Author: Ken Whah, President and CEO —
As you know, the pandemic brought with it a focus on the people, places and things that are critical to maintaining some similarity to normal life. Healthcare workers, police and fire men and women, to name a few. Those of us in the food supply chain, from farmers and processors, to warehousing and trucking, are also cited as essential. It’s always nice to be recognized for the work you do; I just wish it wasn’t for these reasons.
The pandemic also brought an increased awareness on supply chain performance, including warehouse efficiency and safety. In the cold food chain, there are those warehouses on the grower side of the supply chain that make sure only quality comes through the doors. And there are those on the distribution side that ensure only safe, quality food goes out the doors. Quality in and quality out; the pandemic has not changed that. And while I can’t speak for everyone in temperature-controlled logistics, I can say that there isn’t a person I know in this industry who isn’t working harder every day to protect the health of those around him or her while also striving to improve the logistics of safely moving frozen food to the right place at the right time.
First and foremost, of course, is worker safety, as stated in our Hanson Way. A recent Global Cold Chain Alliance survey shows 90% of respondents placing workforce protection as their top priority, followed by maintaining business continuity. Business continuity is virtually impossible to maintain if Teammates are not well.
So, while the protocols may be new, safety and improvement have always been part of the Hanson Way. Direct-to-consumer frozen food ecommerce I’d put in the new column, but the determination and willingness to take on these new channel challenges has always been here. As our Teammates say, “Bring it on; we are Hanson Strong!”