New cold chain industry advocacy group forms

Australian Food Cold Chain Council directors come from a range of industry players and suppliers


A new cold chain grouping has come together expressing the intention to improve compliance and standards in the handling of food.

The group says its first priorities will be contributing to both the development of the National Food Waste Strategy and becoming part of the cooperative research centres designed to address food waste and fraud.

"Against a mounting background of community pressure about the costs and environmental damage of food wastage, this new council sees itself as an important part of the solution, encouraging innovation, compliance, waste reduction and safety across the Australian food cold chain," the Australian Food Cold Chain Council (AFCCC) says.

An initial meeting was held in Queensland early this month where it was decided SuperCool Australia Pacific MD Mark Mitchell would chair the group on an interim basis.

"The new council is not about promoting an industry – we want to change the industry for the better," Mitchell says.

"One of our priorities will be to apply whatever pressure is needed in industry and in government to make sure the existing Australian standards for cold chain food handling are properly followed.

"There's lots of rhetoric in government programs, associations and among food handlers and suppliers about commitments to food waste reduction and cold chain compliance, but little, if nothing, is being done at any level about improving the cold chain, and ensuring that standards are followed. Australia's track record in efficient cold food handling, from farm to plate, is far from perfect."

The interim directors of AFCCC are:

  • Carrier Transicold GM Australia New Zealand Stephen Elford,
  • Thermo King ANZ technical director Peter Lawrence         
  • Simplot Australia transport manager Kyle Hawker       
  • Lion national transport leader Adam Wade
  • MaxiTrans products & markets GM Kevin Manfield          
  • A nominated person is to represent the transport industry.

"Performance across the cold food chain can be improved with better equipment and handling processes as well as with improved monitoring and assessment to determine where the weaknesses lie," Mitchell says, noting that, in investigating the food cold chain in Europe, Deloitte estimated that for every unit of energy and dollar invested in expanding the food cold chain the return to investors was 10-fold.

"As an industry, as a society, we simply cannot afford to waste such an opportunity." 

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