The multi-million-pound European Horizon 2020 programme, one of the world’s largest food safety projects, will be led by Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
The EU-China-Safe project will involve key players in the food industry, research organisations and Governments across two of the world’s largest trading areas. EU-China-Safe aims to reduce food fraud and improve food safety through focusing on traceability, authenticity as well as improving food legislation, food inspection and increasing access to information across both continents supply chain networks
State of the art technologies, including arc-net’s Blockchain powered platform and virtual laboratories, will create a unique space to share and demonstrate best practice.
The European Horizon 2020 programme and Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) programme have awarded €10 million towards an EU-China partnership to improve food safety and tackle food fraud.
Kieran Kelly, CEO or arc-net said: “arc-net are delighted to be selected as the official technology partner in such a ground-breaking and transformative project. arc-net’s mission has always been to ensure the health of current and future generations by providing access to safe and authentic food and we see this project as a vital step in achieving this goal. The use of innovative technologies will result in the creation of fully transparent supply chain network which will become the foundation for a trusted digital community.”
Professor Elliott, the project’s co-ordinator said: “We are delighted that The Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University Belfast will lead this global project. Working together with arc-net and key stakeholders in the global food system will help to address the importance of food traceability and security across two of the world’s largest trading markets.”
Professor Yongning Wu, Chief Scientist from the China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment, co-ordinator of the Chinese efforts in the project stated: “The EU-China Safe partnership between our two trading regions is of immense important to help deliver safe and genuine food to all citizens.
“Working together across the EU and China will enable us to identify where food fraud is happening, address the root causes and thereby enable us to improve food safety standards for all our citizens.”
Food fraud manifests itself in many ways, from horse meat labelled and sold as beef, as was the case in Europe in 2013, to illicit oil which saw slaughterhouse waste and sewage used in cooking oil, known as the ‘gutter oil’ scandal in China in 2014.
Reported instances of food fraud are on the increase and occur on a global scale, worth an estimated $52 billion globally each year. Food fraud is a global issue demanding a global response. The increasingly complex global food supply network increases the risks of serious food borne illness.
Pictured are Professor Christopher Elliot, left, of Queen’s University Belfast announces the partnership with Kieran Kelly, right, and Brendan Smyth, centre, of arc-net.