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Transparency in Food Logistics becoming more and more Important

Digitization and an evolving consumer culture are changing the food market. Additionally, the customers' expectations of the logistics of the food industry are also rapidly rising.

Following this, the logistics department at the Technical University (TU) in Berlin, published their study on "Future Trends in Food Logistics". The report analyses significant consumer trends, presents any challenges and provides recommendations for the future of food logistics.

15 interviews with experts from various sectors of the food value chain, and an online survey with 100 participants, have enabled seven main trends to be identified: transparency, seasonal and regional foods, e-commerce/home-delivery, convenience-food, food waste awareness, convenience-stores and organic and fair trade.

Transparency as Future Trend Number One
From the surveys and interviews it could clearly be seen that transparency was the number one trend of the future and simultaneously has the biggest impact on food logistics, as the entire value chain is affected.

In addition to quality, locality and sustainability, customers want transparency along the supply chain. In the last ten years there have been all kinds of food scandals. These have led to an increase in the customer's desire for easy-access information on ingredients, origin, and transport and production conditions, and suitable measures need to be taken on the logistics side in order to manage these expectations.

"When thinking of the world today, 37 percent of the survey participants have rated the trend as 'high' or 'rather high'; yet 83 percent of the participants rated that the significance of the trend will be 'important' or 'rather important' in five years' time. In the future, manufacturers, and those in retail, will see the need to meet the demand for supply-chain transparency, as they are directly affected by its consequences in the event of a recall" explained Prof. Frank Straube, Head of Logistics at TU Berlin. "The high valuation of the trend, which is independent of the actors, highlights the fact that, in order to create transparency in the food production chain, we need an integrated, cross-sectoral approach."

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