WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 2014  – The Trading Partner Alliance of the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)  today announced the release of the 2013 best practices guideline “Brand Protection and Supply Chain Integrity:  Methods for Counterfeit Detection, Prevention and Deterrence,  completed in collaboration with Inmar and Authentix. 

The guideline is the result of research and analysis completed by Inmar, Authentix and a working committee comprised of industry leaders from manufacturers and retailers, and is based upon an extensive survey of global CPG manufacturers and national retailers.

This guideline acts as a call to action to stop the flow of counterfeit consumer products in commerce and a commitment to the development of industry recommendations.  The best practices provide guidance for manufacturers and retailers on how to minimize the financial and reputational damage associated with counterfeiting of genuine branded products. Also included are recommendations for a response protocol when counterfeit incidents occur and a benchmarking tool for assessing anti-counterfeit practices that manufacturers and retailers can use to develop effective brand protection programs. Plus, there are case studies, risk assessment tools for the CPG manufacturing and retail industries and results from a consumer survey about counterfeit goods. 

 "As the voice of food retail, FMI is working with its trading partners to assume leadership roles in the fight against counterfeit goods entering the retail supply chain,” Mark Baum, FMI’s senior vice president of industry relations and chief collaboration officer, said. “This study pinpoints the opportunities that retailers and manufacturers have to reduce the chance for counterfeit products from reaching shelves and finding their way into consumers' homes. We must be vigilant about safeguarding our supply chain from counterfeiters and step up our efforts to stop organized retail theft."

 Jim Flannery, GMA executive vice president, operations and industry collaboration, notes, “Counterfeit food and non-food CPG products are a nearly $1 trillion problem for manufacturers, their retail customers and consumers. When inauthentic products wind up in the hands of consumers, they lose confidence in the stores and brands they trust.  This guide is intended to share best practices with manufacturers and retailers to prevent that from happening, from production and packaging to purchasing and stocking.”    

 “Companies invest millions of dollars in creating differentiated products and marketing their brands and need to ensure that the brand promise is being delivered as designed in the marketplace,” said Ryon Packer, chief sales and marketing officer and general manager of brand at Authentix, Inc. “There are established and effective solutions for protecting brand equity and efficiently verifying product authenticity and channel integrity. This guide is a tremendous resource bringing current research together with proven best practices to help brand owners achieve a return on their R&D and marketing investments.”

The guideline incorporates a broad view of perspectives and insights from cross-functional teams within leading FMI and GMA member firms, academic and industry thought leaders, as well as industry expertise from Inmar and Authentix.

 “This comprehensive guideline will assist CPG manufacturers and retailers in the development and implementation of brand protection and anti-counterfeit best practices from raw material sourcing to product withdrawals.  The best practices address various points of counterfeit infiltration into the legitimate supply chain,” said Steve Dollase, president, Inmar Supply Chain Network.  “As the counterfeiting of branded goods continues to grow, this collaborative project provides a comprehensive playbook for all trading partners to implement systemic changes to reduce and prevent incidence of counterfeit goods entering the legitimate supply chain.”

“Brand Protection and Supply Chain Integrity:  Methods for Counterfeit Detection, Prevention and Deterrence” is available for download at www.fmi.org/store