COVID-19 Impact on Cold Chain in Food and Beverage Industry

COVID-19 Impact on Cold Chain in Food and Beverage Industry

  • Food & Beverage
  • Nov 06, 2020

COVID-19 Impact on Cold Chain in Food and Beverage Industry

The pandemic have impacted the food and beverages industry by up surging in their consumption globally. However, along with it pandemic have impacted on storage and transporting of food products to high extent. Whereas, due to the extended lockdown food service sector have been drastically impacted in all over world.

Cold chain is the sequence of actions which are mainly applied to food products during its transportation and storage. The logistics of these cold chains comprises of all procedures which ensures constant temperature for product at storage facilities Furthermore, cold chain is known as a science & technology and a process.

It is necessary to understand biological and chemical processing which is associated with perishability of food products hence it is known as science. Further, it is called as a process as it includes series of actions that are need to be taken and performed to manufacture, store, transport and monitor temperature sensitive products.

It is comprises of temperature-controlled supply chain hence it is continuous series of distribution and storage process which take place in a temperature organized environment.

In the required temperature sequence, the cold chain is responsible for the storage and transfer of perishable foods to minimize the process of biological degradation. It allows customers to distribute healthy and high-quality foods. It entails field experiments to calculate the actual state of commercial cold chains for correct time-temperature conditions at each critical point of the cold chain.

These procedures, however, have some drawbacks, such as industrial handling procedures, field transport operations and storage in retail and domestic refrigerators during showing. Therefore, progress of skills obtained by time-temperature conditions calculation, analysis, and management is examined, along with the associated technological and functional difficulties slowing the introduction of such approaches.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed exceptional impact on food supply chain. It includes farm labor, processing, transport and logistics, as well as inconstant shifts in demand. Some of these delays are the result of measures that have been implemented to reduce the magnitude of the infection.

Food supply chains have proven a remarkable flexibility in the environment. COVID-19 has enforced shocks on supply chains of food, at the same time; it’s affecting farm production, transport and logistics, and demand.

For instance,

  • Meat processing plants across the U.S. are forced to be operated by reducing their capacity. In the U.S., meat processing at slaughter houses for cattle and pig slaughter has been decreased by 40% in April 2020 as compared to the April 2019.
  • Food inventory is knows as a connecting point to overcome disruptions between food transportation. According to USDA, from February to March, there is 4% drop in frozen pork inventory. Further USDA stated it's the largest drop since March 2014.

However, there is an increase in demand for road transporting such as transporting goods by truck.

For instance,

  • In the U.S. there is 40% to 60% upsurge in transportation of grocery stores and warehouses since pandemic started.
  • In India, there has also been a mixed short-term effect on the market for transportation. Online food orders have declined by 20% since February, while online supermarket orders are overflowing.

The measures to deter and monitor the dissemination of COVID-19 and its effects have had a major influence on billions of people's food supplies, eating habits, and nutrition, posing a host of research questions. The purpose of this research focus is to provide insights into the impact of the epidemic of COVID-19 on the availability of food, dietary and nutritional habits, and the consequences of these changes.

Changes in purchasing habits, such as the mass procurement of perishable foods, can lead to the use of foods that are no longer healthy or sub-optimal in terms of nutrient content, resulting in a very limited supply of such foods. Increased demand for such goods can contribute to an inability to sustain supply levels.

Food contact among states, public health officials, independent experts and influencers, through a wide spectrum of media outlets, has now become an important part of the exchange of COVID-19 information, ranging from knowledge sharing about how to deal with changes in food supply to threats associated with food sales, storage and use.

INITIATIVES

The ICCC 2020 Conference, held from the 26th through to the 28th of August, began earlier this week to highlight the topics of food quality and food safety in the cold chain, energy efficiency in the cold chain, refrigerants of tomorrow, innovative technologies in the cold chain and more. GFCCC is using a virtual presentation at the biennial event to connect attending stakeholders and governments to the coalition’s activity around these themes, mainly through its data-gathering initiative it is pursuing with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Ozon Action.

