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Food Industry ‘All Aboard’ Eco-Friendly Transport

More than eight out of 10 supply chain professionals say their business has a formal scheme in place to improve sustainable distribution performance, according to the latest research by international food and grocery expert IGD.

“The research available on our recently-launched Supply Chain Analysis online service* indicates the food industry is largely on board the FISS Food Transportation Champions Group's** efforts to help reduce the social, environmental and economic impacts of our industry by 20% by 2012,” says Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive, IGD.

“By reacting to consumer concerns, the industry has taken the lead on sustainability in a number of areas. It is at the stage of recognising the key sustainability issues, and developing capability to address them.

“It is important that measures tackling the sustainability challenge are based on objective assessment, not emotion, and deliver tangible, measurable and commercially workable solutions,” she says.

The six key food transport activities recommended by FISS in May this year include logistics system redesign, transport collaboration, vehicle telematics, out of hours deliveries, modern engine designs and larger delivery vehicles to reduce the number of journeys.

“It is not just about quick wins; we are seeing cultural changes and significant capital investment. For example over 85% of supply chain professionals surveyed say they are redesigning their logistics system, or considering doing so,” adds Alastair Sykes, IGD President and Chairman & Chief Executive of Nestlé UK & Ireland.

“The sustainability challenge of the future is different from the challenges of the past. Competition will continue to provide many solutions, as companies move to meet consumer demand for sustainable products. But competition alone will not meet the sustainability challenge. Greater collaboration will also be essential.

“We should be proud of the quality, choice and value of the food our industry provides today. In the future I hope we can be equally proud to deliver this food efficiently, to deliver it collaboratively – and to deliver it sustainably,” concludes Sykes.

The sustainable distribution research is published on Supply Chain Analysis, IGD's new online guide to the FMCG supply chain. Supply Chain Analysis is designed to empower supply chain professionals with timely, relevant and reliable information that enables competitive advantage and provides a platform for a collaborative approach. See www.supplychainanalysis.igd.com for more information.

The FISS Food Transportation Champions Group is made up of senior representatives of the food and logistics industries, along with government personnel. For more information visit: www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/fiss

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