In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Food and Beverage in collaboration with MNP LLP are undertaking a research project investigating supply chain resilience within the BC food and beverage processing sector (“the Sector”). This project is funded by the BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation through the BC Supply Chain Resiliency Grant.
The BC food supply chain is complex and reliant on input from suppliers, farmers, primary and secondary food and beverage manufacturers, transportation companies, distributors, foodservice companies, and retailers. The COVID-19 pandemic undermined the stability of the Sector and the food supply chain as a whole. The challenges experienced by the Sector ranged from increased labour absenteeism that forced many BC food and beverage operations to slow or shut down production, to difficulties in sourcing raw materials and packaging from domestic and international suppliers as well as constraints on moving products to market through distribution channels that were heavily disrupted. Compounding these issues was a lack of storage and/or inventory required to hold increased volumes of materials and perishable products as a result of imbalances and uncertainties across all components of the food value chain.
COVID -19 taught us that further investments in the resiliency of the food supply chain are paramount to the well-being and security of British Columbians. As such, this project has been commissioned to learn from recent experience with the view to apply those learnings to future-proof the food supply chain in BC. Specifically, this study will aim to address the following components:
- The impact of supply chain disruptions in the Sector as a result of COVID -19.
- The current state of the Sector’s supply chain and any gaps that exist within it.
- Best practices employed by Sector participants along with insights gained from other sectors and jurisdictions in addressing and adapting to supply chain disruptions.
- The feasibility of implementing potential solutions to address major supply chain issues in the Sector.
We look forward to engaging our members in this project and providing valuable insights that will help industry through its findings!