The F&B Supply Chain: How to Implement Sustainable Processes Throughout the Value Chain

In this blog post, we will explore the F&B supply chain and how companies can implement sustainable processes throughout the value chain, while still meeting their company's needs.

Food and drink are two things that bring us the most pleasure, that people spend the most money on, and that we are constantly seeking new ways to deliver. Whether it’s the combinations we eat and drink, the taste, the experience, the delivery, or the sourcing - there is no denying we are (and rightly so) obsessed with it. However, as both are in such high demand, how consumables reach their ultimate destinations (i.e our stomachs) is of vital importance because of the implications it has for social, economical and environmental resources. As a multi-billion dollar industry, F&B (Food & Beverage), just like any other, is under pressure to digitalise and lower the threshold for consumers to consume, whilst balancing commitments to ethical and environmental sustainability. 

Some great companies that are examples of leading this balancing act successfully are; Hello Fresh, Brewdog, Gorillas, Weezy, and Oddbox. Hello Fresh’s mission to stop food waste is admirable, sending pre-portioned and packed foods to reduce waste, and sourcing directly from their suppliers to minimise CO2 emissions in the supply chain. They are now the first global carbon neutral meal kit company. As for Brewdog - they’re carbon negative! Now that’s a standard worth promoting. The reason why these companies are able to deliver on their commitments is because they look at points throughout the supply chain to minimise their carbon footprint. They don’t cut corners, because they know that every step in the process counts and every little helps. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted existing problems in the supply chain and demonstrated the need for companies to take responsibility for it, mainly for their companies to continue to function, but also for the wider community. Accenture has suggested that 94% of Fortune 1000 companies are seeing supply chain disruptions from the pandemic, and the reasons for this are supply chain challenges that have been left unaddressed. These include (to name a few); supply chains lacking global resilience, talent gaps with too high dependency on the human workforce, supply chains not meeting customer and stakeholder expectations for sustainability and finally, the inflexibility of old legacy systems. 

At DeepStream we know that visibility is the most important part of being able to identify where and how carbon emissions and companies’ overall environmental footprint can be reduced. That’s why our platform is built for collaboration and communication for teams internally and externally with Suppliers. Transparency is the key to unlocking the implementation of sustainable processes because it allows people to work together to achieve this goal. This facilitates the human workforce to work better, and more efficiently to fill the talent gap by providing them with tools to make their work less time consuming and more efficient. 

For instance, DeepStream removes the need for manual reporting with our built-in Audit trail which logs all Supplier communication, document exchanges, changes and agreements to line item pricing. This can then be shared for internal or external reporting. Furthermore, as Suppliers respond to a request for line items, their names appear in a clear side-by-side table, making comparing pricing easier. This means less time spent on emails, less manual work, and more efficient processes. 

The flexibility DeepStream offers is designed to be adaptable to every company’s individual workflow. This means it is also capable of adapting to unexpected and or crisis situations - such as COVID-19, giving people the ability to still collaborate online, maintain visibility across departments, and communicate with Suppliers seamlessly. This described agility is something that we are serious about, and we don’t (as many do) throw around this term casually. We are dedicated to ensuring that our product fits the needs of our users which is why our product roadmap is based on our users’ feedback, and why we release product updates and optimisations every two weeks. This ensures that our platform stays on top of its game so your companies can stay on top of theirs. 

Finally, our flexibility allows our users to visibly make decisions based on their commitments to ethical and environmental sustainability. Our Evaluation module enables users to enter any criteria they would like to evaluate and award bids to their Suppliers. This means that Buyers can enter criteria based on their sustainability commitments. Whether this is the locality of the produce, the treatment of their workforce, or their CO2 emissions, Buyers can evaluate on criteria that help them achieve their commitments to global sustainable practices. Again, this can be easily downloaded in a report from the platform, empowering companies to show how they are making their decisions. 

Want to find out how you can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and improving supply chain processes?

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