Supply chains are becoming more intricate with issues being encountered from environmental conditions, fraud, poor handling and theft. The food supply chain is very susceptible to the issues listed and until recently, monitoring the integrity of shipments was largely outside a company’s control.
According to PwC agribusiness advisory partner, Greg Quinn, worldwide food fraud results in losses of at least $65 billion a year. Luxury food products are regularly counterfeited and incorrectly labelled, and buyers often have no way to trace the origins of what they are purchasing. Food and beverages were among the top commodities targeted in North American cargo theft incidents last year, according to a recent report from BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions.
The Trump administration has not been shy to cause controversy in both national and international affairs. With campaign promises to build a wall between the Mexico-United States border and threats to impose tariffs on Mexican goods, organisations must now evaluate the damage that such events will have on their supply chain. To make matters worse, the Trump administration has recently reassigned 750 inspectors away from ports of entry to deal with migration which has created hours-long waits at the border. It is the president’s tougher immigration policy that has now also played a role in the resignation of Kirstjen Nielesen, US Homeland Security Chief.
Stephen hartnettHow will the United States improve their supply chain visibility?
The term food miles is used to describe the time and distance that food has travelled from its production until it arrives with the consumer. The phrase originated in 1994 in a piece written by Angela Paxton who examined the damaging effects of long distance food transportation on the environment and state of food. The increasing levels of globalisation at this time, advances in technology and transportation as well as increased trade deals meant that there was now an effective and efficient pathway to distributing food worldwide. Many have argued that the increased distances that food travels from farm to plate will lead to catastrophic effects on the environment with greater journey lengths for planes, boats and vans. Though some point out that the largest release of dangerous emissions actually occurs during the production phase, meaning that it is more environmentally friendly to import lamb to the UK from New Zealand than it is to produce it inside the UK.