Supply Chain Issues This Christmas: Dinner Without All the Trimmings?

Aimee Lyttle December 22, 2022

Christmas is almost here and we know you’ve already started thinking about that mouth-watering Christmas dinner; complete with all the festive favorites Turkey, Ham, Gravy and so on. However, this year’s Christmas Day feast might look slightly different as supply chain issues continue to put a squeeze on this year’s holiday celebrations. 

With the holiday season being one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses, ensuring a smooth and efficient supply chain is crucial. A variety of factors can cause disruption and lead to shortages, delays, and other problems. These may include everything from unexpected spikes in demand, delivery strikes and shipping bottlenecks to natural disasters and unexpected changes in supplier availability. As a result, it’s important for organizations and consumers to be prepared for disruptions and have contingency plans in place to minimize the impact.

Tough Time for Turkey

In recent months, we have seen the outbreak of avian flu across the UK, with other confirmed cases in North America and Europe, potentially having an adverse impact on the availability of Turkeys. On average, the UK produces 9 million turkeys each year for Christmas and within the last month alone we have seen 2.5 million farmed birds culled as a result of bird flu.

If this outbreak gets worse or occurs in a major turkey-producing region, it can lead to a reduction in the supply of turkeys, as well as an increase in the price of the bird. In severe cases, governments may even ban the movement of live poultry to prevent the spread of the virus. This will cause difficulties for retailers and consumers trying to secure turkeys for the holiday season. It’s important for those in the poultry industry to take steps to prevent the spread of avian flu, such as implementing biosecurity measures and monitoring for signs of the virus.

However, Poultry farms have been battling supply chain issues since 2019. With demand far outweighing supply, this year’s additional pressures on turkey farms will likely lead many people to rethink their holiday spending. Whether that be cutting spending elsewhere to allow for the increased price of the bird or simply opting for something else to complete their Christmas plate.

Supply In A Jam

As well as turkey, the supply of cranberry sauce has not gone unaffected by the events of 2022. This year, America experienced unusual weather conditions. Repeated heatwaves have caused severe drought conditions resulting in inconsistent growing systems. Due to this, it has been estimated cranberries will increase in price by 25-35%, and with labor costs also at an all time high, it is likely many manufacturers producing cranberry sauce will be forced to drive up their prices too.

Spreading The Butter Thin

Christmas for many means spending time at home with family, baking and indulging in sweet treats but this can’t be done without one main ingredient, Butter!

The outbreak of conflict in Ukraine has had a massive impact on the cost of many essential products. The region is responsible for over a third of the world’s wheat exports. For cattle farmers, the cost of grain and feedstock is reaching record highs. Lower supply and soaring prices have forced many dairy farms to reduce their herds. With less milk in supply, dairy products, including butter, have inadvertently become expensive causing many to cut back.

Is Beer Supply Going Flat?

Sharing drinks with friends and family is a common theme at Christmas. So if beer is your festive beverage of choice, you may want to budget more towards spreading Christmas cheer this year. Over the past few months, breweries across the UK, North America and New Zealand have been reporting a struggle in sourcing CO2 as a result of supply chain issues. CO2 is used to carbonate beer, so given its short supply, Forbes predicts that a beer shortage is on the way.

Christmas Isn’t Canceled

While supply chain issues are a common theme across most industries at the moment, with the right toolset you can be well equipped for these types of unpredictabilities, dedicated to keeping the supply chain (and the Christmas spirit) alive. 

After the pandemic-induced chaos that unfolded, and the overwhelming realization that we never really know what could happen next, many organizations moved towards implementing modern supply chain management software, such as AuditComply. Assisted by technology, these systems have allowed for much better oversight across supply chains. It is important to regularly communicate with suppliers and logistics partners to stay informed about potential risks and disruptions. By monitoring supply chain risk and being proactive in addressing potential issues, businesses can ensure that they are able to meet the needs of their customers during the Christmas season.

Predicting Supply Chain Disruption With AuditComply

AuditComply aims to lift the supply chain visibility barrier with an end-to-end supplier management solution. Implementing a Risk-Based Audit approach to proactively assess, identify, manage and predict supplier disruption in real time. Automating your approach to supply chain management and ensuring success in the age of global uncertainty. 

To learn more about how AuditComply can guide & evolve your Supply Chain Management program, request a demo here.

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