Everyone knows the old saying “you are what you eat”, but very few of us appreciate just how complex it is to get food on plates at the right place, at the right time and at the right level of freshness. For this episode of LokadTV, we’re joined by Olivier Jonard to discuss supply chain in the food industry and how technology can help.
Olivier Jonard is the Supply Chain and Logistics Director at major French food producer Agromousquetaires. He has been working in supply chain for around 25 years and in the food industry for 20, working for companies such as Nestlé before joining Agromousquetaires in 2019.
So why is the food industry so complex? First and foremost because food is perishable. This presents a huge array of complexities: temperature regulation, expiration dates, contamination control, etc. On top of all this, there is uncertainty on the demand side, as is the case with any supply chain, in addition to uncertainty on the production side. For example, will the harvest be good? Will the fishing boat come back with the expected yield of fish? Prices are also victim to rapid changes and food is a delicate good to transport. All in all, this makes food industry supply chains a decidedly tricky business indeed.
Although there is a growing interest amongst customers for where their produce comes from and just how it’s produced, price remains the all-important factor. Promotions are an extremely crucial element in the food industry. But with such a wide range of products - and therefore huge substitution possibilities - this makes various objectives, such as introducing new products, challenging.
On the other hand, there are well known factors that do help demand planners to predict trends. For example, holidays, such as Christmas, and temperature changes.
To conclude, we talk more about future trends, like “one stop shopping”, or whether the mounting pressure for better animal wellbeing and less chemicals involved in food production can allow for produce prices to descend, and if artificial intelligence has a role to play in all this.
00:29 Olivier, perhaps you could start by telling us a little more about yourself?
01:26 Joannes, why is the food industry so complex?
03:48 How does this emphasis on cost make things challenging for a demand planner?
06:01 What are your thoughts on the balance between price and quality?
08:34 More people than ever are living in huge cities but still want local products, coming from small producers. What challenges can this introduce?
11:18 From a forecasting perspective, what should we optimise? What are the decisions we should be focusing on in the food industry?
15:37 Olivier, would you say that things are fairly predictable at your end?
18:59 What are some of the supply chain challenges which you see as not being resolved in the food industry?
22:32 If we look at the future, what are the trends that might emerge? What is the idea behind the concept of ““one stop shopping””?
26:36 What are your thoughts for the future? With so many pressures on animal wellbeing and the lack of chemicals in our farming, can we continue to drive down costs in the same way we have historically?