Guest Column | March 21, 2017

Food Defense Requires A Collaborative Offense

Food Defense Requires A Collaborative Offense

By Rod Wheeler, the Global Food Defense Institute

Bridging the gaps between the food industry and law enforcement, along with creating long-lasting, mutually-beneficial partnerships is essential in food defense efforts. This article will explain some of those efforts, their benefits, and how the food industry can continue to collaborate to protect the food supply chain.

Recently, nearly 50 employees at a food processing plant in Kansas City, MO attended a one-day collaborative training course entitled "Food Defense, Security and Law Enforcement...Together Making a Difference.” As I was presenting to the group on the topic, in walked four-executive-type, well-dressed men, and one of them in full police uniform and gear. The meeting attendee's all watched silently as the men stood in the back of the group, behind the attendees. The police radio squelched at a low volume in the background.

Moments later, I introduced the men as the food plants’ food defense and security-safety business partners: law enforcement representatives from the FBI, State Department of Homeland Security, the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation, and the local police department officer assigned to the Kansas Joint Terrorism Task Force.