An overview of resilience factors in food supply chains

Food supply chains face a number of unique vulnerabilities compared to other supply chains and there is concern that, as operating environment volatility increases, current “lean” supply chain management strategies may no longer be fit for purpose. There is a need to manage food supply chains in such a way that a return to the original state, or preferably an improved state, after being disturbed is possible. However, whilst the literature reveals a relatively large amount of work on resilience in supply chain management, there is poor consensus over how to define and implement a system of resilience, particularly one which takes into account food specific vulnerabilities. In response, this paper explores the current complexity of food supply chains, highlighting key dependencies, failure modes and key performance indicators. It then examines the interdependencies between capabilities and vulnerabilities in allowing balanced resilience and presents a framework to bring together and aid understanding of these factors across food supply chains.