Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Consumer Protection and Food Safety / Journal fur Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (2023)



Published by Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH. Used by permission.


Food fraud commonly refers to the deliberate and economi­cally motivated adulteration and mislabeling of food, but more broadly defined it also includes food theft, simulation that makes a fraudulent food product look like the legiti­mate product it copies, diversion, and overrun (Moyer et al. 2017). It is a longstanding and persistent challenge that impacts the global food sector; according to some estimates, food fraud results in annual costs of $40 billion (Food Standards Agency 2020). The complexity of globalized agri-food supply chains which are long, fast-moving, and involve a large number of intermediaries, coupled with lax regulatory monitoring and oversight and lenient penalties, create opportunities for both legitimate actors who oper­ate in the food supply chain and criminal organizations to engage in food fraud.