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Food fraud: Assessing fraud vulnerability in the extra virgin olive oil supply chain

Yan, Jing, Erasmus, Sara W., Aguilera Toro, Miguel, Huang, Haixin, van Ruth, Saskia M.
Food control 2020 v.111 pp. 107081
correspondence analysis, extra-virgin olive oil, fats and oils industry, food fraud, food industry, markets, motivation, risk assessment, supply chain
As a high value commodity on the market, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a suitable target for fraudsters. To understand differences in perceived fraud vulnerability between tier groups across the EVOO supply chain and to disclose underlying factors, the perceived fraud vulnerability of 28 companies was examined using the SSAFE food fraud vulnerability assessment tool. Amongst these companies were seven olive oil producers, seven business-to-business (B2B) companies, seven food manufacturers and seven retailers. The similarities and differences in perceived fraud vulnerabilities according to group characteristics (the role, the scale and the location of the company) were evaluated. Non-parametric tests and multiple correspondence analysis were applied for data exploration. An in-depth fraud vulnerability assessment of the EVOO supply chain was provided. Eight fraud factors related to opportunities and motivations scored high in the supply chain indicating their importance as fraud drivers and enablers. Four factors related to control measures are perceived as greatest vulnerability in the EVOO supply chain. Then, the vulnerability to fraud in the EVOO supply chain across all actors is perceived as high level on average. In decreasing contribution to the overall perceived fraud vulnerability, the fraud factor categories were ranked as follow: technical opportunities, a lack of managerial controls, a lack of technical controls, economic drivers, cultural and behavioural drivers, and opportunities in time and place. Among the tier groups, the retailers and B2B companies experienced higher levels of perceived vulnerability than olive oil producers and food manufacturers due to the additional vulnerability related to the opportunities in time and place, and greatest lack of control measures. Furthermore, the perceived fraud vulnerability of the company was not only determined by the tier group, but also impacted by the scale and location of the company.