The food supply chain was the topic of the latest edition of the Memphis Business Journal‘s weekly Straight Talk webinar series.
Panelists included Rick James, owner of the local Cash Saver grocery stores; Dr. Ernest Nichols, associate professor in the Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management at the University of Memphis; and Mark Pryor, CEO of The Seam, a leading provider of commodities trading and agriculture software solutions. The series is moderated Meagan Nichols, MBJ’s managing editor.
The following is an excerpt from the MBJ:
Nichols said that even slight bumps to the chain can affect the whole industry.
Pryor’s company, The Seam, along with The Food Industry Association (FMI), established the Food Industry Exchange, launched in early May, to address such issues.
“The problem that was needing to be solved is the supply chain disruption,” Pryor said. “We had suppliers with excess capacity because the schools are closed. Restaurants are closed. There [are] no sporting events. There are no events in general, and you’d had perishable products and things like that, and no home for it.
“And then on the flip side, you had retailers like Rick [James] saying that the shelves were getting bare in certain cases because of the run on the stores for various things, and people were stockpiling,” Pryor continued. “So, what was needed was a platform to digitally introduce suppliers — the sellers — with buyers — the wholesalers and retailers that have certain needs. So, it’s actually a two-way marketplace.”