Air cargo community must drive own standards for perishables

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Pictured, left to right: Vijan Chetty, General Manager, Coastal, Perishable Products Export Control Board; Edwin Kalischnig, CEO, Xtreme Technologies B.V. and CCA Secretary General; Eric Mauroux, Director Verticals & Global Head of Perishables, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and CCA Treasurer; Sebastiaan Scholte, CEO, Jan de Rijk Logistics; Stavros Evangelakakis, Global Product Manager Healthcare & Perishable, Cargolux Airlines and Chairman CCA; Fabrizio Iacobacci, Head of Pharma Business Development, BCube Air Cargo; Gerton Hulsman, Managing Director, Flughafen Düsseldorf Cargo GmbH; and Nathan de Valck, Cargo & Product Development Manager, Brussels Airport Company.

The air cargo community should drive its own standards for perishables and not wait for other groups and agencies to supply them, says Cool Chain Association (CCA) chairman, Stavros Evangelakakis.

A lack of accountability is contributing to 1.3 billion tonnes of food being wasted along the supply chain every year, about one third of all food produced, delegates heard at the CCA’s “World Without Food Waste – what can air cargo deliver?” conference in Luxembourg.

Collaboration, transparency and data sharing as well as training for perishable growers and better facilities are needed to improve quality in the fragmented and disconnected supply chain, speakers explained at the two-day event.

Evangelakakis, who is also global product manager healthcare and perishable at Cargolux, says: “We should aim for quality, we should not wait for other agencies to come up with standards, we should look internally and act now. A standard in perishables should be something akin to the standards in pharmaceuticals, and over the next two years as Chairman I am going to push for that.”

He asks: “Are you ready for collaboration?”

Keynote speaker Philippe Schuler, a food waste prevention consultant and CCA researcher in perishable cool chains says the information needed for the supply chain to make improvements is already there.

He says: “The information needs to be made accessible. When we all start to have access to the data, we can start to solve the problems.”

Schuler was commissioned to undertake a “farm to fork” study of papayas from Brazil to Europe looking into waste in perishable logistics, which is called “Papayas – studying waste in perishable logistics” and is available to CCA members.

COLEACP director of operations, Jeremy Knops says collaboration could drive change and the supply chain is only part of the issue.

He says: “By showing more producers practical examples, working with leaders, for example, from the transport industry, we can make a very positive impact. The key word is to look for partnerships, this has to be a joint effort, not only because of the waste, but because of the potential for agriculture to go one way or another.”

The CCA held its Annual General Meeting as part of the event, formally welcoming Perishable Products Export Control Board general manager, Vijan Chetty as a board member, and formally electing Air France KLM Cargo and Martinair Cargo global head of perishables director verticals, Eric Mauroux as treasurer.

Xtreme Technology chief executive officer (CEO), Edwin Kalischnig was re-elected secretary general.

Brussels Airport Company cargo and product development manager, Nathan de Valck and Jan de Rijk Logistics CEO, Sebastiaan Scholte stepped down from the board.