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Consumer Brands Association introduces Critical Infrastructure Supply Chain Council

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In an effort to address long- and short-term supply chain challenges and weaknesses, the Arlington, Va.-based Consumer Brands Association (CBA) has rolled out a new entity, entitled the Critical Infrastructure Supply Chain Council (CISCC), which is comprised of 35 trade associations.

The CBA said that the objective of the CISCC is to advance uniform national policies that will strengthen United States supply chains and also ensure the timely flow of critical goods in three key ways, including:

  • sharing information with federal, state and local officials regarding the importance and operations of critical supply chains, as well as provide recommendations and suggested best practices;
  • leveraging the experience and resources of its members to engage federal, state and local governments to find solutions when there are potential breakdowns; and
  • serving as a forum across industries to anticipate, spotlight and address future supply chain challenges

And CBA officials added that “the coronavirus pandemic highlights the vast, complex networks involved in getting products to store shelves,” noting that Consumer Brands research shows it has caused production volume to increase across the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, yet 85 percent of CPG companies remain concerned about their ability to meet consumer demand.

“The coronavirus has brought our country’s supply chains to life for consumers and policymakers, demonstrating what can happen when even just a small component of these complex networks is interrupted,” said Consumer Brands Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Bryan Zumwalt in a statement. “The way we do business will inevitably evolve, and it’s the Council’s goal to ensure these issues are on the forefront of lawmakers’ minds, instead of an afterthought.”

Zumwalt said in an interview the CISCC has been working together for more than a month, with an initial focus on driving uniform adoption of the DHS CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) guidance across the states.

“We are now focused on coordinating resources on additional supply chain challenges going forward,” he explained.

When asked what the biggest supply chain-related benefits of the CISCC for its trade associations’ members, Zumwalt pointed to how by being able to join the CISCC’s efforts it can magnify its message and coordinate reach across the states in ways organizations could not do alone. 

“Each organization has unique insights from their position within the supply chain, contributing to more robust and comprehensive recommendations,” he said. “CPG companies are working around the clock to meet consumer demand but supply chain problem-solving doesn’t occur in a vacuum – it’s deeply shaped and influenced by government policy, regulation and support. The Council is equipped to surface national challenges and pinpoint unintended consequences of government action, and to make policy recommendations about ways to improve supply chain resiliency and competitiveness.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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