Linda Carobbi has witnessed first-hand the huge impact that the Covid crisis has had on the fresh produce business. As corporate director for fresh fruit at Savino Del Bene, the logistics and supply chain specialist based in Florence, Italy, she says has seen a dramatic shift in the way supply lines are managed and the technologies being used.

With capacity tightening and costs rising, the whole business of shipping fruit and veg from point A to point B has become more complicated, more challenging and more costly than ever before.

“There is no doubt that Covid had an impact in the entire global supply chain [that was] maybe never seen before,” she tells Fruitnet’s Chris White in the latest episode of Fruitbox. “It could be negative or positive, depending on the viewpoint, but for sure it was, and is, challenging.”

For Carobbi, the key word appears to be acceleration. Trends that were bubbling under before the pandemic, like a move to online ordering, have been far more pronounced. Similarly, the uptake of new methods of distribution – for example, this involving advanced systems like blockchain – appear to have been fast-tracked by the crisis.

“Covid-19 for sure favoured this digital transformation,” she explains. “Digitalisation has been identified as a tool to improve and facilitate accessibility to ports and terminals, to avoid long queues of trucks waiting to enter or go out from the terminal.”

Hosted by Chris White in London, Fruitbox now attracts a big audience across the global fruit and vegetable business that tunes in every week to hear exclusive interviews and expert analysis. Produced by Fruitnet Media International, the show is essential listening for everyone in the fresh produce industry.

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