Grocery Industries Pandemic Planning Seminar 2009
Maintaining food supply during an emergency is an absolutely essential requirement for community wellbeing.
On March 4, 2009, The Grocery Industry Council of New Zealand convened a seminar in Auckland for companies within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector to reassess current pandemic plans and, with the assistance of the National Emergency Management Agency staff, to broaden their focus to include all hazards. Around 60 representatives from over 40 FMCG companies (including Foodstuffs, Progressive, Frucor Beverages, and Sanitarium) attended the half-day seminar.
Steve Newton, chair of the Australian Retailer Action Working Group (RAWG) and Metcash Limited’s representative on the Australian Food Chain Infrastructure Assurance Advisory Group (IAAG), presented on developments in FMCG pandemic planning in Australia, including significant changes to the emergency supply chain model. The National Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Advisors Mark Constable and Ian Wilson outlined the New Zealand hazardscape and the expectations of government with regard to continuity of FMCG operations.
The seminar generated significant interest and self-reflection on the currency of organisational business continuity plans and the need to integrate across the FMCG sector as well as with regional CDEM Group Plans.
The draft CDEM Support for Pandemic Response Contingency Plan states that the FMCG sector is responsible for its own continuation of business and that the CDEM sector is to facilitate support of this. This support is comparable with the support Groups are expected to provide to lifeline utilities regardless of the hazard. Risk reduction, readiness, response and recovery activities undertaken by CDEM Groups should compliment, assist and support FMCG sector activities by capitalising on the sector’s current planning and normal business arrangements.