Category Archives: Industry News

Feeding the future: Food supply chain trends 2024

Economic, environmental, and geopolitical factors will result in cargo theft, agricultural challenges, and increased food insecurity

The global food supply chain has seen a fair share of disruption in recent years. As we move through 2024, economic, environmental, and geopolitical factors will continue to have knock-on effects to the food supply chain, resulting in cargo theft, agricultural challenges, and increased food insecurity at any point down the line.

Four trends we expect to see through 2024 include:

Inflation fueling cargo theft

Inflation is a significant contributor to the ongoing issue of food cargo theft as society and households struggle to make ends meet. From December 2022 to 2023, food prices in the US increased by 2.7 percent, and signs point toward these figures decelerating but not decreasing in 2024.

Though food prices remain high, production issues mean that some products are experiencing more severe price spikes. The European Commission reports that in September 2023, olive oil prices had increased by 75 percent since January 2021 and are expected to consistently rise in 2024. This price hike has resulted in higher product theft, particularly in the production countries of Spain, Italy, Turkey, and Greece.

Weakening agricultural yields

Adverse weather events affected crop production in multiple regions of the world through 2023. For example, in July 2023, the Italian region of Sicily reported that heatwaves and wildfires had resulted in over 200 million euros of damage to the regional agricultural industry.

Globally, agricultural producers and suppliers are bracing for more flooding, hail, fires, and extreme temperature incidents in 2024. These threats, much like the one in Italy, may lead to further food theft and a breeding ground for counterfeiting.

To mitigate the damage caused by climate-related events, climate-smart agriculture could be a game changer for farmers. New technologies offer a range of tools and systems, including precision irrigation and sensors, to monitor water levels and temperature conditions, allowing farmers to prepare for potential challenges and increase diminishing yields.

International trade practices

Global ESG regulations have increased dramatically, rising 155 percent in the past decade. Regulations will continue to transform food and beverage supply chains as companies adapt to meet new ESG reporting requirements, especially in the European Union. These requirements will shape the industries in other countries as export markets work toward compliance. Some regulations include the Regulation on Deforestation-free products, the Proposal for a ban on goods made using forced labour, and the Directive on Green Claims.

There’s growing backlash on “shrinkflation,” a practice that often affects food products, in which the quantity of a given product decreases or the product is reformulated with cheaper ingredients though the price stays the same or increases. One popular French grocery chain has begun putting up signs in its stores to warn against products that exhibit shrinkflation, while the Korean government is considering a mandate that would obligate companies to notify customers of decreases in product sizes.

Challenges destabilizing supply lines

Global incidents such as the attacks on ships in the Red Sea have led to shifting supply lines and higher shipping costs, which has exacerbated global food insecurity and price increases. The immediate near-halt of grain from Ukraine has had substantial implications for global food security, with hundreds of millions of people facing hunger globally despite some improvements in the situation.

Challenges in the Red Sea and nearby regions have prompted shipping companies to reroute shipments. This has impacted nearly 15 percent of global maritime trade, leading to increased costs for maritime shipping. Companies are now exploring alternative freight-transport methods such as air and rail. Global trade disruptions can influence food prices, sparking concerns that this issue will also contribute to food price increases and insecurity.

These persistent obstacles underscore the importance of organizations taking a holistic approach to understanding risks and the knock-on effects to food supply chains. Despite these daunting challenges, companies can mitigate threats more effectively by taking a proactive approach and instituting the right standards and policies across the whole of their organization.

For a look at the state of the global supply chain, keep an eye out for BSI’s 2024 supply chain risk insights report.

This article was originally published by Food Logistics under the title State of the Industry: Top 10 Trends to Shape Cold Food Chain in 2024 on December 4, 2023. Read more from Erica in Takeaways from BSI Connect SCREEN’s Quarterly Risk Intelligence Outlook: Part 2.

Visit BSI’s Experts Corner for more insights from industry experts. Subscribe to our Experts-Corner-2-Go LinkedIn newsletters for a fortnightly roundup of the latest thought leadership content: Digital trustEHSsupply chain.

