Food Fraud Costing the Industry £11bn a Year

A report has revealed that UK food and drinks companies are losing more than £11.2 billion a year to fraud. The authors of the report – Jim Gee from Counter Fraud Services at PKF Littlejohn and Professor Lisa Jack, Chair of the Food Fraud Group at the University of Portsmouth – have reported that reducing food fraud would increase value for money for consumers and profits for food businesses.
The research reviewed data from 73 UK companies with total sales over £200 billion.  According to the report, 58 of the companies who made a profit would increase profitability between 50% and 99%, and six companies more than 100%. Of the 15 companies which made losses, eight would reduce the loss by up to 10% and four by over 10%, and three would make a profit instead of a loss if fraud was reduced.

Products on shelves

Professor Lisa Jack, co-author of the report said, “Food fraud is always financially motivated. On the whole, food fraud does not harm public health. It’s more that consumers and food businesses are not always getting what they pay for. Food fraud is about more than just the food: for example, many frauds also evade duties and VAT, and so we all lose out from lost revenues.”
Cutting food fraud in the UK could also reduce the price of general groceries for consumers. Eggs could be 6p cheaper, a loaf of bread 5p cheaper and savings on alcohol even more significant – 16p off a pint of beer and a bottle of wine would be down 28p. The report estimates that food and drink fraud costs the average household £424 over a year.


QADEX software aims to reduce the risk of food fraud by equipping companies with tools to make the food chain more transparent. Designed for retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and processors, the variety of modules help food businesses assess who they are working with and facilitates supplier audits when necessary. The system also flags up any overdue paperwork and certification.
Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX , said, “Food adulteration and fraud is proving to be a huge problem, and it’s not surprising to see it has a detrimental effect on industry profits too. Our software brings everything together in a simple dashboard: approval management of suppliers, product specifications and supplier auditing, all of which can help reduce food fraud.”
QADEX offers a simple software solution to integrate every stage of the food chain, enabling every link to be accounted for.  With supplier risk assessments, audits and specification management taken care of, retailers reduce the risk of food fraud and brand damage.
To find out more about QADEX’s food safety and brand protection systems visit
About QADEX: Enabling step change improvement in food safety and brand protection, QADEX brings every aspect of food safety, quality management systems, compliance, customers and new product development together in one simple dashboard.