DIGI­TIS­ING A HALAL SUP­PLY CHAIN

Logistics Middle East - - COVER -

BRF OneFoods has in­vested sig­nil­cantly in digi­tis­ing its sup­ply chain in the Mid­dle East, and by de­fault has en­hanced the efl­ciency of the 3PL part­ners with which it works in the 42 halal mar­kets in which it op­er­ates.

BRF OneFoods, a sub­sidiary of BRF in Brazil fo­cus­ing on all global halal food mar­kets, is one of the largest food pro­duc­ers in Brazil and has es­tab­lished a strong foothold in the Mid­dle East mar­ket with its Sa­dia brand, which ac­counts for roughly a third of the multi­na­tional’s to­tal ex­ports.

It pro­duces most of its goods in Brazil, ex­port­ing to the 42 halal mar­kets in which its Sa­dia and other brands are sold. There are nine fac­to­ries in Brazil, three in Turkey, one in Malaysia and one in Abu Dhabi.

The US$160 mil­lion fa­cil­ity pro­duces 70,000 tonnes of frozen foods an­nu­ally for BRF OneFood’s FPP (food pro­cess­ing prod­ucts). These in­clude ev­ery­thing from

Sa­dia’s chicken nuggets to its beef burger pat­ties. Across the GCC and in Turkey and Malaysia BRF OneFoods over­sees con­trol of its sup­ply chain, through which it through­puts ap­prox­i­mately 3 mil­lion tons of food an­nu­ally.

“BRF OneFoods con­trols the qual­ity of all its prod­ucts through ver­ti­cal in­te­gra­tion of the full sup­ply chain in­clud­ing ded­i­cated farms, pri­vately owned feed mills, grain stor­age fa­cil­i­ties, hatch­eries, slaugh­ter­houses and dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres,” says Walid El Hajj, re­gional lo­gis­tics man­ager for BRF OneFoods, in the MENASAT re­gion. “The ma­jor­ity of our in­dus­trial units are lo­cated in Brazil, re­gion­ally we have pro­cess­ing fac­to­ries in the UAE at Khal­ifa In­dus­trial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) and in Malaysia, as well as five pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties in Turkey.”

BRF OneFoods has sev­eral man­age­ment tools that en­able it to work ef­fi­ciently while main­tain­ing high qual­ity stan­dards. “To give an ex­am­ple, we have re­cently in­tro­duced two Global Pro­grams

al­ready run­ning in Brazil; the Lo­gis­tics Ex­cel­lence pro­gram and the Sup­plier In­te­gra­tion pro­gram,” says El Hajj. “Through this, we have cre­ated an ed­u­ca­tional course for the de­liv­ery staff called ‘Mo­torista’, which aims to train our 3PL driv­ers on our busi­ness model and our dig­i­tal sys­tems.”

“Our aim with these pro­grams is to help the driv­ers in­te­grate into our cul­ture to man­age our cus­tomers and our prod­ucts with high level of ser­vice, qual­ity and safety,” he ex­plains. “We have in­tro­duced a qual­i­fi­ca­tion met­ric for truck driv­ers so we can eval­u­ate their per­for­mance as­sess their driv­ing qual­ity and de­velop their ca­reer path.” This pro­gram has been rolled out to all its 3PL part­ners in the GCC mar­kets.

“Our strat­egy is to serve our client within 12 hours of all or­ders across GCC, Malaysia and Turkey. As for the re­main­ing mar­kets, we ex­port di­rectly from our fac­to­ries to our dis­trib­u­tors”, ex­plains El Hajj.

This is what El Hajj means when he says that BRF One-

Foods re­tains full con­trol over its sup­ply chain in the GCC: “We have a pro­pri­etary in­tel­li­gence plat­form that en­ables us to track every ship­ment live. From this plat­form we can see every prod­uct from every 3PL be­ing de­liv­ered to each cus­tomer,” he ex­plains.

