Professor Chris Elliott’s long-awaited report into food fraud is at last set to be published at the beginning of September.

The report - commissioned jointly by Defra and the Department of Health in the wake of Horsegate - was originally expected to come out in the spring.

Defra this week insisted no official publication date had been set, saying only “we aim to publish shortly,” but The Grocer understands Elliott’s report has been given a publication date of 4 September.

The report had initially been on course to be published in May but was pushed back because of the European elections. It was then expected to come out just before the recess - on 22 July - but was delayed amid the reshuffle, which saw Defra secretary of state Owen Paterson replaced with Liz Truss.

Elliott published an interim version of his investigation into the UK food chain back in December, warning the food industry was at risk from criminals. He also called for a dedicated food crime unit to be established within the FSA to help better protect consumers and industry from fraudsters.