Chilled and frozen supply chain targets sector concerns

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply chain Food

Chilled and frozen supply chain targets sector concerns
The Food Storage and Distribution Federation (FSDF) has revealed a wide ranging strategy targeting crucial environmental, economic and training issues in the chilled and frozen supply chain in coming years.

A key issue would be determining a common system for measuring and controlling vehicle emissions, said FSDF chief executive Chris Sturman. "I'm meeting with the Department for Transport in July to establish a target for agreeing and establishing a carbon reporting and measuring structure over the course of the autumn."

In addition, the FSDF aims to launch a centre of excellence for food logistics by the end of the year. The centre would provide FSDF members with access to the latest information about sustainable approaches to the food and drink supply chain.

The FSDF was also working with sector skills council Skills for Logistics to pull together a complete skills map and training structure to equip workers in the food supply chain. "We're overlaying on to that a range of qualifications NVQ Level 1-5 and a foundation degree, up through a degree and business qualifications," said Sturman. "There are 11 partners across all industry areas."

The aim is to launch the skills programme in September. The project will entail "identifying sources of training, universities, technical colleges and other providers of training for the food industry supply chain", said Sturman.

"We're bringing together a range of training opportunities to meet the needs of the industry. Our history of uptake on training has been less than some other industries. This will be an opportunity for the industry to rectify that."

The role of proper training in creating an efficient supply chain should not be underestimated, he said. In addition, a significant proportion of heavy goods drivers were now over 50, creating an urgent need for a large number of new recruits to fill gaps once people retired.

Pressure to improve efficiency would continue to be driven by the harsh economic climate, in which further rises in diesel costs would have to be passed on to processors and retailers, said Sturman. "It's driven more by currency issues than the price of oil at the factory gate. A rise to 135-140p per litre will have an almost automatic impact on the retail shelf."

How these issues would be dealt with by the new UK government was unclear, he said.

Sturman also lashed out at the rising costs of empty building rates, which is affecting processors and distributors with idle factories and warehouses. "This has caused the demolition of buildings that are still quite useable," he said.

Related topics Supply Chain

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