• “Share the Puck” – Valued Partner Award Given to Ray Bowe for Musgrave Group and Seamus O’Reilly for University College Cork (UCC)

    by John Spink • May 31, 2019 • Blog • 0 Comments

    While I was presenting the keynote address at the inaugural Musgrave Annual Guest Lecture in Cork, Ireland, we awarded our MSU-FFI “Share the Puck” Valued Partner Award. The first recipient was Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality for Musgrave Retail Partners (e.g., Supervalu, Centra). The second recipient was Dr. Seamus O’Reilly for the Cork University Business School – Food Business & Development, UCC University College Cork (Ireland).


    Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality, Musgrave Retail Partners, Musgrave Group

    Dr. Spink presenting the award to Ray Bowe (Musgrave) then left to right: Peter Whelan (FSAI, former award winner), Abdessemi Baulbadaoi (UCC doctoral student in food integrity), Dr. Seamus O’Reilly (UCC), Gillian O’Connell (Musgrave), Dr. Maeve Henchion (TEASAC), and Dr. Alan Sloane (UCC)

    Since first meeting Ray at the GFSI Annual Conference in Orlando in 2012 we have worked together on several GFSI and Ireland-wide activities.   Because of this relationship I was recently invited to present the inaugural keynote address at the Musgrave-sponsored Guest Lecture on Food Authenticity. Over the years, Ray, and Musgrave, have been important partners and in many ways have served as mentors for our expanding Food Fraud prevention research. The Musgrave funding has supported a wide range of UCC activities. From the UCC press release: “This [Musgrave sponsored food authenticity research] project supports a Walsh Ph.D. fellow to explore the policies and practices required to protect “Brand Ireland,” including Irish food exported and consumed domestically.


    Seamus O’Reilly, Sr. Lecturer, UCC University College Cork (Ireland)

    Dr. Spink presenting the award to Dr. Seamus O’Reilly (UCC) then second row: Peter Whelan (FSAI, former award winner), Abdessemi Baulbadaoi (UCC doctoral student in food integrity), and Dr. Alan Sloane (UCC); back row: Ray Bowe (Musgrave), Gillian O’Connell (Musgrave), and Dr. Maeve Henchion (TEASAC).

    After meeting Seamus and the UCC team through Ray Bowe, the MSU-FFI relationship with UCC has grown to include joint research projects, doctoral student advising, and co-authored journal articles. Dr. O’Reilly has a unique perspective and insight on protecting the food supply based on his work as Director of Supply Chain Management programmes. In addition, UCC Business School Dean Thia Hennessy  leads the Agri-Food Economics Department. This Department has been an exceptionally valuable partner due to their insight on the Irish and European marketplace, and also because of their unique focus on the business of food and agriculture. Their focus on management systems expands beyond the study of trends, which is the more traditional focus on agricultural economics. Further, Dr. Hennessy’s research on Brexit has been especially applicable to understanding the potential new vulnerabilities. Also attending the session was previous MSU-FFI Share the Puck Award winner Peter Whelan of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).

    Keynote Address

    During the preparation of my presentation, it was fascinating to go through the process of understanding the unique needs and challenges of “Brand Ireland.” The “Island” is essentially one big agricultural market but includes two countries – Republic of Ireland and the UK/ Northern Ireland – but with the EU common market, the transactions are more like the transactions among states in the U.S. Brexit will change this relationship in still-to-be-determined ways.

    Beyond addressing the definition and scope of food fraud and the focus on prevention, my two key points were “which discipline should manage food fraud prevention?” and the ultimate financial question for government and industry of “how much is enough?”

    The Irish Times interview summarized my key point: “Investment in prevention is needed to combat food fraud, expert says. ‘Brand Ireland’ reputation for quality a potential target for fraud, says Dr. John Spink.”

    Also, this article includes what may be my best quote ever: “’[Food fraudsters are]not like a crackhead and the need to get a fix tonight,” said Dr. Spink. “Criminals usually have a lot invested in their enterprise and plot carefully, so food fraud problems constantly change.”

     “Brand Ireland” is in good hands with the overall management by FSAI, and with additional support and engagement from the likes of FSAI, TEAGASC, the engagement and support of industry such as Musgrave, and then the novel research support of the UCC Agri-Food Economics Department. We are pleased and honored to be working with this team.

    Whether December, February, April, May or October, it seems like I always experience mostly sunny and dry days in Cork. I joked that it was “tourism fraud” since they kept talking about all the rain in the Spring – fraud to keep us Americans from using Cork as a “Spring Break” vacation spot instead of Florida! They kept trying to convince me, “this weather is unusual.” Well, my trips have been important and enjoyable, so I look forward to a long and continued relationship with Musgrave, UCC, and my other colleagues on the Island of Ireland. MSU-FFI.

    Reference: Past “Share the Puck” Value Partner Award Winners

    • Berengere Dreno, Europol/ INTERPOL Operation Opson, October 2017
    • Peter Whelan , FSAI, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, September 2017
    • Andy Morling , UK National Food Crime Unit, UK Food Standards Agency, October 2016
    • Guangtao Zhang, MARS Incorporated, Global Food Safety Center (Beijing), February 2016
    • Bob Baker & Team, MARS Incorporated, November 2015[J8] 
    • Yongning WU  & Team, Chinese National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA), February 2015
    • Zhong Qiding, Chinese National Standardization Center for Food & Fermentation (SCFF), February 2015
    • Chris Elliott & QUB IGFS Team, Queen’s University Belfast (UK), April 2014
    • Paul Gallemore, Global Food Safety Team, Walmart (China), August 2014
    • Frederic Rene & Team, Global Food Safety team, Danone S.A., June 2013

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