Leading food companies line up to debate global competitiveness of Africa’s cold chains as chocolate and fruit will test perishable supply chain resilience to its limits
London, 17.01.2013 – Hernan de Mezerville, Logistics Operations Manager at Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods) is the latest senior food industry figure to join the speaker line-up at the 2nd Cool Logistics Africa conference, taking place 16-18 April in Cape Town, South Africa.
Formed last October when Kraft split its confectionary and grocery businesses, Mondelez is a global snack giant with annual revenues of USD36 billion and a strong focus on developing markets, which already make up 44% of its earnings. It is now Brazil’s 6th largest food company and a world-class chocolate producer, sourcing cocoa from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to produce chocolate in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Costa Rica.
As a leading transport user, Mondelez is constantly looking to develop new route-to-market options in countries such as China, India, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Although primarily a user of dry freight boxes, reefer transport, cross-docking and cold storage are important for the company’s ability to maintain and develop a globally competitive business model.
De Mezerville will give a critical BRICS perspective on how global perishables supply chain competiveness can be achieved, with focus on landed cost calculations, trade impediments and what Southern Hemisphere shippers need from the maritime sector, including new services to connect emerging trading regions such as Africa, Latin America and India.
“We are proud to welcome Hernan de Mezerville, a consummate supply chain professional with excellent links to the retail sector and a deep background in shipping to share some of his experiences with the community of African perishable logistics and freight buying experts gathering at Cool Logistics Africa this year,” said Rachael White, Co-Director at Cool Logistics Resources.
De Mezerville’s themes will also be debated by other representatives of instantly recognisable food and fruit brands speaking at this year’s event: Dole and Capespan.
Andy Connell, Business Unit Manager Shipping and Logistics at Dole Foods South Africa is a leading driver for change in supply chain business practices, with 20 years’ experience in logistics both as a shipper and ocean carrier. Connell will share his views on the likely impact of global transport infrastructure developments such as the widening of the Panama Canal on South-North and the emerging new West-East trade lanes.
He will be joined by Deon Joubert, who leads logistics operations as General Manager Operation at Capespan Exports, with responsibility for all trades from South Africa. Joubert has been instrumental in the gradual yet momentous supply chain shift from shipping fruit in conventional vessels to containers and driving greater efficiencies such as dwell time reduction. “Shipping now represents around 30% of total landed cost for fruit exported from South Africa”, noted Joubert, who will be giving the fruit exporter’s view on the need for better supply chain integration.
“In the light of the recent global reefer container price hikes, which have hit many South African fruit exporters hard - especially on the northbound trade lanes - and are likely to notably affect citrus growers in the coming season, the onward march of the container may have to be re-evaluated,” observed Alex von Stempel, Co-Director at Cool Logistics Resources. A carrier-shipper panel on the second day will provide a chance to hear from all sides on the impact and fallout from the rate rises.
Port inefficiency remains another significant challenge for South Africa’s global competitiveness, especially compared with Latin American growers. This topic will be tackled by Mitchell Brooke, Logistics Development Manager, Citrus Growers Association. Brooke will focus on the growing variance between planned and actual vessel times in South African ports and challenge head-on the reality of port delays and their effects on bunker consumption.
“As exposure to increasing supply chain risks is costing perishable trade dearly, Africa’s exporters, shipping companies and third party logistics providers will have plenty to discuss and jointly devise new strategies at the conference this year,” added von Stempel.
Convened this year under the headline theme Innovation, Investment and Efficiency: Delivering Africa’s cold chain potential, the 2nd Cool Logistics Africa will bring together producers, exporters, importers and retailers from multiple perishable sectors with major shipping lines, 3PLs, ports, cold store operators and other perishable logistics stakeholders, for “360 degree debate” on Africa’s cold chain efficiency. The 2013 event has already attracted sponsorship and support from key players in perishable trade, logistics and transport, including Dole, Fresh Produce Exporters Forum, Hortgro, FPT Group, SAFT, Hellman Perishables Logistics, Port of Antwerp, Port of Salalah and Thermo King.
2nd Cool Logistics Africa
16-18 April 2013
The Vineyard Hotel & Spa, Cape Town