Amy Kircher- Director, Food Protection and Defense Institute
Food Crime Matters- A UK Perspective on Serious dishonesty in food supply chains
Andy Morling- Head of Food Crime, UK National Food Crime Unit
At the start of 2013, the UK awoke to a new landscape in which serious acts of dishonesty had taken place in European food supply chains. The discovery of horse DNA in processed beef products changed everything. For an industry in which trust played such a prominent role from farm to fork, the sense that this might somehow be misplaced hit consumers, industry and government hard. Everyone with a stake in safe and authentic food felt the pain. Pain at the violation itself but most acutely at the demonstration that food was not inviolate. In order to tackle this newly synthesized criminal threat, the UK government established the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) in London. The unit has now been fully operational for a year. This presentation explores the dynamics of the food crime threat, what makes it especially challenging from a law enforcement perspective and outlines the UK response to this form of offending.
Andy began his law enforcement career 25 years ago as a specialist investigator in the globally respected Investigation Division of Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise. The focus of this role was tackling the threat to the UK from international drug trafficking and serious economic crime. In 2001, following the lengthy trial of an internationally prominent sports promoter, Andy received a formal commendation from the trial Judge at Southwark Crown Court for his role leading the complex fraud investigation. Andy developed particular expertise in the use of covert surveillance and other sensitive investigative and intelligence gathering techniques. This specialism took him away from operational work on secondment to a role in national police surveillance training. At the end of his secondment, Andy returned to frontline law enforcement leading serious and complex investigations into financial crime and international bribery and corruption at the Serious Fraud Office at its London headquarters. In 2010 Andy joined the National Crime Agency with responsibility for tackling child sexual exploitation and abuse. Working directly to the Prime Minister’s Office Andy lead the UK law enforcement element of the joint UK/US Taskforce to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation. Andy was tasked, in 2015, with building and leading the new National Food Crime Unit and leading the UK fight against this serious dishonesty in food supply chains.