As a leader in the industry, we take our responsibility very seriously. And as we respond to growing concerns related to COVID – 19, we wanted to make a public statement explaining how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the spice supply chain. We hope that this blog will offer you clarity on the changes facing the spice supply chain, an action plan for your business, and peace of mind knowing that we are doing everything we can to mitigate risk and impact to our customers and to the industry as a whole.
How is the Spice Supply Chain Affected by COVID?
While almost every supply chain is currently being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, those supply chains that are global and that rely heavily on manual labor are especially affected.
Because the spice industry relies heavily on physical labor – from cultivation, to cleaning and sorting in factories, to packing and exporting, and also relies on global trade, the spice industry has been impacted by COVID-19.
What Factors are Influencing the Spice Supply Chain?
Currently, the spice supply chain is facing challenges. One of the most prominent of these is India’s current lockdown. As one of the largest exporters of spices, this has led to a decrease in global supply and has disrupted the supply chain as a whole.
Other factors that are influencing the spice supply chain include:
- Labor shortages
- Delays at sterilization facilities (due to sterilization priority for medical equipment)
- Transportation / Import delays
- Supply shortages
- Demand surge from the CPG sector
- Spice scarcity in the U.S. market
- Infrastructure interruptions
The overall impact ranges from mild production delays to full lockdowns, depending on the spice and source.
What Does This Mean for You?
If you are wondering how exactly these changes might affect your spice needs, we encourage you to reach out to your spice supplier for details pertaining specifically to your spice needs.
Broadly speaking, there are two main byproducts:
1. Market prices are increasing. Not only has overall supply decreased because of lockdowns or stay-at-home orders in certain regions, demand has increased as well. Market prices for some spices have risen varyingly, depending on the product.
2. You may experience longer shipping times. Product shortages and shipping delays (among other factors) may lead to longer wait times between order and shipment.
How to Order Responsibly During COVID-19
Now that we’ve explained the challenges facing the spice supply chain, we’re eager to provide solutions to these challenges by offering you 5 simple ways to order responsibly during this time.
- Reach out to your sales representative. Before doing anything else, reach out to your spice supplier and sales representative to review your spice needs and discuss potential price changes and delays. They will be fully transparent and help you plan accordingly.
- Plan your budget. Plan ahead so that you know what to expect when you place your next order and talk to your sales rep about product alternative options.
- Order with plenty of lead time. Your sales rep can help you order with the proper amount of lead time so that you receive your orders when you need them.
- Refrain from over-ordering. We understand that this is an uncertain time for everyone and that can lead to panic. The stability of the industry as a whole is reliant on consistent and responsible purchasing during this time. Please continue to place your orders reasonably and without undue concern.
- Order from a reliable spice supplier. In any uncertain time, there will be unscrupulous actors that try to take advantage of the market by selling inferior or even fraudulent products. It’s important, now more than ever, to have a reliable spice supplier and to question suppliers that are selling products under market price.
First and foremost, we want to assure you that we are here for you and are eager to answer any questions you might have. Our standards are always about putting your safety first and without compromise. We do this by:
- Purchasing whole, raw material and processing it in house to ensure our product is high-quality and free of adulterants.
- Supporting our quality-control team. Our dedicated team is working hard to implement quality systems and monitor risk assessment.
- Thoroughly qualifying our suppliers. We do this to ensure safety and product purity.
- Conducting extensive testing. We do this in-house and in accredited testing labs.
- Adhering to GMP’s & HACCP principles
- Insuring Traceability. This means we know where our spices came from and where they’ve been along the spice supply chain.
We hope that this blog clarifies the current state of the spice supply chain and provides you with ways you can take action to protect your business. As always, we encourage you to reach out to your supplier with any additional questions you might have about how these changes may affect your business.
The world is evolving every day. It’s important to stay flexible and stay hopeful – we have faith that this is a temporary disruption, and that we’ll get through it together. We promise to continue to be transparent about future supply chain developments and to be a resource to you as you navigate this challenging time.