Morrisons’ plans to recruit more British suppliers highlights supply chain risk, says Cranfield economist


Morrisons’ plans to recruit 200 more British suppliers, following the revelation that only just over half the food eaten in the UK comes from local sources, signals the growing global supply chain risk; partly as a result of 2016’s political changes, and was a significant factor in shortening its supply chain.

John Glen, CIPS economist and director of the Centre for Customised Executive Development at The Cranfield School of Management, said: “The UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump reflect a growing trend of protectionism in the global economy. For this reason alone, supply chain risk is set to increase further in 2017.

“Amidst exchange and commodity volatility, currency hedging will remain vital, while contingency plans must be put in place to protect supply chains from foreseeable trade barriers. Re-shoring supply chains will be an increasingly attractive prospect in the months to come. But, these are uncertain times for supply chain managers and there is no quick fix for the months ahead.

“It is more important than ever for supply chain managers to listen to their suppliers, develop closer relationships with them and to monitor any changes, so they can react quickly and ensure their supply chains remain resilient.”