Food Fraud

Food Fraud is a fraudulent and intentional substitution, dilution or addition to a product or raw material, or misrepresentation of the product or material, for the purpose of financial gain, by increasing the apparent value of the product or reducing the cost of its production.

It therefore differs from other food safety and integrity issues, as it is a deliberate, economically-motivated, activity.



Food fraud can take a number of different forms, for example


BRCGS and Food Fraud


BRCGS was the first GFSI scheme to have food fraud vulnerability requirements, which were first published in January 2015.

According to the BRCGS Food Safety, Issue 8, systems shall be in place to minimise the risk of purchasing fraudulent or adulterated food raw materials and to ensure that all product descriptions and claims are legal, accurate and verified.

The aim of this is to ensure sites:

  • Assess their raw materials and supply chains for potential vulnerability to food fraud activities, prior to delivery of the raw material to the site
  • Have appropriate controls in place to minimise the risk of purchasing fraudulent or adulterated raw materials
  • Can substantiate claims relating to raw materials


Sites are therefore required to have a vulnerability assessment in place and where there is an identified risk of fraudulent activity, to manage and control these risks.

Help and Guidance


BRCGS have published a complete guideline explaining how to complete a vulnerability assessment. This can be located in the BRCGS online platform, BRCGS Participate and is also available from BRCGS Bookshop.

BRCGS also offers a one-day course, which provides delegates with a thorough understanding of vulnerability assessment for food fraud and enables them to develop techniques to identify and mitigate risks associated with raw materials in their supply chain.

More info and dates here.



BRCGS in co-operation with SSAFE and PwC is offering a free food fraud vulnerability assessment tool.

The tool is a first-of-its-kind solution to help companies fight food fraud and give consumers greater confidence in the integrity of their food. It is a simple Q&A tool that assesses opportunity, motivation and control.

Register and visit the page

 Also, you can watch vidoes, where you willl learn more about SSAFE:

SSAFE Overview and Introduction

Live demonstration of the FFVA tool

Source of useful information


European Commission Food Fraud Database

GFSI Library 

European Commission Agri-food fraud

Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks


Food Authenticity Network