Catch Me if You Can: High Liner Foods Manny Alves on How the Cold Chain Food Landscape Just Keeps Getting Quicker
Manny Alves, Manager of Quality Development and Aquaculture Procurement at High Liner Foods, speaks to Andrea Charles from Cold Chain IQ about the trends he is witnessing in the temperature-controlled logistics of food products, overcoming key quality challenges and what steps companies can take increase food safety.
Cold Chain IQ: Over the past decade the food safety landscape has undergone tremendous change. What trends are you witnessing in the temperature-controlled logistics of food products?
M Alves: We definitely, one, are seeing faster transit times. Things are moving a lot quicker in today's environment and today's business and it's a plus-plus for everybody. There are a lot of improvements with energy-efficient temperature control units and logistics in terms of the technology of used equipment with automated temperature alerts and automatic data tracking. So, there are a lot of these improvements occurring within the food industry and it's helping our industry tremendously.
Cold Chain IQ: The dynamics of the food system are changing all the time. What are some of the key quality challenges for ensuring the quality of frozen seafood and minimising risk?
M Alves: Time and temperature are critical elements for the food safety and the food quality of frozen seafood and to ensure the quality, we need to ensure stable temperature controls throughout all the touchpoints, not just within the cycle of transit but also the touchpoints of loading and unloading, logistics distribution. So, it's important that temperature and time are adequately controlled to ensure that there is minimum fluctuations that can start to deteriorate the quality of the product, not so much in terms of food safety, that it will cause harm or deteriorate decomposed product but just the texture and flavour and odour of these sensitive products.
Cold Chain IQ: In your opinion what steps can we take to increase food safety across the entire supply chain and implement the latest standards and procedures?
M Alves: There are various steps that can be taken but transparency I feel is very critical. We're all in a very competitive market. We all do invest a lot of time and energy to adequately source from the proper suppliers but I feel transparency is definitely an area that helps our standards and procedures, that we know exactly how our seafood products are being handled, the time it takes to load, in terms of food security that there's proper channels overlooking and ensuring that the proper people are handling the seafood and that the proper seals are being used. So, those are some of the steps that are being taken. An industry that recognises audit certification systems also, that our industry comes together for unified certification systems for food safety.
Cold Chain IQ: How do you keep up-to-date with the latest regulations?
M Alves: I keep up-to-date with the latest regulations by networking with industry experts, reputable media blasts and media reading and seminars and conferences that tie to the networking of the industry experts. They're the ones that drive the change in the industry. They are the leaders in the industry. It's important that we not only learn from them but participate and that we ourselves become leaders in the industry to continue the growth and the outlook.
Cold Chain IQ: I understand you're going to be speaking at the Cold Chain Food Logistics Summit taking place 6 - 8 November in Chicago, Illinois. Why are events like this so important to the industry and what do you have to gain by attending?
M Alves: I'm hoping to attend for the newest and latest technology and what's coming down the line, from the industry experts, from the industry leaders gain knowledge of what the leaders are doing, how we're preparing, how we can improve the current systems and be innovative. This is a good way to network with these industry leaders and take away from there information that we can quickly implement into our own systems, into our own companies.
Cold Chain IQ: What are your predictions for cold chain food logistics in the next three to five years?
M Alves: I think with the increasing technology and the media it's just going to continue to move faster and faster. I think it's a good thing. We're going to be able to control the logistic part of it better. We're going to be able to implement better solutions and better procedures that we can drive our systems, become more efficient, more energy-efficient in how we drive our logistics.
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