  • Global Food Chain Council

"Food is traveling around the world as more manufacturers manage their supply chains globally". These manufacturing plants are becoming more specialized to a specific product or label, and they ship their goods more widely.

  • Doug Harrison, president and CEO of VersaCold, a Vancouver, B.C.-Based Cold Chain Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider

Bakers are moving more aggressively into cold and frozen storage. “In the middle of the recent IBIE conference, the McDonald’s supply chain announced a move toward even greater reliance upon frozen storage and delivery of bakery and other products. While it is still early, this trend that started in Europe is likely to expand in the U.S.”

  • Robb MacKie, President and CEO, American Bakers Association, Washington, D.C.

Sysco announces the launch of Foodie Solutions, an innovative platform created to support foodservice operators in today’s rapidly changing business climate. With its broad-based perspective from supporting restaurants and other foodservice operators across the country, Sysco identified the most essential tools to help customers respond quickly to shifting business requirements and trends resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Sysco 

Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC) has given more than USD 20.4 million to its over 15,000 employee-partners which includes a third round of gift cards delivered to all active employees since the pandemic hit its market area in March. Full-time employees are receiving a USD 200 BGC gift card and part-time employees are receiving a USD 100 BGC gift card totaling USD 1.9 million given to help with those recovering from Hurricane Laura and the pandemic.

  • Brookshire Grocery Co. (BGC)

COVID-19 wiped out business for foundational customers like restaurants, hotels, caterers, stadiums, schools and other volume foodservice clients starting in March, and even today, as states attempt to re-open amid the uncertainty of where the pandemic is heading, an argument could be made that foodservice distributors have had to continuously pivot more than any other cold chain segment to stay afloat.

  • Michael Costa

In the upcoming September issue of Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, we highlight the pandemic pivots made by Sysco and the U.S. Foods in 2020 due to COVID-19 and its effect on foodservice clients like restaurants, hotels, caterers, stadiums, and other volume venues. While putting that story together, we also had a chance to speak to another foodservice distribution giant, Golden State Foods (GSF) and its Chairman and CEO, Mark Wetterau.

  • Michael Costa

 Perdue Farms has delivered 40,000 pounds of protein to help the West Annapolis Pop Up Pantry in its mission to provide underserved families with nutritious meals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation is part of Perdue’s “Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors” hunger-relief initiative that is helping provide meals for struggling individuals and families.

  • Perdue Farms 

GSF’s food manufacturing businesses have seized opportunities to bring assured supply to the food supply chain. Responding to excess dairy milk dumping, KanPak U.S. (a subsidiary of GSF) fast-tracked a surplus bottled milk donation to market, assuring a supply of premium, whole milk to U.S. food banks serving those experiencing food insecurity. To alleviate shortages in grocery stores, GSF Protein Products initiated an emergency ground beef supply by leveraging its robust volumes and supply chain network. In recent months, our Liquid Products North America business leveraged its volume capabilities across three U.S. production facilities to assure customer supply and meet increased demands from quick service restaurants.

  • Mark Wetterau GSF Chairman and CEO

CONCLUSION

As the effects of COVID-19 are felt around the world, cold chain industries have been drastically impacted by raised demand of food via online mode. However, supply chains and transportation faced sort of challenges in this pandemic.

In addition, regulatory norms around social distancing across multiple nations, reduced social gatherings are estimated to impact the demand for food products at retail store to a high extent. Cold chain industry is one of the vital series of action which are taken to provide products and services up to customer.

Thus, it is largely impacted by pandemic due to lockdown. Though, there has been a neutral growth in cold chain industry, as the government has taken initiatives to reboot’s this industry and purchasing behavior among consumers have slightly tilled towards traditional purchasing.

Also, owing to the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been an increasing awareness among consumers; the demand for healthy ingredients has been on a rise. Thus cold chain industry is expected to grow substantially during the coming years, with the rising awareness among consumers.

Thus, the impact of pandemic has been neutral for the cold chain industry and hence, a stable growth can be observed during upcoming years, with many opportunities of new products development for the manufacturers.

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