'cool supply chain the ultimate aim'

CCA AGM 2009


4th - 5th May 2009


The AGM this year took place in a small group and was a good occasion for discussions concerning the future of the CCA, the challenges to the PTSP industry and how to face them.

The Secretary General of CCA, Mr Christian Helms presented the new future of the Association “Make the World a Better Place”. The CCA is determined to harmonize the global movement and handling of perishables and temperature sensitive products (PTSP) to the benefit of the consumer and the supply chain participants. Therefore, the CCA established already in 2005 the standard Cool Chain Quality Indicators (CCQI) that covers all logistic providers handling PTSP.

The first thought was that improving the cool chain means less waste and an extended shelf life. Less waste means a higher supply of nutrition to lower costs and better quality and possible improvements for the world‘s poor. By bringing all parts of the cool chain together to detect possible improvements and to make them achievable on a global scale, the CCA wants to contribute to making the world a better place.

Let’s face it: The world population has exploded to a total of 6.7 billion today and is estimated to reach a total of 9.1 billion people by 2050. Malnutrition is the largest contributor to disease in the world. In 2007, worldwide 923 million people (14% of the world population) were undernourished – while 1.3 billion people in the rich world suffer from overweight and obesity. The number of people in developing countries living on less than $1 a day was 980 million in 2004. Threat of pandemics is growing due to globalization and quick responses are urgently needed – everywhere at any time.

Our Industry faces 30% waste from harvest to the consumer while real food prices rose by 64% between 2002 and 2008. Much remains to be done to eradicate the scandal of malnutrition in the context of a world that has seen global GDP double in real terms in the past 20 years. There is a future need to produce 34% more food as well as fresh water for an increasing population - and at the same time also eradicate the present poverty of 1.3 billion people. To meet present and future requirements we have to begin and change!

The waste in our Industry is mainly due to: Lack of common procedures, lack of training, lack of communication standards, and lack of measuring criteria for the unbroken supply chain. The CCA is not willing to accept the lack of sensitivity towards global problems and increasing shortage of nutrition any longer.

Similar challenges as in the perishable transportation industry can be found in the Pharma industry, where the need of an unbroken cool chain is often vital for the temperature sensitive products and the treatment of patients. It is equally important to guarantee quick transport on a global scale as a pre-requisite.

The result of leaks in the cool supply chain can be for example reduced potency of vaccines because of wrong storage, which leads to reduced immune responses and inadequate protection of the patient. Especially vaccines are precious and expensive so that wrong handling cannot be accepted. An additional challenge in this industry is that Pharmaceutical products often show high sensitivity towards temperature changes and exposure to ultraviolet light.

Medicinal products based on vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and advanced therapies will play an increasingly significant role in health care in the future. The market value of e.g. monoclonal antibodies will increase from about €15 bn revenue today to €40 bn in the next 5 years. To reach this level of growth, there are many scientific and technological challenges to overcome. This will require close interaction among experts from the pharmaceutical industry, the technology providers, the cool chain and the regulatory authorities.

It has to be stated that the present Island solutions (geographical or by brand) are no long- term effective solutions.

Globalization in the production and distribution of biological medicines has opened new alternatives to manage public health concerns, but has also raised questions about the equivalence and interchangeability of medicines procured across a variety of sources. International standardization of raw materials, of production and quality control testing, and the setting of high expectations for regulatory oversight of the production and usage of these products have been the cornerstone for their continued success. But it remains a field in constant change.

Continuous technical advances promise to develop potent new weapons against our oldest public health threats, as well as new ones, but also put a great pressure on manufacturers, regulatory authorities, and the wider medical community to ensure that products meet the highest standards of quality attainable. Globalisation requires global temperature supply chains and cooperation with logistic providers around the world in order to be able to deliver pharmaceutics wherever they are needed, when they are needed.

The common goals have to be: Harmonization of the Cool Chain, Learn from each others experience, Reduce waste.

Improve the benefit for the Cool Chain and the consumer, and offer a chance of living for millions of people – today and in the future.

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The following presentations were given during the AGM:

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