Businesses are having to dispose thousands of pounds worth of products due to ‘clandestine infiltration’, in which the safety of food is being compromised by the presence of migrants in the lorry trailers coming into the UK from the EU. It’s also been predicted that the numbers are going to rise significantly in the coming months.
BFFF member, Oakland International, offers a distress load management (DML) service which aims to reduce food waste linked to human tampering. They are having to expand the DML service after seeing a 33% increase in volumes in March and April compared to earlier in the year. The increase seems to tie in with the news about the Rwanda deportation announcements.
Under the UK government’s recent agreement with the Rwandan government, which was announced in April, migrants who cross the Channel via unofficial routes – such as small boats – could be deported to the East African country.
Last year, Oakland handled 520 loads of stock subject to clandestine infiltration. It is currently handling between 15 to 20 claims a week directly linked to migrants, and is expecting those numbers to double this year.
Food distribution firms are often made aware that people infiltrated a lorry either when the vehicles cross the border and they purposefully make themselves heard, or when the vehicles reach their destination in the UK and there is evidence to support this upon opening the trailer– such as footprints, moved or damaged pallets, or broken door handles.
This is typically when Oakland’s services are requested. The supply chain specialist then runs thorough, science-based food safety checks to determine how much of a load has been affected. The process allows it to save around 85% of an affected load, while 15% is disposed of via an anaerobic digestion solution.