Oritain and BBC Business Live: CEO Grant Cochrane discusses food fraud and forensic science.

Oritain and BBC Business Live: CEO Grant Cochrane discusses food fraud and forensic science.


it’s been more than five years since horsemeat was found in burgers and Reddy Mills sold across Europe the end only 2013 it was revealed that some meals labeled as beef what actually contained between eighty and a hundred percent horse meat well a number of measures were introduced do you have to try and reduce the risk of food fraud in the future the scandal really did highlight the vulnerabilities of the vast global supply chain for one of them trying to tackle the problem is the new zealand-based or attain which works to forensically trace products like meat and cotton back to the very field they were produced in and joining us now is grant Cochran who’s the CEO of or attained global thanks very much for coming in we first of all want to start off by asking you how you got into this because she began didn’t you as a trader here in London and then became a farmer why did he make that switch yes sure I was a currency trader in London for 10 years in the 90s in 2000 I bought a farm in New Zealand went back to be a family which it always been my my ambition to do say so after 10 years farming I invested and I retain it was a natural fit for me because as a farmer I understand the effort people go to to produce really good quality product and it just seemed natural to invest in something that will protect those brands so it helps the producer as well as the consumer so how does it work how does your company look at where all of these products are source and trace the food chain back yeah sure I retain what we do is we’ve taken forensic science so science being used to prove where drugs come from with bodies of their origin so we’ve taken forensic chemistry and applied it to food the reason we’ve done that is because there’s a massive problem of food fraud the United Nations so it’s up to 50 billion dollars a year lost through food fraud so what we do is we measure the the products naturally-occurring property so what’s intrinsic within the product and unlock the code through some quite complicated statistical algorithms and that links it back to the tahrir was ground so we are what we ate we’ve all got a fingerprint of where we are and we really the Foods of youth why do you think there is so much food fraud is it because across the globe there’s an increasing reliance on ready meals for example busy families they just don’t have time to prepare food from scratch yeah sure I think that’s a big thing supply chains have become very complicated very long and very complex to manage so it’s very very easy to to commit food fraud also the penalties are relatively low people get locked up for other crimes whereas food fraud tends to go below the radar unless they had a lot of penalties for people that creates a situation where brands are very vulnerable so if you look at the test going horse meat scandal TISCO were the unwitting and unwitting victims in this but they paid the price because somebody else deliberately adulterated the product and that’s what it’s about isn’t it brands wanting to prove the ethical nature of their goods so if for example someone came to you with the sausage you know or a piece of fish and said trace this back how long does it take and how much does it cost them to do that right it depends on every on every supply chain so sorry for the evasive answer but people really want to know that what they buy is true to the origin so if people want something that’s organic or free range or hasn’t has an involved cutting down rainforests they want to know that product has true to that origin so that we test a product to ensure that there is the case we took in days weeks a number of days five nineteen days depending have you changed what you eat since becoming an investor and becoming CEO and really looking at your food and what’s in it say compared to what you ate as a city trader here in London all those years ago yeah most differently most definitely I use origin as a proxy for quality so for example well flame and to me that just speaks of quality so we look at an origin of a product and they don’t say to us and for me it’ll say it’s good quality and I’d say it’s changed there you cook from scratch so so have you seen your business shift since the horsemeat scandal have you seen a massive uptake of people who wanting to differently daily yeah we also work in other sectors for example pharmaceuticals but but more recently in cotton so there’s a lot of focus around with the modern slavery agents that’s come in the last couple of years people want to ensure that as Pakistan cotton for example with the state-sponsored slavery that isn’t in their product so we’re seeing a great demand for a wide range of products and is there a trademark that then these companies can receive yeah it all retained we do certified products was not retained certification other times we work for hind the scenes for companies that will work for large brands and we will be anonymously auditing the supply chain at our time grant really good to me

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