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An Organised Crime: The Contribution of Criminology in Understanding the Organisation of Food Adulteration Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal.

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Presentation on theme: "An Organised Crime: The Contribution of Criminology in Understanding the Organisation of Food Adulteration Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Organised Crime: The Contribution of Criminology in Understanding the Organisation of Food Adulteration Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester, UK 27 th Baltic Criminology Seminar: University of Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Introduction Scandals in the food chain The Supply Chain From Beast to Table A Case Study – Criminal Networks and Criminal Opportunities Research Directions Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 3

3 FOOD ADULTERATION SCANDALS NEW NEW AND OLD Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 4

4 The Horse Meat Scandal In 2013 across Europe a number of processed ‘beef’ products were found to contain horsemeat. The source of the ‘contamination’ was in the UK and Ireland. Allegations that it was organised by Romanian Organised Crime groups Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 5

5 Adulterated Tea In the C19th Tea and coffee drinking had become popular in the UK but both were expensive – Exhausted tea leaves could be bought for a few pence per pound from London hotels and coffee shops. The leaves were boiled with copperas (ferrous sulphate) and sheep’s dung, then coloured with prussian blue (ferric ferrocyanide), verdigris (basic copper acetate), logwood, tannin or carbon black, before being resold. Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 6

6 Austrian Wine Scandal Addition of diethylene glycol to Austrian sweet wines in 1985 (Consumption Fraud) The addition of diethylene glycol was to mask the addition of sugar used to sweeten the wines. There were 70 wine producers implicated in the fraud “All wine crime is organized, that is, it is committed by several perpetrators acting in knowing and willful collaboration. This does not imply that any detailed plan of action exists. A quiet agreement is usually enough” Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 7

7 The Supply Chain Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 8

8 What We Know Supply chains can be extensive Supply chains can be global, ingredients sourced from different parts of the globe The origin of ingredients can change in the production process Problems of regulation, documentation and verification Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 9

9 Supply chain complexity Within any processed foods there are a considerable number of supply chain interactions the development of networks of supply chains that come together to form one point of provision. Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 10

10 Getting to Grips with the Supply Chain The variety of origins within the supply chain make it problematic to regulate. This problem of regulation has increased with the processes of globalisation. Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 11

11 Simple Supply Chains Few actors in the supply chain Focus on specific product with a specific role – Dairy Production of Cheese and Milk Short distance between raw food stuff and finished product Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 12

12 Complex Supply Chains Food supply chains are complex and can be understood as intersecting networks Network Analysis provides useful analytic concepts to understand the relationship between different supply chains and within supply chains Size of the supply chain – Supply might enter many different chains Density of supply Chains – Number of suppliers – Type of product – specialist /high volume consumption Roles within supply chains – Brokers (Transnational) Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 13

13 Vulnerabilities of the Supply Chain As the supply chain lengthens so the number of actors in the chain increases. As the number of processes and actors increase so the opportunities for adulteration increases and the risk of apprehension decreases As the chain increases so the likelihood of ‘non- acceptable processes’ increases Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 14

14 Supply Chain Economics Mass Market Economies – move to large scale supply within the food retail sector. Retailer demands shape the market and structures forms of competition Price is a governing feature and impacts on supply chain structure Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 15

15 Structured Demand Shape of demand within the market structures the supply chain and the length and number of nodes within the supply chain Demand, shape of supply chain and number of nodes influence price and subsequently profit. Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 16

16 Supply Chain Problems of Globalisation “…agriculture infrastructure resulting in the most complicated supply chain that exists in any sector. It is globally dispersed, privately held, highly integrated, flexible yet redundant with limited excess capacity, dynamic with innumerable potential points of disruption or contamination or both. It has been optimized for rapid delivery of low cost food products from all sources. Since it is such a complicated supply chain, perturbations at one point have cascading effects and excess capacity is very limited. “ Frank Busta and Shaun Kennedy Advances in Food Protection. Chemistry and Biology 2011, pp Chemistry and Biology 2011, pp Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 17

17 Meat Processing Animal to Abattoir Abattoir regulated by EU Supply Chain: Stage 1 Animals to Slaughter Carcass cut into different sections for processing. Mechanised processing of the carcass to obtain all the meat Supply Chain Stage 2: Carcass sent to cutting plant Meat processed for different applications Mince for lasagne Chunks for pies Mechanised meat for sausage Supply Chain Stage 3: Processing of raw meat Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 18

18 Food on the Table For some food it is difficult to know the route it has taken to reach the table if the supply chain is extended and global Food as a product from a short supply chain is less vulnerable Critical points where food can be adulterated Critical points include: – unidentifiable product – Points of cutting, processing where ‘stretching’ ingredients can be added – Points prior to self certification by processors Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 19

19 A Case Study form The UK Operation Aberdeen or the Activities of ‘Maggot Pete’ Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 20

20 Operation Aberdeen Outline of Events Information received from an informant concerning Denby Poultry Products – registered as a Pet Food processor Permitted to process low risk waste Processing high risk waste available via ‘middlemen’ (brokers). Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 21

21 Extent of the Problem Poultry being sent to 14 markets locations nationwide and approximately 300+ wholesalers. Cutting Plant in the region of 110 customers Laundering Meat via food outlet distribution – processing approximately 20 tonnes per week Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 22

22 Understanding the Network of ‘Maggot Pete’ Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 23

23 Meat Laundering Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 24

24 C RIMINAL N ETWORKS & C RIMINAL O PPORTUNITIES Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 25

25 Criminal Opportunities In the meat industry there are many points of vulnerability Maggot Pete was able to exploit the vulnerable points in the chain – Lack of regulation in pet food – Lack of regulation at cutting plants – Lack of regulation in the legitimate meat market Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 26

26 Safe Food? The opportunities for fraud in the food industry are many e.g – Olive Oil – Seafood – Dairy Products Understanding Food Safety and Food Fraud Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 27

27 Research Directions Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 28

28 Current Research Direction Mapping the possible opportunities for criminal action Exploring the dynamic between the structure of the market and the structure of criminal organisation Researching the structure of criminal groups Investigating how food fraud is organised Understanding the control and regulatory mechanisms Maintaining a distinction between issues of food fraud and food safety Need to ensure that all actors have a voice in the research Jon Spencer Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. University of Manchester. UK 29


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