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Cold Chain in Emerging Markets: The Heat is On

We may take the movement of frozen or refrigerated  items for granted here in the United States, but it’s a whole other story in places like China or Vietnam. In those areas, the frozen option for food is almost unheard of outside of cities. However, there is an enormous push for frozen foods in those areas and new legislation allowing for foreign investment in creating “cold chains”. But if cold chains are to ever gain a foothold in traditionally fresh food areas, it will depend greatly on the abilities and insights of those who attempt to introduce frozen foods to those areas. To that end, Tielman Nieuwoudt explains some of the elements required to successfully introduce a cold chain in these areas, and one of the biggest considerations is how technology can affect success: Technology investment is a key element of establishing a cold chain.  Companies need to have a long term perspective in relation to technology investments.  In many cases the technology and equipment are available, but companies find the investment too substantial and lack the economies of scale to make it a viable option.  Finding companies to make the investment can be one of the key challenges during market entry. In emerging markets, companies seek simple and cost effective solutions to problems. For example, some companies now are using pressure-sensitive labels.  Once the label is exposed to specific conditions, the label changes colour and alerts the supply chain of a disruption in the cold chain. Other important elements are to collaborate with government authorities, cold chain equipment suppliers, and even other investors, focusing in on education for supply chain partners, and open communication with all people involved in the effort. Achieving a successful hold in a developing market is well worth the effort – but it will take more than the cookie-cutter approach used in developed areas of the world.

About Matthew Kabik

Matthew Kabik is the former Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He worked at Computer Aid, Inc. from 2008 to 2014 in the Harrisburg offices, where he was a copywriter, swordsman, social media consultant, and trainer before moving into editorial.

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