Cool Chain Assn, IATA sign MoU as world awaits vaccine

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The Cool Chain Association (CCA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) supporting the drive for the safe, sustainable transport of perishables and pharmaceuticals.

CCA and IATA have joined forces as part of a common goal to improve the quality of the temperature-controlled supply chain by sharing feedback, experiences, knowledge, and best practice.

They also plan to develop common work programmes, including temporary task forces and round tables, for specific initiatives such as the transport of vaccines and life science products. The initiative comes as the world awaits the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines.

(l-r) Andrea Gruber and Nicola Caristo.

“Both CCA and IATA have a common interest in ensuring the secure handling and transport of perishables and pharmaceuticals by means of robust standards,” says Nicola Caristo, CCA secretary general and airline partner manager, SkyCell AG.

“Through this agreement we are establishing a formal basis of collaboration to better assist the global industry to improve, as well as increasing sustainability and reducing waste.

“We will be working together to promote the implementation of methodologies and quality criteria such as the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Fresh and Pharma programmes,” Caristo adds.

The initiative will see representatives of both organisations attending each other’s industry meetings as observers, to present best practice and communicate the results of ongoing projects such as the CCA’s data sharing trials.

As a first step, CCA yesterday took part in IATA’s 21 October webinar on the industry’s readiness for the transportation of vaccines and life science products led by Andrea Gruber, IATA head of Special Cargo.

“Air cargo has been critical throughout this crisis in supporting medical staff on the front line fighting COVID-19 whilst ensuring that global supply chains are maintained for the most time-sensitive products including medical and food supplies,” says Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo.

“With these experiences it is evident that collaboration and alignment with industry initiatives are key elements that will transform the future of our industry.

“This MOU between the CCA and IATA formalizes an ongoing collaboration between the two organisations with the aim of better assisting the industry in improving the quality of pharmaceutical and perishable consignment handling and transportation.”

CCA aims to reduce wastage and improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the temperature-sensitive supply chain by enabling collaboration and encouraging innovation among its members.

CCA members are planning a new series of data sharing tests, under a project called the LAX Initiative, to monitor perishable shipments on global trade lanes in a bid to improve supply chain management and reduce food loss.

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