To say this year has seen some scandals in the global supply chain would be a huge understatement. The horsemeat scandal has continued to dominate the headlines for the best part of three months now, and with the Asian market recently discovering rat meat being sold as lamb, this is clearly not something which is just going to blow over. The question is not only how long has this kind of fraudulent activity been going on, and what is going to be done about it?
Pressure is Building
Without knowing exactly how long this has been going on, and I think it is safe to say we are unlikely to never know the true scale of these scandals, it is impossible to say what the cause is. However, if this decision to substitute meats for cheaper alternatives without informing the consumer is a reaction to the current state of the economy across Europe, then there is at least some sense behind these crazy happenings.
Somewhere, decisions have been made to try and maintain the dwindling profit margins of companies and reducing their overheads by using cheaper meat products enables this. However, clearly this is at the expense of the consumer who is left paying over the odds for beef and lamb when they are actually buying lower quality and much cheaper produce.
Similar scandals have not been found to such a degree outside of the global food market supply chain, but what is clear is the pressure which is being put on companies which trade within it, and this pressure is likely to be felt across all supply chains worldwide as profit margins grow tighter and consumer demand continues to rise. The issue is, will consumer demand continue to stay as high as it is, especially when buying online, if there are questions asked about the confidence they can have in businesses if even going to their local supermarket for something as simple as meat can come back to bite them?
Trust Must be Restored in Supply Chains
It is all well and good saying restoring consumer trust must be the first port of call in moving onwards, but how exactly can this be managed? The first step must be for businesses that have been caught up in these issues to hold up their hands and admit they have made mistakes and are looking to put steps in place to make sure it does not happen again.
From there, the obvious step seems to be to put into place a series of rigorous tests on produce which is being traded throughout the supply chain, both before they leave the factory in which they are made, and once again when the retailer takes stock of the goods before selling them on to consumers. That way, if any issues are flagged up, there will be accountability, which in turn results in consumer trust being restored.
This can also be helped by firms using trustworthy companies to ship their goods across the globe; ones who they know will not compromise the quality of their products during what can be a very testing process, shipping produce across the globe under tight deadlines. Espace Global Freight is such a company, offering three kinds of top quality international freight; namely road, sea and air freight services.
By combining accountability, stringent testing of products and trustworthy companies handling the goods which are being traded within the supply chain, consumers can once again sleep well, knowing they are buying exactly what they expect when they next go to the supermarket for some meat.
Steven Capocci is a freelance writer who has studied supply chain mechanics in-depth and realises using trustworthy companies such as Espace Global Freight guarantees quality.