Food fraud and misrepresentation is estimated to cost the Australian food industry AU$3 billion (and Globally US$50 billion) every year in lost revenue plus immeasurable loss in consumer confidence, health and safety.
What we can do about it
Addressing the slippery issue of product fraud would involve a number of factors. If consumer awareness of food fraud was elevated, businesses would probably respond in kind, according to Professor Lester. “I think there’s a misconception that this isn’t a problem, and people are able to trust what it is they’re buying,” she said. Another part of the problem is that some industries and businesses are choosing to bury their heads in the sand.
Technology also has a major role to play, but it comes at a significant financial investment. “It almost takes someone who’s willing to be a trailblazer for it.”