During the current crisis, we are experiencing a lot of slowdowns. Fortunately, the supply chain is still in motion because people and stores need supplies. The risk is very low because the virus does not live long outside of a human host.
Since olive imported olive oils and vinegars are typically in transit for six weeks or so, the risk drops even lower. However, olive oil-producing countries are dealing with additional issues as trade routes become more challenging.
Everybody is doing their best to halt the spread of the virus, so in some cases, the measures are causing further delays and complications.
The Balancing Act
First, the cost of transportation is increasing. Workforce reductions and restricted working situations are making the process unpredictable. There are significant losses in the restaurant industry, but domestic use has ramped up to fill the gaps.
Harvesting and processing are still going on without much interruption. Italy and Spain, the world’s largest producers of olive oils, and easily the hardest-hit by the virus, expect an excellent crop this year.
Producers are, however, struggling with lots of unknowns, not the least of which is lower prices for their product. Dwindling margins, shipping delays, and problems at almost every stage are concerning, and not just for the makers. Wholesalers, distributors, and retailers are also left wondering, not just about the quality and consistency of the products they receive, but also what the changes mean for the future.
Supply is Ample and Holding. What’s Next?
The economy has suffered greatly, but for olive, seed, and nut oils, there is still plenty of supply. It is expected that, driven by current demand, the flow will continue. Nonetheless, buyers are rightly concerned.
There might be no shortage of oil, but delays in the supply chain are just the tip of the iceberg. Prices for the raw product might be low right now, but that does not bode well for manufacturers over the long-term.
Add to that, the impact of a widespread labor shortage, warehouse closures, and inventory that’s stuck in limbo. Businesses both downstream and upstream facing closures unless they pivot sharply, and it’s hard to project what the big picture looks like.
What About QA/QC?
Because the supply chain is in flux at the moment, there is a lot of grey area where quality control is concerned.
On the one hand, in the case of established supply chains, routes, and carriers are more predictable. However, there is still the potential, either that ships will not be allowed to dock and unload or that shipments will be left on the dock to be ravaged by the elements.
What We Are Doing To Assure Quality
Our QA/QC protocols are well-established to ensure our customers are safe from compromised or inferior products. We are in constant communication with our suppliers to ensure that we are informed of anything that might affect oil quality or consistency.
All incoming products are analyzed before they are sent to you, so you can have peace of mind that your oils, whether they are in bulk or retail packaging, will represent the same Cibaria quality you have come to depend on.
If you have any questions or concerns about your oil shipments, reach out today.