Page 15 - Food & Drink Magazine Jan-Feb 21
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                 COVER STORY
      the supply chain was interrupted, from reduced workforce in manufacturing facilities, to shipping container shortages, and port disruptions.
Another factor COVID-19 has cast a spotlight on is country of origin. Foodcare is
manufacture some of its own products, and is constantly looking to expand this range, as well as supporting other Australian manufacturers.
It is difficult to predict what will come next in these unprecedented times, but it
Worldwide demand for nitrile disposable gloves continues to be 20-25 per cent more than total available supply:
• medical usage increased substantially with the pandemic and will continue to do so with the roll-out of vaccines;
• governments have increased stockpiling to avoid future supply issues;
• supply has reduced due to factory lockdowns and reduced labour force (social distancing in factories); and
• pre-COVID-19, factories typically worked on three to five month lead times to ensure full production – this is now 12-24 months at best, for any new non-scheduled orders.
WHY CAN’T FACTORIES PRODUCE MORE GLOVES? To produce gloves cost effectively, the manufacturing process is quite involved and requires substantial equipment including ceramic glove formers, dip tanks, conveyor lines, cooker ovens, and packing lines.
Various companies are building new production lines and even new factories, however, the majority of this extra volume won’t be hitting the market until late 2021 at the earliest, which has caused the
whole supply chain from raw materials through to end
manufacturer to continue to increase pricing.
Raw material suppliers
have increased their pricing on the raw NBR and associated
Factory costs have
increased due to labour constraints and increased
operating costs, and factories have increased their pricing because they can. Just like any market,
low supply and high demand equals higher prices.
  “ Reserving stock for our customers has always been the foundation of the Foodcare experience, and during COVID-19 it set us apart.”
an Australian, family-owned and operated business. Consumers are asking more questions about where companies are based, and where products are sourced from, with increased willingness to support Australian companies. While there is still little in the way of locally manufactured PPE in Australia, Foodcare does
appears stock shortages and supply interruptions will be with us for a while yet. Foodcare has committed to continuing the same service to the food processing industry and looks forward to whatever 2021 may bring. ✷
While COVID-19 disrupted every stage of the supply chain, Foodcare maintained stock supply to its customers. | January/February 2021 | Food&Drink business | 15

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