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London food and drink supply chain crisis looms

22 April 2016 by
London food and drink supply chain crisis looms

London's food and drinks supply chain is stretched to breaking point, a leading supply chain expert has warned.

Andrew Morgan (pictured left), director of supply chain advisory firm Global 78, told delegates at FoodEx 2016 that London's hospitality industry needs to take action to avoid a major supply chain crisis.

Previewing his report, Feeding London in 2030, which was commissioned by the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), Morgan said: "Things are becoming stretched across London's food and drink supply chain and current logistics thinking will not be fit for purpose for much longer.

"New trends in the way food and drink are bought and consumed, added to the capital's changing population profile and a transport infrastructure that is already creaking, will bring significant challenges to food and drink manufacturers, retailers and the logistics companies tasked with supplying food and drink that is both safe and delivered on time to London's retail and food service sectors, and their ability to do so at an appropriate cost."

He called on the hospitality industry to take action. "For too long the food and drink industry and their logistics partners have been reactive in their approach to meeting changing consumer demands. This report provides a chance to identify and assess future trends and, as a result, gives stakeholders the chance to ‘get on the front foot'."

UKWA CEO Peter Ward told delegates that increased food distribution challenges, driven by rising population levels, changing lifestyles, shopping and eating patterns and diverse cultures are putting increasing pressure on the urban infrastructure.

The association is calling for greater investment to address the dearth of appropriately located warehousing and distribution property in London and better urban planning.

Ward added: "Everyone in the business of moving food and beverages into and around London is aware of the increasing difficulties."

Feeding London in 2030, which will be published on 15 May, highlights the challenges and future issues affecting food industry logistics in and around London and explores possible strategic solutions.

Ward said: "This study brings together all the facts in a single report, offering remarkable insights along the supply chain and an informed, cogent response to the challenges ahead. It's important, as the association for the logistics industry, that we support members and the wider community in providing valuable intelligence for successful forward planning."

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