Mis-branding and false advertisements of food products happens more often than you might expect.
Food fraud is more common than you might expect. Lower-quality products are often purposely mislabeled so consumers will pay more. This fraud happens at all levels of the chain of custody—from manufacturers to vendors, and even with retailers and restaurants.
It is more important than ever for consumers to research the chain of custody for the products they buy. This is important if they want to make informed, sustainable, and healthy choices, and not fall victim to scams and overpaying. Package Tracking is one way to ensure that products are coming from reliable vendors. This enables keeping an eye on the chain of custody throughout the shipping process.
FRAUD IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In the food industry, food fraud has been known to happen with olive oil products, Kobe beef, and seafood. Food fraud is a $50-billion-a-year industry. Consumers are frequently overpaying for foods—thinking they are purchasing a quality product, when in fact, they are not.
Not only is this bad for consumers’ wallets, but it can also lead to poor health if the products aren’t as healthy as consumers believe them to be. And in some cases, falsely advertised products can cause illness. Consumers end up buying—and paying more—for products that they are actually trying to avoid.
For example, many fish have high levels of mercury, while factory-farmed fish are considered less sustainable and full of antibiotics. For consumers who wish to eat healthy sustainable products, they must do a lot of research to find out what they are actually buying.
RESEARCH THE CHAIN OF CUSTODY
Since fraud can happen anywhere along the supply chain—from manufacturers, suppliers, and even restaurants and retailers—it is important to research products and their chain of custody throughout the shipping process.
Some responsible restaurant owners and chefs are asking to see the chain of custody for seafood, will only buy from trusted vendors, and even have fish tested. Governments are now inspecting and testing more imports. Ultimately, it is still up to consumers to be well-informed about their purchases.
To avoid being a victim of food fraud, do your research and only buy products from trusted companies. You can even order healthy, sustainable, and locally-sourced foods, while keeping an eye on the chain of custody to prevent being scammed.