“Every driver has a mo­bile work plan that records lo­ca­tion, pro­gres­sion and de­liv­er­ies, and every truck also has telem­at­ics equip­ment that tracks the tem­per­a­tures and driv­ers’ be­hav­iour,” he con­tin­ues.

“This sys­tem was put in place a year ago; how­ever, we started de­vel­op­ing it three years ago. We’re one of the first food com­pa­nies in the re­gion that is us­ing such a sys­tem,” El Hajj adds. “It had an im­me­di­ate im­pact on our op­er­a­tions, in­creas­ing on-time de­liv­er­ies and sig­nif­i­cantly re­duc­ing costs. It al­lows us to not only take im­me­di­ate ac­tion if there’s a prob­lem, but it also gives us the ca­pa­bil­ity to be proac­tive.”

BRF OneFoods works with its 3PL to help them adapt this sys­tem into their op­er­a­tions. In fact, all ware­houses in the key mar­kets with ‘own dis­tri­bu­tion’ have been de­vel­oped and built around the needs of BRF OneFoods and its stan­dards. Through this close re­la­tion­ship, the 3PLs have helped BRF OneFoods set it­self apart in the mar­ket. “We are one of the few poul­try com­pa­nies in this re­gion to fully con­trol the pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion of our prod­ucts from farm to fork so that we can guar­an­tee our cus­tomers that our prod­ucts meet the high­est stan­dards of qual­ity from start to end,” says El Hajj.

While BRF OneFoods is one of the

first food com­pa­nies to be do­ing this in the re­gion, El Hajj sees the prac­tise catch­ing on fast due to the ben­e­fits that it pro­vides. “Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is the most sig­nif­i­cant trend im­pact­ing food lo­gis­tics world­wide and there is no doubt that the re­gion is fol­low­ing the global move­ment,” he says. “At BRF OneFoods we have al­ready im­ple­mented a dig­i­tal plat­form to fully dig­i­talise our sup­ply chain in the re­gion. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of this tool has en­abled the com­pany to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, op­er­ate in a greener way as well as up­hold strict safety stan­dards.”

El Hajj also pre­dicts that blockchain will play an in­creas­ingly large role in the re­gion. “We have in fact al­ready started a pi­lot pro­gram in Brazil that makes use of the tech­nol­ogy. Through this tech­nol­ogy, we aim to im­prove food trace­abil­ity and en­sure higher lev­els of trans­parency,” he adds. This is es­sen­tial given the na­ture of the lo­cal mar­kets in which BRF OneFoods is op­er­at­ing.

“Every coun­try has its own unique set of rules and reg­u­la­tions, but the mar­ket is mov­ing to­wards more trans­parency and gov­ern­ments are look­ing to pro­tect the con­sumers by in­creas­ing the trace­abil­ity of the re­gion’s food prod­ucts, so that con­sumers can fol­low the jour­ney of their food from farm to fork and fully un­der­stand what hap­pens every step of the way,” says El Hajj.

And through its sup­ply chain in­te­gra­tion and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion; BRF is able to fully com­ply with these di­verse reg­u­la­tions, and the grow­ing im­por­tance of trace­abil­ity.

“As we are fully in­te­grated from farm to fork, we have the abil­ity to cus­tom­ize any process,” he ex­plains. “There­fore, our pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion pro­cesses are de­vel­oped with full com­pli­ance as per the coun­tries’ reg­u­la­tions and cus­tomers’ and con­sumers’ re­quire­ments.”

Walid El Hajj, re­gional lo­gis­tics man­ager for BRF OneFoods, MENASAT re­gion.

The in­tel­li­gent plat­form is housed in the ‘con­trol cen­tre’ at BRF OneFoods’ re­gional hub in Dubai.

Through its in­tel­li­gent plat­form, BRF OneFoods can live-track every ship­ment aboard every truck across the re­gion.

Sa­dia is BRF OneFoods’ most pop­u­lar brand in the Mid­dle East.

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GSL han­dles lo­gis­tics for BRF OneFoods across the UAE.

BRF OneFoods has eight cold store cham­bers at the GSL fa­cil­ity in Dubai.

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