Source BSI

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Indonesia pins hopes on a common fly to reduce food waste, carbon emissions

A voracious eater of decaying animal or plant waste allows a shorter decomposition time.
With thanks to Jon Arnup for unearthing this fascinating story of how nature’s inbuilt circular economy may provide answers to the big sustainability issues of our times for the environment and societies.

As Jon also asks, as we marvel at innovative approaches in sustainability, how do we quantify this kind of success and impact? And move meaningfully from innovation discoveries and ideas to tangible actions and results?

#cooltech #circulareconomy #innovation #naturalresources #sustainability #wastemanagement #foodwaste #carbonemissions
 
How can a common Indonesian housefly assist us in reducing food waste and carbon emissions?

It turns out that in just 14 days, one kilogram of black soldier fly larvae can decompose an equivalent amount of food waste, challenging the traditional composting methods that take 8 to 10 weeks. The potential benefits extend beyond speed; these maggots can be harvested as nutrient-rich animal feed, creating a sustainable loop in the waste management cycle.

Many Indonesian experts and business owners have been weighing in on the opportunities for development here, and while it might not be the most charming image, it certainly does get me thinking about something…

I find it fascinating how many of these sustainability studies and initiatives (globally) operate in a realm of indefiniteness. Very seldomly do we get clear and concise projections or scopes. While the idea seems intriguing, there’s always a nuanced skepticism lurking.

The black soldier fly’s efficiency in decomposing organic waste within a short time frame, is commendable. Yet, the broader success of such initiatives hinges on tangible actions, particularly waste sorting.

As we marvel at innovative approaches in sustainability, I think it’s always important to ask the critical question:

How do we quantify this kind of success and impact?

I think we can all agree that the path to a sustainable future demands not just innovation but a commitment to tangible outcomes and clear paths towards objectives.

With that in mind, what are your thoughts on the common housefly, with regards to the greater scheme of sustainability?
 
#Indonesia #sustainability #strategy #businessinsight #SouthEastAsia
 

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Source GovInsider.Asia

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CMA CGM Operations in the Red Sea | Update

As from February 1st, 2024 all services initially routed via the Red Sea passage will now follow the Cape of Good Hope routing.

Lars Jensen on Day 53 of the #redsea crisis, likely shipping network restructure and implications for shippers.

CMA CGM’s formal confirmation yesterday that “as from February 1st, 2024 and until further notice, all services initially routed via the Red Sea passage will now follow the Cape of Good Hope routing” completes the separation between the global alliance carriers and smaller niche carriers still operating services using the Bab al-Mandeb crossing, notes Lars.

Shippers in the Arabian Gulf, Indian Subcontinent and East Africa-Europe trades who work with the major carriers are advised to “expect fewer direct port calls and more transhipment hubs – especially into the Mediterranean” as shipping service networks are redesigned to adapt to the new reality.

Sure to be a major talking point at this week’s FRUIT LOGISTICA is what does this all mean for #reefercontainer cargoes especially fruit and other seasonal fresh produce that do not take kindly to longer transits and transhipments?

What will be the fallout and short/longer term response for and from shippers and logistics providers?

#caveatemptor #coldchainlogistics #redsea #disruption #containershipping #reefercontainer #foodsupplychain #keeptradeflowing

Day 53 of the Red Sea crisis and CMA CGM has now officially announced that they will also re-route their vessels around Africa.

This completes the full separation between the global alliance carriers and the smaller niche carriers who still operate services using the Bab al-Mandeb crossing. It should in the context be noted that European niche carrier Tailwind also goes around Africa though, leaving the niche direct Asia-Europe service principally to small Chinese carriers servicing the China-Russia trade. The multitude of Asian niche carriers which cross the strait is principally linking the Red Sea ports to Asia and do not go through the Suez Canal into the Med.

In light of the operational reality Maersk has launched a new service going direct from multiple ports in the Arabian Gulf and Oman to Port Said in Egypt and back. It is clear how this allows a service between the Arabian Gulf ports, as well as potential transhipment cargo from Salalah into the Med using the key hubs at Port Said at the end and Tangiers as well as Algeciras in the west end.

