Webinar supports food manufacturers facing supply chain fears

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Time is running out as the UK races towards the end of the Brexit transition period
Time is running out as the UK races towards the end of the Brexit transition period

Related tags: Supply chain

As Brexit uncertainty casts 'a long shadow over supply chain planning' in the words of consultancy SCALA, Food Manufacture presents a webinar on 20 October to help food processors face future disruption.

Earlier this week, SCALA executive director David Howorth warned of 'a potential winter of chaos' for the supply chain.

"Warnings from Government of queues of 7,000 trucks in Kent and 48-hour delays at Dover have sent shivers down the spines of logistics and supply chain managers operating to ‘just in time’ principles,"​ said Howorth. "Coupled with the disruption expected from a second spike in COVID-19 infections, it is feared supply chains could enter a deep freeze this winter just as consumer demand skyrockets for Christmas and Black Friday.

"Retailers, suppliers and manufacturers have learned and adjusted from the experience of unprecedented demand at the outset of lockdown in March. There is confidence that the second spike and any forthcoming lockdown would be managed without the shortages experienced in the spring. But, the unknown quantity that is the Brexit negotiations is casting a long shadow over supply chain planning."

'Chaotic scenes'

The Government’s ‘reasonable worst-case scenario’ made for sobering reading, said Howorth, who said a no-deal scenario between the UK and EU could reasonable lead to 'chaotic scenes' as supply chains are stretched like never before.

"We have been warning about this possibility for a long time and with each passing day, we take a step toward a potential winter of chaos. While it is pleasing that the government is acknowledging the scale of the possible disruption, we can only hope that these warnings are being heard across Whitehall, and industry and hauliers given greater clarity on what is required."

Food Manufacture​'s 60-minute Fighting Fit for a Future in Flux​ online event​ - sponsored by Columbus - includes presentations from three experts with extensive food industry experience and will air at 3pm UK time. It aims to equip firms confronting supply chain and production challenges surrounding the Brexit transition period's end on 31 December, the approach of Christmas and the impact of COVID-19 and extreme weather.

Sustainable supply chain

Gavin Milligan, founder, Green Knight Sustainability Consulting and former group sustainability director of William Jackson Food Group, will address the challenge of sustaining a resilient and sustainable supply chain.

Katherine Thomas, director of Brighter Capability, who has worked for brands such as Warburtons, HJ Heinz and PepsiCo, will tackle how to ensure lean and efficient business practices.

Finally, Lee Walker, business consultant, food, at Columbus will look at the importance of lean, current and accurate information supporting complete visibility.

The webinar will be relevant to a range of management roles within factories, from operations and production to supply chain and procurement. Take a look at the full programme​ and to sign-up for free, visit the registration page​.

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