'cool supply chain the ultimate aim'

CCA Workshop 2010


28th – 30th October 2010

Cape Town, South Africa

The CCA is proud to report that the workshop2010 “from field to fork” was concluded after two days intensive working in groups and high quality discussions of the audience. The industry relevant companies of the South African cool supply chain gathered to listen to the decision maker of CCG Cool Chain Group, Capespan, Maersk, NYKCool and many others.

“We had a lot of business knowledge present so that the "think tank" CCA could sample their input and knowledge. Only with this thinking and sampling process the CCA can reach its goal, being harmonizing the cool chain” said Secretary General of the CCA Christian Helms.

The workshop was hosted by PPECB whose CEO Luvuyo Mabombo made a key-note welcome speech, informing about the background of the PPECB, challenges of the cool supply chain and proposals how to improve the performance on the market.

The working groups on day one, being “Improving the cool supply chain” and “Cooling Facilities Concept” discussed the means and further steps for each group with the mutual consent to focus on three key issues to reach the goal:

  1. Improving the information flow and logistics throughout the chain 
  2. Maintaining the temperature throughout the Cool Chain (from A-Z) 
  3. Reduce delays and eliminating lack-of-information in case of unforeseen delays

The second day was dedicated to presentations of Industry Relevant companies and their view and solutions for the cool supply chain harmonization. First presenter Christian DeBlasio, Purfresh Inc., started with the case studies with Ozone, which came to good results in regards of long term transportation and the remaining quality of the product.

Improving the cool chain means less waste and an extended shelf life. 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. “Our Industry faces 30% waste from harvest to the consumer.” Christian Helms, also in his position as CEO of forwarder CCG Cool Chain Group and trading company RUNGIS express stated. Bad quality does not start with the logistics company, but with the pre-cooling at farm level.

“To improve the entire chain, we have to improve one link after the next – beginning at the farm.” Why post harvest cooling? Christian Helms offers argumentation: A weak product will never make it through the supply chain. Any postharvest cooling delayed over 2 hours leads to significant losses.

Prof. Linus Opara, University Stellenbosch added that there are 30-50% food postharvest losses and wastage in many less developed countries. Additional there are 2-3% food wastage in developed countries. Less than 1% of packed food goes to waste, compared with 10-20% of unpacked food. Sensitivity analysis of model predictions came to the conclusion that changes in vent size (area) did not significantly affect model predictions in the near-inlet regions, but had noticeable influence in the package centre and near-outlet regions.

Keith Roxburgh, Capespan gave a detailed presentation about the practical perspective on South African cold supply chains. On the basis of temperature measurement graphs he explained how the fruit quality is being ensured with adhering to guidelines, thermocouples and protocols.

Dr. Malcolm Dodd, Post Harvest Innovation Programme complained that in too many cases the desired cold chain was not achieved due to poor management of change over from one transport medium to the next, particularly in the port where the link up to power takes too long. Temperatures during the shipping mode were often way above set point due to improper pre-cooling or because of the lack of integration of the packaging materials. It is very clear that to get a better understanding of the cold chain temperature data must be recorded from as early in the life of a pallet of fruit as possible and taken up to the supermarket or point of sale (Beginning to end).

“Beginning to end monitoring of temperatures and relative humidity is essential to improve the management of the value chain and therefore the quality and returns. M4 (Man must measure to manage).” Dr. Dodd stated at the end.

Maersk, represented by Henrik Lindhardt informed about the present and the future of reefer container, whereas Trevor Law, NYKCool, presented insights in global specialized reefer shipping. Reefers presently are in principle designed and built to transport cargo already pre-cooled to the right carrying temperature. During transport the reefer is to maintain temperature, provide fresh air ventilation or de-humidification, where required. Besides temperature, fresh air ventilation and humidity control there is an increasing trend to offer special services. What is the future? Reefers will not only be a cold store but will provide the ability to have individual cargo carrying conditions. But what is unlikely to happen in future: A reefer will not replace a proper pre-cooling process for sensitive products.

One of the key matters discussed at the conference was the South African process in the cool chain. As a matter of fact the result from this discussion is that there are still different opinions on the cooperation and interaction along the cool chain. Some South African participants believed enough is exchanged between the several parties along the cool chain, hence that the parties are communicating and interacting with each other in a sufficient way. Other shared the CCA opinion that more openness and divulgation of own processes is required.

For CCA the South African supply chain is perfectly suited for the harmonization model of the CCA as the processes already are sophisticated. With the Cool Chain Quality Indicator master tables the whole process can be improved with little efforts and expenses, but great effect.

The future of the supply chain in each and every country depends on the further willingness of companies to have a closer and self- critical look into their own process, willingness to disclose these processes to other participants of the cool supply chain and optimize if necessary. South Africa companies have the advantage that PPECB is very much welcoming the implementation of the CCQI Standard.

The CCQI standard is now free available at

All presentations of the 29th October 2010 can be downloaded from the CCA website

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