2.0 Decision Tree Analysis

The following is a decision tree guide adapted from the Guidance on authenticity of herbs and spices (FDF, n.d.). The decision tree analysis is useful to assess potential vulnerabilities to fraud and identify preventive strategies.

Figure 4. Decision tree to assess vulnerabilities to food fraud (FDF, n.d.). * Note that vulnerabilities in the supply chain is an ongoing process and requires regular review. Adapted from Guidance on authenticity of herbs and spices (https://www.fdf.org.uk/corporate_pubs/guidance-herbsandspices.pdf)

FFVA is necessary to define the actions required to reduce, remove or prevent vulnerability points. The vulnerability assessment process is dynamic and needs to be revisited both routinely in line with formal procedures and also reactively in the event that assessment of criteria becomes out of date, for example change of supplier, harvest failure associated with one particular material or an increase in demand for a particular material when supply remains constant.


The following points could also be used to assess potential vulnerabilities in your supply chain. They are categorised according to three broad categories i.e. product, place, business and people.

Product Place PeopleBusiness
Historical incidentsPolitical stabilityWeak code of ethics Demand for product
PriceClimate, natural disastersPropensity to work “outside” the systemExtent of its use
Physical stateHarvesting conditions, seasonality, pests, diseasesPoor work performanceMarket price fluctuation
Level of processingFood safety laws and enforcement Excessive drive to achieveAvailability and ease of access to product
Storage and distribution facilitiesOverprotectiveness of data and key documentsComplexity and length of supply chain
Persistent demoralisationExisting control measures
Being the first one in or last out