My friend loves to buy healthy, natural and organic food for her family. They eat a couple of kilos of almonds per week. Last week she decided to check out the organic almonds available for bulk purchase at a local natural food co-op (yes this is in an inner suburb of Sydney, how’d you guess?). The organic almonds were over twice as expensive at the co-op than if she had bought them from one of the big supermarkets.
Are they worth it? Maybe… she really likes the idea of buying organic food.
Are they authentic? Who knows? If the organic almonds are selling for around $30 per kg and the supermarket almonds are selling for $15 per kg then an unscrupulous supplier could make some easy money by adding just 10% ‘non-organic’ almonds to each lot of organic. Do I think the local organic co-op would do such a thing? No, I don’t think they would. Do I think that there are people in their supply chain who might be tempted to take advantage of the premium price of organic food by acting fraudulently? Absolutely.
So are organic almonds vulnerable to food fraud? Yes. But how do you know if your almonds are authentic? And what are the consequences it they are not?