I thought that might get your attention. In New Zealand, the translation from the Maori language is "Be well/be healthy" and it's used informally to say "Hi."
My time in New Zealand
After a dozen plus years engaged in industry initiatives to protect brands, streamline business processes, standardize electronic communications and secure supply chains for food, consumer products and pharmaceuticals, I took time off in 2017 to travel the US and then spent just under a year in Auckland, New Zealand, connecting with family and a culture that is often touted as clean and green. In addition to appreciating the flora, fauna and natural landscape of my home down under, I was keenly aware of its unique supply chain.
The logistics of shipping material, food and consumer products to and around the island nation of less than 5 million people is complex. Since Maori and Europeans settled New Zealand, international and coastal shipping has dominated transport. The six leading ports of New Zealand handle nearly 2 million containers annually. (Over 9 million are handled in the Port of Los Angeles alone, so you have some perspective).
Containers are now parked not far from behemoth cruise ships in Auckland's harbor. Products and material arriving from overseas and domestic ports are transported by truck and rail across the isthmus and then north or south.
Delivery trucks share narrow, volcanic, winding roads with holiday goers in campervans and locals convinced that it is safe to overtake on a corner. (Apparently the need for speed knows no boundary).
Warehouses and cross-docking facilities pepper industrial areas and there is always infrastructure work taking place on the highways and pipelines that connect people, power and commodities.
Infrastructure becomes even more critical in a two-island nation near the South Pole. Material sourcing, tariff and trade issues, along with global political, social, economic and environmental dynamics, all play a role. I was reminded that the local grocery store relies on connections to a global network, whether you're in New Zealand, New Mexico or New Jersey.
Lowering dwell times can have profound positive impacts on a company's supply chain, reaching far beyond carrier satisfaction and distinction as a facility or shipper of choice. Our recent analysis identified that successful reduction in dwell times throughout the transportation sector has the potential to create an additional 2-4% in transportation capacity. Over a three-month pilot period in 2019, four distribution facilities leveraged data to understand the root causes of dwell time and identify new insights and solutions. By evaluating distribution facility operations, identifying and tracking key metrics, finding efficiencies to scale, and taking advantage of real-time data as it becomes more available, manufacturers and retailers have new keys to the future. Download the free report.
Refrigerant management offers an opportunity for food retailers to evaluate source refrigerants as well as examine their leak management practices. These opportunities are the driving forces behind the creation of EPA's GreenChill partnership program with food retailers that aims to "reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change." GreenChill partner companies account for about 29% of all food retail stores and are instrumental in reducing refrigerant emissions and saving their stores millions in refrigerant replacement costs annually. Learn more.
It is not headline news that the food retail industry is facing a range of challenges, from the proliferation of competitors and competition for labor, to interchange fees and rising health care costs. With this range of challenges, food retailers are increasingly realizing that many of these challenges will never fully vanish, despite their best efforts. Based on response to the 2019 The Food Retailing Industry Speaks survey, food retailers are moving forward with these proactive strategies to navigate the barriers and embrace new opportunities. Learn more.
The Food Waste Reduction Alliance, founded by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and National Restaurant Association, announced a formal agreement with the USDA, the Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA to reduce food loss and waste through industry and agency-specific actions. As industry leaders and representatives of vital links in the supply chain, the alliance seeks to reduce the amount of food waste generated, increase the amount of safe, nutritious food donated to those in need, and divert unavoidable food waste from landfills. Read more.
FMI has teamed with FitForCommerce to complete the Grocery Omnichannel Index to benchmark and evaluate how food retailers deliver on customer expectations for unified shopping experiences across digital (online and mobile), in-store and cross-channel criteria. In this session, we will outline key insights from the Index and share omnichannel best practices that should be on every food retailer's roadmap. Register for the webinar.
Sustainability is a topic of growing importance to consumers, and it needs to be prioritized by leaders in the fresh foods industry. However, this is easier said than done. Sustainability is a complex subject that includes aspects such as packaging, food waste, recycling and the future of plastics. This topic needs to be part of trading partner meetings in the fresh foods industry, to make sure it has a regular place at the table. We need to ensure that innovative solutions are being identified and tested. Read more.
According to the federal government, DIR fees charged to pharmacies have grown by more than 45,000% over the past 10 years/ And, in an industry that operates on razor-thin profit margins, supermarket pharmacies have virtually no ability to absorb these unexpected costs. What can you do? Watch the video and join the fight.
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry, which employs nearly 5 million workers and represents a combined annual sales volume of almost $800 billion. FMI has almost 1,000 food retail, wholesale member companies, 85 international member companies and almost 500 associate member companies. For more information, visit