Market-changing risks

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The fall-out from the horsemeat scandal is continuing with research showing a slowdown in the growth of the £2bn ready meals market.
The study by Symphony IRI  shows that the number of packs of chilled ready meals sold was down in the four weeks following the horsemeat scandal (up to 23rd February) by an average of two per cent.
The biggest decline during this period was seen in frozen ready meals, down by 14 per cent in packs sold, for the week ended 23rd February compared to the same week in 2012.
Symphony IRI also noted evidence that some shoppers, at least, were moving away from ready-made food altogether, preferring to cook more.
That raises the possibility that failures in this supply chain are leading to a significant change in consumer buying habits.
It’s a fair bet that this will be a subject for discussion at the Supply Chain Risk and Resilience Club which has its official launch on 1st May.
The club is being established by the Logistics Institute at Hull University Business School with the overarching objective of improving supply chain resilience. The club’s steering group is made up of Dr Omera Khan, Professor Martin Christopher, and Paul Brookes of Unipart Logistics.
Members of the research club meet regularly throughout the year, and through the membership subscriptions the Logistics Institute funds an intensive research programme.
It is promising to address a wide range of topics including: supply chain risk profiling, managing risk in the cyber supply chain, product design and sourcing risk, risk management tools and procedures, and risk mitigation strategies.
It’s now more than 20 years since Martin Christopher pointed out that it’s not companies that are the units in the competitive battle but supply chains.
And as the horsemeat debacle highlights, one weak link in the chain can have a market-changing impact.

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