Food Scares and the Supply Chain
The 2013 horse-meat scandal affected 17 different product types, across 16 European countries, requiring more than 10 million burgers to be recalled, and generating even greater quantities of food waste.
While a catastrophe on such a scale isn't a regular occurrence, approximately one million cases of food-borne illness occur in the UK each year, suggesting the proliferation and management of food scares needs to be considered within the wider context of secure and sustainable food provision. The challenge to develop and maintain secure, nutritious and sustainable global food supplies is a well-observed complex issue, involving numerous stakeholders across local, national and international governance levels.
Two of the tools (INFoRM and FIITT Serious Game) in SteerPlex are applied to this case study area, as part of the ERIE FoodSCCAM (Food Supply Chains Complexity Analysis and Modelling) sub-project. This project explores key questions within the expansive arena of food security and sustainability including the role of information in reducing food waste produced due to a food scare; the interacting networks of phosphorous, nitrogen and carbon dioxide and; global trades of food products, exploring the complex network of materials and relationships which constitute our food system.
Key to this work is the development of realistic and reliable tools to support the everyday decision making strategies of industry and policy makers. Engagement with all 'players' in the food supply chain through workshops, interviews, and discussion sessions, has been used to underpin the development of our tools.