EricMauroux

Cool chain logistics operators are to pilot a data-sharing system in an effort to combat the high level of food loss in the supply chain.

According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), around one-third of food harvested for human consumption is wasted.

While much of this happens between the retail and end customer phase, early stages in the supply chain are also failing to close gaps.

Global head of perishables at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, Eric Mauroux (pictured above) said supply chain partners had various data, but lacked a suitable platform for sharing it.

This sentiment, combined with the vast losses, led the Cool Chain Association (CCA) to launch a pilot to track shipments from growers in Latin America to consignees in Europe.

“We’ll use the information proactively, so everyone in the chain can adjust procedures to improve the cool chain together,” said Mr Mauroux, who also serves as the CCA’s treasurer.

“We all have pieces of information, but there is no platform so far for sharing it, and yet data-sharing not only helps us improve but also helps create value.”

The pilot will track shipments, including avocados and berries, with all participants sharing data in order to identify temperature excursions and pinch points that result in wastage.

Food loss and waste expert Philippe Schuler will analyse the data before making initial results available in mid-May to show how collaboration can improve the cool supply chain.

Cargolux product manager for healthcare and perishables and CCA chairman Stavros Evangelakakis said everyone needed to play a part in combatting waste.

“The freight industry can do its part, ensuring proper handling and respecting temperature during storage, build up, and transportation. We can create value and impact on shelf life.”

While initial results are expected in May, the pilot is set to run for three months in an effort to provide adequate data levels. Mr Mauroux said the systems monitoring the shipment would have “full coverage” from producer to importer.

“This will mean we can reconcile the temperature curve with the timeline of handling,” he added.

“You can spend hours writing processes, but when it comes to making it happen on the ground, the best way to asses if it is working is looking at time, temperature and tolerance.

“Moving forward, we can test and suggest the platforms on which data is shared.”

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