EDITORIAL: Supply chain selfishness costing the food chain

By: Jason Whittaker


Those on the land take pride in their independence. But their uncooperativeness is costly from a supply chain management perspective. Australia's

Those on the land take pride in their independence. But their uncooperativeness is costly from a supply chain management perspective.

Australia's fresh produce chains are less than efficient. And the lack of information exchange and operational collaboration — vertically and horizontally — is a big part of the problem.

Last year SupplyChain Review reported on stone fruit growers in Victoria and South Australia where a major project to share data and consolidate distribution infrastructure is leading to big savings in logistics costs.

Now there is new evidence of the true cost of logistics in the food chain and the opportunities lost through supply chain selfishness. A landmark report from the CSIRO, exclusively featured in the January/February edition of SupplyChain Review magazine, maps five key food chains and quantifies the real value of logistics and its contribution to the end product.

Researchers were frustrated in the difficulties extracting information from stakeholders to benchmark logistics operations. Competition concerns made some reluctant to share.

That, says project leader Dr Andrew Higgins, is a big part of the problem.

"The aim of the study was really to show on a big picture sense what is it costing by the fact that you guys don't work with each other," he says. "It shows the food industry there's a lot of value in this if they give this information and use this information cooperatively to improve their logistics."

The CSIRO report is just the starting point. Higgins says much more needs to be done by government, industry and the research community to map the logistics network and find efficiencies for producers.

If nothing else, it might open the eyes of producers and distributors to the benefits of continued collaboration.

What do you think? Send us your feedback.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ATN e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook

 

Trucks For Hire | Forklifts For Hire | Cranes For Hire | Generators For Hire | Transportable Buildings For Hire