In 2016, QProducts and Services launched the Cold Chain Council, an annual industry gathering comprised of various stakeholders—manufacturers, retailers, distributors, logistics providers, academics and others—to discuss challenges and best practices related to the cold chain, both for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, as well as the combined food and beverage industry.
Food Logistics has partnered with QProducts for the food and beverage event since its inception. This year, I worked closely with QProducts on the program and speakers, and will moderate during the event on Monday, June 25, in Chicago.
The format and venue for the Cold Chain Council fits the need for an intimate, one-day event where executives can interact, share best practices, “and walk away with new opportunities to improve their cold chain,” explains Kevin Lynch, QProducts’ director of food and beverage. “The Cold Chain Council provides a valuable experience for professionals who might not have time on their calendar to attend multi-day conferences, or simply don’t have room in their budget to fund another industry event.”
The Cold Chain Council takes place over an afternoon in order to accommodate busy schedules, he adds. “Another distinction is limiting the number of attendees, which helps folks feel comfortable having a conversation and asking questions.”
Aside from limiting the number of attendees, there is no registration fee, and QProducts generously hosts a fun networking reception on the Chicago River following the event. “This allows attendees to continue conversations and form new relationships,” says Lynch.
Delivering Fresh Content
Last year’s Cold Chain Council had an all-star list of presenters, including executives from Walmart, C.H. Robinson, Minhas Craft Brewery, Reinhart Food Service and CN Rail. This year’s presenters and sessions also promise to inspire and engage attendees.
Dr. Mary Holcomb, professor of supply chain management at the University of Tennessee, will kick off the program with an overview of the current cold chain sector, particularly from a food and beverage transportation angle.
The next session is entitled, “Foresight is 20/20: How technology is being used to quantify temperature risk and guide accurate transportation decisions.” Matt Wensing, CEO of Riskpulse, will join several other panelists to explore how new software and tech tools can determine actual temperature risk, and how “knowing what’s ahead” is changing the game for shippers and transportation providers.
The third panel on “Distribution Best Practices” brings together Terrence Bro, director of sales for hire cartage at SpartanNash, John Sommavilla, CEO of Shoreline Fruit, and others as they share information on optimizing transportation strategies and tactics in the food distribution sector.
The program concludes with “A Holistic Approach to Maintaining Cold Chain Integrity,” with panelists Don Durm, vice president, customer solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing; Melanie Nuce, senior vice president, corporate development, GS1 US; and Sherea Dillon, acting director of compliance with the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs, Chicago District.
Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act will be a central theme of this final session, which will also include an exciting discussion on blockchain and how this technology can take visibility and compliance to new levels throughout the global food and beverage chain.
For more information, visit www.coldchaincouncil.com.