People in the industry are being encouraged to blow the whistle on co-workers they believe are involved in fraudulent activity. But would you take the risk? Read on for the plans set out by organisations to keep whistle-blowers safe.
‘Safe havens’ set to encourage food fraud whistle-blowers
As the problem escalates the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has announced plans to work in conjunction with the Food Standards Agency (FSA ) to combat food fraud and offer robust protection to whistle-blowers. At the core of the scheme is a plan to create a series of ‘safe havens’ where people can report cases of food fraud throughout the supply chain.
According to Chris Elliot t, Professor of Food Safety and Director at Queen’s University’s Institute for Global Food Security, the ‘safe havens’ are anonymous forums where workers can share intelligence and report any suspicions. Identity will be protected every step of the way which will encourage people to blow the whistle without the fear of losing their jobs.
Steve Wearne, FSA Director of Policy has praised the FDF for its efforts, stating “The FDF is showing exemplary leadership in bringing forward ideas for sharing information and intelligence.”
Industry wide collaboration
The FDF is not the only organisation supporting the establishment of ‘safe havens’ for whistle-blowers. It is joined by nine other food and drink trade associations including the British Retail Consortium and IGD Grocery Think Tank. This cross agency collaboration will play an integral role in combating food fraud and streamlining intelligence to catch food fraudsters.
A dedicated team of food fraud detectives
All information gathered will be dealt with using the of discretion that’s designed to protect both British manufacturers and consumers. Wearne explains, “We are working closely with our members to develop guidance on the handling of intelligence with a view to assisting members in identifying vulnerabilities in supply chains to inform their risk assessments so as to protect and safeguard UK businesses and consumers alike.”
So will the latest ‘safe haven’ scheme help the UK battle cases of food fraud? It’s an innovative idea but time , arrests and lasting results will be the major indicators.
With these safe havens initiated, could you blow the whistle on a boss or colleague if you suspected them of being fraudulent?