Local supply chains a strength says Coca-Cola boss

24 April 2020

Coca-Cola has experienced challenges in moving ingredients across borders during the coronavirus pandemic but its local supply chain has proven beneficial. 

James Quincey, chief executive of Coca-Cola told investors there had been challenges in terms of logistics but the company was very focused on adapting its supply chain.

He said: “There's been a lot of pressure at the borders, whether it's the province borders in some countries or country-to-country borders in other parts of the world, moving some of the ingredients that are basically shipped around the world.”

In certain locations, delivery drivers were changed at borders to avoid delays caused by mandatory health screening of people crossing border check points. However, once ingredients are transported to the required country, all of the beverages are made locally.

He said: “The drinks in the US are made in US. The drinks in Germany are made in Germany. The drinks in Kenya are made in Kenya. 

“So the local supply chain is able to work, designated as part of the food system, so an essential service, to allow to run the production systems and distribution. We’ve had some issues on timing of ingredients but those are much better than they were a few weeks ago."

Although there had been some shutdowns, production facilities, such as the concentrate plants and bottling facilities were largely running, and the company had made adaptations to ensure safety and security of workers. 

“Generally speaking, we’ve been able to adapt and it’s a great strength of having ultimately a local supply chain in each country. 

“There are some parts of the supply chain that are running 24/7 and there are some parts, like the fountain supply, that are much more low utilisation. And we’ll have to manage through that as we see how these graduated reopenings start to take place in the coming months and quarters.”

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