CO2 shortage leaves many in the Food & Drink supply chain feeling flat
10 Oct 2019 10:56 am by Mark Dunn
Whether you’re cheering on your favorite team at a sporting event or enjoying some fun in the sun, it’s thirsty work. Unfortunately the combination of plant shut-downs in the UK and high demand has created a CO2 shortage that threatens to take the fizz out of summer. The potential for disruption to the Food & Beverage supply chain is huge and much broader than you might think. How can companies mitigate supply chain risk more effectively?
Monitoring Your Network for Potential Threats
Disruption in the Food & Beverage supply chain isn’t unusual. But the costs to companies who fail to monitor for emerging risks along their extensive supplier networks could regret it when operations are disrupted and consumers are disappointed, leading to reputational and financial damage. As Ireland's National Public Service Broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ.ie) points out, “Beer, chicken and fizzy drink brands are nowadays more likely to feature in the social media limelight if consumers don't get their products at the right time, of the right quality and at the right price.” And believe it or not, CO2 is an important component of many foods and beverages—not just the fizzy ones. CO2 is used in everything from poultry production to flash freezing your favorite frosty treats.
What contributed to the shortage? According to RTÉ.ie, “One thing no one seems to have expected over the course of the World Cup this summer, for example, is how much carbon dioxide (CO2) would be needed to keep the beer flowing in pubs.” Combine this high demand for CO2 with a 75 percent decrease in UK production due to plant shut-downs, and the supply simply fizzled out, leading RTÉ.ie to ponder whether Ireland was in for an ice cream shortage.
Monitoring Allows for Proactive Supply Chain Risk Management
Shortages like this are only one of the many risks that companies within the Food & Beverage supply chain face. The regulatory landscape is becoming more complex. The length of the supply chain introduces greater food safety concerns. And the speed of digital communications means that incidents can quickly go from a single headline to thousands of tweets in a flash.
Mitigating such threats requires more than a one-and-done due diligence check on key suppliers and third parties involved along the path from farm to fork. Ongoing risk monitoring within a PESTLE framework allows companies to fine tune monitoring to their specific risk considerations for a near real-time view of emerging threats. With better risk visibility, companies can proactively address risk so they aren’t left out in the cold by consumers.
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