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Falling Oil Prices Increase Supply Chain Risk for Food Industry
The plummeting prices of oil is driving down global food prices according to a new report from Rabobank. Food manufacturers are benefiting from the decline in oil prices as it lowers the cost of production and distribution – but this could cause increased competition in the industry. The sectors gaining the most from low energy costs were named as horticulture, coffee and milk powder, potato processing and beer production as these are typically high in gas consumption.
The bank predicts that the prolonged low cost of oil will put a downward pressure on food prices, and some products will reach multi-year lows. Lower oil prices could also open opportunities within transport and distribution, improving the reach of fresh produce. Food experts at QADEX predict that businesses may look for ways to reduce costs further by negotiating with suppliers and distribution companies.
Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “The sharp drop in the cost of oil has had a positive effect on many industries – the food and beverage sector included. Savings will be passed from processors to retailers, and eventually the end consumer. Competition within the industry is then likely to push down prices even further.”
For well managed procurement teams, the fall in oil prices could present an opportunity to identify parts of the supply chain which are anticipated to see reduced costs - and attempt to negotiate prices downwards. This could result in competition between suppliers, and retailers may need to change suppliers which could open up a number of risk factors.
Switching to a new supplier has the potential to cause problems; fraudulent activity could take place from people cutting corners lower in the supply chain, and there is always risk involved if sourcing from a supplier with no history. Additionally retailers and manufacturers will likely experience costs of approving and managing new suppliers – but would it all be worth it to keep end prices as low as possible?
Tracey added, “Switching suppliers is often risky and can be a very stressful time for retailers and processors. Our software streamlines the process, and ensures all suppliers are risk assessed and up to date on certification before being approved. The team at QADEX are ready to help retailers and processors tackle the result of falling oil prices directly.”
Frontline Packaging Beats The Competition For The Supply Of 6 Pallet Wrapping Machines
Frontline Packaging Limited has recently completed the supply and installation of six Atlanta Mytho semi automatic pallet wrapping machines at two sites in East Anglia for a well-known meat producer.
The Mytho was chosen after extensive trials were run on several competitor machines.
Frontline Packaging Managing Director Tony Hacker explains, "The challenge for this particular application was to find a pallet wrapper that could wrap a wide variety of load sizes and weights without having to make lots of adjustments, whilst minimising the amount of film used. Frontline ran extensive trials with the Mytho wrapper and it beat the competition on all scores. The film weighed less, the wrap was more secure and the machine required very little adjustment. It was an easy decision for the customer in the end."
The customer is extremely pleased with the new equipment, and told us why.
"We were very impressed with the Mytho wrappers supplied by Frontline Packaging. In trials they out-performed the competition against all our criteria. The equipment needed to perform in a very hard-working environment to a very high standard and these machines do just that. They are simple to use, extremely robust and we are delighted with them."
The Atlanta Mytho supplied by Frontline Packaging Ltd is a high-quality turntable pallet wrapper with a number of standard features that make it ideally suited to challenging applications.
In particular, the Mytho's PS type film dispenser delivers varying levels of power pre-stretch and lay-on force throughout the wrapping cycle, which allows a wide variety of loads to be secured with the minimum amount of film. The clear panel provides an easy way to store the settings, and its functions allow the machine to wrap many different types of load without adjustment.
JBT Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems at Anuga FoodTec
JBT’s Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) Systems will be participating in Anuga FoodTec this year (Cologne, Germany, 23 – 27 March 2015).
AGVs provide safe, unmanned movement of raw materials, work-in-process, finished goods and waste in manufacturing and warehousing sites. They often resemble a manual fork lift truck, but operate automatically without a driver.
Best suited to multi-shift operations, the systems use flexible user-friendly software to reduce costs, and optimise deliveries and traffic control.
The systems are scalable and able to adapt to future facility changes. By reducing costs and increasing productivity they typically achieve a payback within two years. The European headquarters for JBT’s AGV business is in Leicester in the UK.
JBT/AGV will be sharing the stand with other JBT food and technology businesses, including Freezing and Cooking; Juice Processing; and Filling, Closing and Sterilisation on stand JBT: Hall 10.1; Stand A20/B29.