we hope the review can address

These fall into the following four areas:

  • Wider issues of policy and prioritisation - the need to ensure a strengthened and clearly consumer-focused Food Standards Agency (FSA); to develop a clear consumer-focused food strategy that applies across government; and to recognise the importance of food standards issues, particularly in the current economic climate.
  • Research, surveillance and intelligence gathering - ensuring that the Government has a much more in-depth understanding of the global food supply chain and its vulnerabilities; the need for more resources to be given to gathering intelligence from the food industry; targeted surveillance; better co-ordination with other countries and better economic analysis to identify potential opportunities for fraud.
  • Strengthened food industry controls – including improved traceability systems; verification and auditing; more targeted testing along the supply chain; greater transparency of supply chains; and improved consumer information and labelling, including origin labelling.
  • Effective enforcement – the need to give greater priority to enforcement; to effectively co-ordinate local authority enforcement activity given pressure on resources; a strengthened FSA role in co-ordinating and ensuring delivery; stronger penalties for failure to comply with legislation and a clear message that breaches to food labelling rules are a criminal offence.

See our full report:

Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks - Which? Briefing 307 Kb