Food smuggling and trafficking: the key factors of influence

Soon, J.M. and Manning, L. (2018) Food smuggling and trafficking: the key factors of influence. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 81. pp. 132-138.

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Background Food smuggling and food trafficking are terms not currently defined in the food literature. This work sought to determine how such definitions could be developed in order to inform future research and surveillance activity. Scope and approach The concept of food smuggling and food trafficking is considered, and regulatory food surveillance data for illegal and unauthorised imports and food trade incidents (n = 347) into the European Union (EU) between 1987 and 2017 is explored and critiqued. Key findings Illegal imports, especially animal and fish products, can pose a threat to human and animal health, spread animal disease and invasive plant species, and lead to loss of wildlife and biodiversity. Economies are weakened through the tax avoidance and evasion elements of food smuggling and coercive food trafficking. Reported illegal trade in the EU's Risk Assessment for Food and Feed (RASFF) database was highest for meat products followed by fruit and vegetables. Purposive sampling means the data does not reflect the true incidence, extent and type of illegal imports especially by individuals for personal use. There are limited global strategies in place to address food smuggling and trafficking. This work has translated the lessons learnt from the processes developed to reduce tobacco smuggling to illicit activity associated with food. Elements of a comprehensive strategy to address illicit food trade include the developing of effective legal and institutional frameworks in association with effective, transparent communication and cooperation systems. This paper fills a current gap in the academic literature on this topic.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Food, Land and Agribusiness Management
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2018 19:23
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 11:30

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