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Today's News
 
 
Falling Oil Prices Increase Supply Chain Risk For Food Industry
The plummeting prices of oil is driving down global food prices according to a new report from Rabobank. Food manufacturers are benefiting from the decline in oil prices as it lowers the cost of production and distribution – but this could cause increased competition in the industry. The sectors gaining the most from low energy costs were named as horticulture, coffee and milk powder, potato processing and beer production as these are typically high in gas consumption.

The bank predicts that the prolonged low cost of oil will put a downward pressure on food prices, and some products will reach multi-year lows. Lower oil prices could also open opportunities within transport and distribution, improving the reach of fresh produce. Food experts at QADEX predict that businesses may look for ways to reduce costs further by negotiating with suppliers and distribution companies.

Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “The sharp drop in the cost of oil has had a positive effect on many industries – the food and beverage sector included. Savings will be passed from processors to retailers, and eventually the end consumer. Competition within the industry is then likely to push down prices even further.”

For well managed procurement teams, the fall in oil prices could present an opportunity to identify parts of the supply chain which are anticipated to see reduced costs - and attempt to negotiate prices downwards. This could result in competition between suppliers, and retailers may need to change suppliers which could open up a number of risk factors.

Switching to a new supplier has the potential to cause problems; fraudulent activity could take place from people cutting corners lower in the supply chain, and there is always risk involved if sourcing from a supplier with no history. Additionally retailers and manufacturers will likely experience costs of approving and managing new suppliers – but would it all be worth it to keep end prices as low as possible?

Tracey added, “Switching suppliers is often risky and can be a very stressful time for retailers and processors. Our software streamlines the process, and ensures all suppliers are risk assessed and up to date on certification before being approved. The team at QADEX are ready to help retailers and processors tackle the result of falling oil prices directly.”

To find out more about QADEX’s food safety software visithttp://www.qadex.com/
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New Peanut Food Scare Highlights the Need for Supplier Compliance Software
The UK has been warned by industry experts that a new food crisis could be on the horizon, and be much more serious than the horsemeat scandal.

A bad cumin harvest in India has had repercussions around the globe, and it is feared that fraudsters are replacing cumin with almonds and peanuts – which could have fatal consequences for the UK’s half a million nut and legume allergy sufferers.

Cumin is used in many of Britain’s popular products including curry, stews, soups and processed meals.

Professor Elliot, who led the inquiry into the horsemeat crisis, predicts that the spiralling prices of Cumin will lead to the substitution of cheaper alternatives such as nuts. Two cases have already been identified and recalled.

Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “Undeclared nuts in any food product is extremely dangerous, whether intentional or not. It is essential that retailers and manufacturers remain on high alert for any fraudulent activity, in particular mislabelled nut products which could sabotage food chains. Supplier auditing and management is made easy with specialist programs such as QADEX.”

This potential threat is the first serious issue which the FSA has had to deal with since the inception of the Food Crime Unit, which was set up in response to the horsemeat saga. Similar undeclared nut substitutions have been identified in the US, and Professor Elliot fears the failed cumin crop may have sparked fraud worldwide.

Professor Elliot is quoted in The Independent commenting on the food crisis, “This is the first real test of the integrity of the UK food supply system since the horsemeat scandal and it’s actually much, much more serious…Whenever there’s a crop failure you always have to look to see what the potential fraud is behind that. This time the crop failure is cumin and it does seem to be that there has been fraud going on.”

Traces of nuts in food can cause a varied reaction in allergy suffered, ranging from sneezing and swelling to abdominal pain and cardiac arrest. In the worst case scenario these incidents are fatal which poses the question – if fraudsters are identified using undeclared nut products, should they be held liable for any permanent injury or deaths? Will the FCU and FSA toughen up the punishment on criminals in the food supply?

Tracey added, “We’re thankful that the alarm has been raised publicly, so manufacturers and consumers can remain vigilant. However it is worrying to see that food fraud is getting more serious, and the criminals clearly don’t care about – or realise they are - putting lives at risk. We are currently working on a risk assessment dashboard that will allow our customers to make informed choices when it comes to fraud.”

To find out more about QADEX’s food safety software visithttp://www.qadex.com/
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QADEX Warns Media Coverage Could INCREASE Food Fraud Cases
There is a growing number of food fraudsters infiltrating the UK supply chain, and experts within the food industry think increased media coverage might be to blame. With the Food Crime Unit recently put into action to deal with the growing threat of food fraud in the UK, discussions in the media could be counterproductive and actively encouraging criminals to target the food industry.

It was recently reported that food and drinks companies lose out on over £11 billion annually to food fraud. Figures like this can tempt criminals to move into the lucrative food industry, especially when the chances of getting caught and penalties are low.

Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “Offenders have quickly realised that fraudulent food can turn a serious profit. By publicising it so often around the nation, we run the risk of advertising the industry as an easy target for criminals.”

Over the past year, manuka honey and walnuts are just some of the products which were targeted by food fraudsters. The most well-known case of fraudulent activity is the horsemeat scandal, which affected retailers and consumers all over Europe. The widespread publicity and media coverage of the scandal put pressure on the government to act, which is why the Food Crime Unit was established.

The FCU is utilising a specialist investigation team and state of the art technology such as food testing labs to catch offenders quicker. But without harsher sentences, will the UK see a decrease in the case of food fraud?

Tracey added, “The problem is, food fraud holds much lighter sentences than other crimes, but offers the same profit. More and more criminals are realising this thanks to increased media coverage. We recommend all manufacturers and retailers to be extra vigilant in order to protect consumers.”

QADEX software rigorously audits suppliers and reduces the risk of fraudulent activity down the supply chain for food businesses. Auditing multiple suppliers and ensuring they have relevant certification is easy thanks to the simple dashboard and automated reminders.

Tracey added, “Don’t forget that when a case of food crime is discovered, the public only remember the name of the retailer involved – brand reputation is on the line for retailers.”

To find out more about QADEX’s food safety software visit http://www.qadex.com
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