Integrity of organic foods and their suppliers: Fraud vulnerability across chains

Saskia M. van Ruth*, Leontien de Pagter-de Witte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Organic foods are frequently targeted by fraudsters. Examination of underlying factors helps to reduce fraud vulnerability and to prevent fraud. In this study, the fraud vulnerability of five actors from each of four chains were examined using the SSAFE food fraud vulnerability assessment tool: the organic banana, egg, olive oil and pork supply chains. The organic chains appeared slightly less vulnerable than conventional chains due to fewer opportunities for fraud and the more adequate controls being present. On the other hand, organic chains were associated with enhanced vulnerability resulting from cultural and behavioral drivers. Generally, actors in the organic olive oil and pork chains were more vulnerable than those from the banana and egg chains. However, high risk actors were not limited to particular chains. Across the whole group of actors in organic chains, three groups in terms of cultural/behavioral drivers were distinguished: a low vulnerability group, a group facing more external threats and a group presenting fraud vulnerability in general and in particular from within their own company. Ethical business culture and criminal history scores of businesses correlated significantly. This implies that the climate in a company is an important factor to consider when estimating the exposure of businesses to food fraud.

Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020


  • Banana
  • Egg
  • Fraud
  • Mitigation
  • Olive oil
  • Organic
  • Pork
  • Vulnerability


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