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Resilience in the food industry examined in new report

UK - Britains food industry supply chains remain susceptible to a range of disruptive events according to a report undertaken by Cranfield University for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The year long research project, which examined the robustness of the country’s food supply chains, casts a critical eye over contingency planning within the sector. It examines current provision for localized single firm disruptions and for national emergencies - including disruption to energy supplies and fuel shortages.

Emergency planning has been under the spotlight since 9/11, but as New Orleans learned to its cost, serious disruptions to our way of life can come in many guises. As the findings of the year long study show, these do not have to be sudden onset events like a hurricane or terrorist attack.

Author of the report, Dr Helen Peck of Cranfield University, found that whilst the industry continues to make progress towards implementing robust business continuity management (BCM) much remains to be done. “While the UK is good at dealing with sudden onset emergencies such as the 7/7 bombings, we remain less well prepared for the less obvious or well understood phenomenon of ‘creeping crises”, she said.

Sixty-one executives from twenty-eight food and drink organizations, including many of the best known names in the industry, contributed to the study, entitled “Resilience in the food chain: a study of Business Continuity Management (BCM) in the food and drink industry”.

Dr Peck’s report makes a number of recommendations to government including the relaxing of certain regulations which would allow competitors to work together in times of emergency.

Further Information

To read the full report, please click here (PDF Format)

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