Cranswick Lead EU-China Collaboration to Tackle Food Fraud

Cranswick have announced their partnership with The Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast to help lead one of the world’s largest food safety projects across Europe and China. The European Horizon 2020 programme have secured €10 million towards an EU-China partnership to improve food safety, combat food fraud and restore consumer trust.

The EU-China-Safe project will involve 33 other partners including Cranswick, who, along with three other businesses, were the only manufacturers selected to lead the project. Along with improving food safety and deterring food fraud, the industry leading project will also focus on delivering mutual recognition of data and standards as well as facilitating the development of agri-food trade between two of the world’s biggest trading blocks to promote economic growth.

Cranswick have been at the forefront of helping develop DNA/RFID traceability solutions incorporating state of the art Blockchain technology, which is a secure cloud-based platform that provides both authenticity assurance and the opportunity for knowledge transfer within the food supply chain to strengthen synergies between EU and Chinese markets.

Cranswick’s Group Technical Director, Andrew Caines said: “We are proud to be named official partners of this ground-breaking project. Export trade has been a core part of our business for over 10 years, we are keen to lead technology development, application and best industry practise in a way which will benefit the whole of the global food supply network.”

Professor Yongning Wu, Chief Scientist from the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, co-ordinator of the Chinese efforts in the project, stated: “The EU-China Safe partnership between our two trading regions is of immense importance to help deliver safe and genuine food to all citizens.

“Working together across China and the EU will enable us to identify where food fraud is happening, address the root causes and thereby enable us to improve food safety standards for all our citizens.”

Professor Elliott, the project’s co-ordinator added: “This project will tackle these highly connected issues in a way that will serve to better protect several billion people. There is a pressing need to act internationally in response to emerging threats to food safety and fraud. Working together as a coalition of 33 partners to share knowledge and maximise our technologies will empower the food industry to provide safer, authentic food and will boost consumers’ confidence and ultimately facilitate the expansion of EU-China trade.”

Despite remarkable advancements in food science and technology, the ever-expanding global food supply network remains increasingly vulnerable to food fraud and foodborne illness, issues of which are reported to cost over $52 million, globally, each year. The horsemeat scandal in 2013, which saw food sold in UK supermarkets containing undeclared horsemeat alongside the ‘gutter-oil scandal’ in 2014, which uncovered slaughterhouse waste and sewage in bottles of cooking oil sold in Chinese supermarkets, are key examples of serious breaches to food fraud and safety.

With most countries having limited data access to these issues, the EU-China-Safe project comes as much needed response to these increasing threats. The global partnership will improve food safety and traceability whilst also addressing consumer expectations and expanding EU-China trade relations.