New Publication: Food Protection Strategies – Review of New Zealand MPI Food Protection Forum

Written by: John Spink

Primary Source:  Food Fraud Initiative   

New Publication: Food Protection Strategies – Review of New Zealand MPI Food Protection Forum

by John Spink • October 7, 2016 • Blog • 0 Comments

ffi-blog-v2-no65-mpi-nz-yiannas-aThis report was specifically created to provide an overview of key concepts presented at the “Food Protection Forum” held in Auckland during October 2015, which was organized by the New Zealand Government Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI/NZ). We are pleased to release our first co-authored report with John Keogh (University of Reading, UK) and Brad Evans (University of Auckland, NZ). This report is an excellent overview not only for New Zealand but also for other public-private partnerships.

Our MSU Food Fraud Initiative Report (FFIR) provides a summary of the Forum’s focus on Food Protection concepts that were presented in four specific areas including Food Safety Culture, Food Fraud, Food Defence and Food Chain Transparency.

The report includes links to conference presentations on a wide range of topics by a wide range of experts:

  • Frank Yiannas, Vice President, – Food Safety Walmart and author of ‘Food Safety Culture’
  • Alan Reilly, Adjunct Professor, Institute of Food and Health, University College, Dublin and former Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland
  • Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President, Operations and Industry Collaboration, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)
  • Scott Gallacher, Deputy Director-General, Regulation & Assurance, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand

From the FFIR:

 Food Protection Strategies Including Food Safety, Food Defence, and Food Fraud –

Review and Insights from the MPI New Zealand’s Food Protection Forum (link to pdf)

This report was created as a supplement for the 2015 “Food Protection Forum” conducted by the New Zealand Government Ministry for Primary Industries.


John Spink, PhD, Food Fraud Initiative, Michigan State University, USA

John Keogh, Associate researcher, Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK

Brad Evans, University of Auckland Business School, Department of Marketing, NZ

September 2016

Executive Summary: As with most developed nations, brand owners and government regulators in New Zealand face increasing difficulties addressing the global scourge of Food Fraud and counterfeit products as well as emerging food defense concerns. Compounding this is increasing consumer demands for enhanced transparency in the food chain from both the public and private sectors.

Food Protection is an over-arching concept that includes the four pillars of the food system; Food Quality, Food Safety, Food Fraud, and Food Defence. Successful implementation of programs across this continuum will also contribute to Food Security – the safe, continuous supply of nutritious and affordable food. Another benefit of protecting the supply chain is that food chain transparency is enhanced through the sharing of product related information amongst supply chain stakeholders without loss, noise, delay, or distortion.

Integrated Food Protection will facilitate increased consumer trust and social harmony by enhancing food supply chain transparency and reducing system vulnerabilities from attack.

Also, from the conclusion:

The New Zealand MPI Forum provided an opportunity to gather a wide-range of international experts to share insight that applies specifically to Food Protection in New Zealand. New Zealand has an opportunity – and now the awareness – to take major steps in coordinating a world-leading, national Food Protection Strategy.

ffi-blog-v2-no65-mpi-nzCollaboration (including public-private partnerships) and Culture Change are the most efficient and effective way to broadly protect the food supply and source economies, as well as achieve and sustain consumer confidence.

Transparency is a vital tool to facilitate consumer trust. Moreover, it can enhance trading relationships and reduce conflicts amongst stakeholders and may help to fast track goods through borders.

Companies should map their supply chains from end-to-end as a basis for understanding key processes and providing a baseline for vulnerability assessment.

The first step is to create a task force or working group to develop the policy, vision for a strategy, and an implementation plan. The strategy should consider current and possible resources that can be mobilized to focus on this issue. Importantly, the Food Protection Strategy does not need to be complex or resource intensive if there is a focus on optimizing current activities.

For efficient and effective Food Fraud prevention, Public-Private Partnerships will become more and more important. An important first step – as MPI/NZ did – is to gather the stakeholders and create a central working document. We look forward to a continued, expanding relationship with MPI. JWS.


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John Spink
Dr. Spink has been focused on product fraud since the Michigan State University’s Food Safety Program and the School of Packaging began research on the topic in 2006. This work expanded to the behavioral sciences and criminology and led to the establishment of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection Initiative in 2008. In 2009 the work shifted to the School of Criminal Justice where the Initiative evolved into a Program.