Given the challenges of the last few years, food, beverage and agriculture supply chains have held up well.
While prices have risen sharply, the industry has largely managed to keep the world fed through the pandemic and during the Ukraine conflict, despite the disruption to supplies of staple foodstuffs.
But, beneath this surface, the sector has felt the deep impact of shocks such as production shutdowns, commodity shortages, energy prices hikes and inflation.
To keep supplies moving seamlessly from farm to fork, it must also negotiate looming challenges such as climate change and competition for land and natural resources.
To find out how the sector is navigating this changing landscape, we surveyed 100 risk and supply chain leaders, from agribusiness and food processing companies to major food and drink brands.
How do they see the supply chain landscape? How are they building resilience? What are the main challenges and risks they face? And what will the supply chains of the future look like?
Food, beverage and agriculture supply chains are exposed to a wide range of unpredictable forces, from weather to war.
They also face long-term challenges in adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Other top concerns in our survey included factors such as cyber security, raw materials and logistics shortages, sustainability and reputational risk.
73% said losses related to the supply chain had been higher or much higher than expected over the last two years.
88% of businesses said they have made at least some improvements in their approach to supply chain management in response to the pandemic.
79% cited a lack of insurance solutions among the greatest challenges to addressing their supply chain risks over the next three to five years.
70% named natural resources as the environmental factor that posed the greatest supply chain risk to their business.
The food, beverage and agriculture sector has always been highly exposed to supply chain disruption and has become expert at managing risks to keep the world’s shelves and tables supplied – even through crisis events such as the pandemic and the Ukraine conflict.
However, the industry will face increasingly difficult challenges in the future, from ongoing logistics and raw material shortages to the long-term impacts of climate change on agriculture and increasing competition for land and natural resources.
Our survey shows that businesses are working with their key suppliers to overcome problems and considering a range of strategies to increase resilience.
While they have an advantage in that supply chains are less complex than other sectors, they’re hampered by an inability to get hold of enough accurate data on the supply chain to manage their risks.
Working more closely with suppliers as partners can help companies understand their supply chains better and address these risks.
Diagnostic mapping and monitoring tools and analytics can help to visualize, quantify and assess risks across the chain and in specific locations.”Simon Lusher | Director, Client Relationship WTW
Diagnostic mapping and monitoring tools and analytics can help to visualize, quantify and assess risks across the chain and in specific locations.
WTW has an experienced team of experts with the tools and competencies to help clients understand their supply chain vulnerabilities and align their production with financial risk.
We can also help you manage and transfer risks for both property-related and pure economic losses, helping you build greater reliance against future shocks.
To learn more, download your free survey report by completing the short form at the top of this page.