A cold chain is a supply chain network that involves the handling, transport and distribution of temperature-sensitive products such as perishable foods, vaccines and medicines. Tight temperature control is critical here to safeguard the safety, quality and integrity of those products.
About the cold food chain
In Australia, cold food chain plays a huge role because most food products require transport of several hours or days. In addition, the cold chain often takes care of the handling, transport and distribution of meat, seafood and dairy products. These temperature-sensitive and potentially hazardous products should be handled properly throughout the supply chain.
Proper handling and tight temperature control are critical in ensuring safe consumption of those products. In addition, those help in matching supply with demand (especially in these times when supply chain problems are common). Moreover, those are also critical in reducing food waste. Improper handling and the resulting spoilage can ruin an entire batch of delivery which then affects the available food supply and the products’ prices.
If the food has not been kept at a suitable temperature throughout the supply chain, the food products will have a shorter shelf life. Or, it’s possible that upon arrival the food is already unsuitable for consumption. The receiver will reject the delivery resulting in financial losses to the supplier (as well as the retailers having less merchandise to sell as a result).
When something goes wrong at the cold food chain, it will have a huge impact on all the participants of the supply chain network. This includes the producers, harvesters, food processors and manufacturers, transporters, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and finally the end consumers. This will affect both the availability and the market price of products.
As a result, it’s critical to ensure proper handling and tight temperature control to keep the prices stable and avoid huge financial losses. This way, all the participants of the supply chain will benefit and the end consumers will always have access to reasonably-priced products even if these came from the other side of the country or overseas.