World Cold Chain Summit looks at practical solutions (Part 5)

Carrier’s fourth annual World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Loss took to Vietnam in March and by manner of conclusion, delegates discussed implementation programmes and targets…

Session 5: Implementation Programmes and targets

The final session of the Summit, moderated by Gerald Cavalier, president, Tecnea –Cemafroid, comprised a panel discussion of Implementation Programmes and Targets with Mark Mitchell, managing director, Supercool Asia Pacific; Mathilde Tran, senior manager, PwC Vietnam; and Ngo Quang Trung, general director, Emergent Cold Vietnam.

C005Dr Pham Van Tan, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest technology (VIAEP), asks a question.

 Cavalier began the session by summing up effective implementation of programs with three words: Organisation (required for a sound cold chain), Performance (of equipment and people), and Compliance (assessment and performance checking). He also referenced two components – “cold” and “chain” – and stressed that both are needed to safely preserve and transport food.

The panel discussion was fast-paced and compelling. Mathilde Tran noted that in her experience, all actors must be involved to have a sound cold chain. Ngo Quang Trung pointed to two problems in Vietnam – the lack of cold chain knowledge, and the absence of an obvious organisation to provide information and best practices – and launched a call for a cold chain coordination group in Vietnam. Mark Mitchell stressed the importance of people, and “training, training, training.” He also pointed to the need for commitment to transparency, cooperation, and professionalism.

C013Carrier Transicold and Refrigeration Systems president David Appel (left) signed an agreement with Dr Pham Van Tan, deputy director of VIAEP, to cooperate on developing the cold chain throughout Vietnam.

Tran added that many of the farmers growing the food in Vietnam do not have a refrigerator, which limits their understanding of the need for a strong cold chain to ensure safety and minimise food loss. She also called for refrigeration equipment that is less expensive and easier to maintain, which does not require master technicians in remote areas. Mitchell made an impassioned plea that we must close links in the cold chain – it is a series of handoffs and every participant must be fully transparent at every step. He added that there are hundreds of ways to do it, but the essential thing is to act.


John Mandyck summarised the event following the last session, leaving Summit participants with three main points:

  1. Reflecting back to the first Summit in 2014, he noted that the goal of that event was to start a new dialogue around the food system and feeding the planet, with a focus on reducing food loss and waste rather than continuing the ‘grow more to waste more’ model. He noted that we have definitely been successful in raising awareness about the scale of the food loss and waste problem and reiterated the need to address it.
  2. He referred to the evolution of the Summits as a journey ‘from the why, to the how, to the now.’ The 2014 Summit focused on discussions about why food loss and waste exists around the world. In 2015 and 2016, we moved to the ‘how’ focusing on case studies and analysis, and we moved from awareness building to knowledge building. And in 2018 he suggested that we are moving to the ‘now’ – a time where we have data to act on to drive meaningful reductions in food loss and waste. He noted that we can now focus on opportunities in individual countries, which will provide global environmental benefit.
  3. He returned to the vast amount of food that is lost and wasted annually – that hidden source of food that can feed up to four billion people, remove extensive carbon emissions, and save an enormous amount of water. He noted that together, we have the opportunity to address that hidden solution.

C014Panel discussions formed part of the Summit’s format once again, encouraging debate.

Lastly, bringing the entire event to fruition in a very compelling way, Appel signed an agreement with Dr Pham Van Tan, deputy director of the Vietnam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest technology (VIAEP), to cooperate on developing the cold chain throughout the country. A fully-developed cold chain will enable Vietnam to overcome many of the agricultural challenges that emerged over the two days of the Summit, dramatically reducing food losses, feeding more people, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and unnecessary water and resource consumption, expanding food exports, and more. This initiative is a fitting development in the evolution of the Summits from inception in London nearly five years ago, and a significant public-private partnership effort on the road to reducing food loss and waste and sustainably feeding 10 billion global citizens by 2050.


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