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Supply chain Security

Protecting the supply chain security by monitoring and combating food fraud and food counterfeiting


On 19 November 2020, Interpol and Europol will organize a debriefing of their joint operation against counterfeit food and beverages, and substandard food and beverages.

The operation is called Opson and in 2020 has reached its 9th edition. Almost 80 countries participated in the initiative from all regions of the world.

During the debriefing, the regional and national achievements of the operation will be presented, together with the perspective of the international organizations working on this subject, as FAO and UNICRI. During the meeting the 10th edition of the operation will also be launched.

UNICRI will share the results of its Knowledge Center “Security Improvements through Research, Technology and Innovation" (SIRIO) in Geneva, with a specific focus on the protection of the supply chain, and in particular on the issues of monitoring and combating food fraud and food counterfeiting.

In this regard, through its SIRIO programme, the Institute is currently looking at how to use big data analytics to improve the monitoring of these crimes, unveiling the interconnections that exist with several other crimes as well as their evolution over time. The collaboration that was established with CERN in the last years for the use of big data visualization and analytical tools has been extremely helpful to shape this initiative.

Furthermore, over the last two years, UNICRI has contributed to the identification of emerging threats in the area of food fraud and food counterfeiting managed by organized crime, creating risk scenarios which highlight criminal strategies in this field. Technology solutions aimed at securing the supply chain and at supporting law enforcers in their investigations have also been identified, to address the risks created by the criminal infiltration in this field.