Many commodities have recently risen sharply in price, and this obviously has serious consequences for the food service industry, which has to adjust to a new reality.
These four factors are at the root of the current inflation rate:
Companies and households, but also producers and suppliers - everyone is affected by cost increases. The food service industry is particularly affected. While food and packaging inflation is rising daily, there is great concern about the longer-term consequences of the global shortage of fertilisers (of which Russia is one of the world's largest suppliers). Virtually all the world's major crops depend on nutrients such as potash and nitrogen. Without a steady flow of these, farmers will produce less, with lower yields, exacerbating global food challenges.
The Corona crisis
Over the past two years, COVID has disrupted workforces, supply chains and production in every market in the world. Demand outstripped supply, and inflation accelerated as a result. Although many countries have begun to ease restrictive measures as economies have recovered (with China being a major exception, where large-scale lockdowns have resumed in recent weeks), food and labour inflation is expected to persist even after the ongoing COVID corrections.
From droughts that paralyse wheat in North America and frosts that damage coffee in Brazil to floods that reduce potato yields in Europe, climate-related extreme weather events continue to plague farmers' harvests, raising food prices and ultimately hitting consumers' wallets.
According to a recent report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), extreme weather events will worsen as man-made global warming further impacts agricultural yields worldwide.
THE WAR IN UKRAINE
Before the war in Ukraine, inflation was expected to peak in 2022. Now, however, the effects of the conflict and the ongoing sanctions against Russia will be even greater and felt over a longer period, pushing up the prices of everything from gas and petrol to fertiliser, wheat, sunflower oil and fish for years to come. Although inflation indicators are currently lagging, experts predict that food inflation will rise to more than 10% this year as a result of the crisis in Ukraine.
Like every organisation and household around the world, Compass is affected. Working with local and international supply chain partners, we are doing all we can as a business to limit the impact of inflation on our clients.
These are some of the strategies we are currently employing to achieve this:
- Sourcing more products locally and in season to control costs.
- Making long-term agreements with suppliers to cap and fix prices.
- Improve menu engineering by adjusting menus to maintain the best price with more plant-based meals.
- Manage waste and portions to reduce expenditure.