We should expect carriers to launch several new similar services and/or redesign their service networks linking especially the Arabian Gulf, the Indian Subcontinent and East Africa to Europe. Shippers in these trades should expect fewer direct port-port calls and the use of more transhipment hubs – especially into the Mediterranean. This is new territory so to speak, and it should also be expected that even new services being launched might see further revisions to their rotations as cargoflows and feeder networks begin to adjust to the new reality.

US forces attacked and destroyed 2 drone-boats in Houthi-controlled areas before they could be launched at passing vessels. (yes I know, technically they are called “uncrewed surface vehicles (USV)” I just happen to like the word drone-boats 😊 )
 

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Source CMA CGM

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One Launched Trial Shipments Of The World’s First Dual-temperature Refrigerated Container With Controlled Atmosphere Function

Creating a more efficient way to transport cargoes in small quantities
 

Ocean Network Express (ONE) has claimed a world-first in #reefercontainer #technology with the manufacture and trials of a dual-temperature design including controlled atmosphere (CA) functions in collaboration with retailer Pan Pacific International Holdings Corporation and freight forwarder NAX Japan.

While multi-temp technology has long been available in over-the-road #refrigeratedtransport trailers, this is heralded as the first foray into the maritime container world in combination with CA.

Trials will transport various types of perishable goods and fruits from Japan to overseas stores of ‘Don Quijote’, the largest Japanese discount chain operated by PPIH, which currently has 43 stores in six Asian countries across various brands.

The initiative has been launched “to enhance container loading efficiency by transporting smaller quantities of a more diverse range of perishable commodities in a single container”

“This approach not only aims to reduce overall transportation costs, but also maintains the freshness and quality of goods throughout the shipment,” said ONE. The carrier says that ONE, PPIH, and NAX Japan will continue trial shipments to “contribute to more stable exports of Japanese agricultural products and their global promotion.”

#cooltech #reefercontainer #freshproduce #supplychain #foodexport #innovation

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Peak Season Surcharge from CMA-CGM

For reefer cargoes shipped from Adriatic and West Med countries to Asia, Middle East, Red Sea, India subcontinent, East Med and North Africa.
Starting Feb 15, CMA CGM will impose a peak season surcharge for reefer cargoes shipped from Adriatic and West Med countries to Asia, Middle East, Red Sea, India subcontinent, East Med and North Africa.

#reefercontainer #shipping #perishables
 

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MSC boosts Europe-South Africa connection

The current NWC to South Africa service loop will be enhanced with a direct stop at Bremerhaven
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is adding a direct stop at Ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven to enhance its NWC Europe-South Africa service. Anew feeder service, dubbed the Ingonyama route, will also link the South African ports of East London and Coega weekly. MSC says a direct marine connection between East London’s manufacturing hub and one of South Africa’s main ports will offer a feasible waterborne alternative to road transport.

#shipping #containers #modalshift #waterborne

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More expensive grapes, avocados and scampi due to conflict in the Red Sea

European consumers will have to pay more for fresh food from Asia. Conversely, our fruit growers are in danger of paying the bill for late deliveries to China.

Perspectives on the impact of the Red Sea crisis for shippers of fruit, fish and seafood with thanks to Steve Alaerts foodcareplus


Source: De Tijd

 

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Mercitalia repositions empty reefers from Taranto

A partnership with Yilport Holding Inc to provide a repositioning service for empty 40ft high-cube reefer containers creating a "cold village"

Mercitalia Rail, the freight wing of Italian national rail operator FS Group, and international terminal operating group YILPORT Holding Inc., have teamed up to provide a repositioning service for empty 40ft high-cube reefer containers from Taranto Port to Interporto Toscano Amerigo Vespucci S.p.A. (ITAV).

Located 5km from the Port of Livorno, ITAV is a growing multimodal freight logistics hub with road, rail, ocean and air connectivity and significant plans for growth in cold chain operations.

In a presentation to #coolglobal23, held in Genoa last October, Raffaello Cioni discussed ITAV’s Cold Village initiative as part of the Livorno Cold Chain, a partnership among various port and logistic operators to deliver a holistic solution for fresh and frozen produce.

The ITAV Cold Village handled 2,400 reefer units and 62,800 pallets in 2022, with banana, citrus, pineapples and pears as the main cargoes. Future plans call for significant capacity expansion.

