Perish the thought: Protectionism is the enemy of trade and logistics


Alex von Stempel, Managing Director, Cool Logistics Resources Ltd

When Britain signed up to the EU in the 70s, it should have known what it had let itself in for: freedom of capital and freedom of movement, both of which forming the vital ingredients for freedom of trade, including relatively unrestricted movement of perishable cargoes by sea, air or road.

Blaming Brussels for excessive bureaucracy is failing to admit that Britain included has sanctioned many of the restrictive practices that have crept in since and become law.

532px-EU_flag-map.svgBut why should Britain not leave now when everything is going pear-shaped? Precisely because the job isn’t done.

Leaving aside heady questions of sovereignty such as why for example EU commissioners cannot be elected directly by the people of Europe, a practical comparison with the world of food and logistics could be more useful.

Europe resembles the cold chain. It is as bad as its weakest link.

Most laws and regulations such as those determining the permissible curvature of a sausage or shape of a vegetable merely reflect the interests of pressure groups that have been allowed to hold sway over other groups.  By banning certain products it has become possible to cover up massive over production. However, what are the reasons for over supply, if not a persistent misunderstanding of current ‘demand’ being based on a deadly mix of inefficient production methods, poor forecasting and lack of end-to-end perishable supply chain visibility.

If Britain leaves the EU it will merely diminish the effectiveness of guaranteeing better trade conditions and more effective international co-operation in areas such as technology, security, accurate data management, science and general resource planning, not to mention securing a more sensible approach towards environmental legislation and paving the way for a more equal society in Europe.

Trading means exchanging goods, services and ideas for the benefit of everyone.

United we stand, unité fait la force, zusammen sind wir stark.

Cool Logistics Resources Ltd. provides top-quality business intelligence and networking for supply chain, logistics and transport professionals in the international perishables markets.

The annual Cool LogisticsTM Global Conference in Europe connects perishable cargo owners with cold chain logistics and transport professionals from around the world to assess key market trends and operational best practice for the international movement of chilled and frozen cargoes by air, land and sea.

The 8th Cool Logistics Global conference will provide two days packed with high-level debates and tailored sessions on commercial, operational and technical challenges, covering all angles of perishable trade, logistics and temperature-controlled transport.

8th Cool Logistics Global
27 – 28 September 2016
Park Hotel, Bremen, Germany
www.coollogisticsglobal.com

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