Cold Chain Federation (CCF) president Paul Bennell told the Cold Chain Live conference on 14th September that the UK cannot take food security for granted following concerns of the past four years.

Cold Chain Live 2023, a conference for the UK’s temperature-controlled storage and distribution industry, saw 500 food logistics professionals gather in Liverpool for two days of discussion and debate about the UK cold chain’s key challenges and opportunities.

Cold Chain Federation president Paul Bennell said: “It is striking that our country has started talking again about food security. We proved in Covid that we have a resilient food supply chain, even when tested in the extreme.

“But the disruption resulting from Covid, post-Brexit changes, interruptions to global supply chains, labour shortages and the energy crisis have rightly brought into focus that we can’t just take UK food security for granted.”

The future of food security

Bennell said: “Looking to the months and years ahead, as geopolitical unrest and an environment of inflation continue while the effects of climate change become increasingly evident, as a nation we need to prioritise resilience and prepare for food supply chain challenges. There is no food security, in any form, without the UK cold chain.

“Our nation needs a robust and competitive temperature-controlled supply chain infrastructure, working within a positive and constructive policy environment that enables and encourages cold chain operators to invest for the future.”

The topic of UK food security was discussed on the conference main stage on 14th September in a session that featured City University of London’s Professor Tim Lang, The National Farmers Union’s director general Terry Jones and Cold Chain Federation chief executive Shane Brennan.

Other key topics that were discussed at the Cold Chain Live conference include resilience and opportunity, infrastructure for electric vehicles, attracting the next generation of cold chain professionals, ending waste energy from refrigeration, translating net zero cold chain strategy into practice and building the cold warehousing of tomorrow.