Source: WorldCargo News
Additional reporting: Rachael White

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Ecuadorian Banana Industry Poised To Double China Exports as FTA Nears Ratification

Reversing the decline observed during the COVID-19 years.

The free trade agreement between China and Ecuador, signed in May of last year with the aim of eliminating import tariffs for Ecuadorian fruit, particularly bananas, is still awaiting national approval in Ecuador. Following a political crisis that stalled the ratification of the agreement, the Constitutional Court eventually validated the document, and it is now being debated in the National Assembly. Disagreement among the assembly members resulted in a temporary suspension of the debate on Jan. 11, and the process has not yet been resumed as of the time of writing.

Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian banana industry remains optimistic about the approval of the FTA and is placing its expectations on the deadline of June 2024 set for ratification of the agreement.

Jose Antonio Hidalgo, executive director of the Ecuadorian Banana Exporters Association, has claimed that the agreement will enable the sector to double its shipments to China and reverse the decline observed during the COVID-19 years. According to Hidalgo, Ecuador exported $156.62 million worth of bananas to China in 2020, a 29% decrease from 2019. He added that the industry had been unable to grow its presence in the Chinese market owing to the high tariffs that remain in place.

At the same time, Ecuadorian banana exports to China appear to be picking up. Statistics released by Ecuador’s Banana Marketing and Export Association for the first 11 months of last year show an increase in shipments to the Chinese market. The reported growth in export volume stands at a remarkable 45% compared with the same period of 2022. From January to November 2023, China received nearly 256,510 metric tons of Ecuadorian bananas, making it Ecuador’s largest market in East Asia, followed by Japan with 87,247 metric tons. In total, Ecuador exported 5.9 million metric tons of bananas over the data period.

China traditionally relies on the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia as its major banana suppliers. One of the main advantages of all three is their geographical proximity to China, which results in a relatively short transit time. In terms of production, however, these countries have recently encountered a number of difficulties. The Philippines is struggling to deal with outbreaks of the fungal disease Fusarium wilt, which have severely impacted yields and exports. Meanwhile, Cambodia is suffering from the effects of climate change, including water shortages at banana plantations and pest problems. Vietnam’s banana exports to China were on the rise in 2023, but in July the sector received a warning from Chinese regulators for failing to comply with phytosanitary standards, which it had to address.

Source: ProduceReport.com

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BTOM Bombshell: Government’s Risk Reclassification ‘Severe Blow to Industry,’ Warns Jenney

The undisclosed costs linked to these measures are feared to threaten the survival of many small and medium-sized enterprises.

Nigel Jenney, FPC’s Chief Executive, voiced his alarm, asserting, “This verdict delivers a severe blow to the industry and will have widespread ramifications.”

His words underscore the profound impact of this unexpected policy shift, set to be implemented on 31 October 2024.
 

The industry is now bracing for the fallout of this decision.

The government’s proposed solutions, including the establishment of a Border Control Point (BCP) at Sevington and the introduction of additional Common User Charge fees, are seen as inadequate for the specialised needs of the perishable sector, known for its just-in-time operations.
 
The undisclosed costs linked to these measures are feared to threaten the survival of many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
 

The opacity surrounding the reasons for the reclassification of these products has heightened the urgency for the industry to receive timely information and to seek avenues for improvement.

Given that 65% of all EU imports depend on groupage, the implications of this decision are expected to be extensive. Vehicles transporting consignments that do not require inspection could still face significant delays at BCPs.
 
“For years, we have proposed viable solutions that are only now receiving government consideration,” Jenney lamented. “It is imperative to establish cost-effective inspection solutions for SMEs, groupage consignments, and fast-track approval for responsible companies to conduct their own official inspections.”
 

The industry is calling for the simultaneous implementation of industry-managed control points with approval for official inspections – Authorised Operator Status (AOS) – on the designated “go live” date. This strategy is vital for simplifying and reducing the complexity and cost of trade with the UK, which is key to averting food inflation and the risk of empty shelves.

This development represents a significant setback for the UK’s fresh produce industry, as it confronts the challenges posed by the new EU risk categorisation and strives to maintain its operational efficiency and economic viability in the face of these daunting changes.
 

Source: FPC FreshTalk Daily

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