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Technical Meetings of KC-FFQ

2nd Technical Meeting of the KC-FFQ

Place: JRC, Geel, Belgium

Date: 12-14 November 2019

The Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality held its 2nd technical meeting in Geel (BE) on 12-14 November 2019. The workshop built on the outcome of the 1st workshop, which took place in December 2018, and aimed to deepen the understanding of the needs expressed by the competent authorities.
Two focus areas flagged in the 1st workshop received special attention: 

  • Early Warning Systems,
  • Compositional Databases.

For those topics outside experts and service providers presented
the state-of-play as a basis for framing future actions; in particular, workshop participants discussed questions around the:

  • availability and conditions of use of compositional databases and statistical models curated by commercial service providers;
  • prospects and limitations of Early Warning Systems.


Representatives of service providers offered to share essential information regarding content and functionality of their databases including the validation status. However, certain aspects of their
business models, including intellectual property, have to be respected by users of the services offered. Participants agreed that commercial databank solutions can be used by Member States authorities for screening purposes and also to support official control activities. Several Member States had reservations with regard to the latter aspect and cautioned that this would not be in line with national practices. As the creation of new databases is a resource intensive process, potential
future activities should concentrate on high-end agri-food products, e.g. those with Geographical Indications (PDO/PGI).


Early Warning Systems for spotting irregularities along the food chain are currently not in routine use in most Member States, although prototypes built on various principles (media monitoring, text mining, modelling trade flow data) exist. All Member States were of the opinion that Early Warning Systems would improve their capability to fight food fraud and an agreement on the scope and intended use of such systems (emerging risks, intelligence portal) should be the starting point in the development process. Furthermore, Member States agreed that Early Warning Systems should be developed at the EU level for common use by authorities and Commission services.

You can find more details about the meeting in the technical report.


1st Technical Meeting of the KC-FFQ

Place: JRC, Geel, Belgium

Date: 4-5 December 2018

The Knowledge Centre for Food Fraud and Quality1 held its inaugural technical meeting in Geel (BE) on 4-5 December 2018. The purpose of the meeting was to identify current gaps in the existing food forensics' toolbox and identify ways to fill those gaps by using a participatory approach to engage experts delegated by the Member States  competent authorities in the discussions.

Five topic areas of high relevance:

  • Organisation of food fraud detection activities in the Member States and information sharing;
  • Analytical methods and measurement capabilities of the Member States;
  • Early warning systems;
  • Compositional databases and sharing of databases;
  • Vulnerability analysis; were discussed in small groups in a World Café setting.

Based on the identified needs and a prioritisation of the suggested solutions the following activities shall be pursued at the European Commission as well as Member State's level:

  • Harmonisation/standardisation of the definition of food fraud is necessary;
  • Collaboration within and among Member States and with European Commission needs improvement;
  • Leverage the power of data analytics to fight food fraud;
  •  'Authentomics' can only become reality if appropriate databases are available;
  • Centres of competence should share the workload of detecting fraud in the food chain;
  • Supply of harmonised methods of analysis has to keep pace with technological progress.

A coordinated effort involving European Commission services, competent authorities and stakeholders of the food supply chain will be necessary to create an efficient mechanism for delivering the required tools and infrastructures. A strong need for coordination of activities at the EU level was also seen as a major element to achieve the objectives.

You can find more details about the meeting in the technical report.

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