Manufacturers warned as China's swine fever spreads

Food manufacturers are being warned to address risk management protocols as African swine flu continues to devastate China. The disease is thought to have affected almost half of the country's 430 million pigs and could soon impact global pork prices.

Commenting on the outbreak, RSA’s food and beverage practice leader, Alan Midson said supply chain integrity is key to avoid further spread of the disease and mitigate pandemic risk.

“In this case business interruption cover may be triggered as the dearth of pork availability means manufacturers have to look to European and Middle Eastern suppliers to fulfil demand, or even seek alternative types of meat protein, leading to pressure on other livestock producers,” he said.

“In order to control this outbreak, supply chain integrity is key – accurately mapping the key areas in the supply chain where the risk is most prevalent, can not only help prevent an outbreak, but contain it.”

RSA’s advice to food and beverage manufacturers following this story and hoping it doesn’t impact them is to make sure they can answer these questions:

If contaminated meat enters the supply chain, have you put measures in place to mitigate the risk to avoid human consumption?

Should contaminated meat enter your supply chain, does your insurance policy respond?

Are you confident that your reputation would be protected and do you have the right crisis management protocols in place?

“This outbreak is likely to have far-reaching effects on the global pork supply chain and highlights the need for global food manufacturers to ensure they have the risk management protocols in place,” Midson added.

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