EUROPE – The European Commission has launched a Knowledge Centre for food fraud and quality in Strasbourg, stepping up fight against fraudulent practices concerning food in the European Union.

According to FoodingredientsFirst, this centre was established with an aim to boost the quality of foodstuff and address concerns about food fraud which are said to undermine consumer confidence, in the long run damaging the entire food supply chain in Europe.

The commission in collaboration with other experts outside the commission will support policy makers and national authorities by providing access to and sharing scientific knowledge on food fraud and food quality issues.

According to the commission, recent cases of food fraud have been reported for olive oil, wine, honey, fish, dairy products, meat and poultry.

In some cases, honey is usually adulterated with sugar syrups in addition to mis-description of geographical and botanical origin creating a hurdle for official control purposes.

The concerns include some foods sold with the same packaging and under the same brand but vary from one EU country to another.

“The Commission takes the issue of food quality and unjustified differentiation very seriously and has already taken a number of concrete steps to tackle the issue. Providing for better scientific evidence is a crucial part of this work,” said Vera Jourova, European Commissioner for Justice.

With an aim to offer customers uncompromised quality, the European Council announced a new set of rules on organic food production starting 2021, which also apply to non-EU farmers who export their organic products to the EU market.

EU also established the FoodIntegrity project looking for perspectives on food integrity issues in companies or organisations supplying the European market.