14 February 2023

How load shedding affects the fishing industry

load shedding's effect on the fishing and seafood industry

Load shedding has become a daily occurrence for South Africans, damaging the South African economy with no solution in sight. Businesses have to accept load shedding as the ‘new normal’ while it causes devastating production downtime which is resulting in the loss of business revenue and jobs.

Cold chain challenges

Considered sensitive to temperature fluctuation, seafood requires a high hygiene standard and must remain frozen at a maximum temperature of -18 °C to preserve the integrity of the product.

From the moment seafood products are caught, the cold chain must always be maintained up until the point of food preparation. This strict adherence to the cold chain is not only a requirement for processors and distributors, but also for business selling to the end-user whose ability to keep their product at a stable temperature is severely hampered by continued load shedding.

Operational costs increasing

While trying to manage the ongoing effect of load shedding, we keep our focus on meeting our clients’ demand by sourcing and delivering the products our clients need.

Any additional investment inevitably contributes to increasing operational costs, which we try our best to absorb and control.

As a result of load shedding, we often experience significant delays in obtaining products from our suppliers, such as packaging material, which impacts both the production and delivery of our products.

Some of our suppliers are detrimentally affected as their products are particularly sensitive to temperature fluctuation in the production stage. Such suppliers cannot even operate their production facilities without consistent supply of power as the risk is simply too great.

The additional cost of generators has to be factored into operational costs and in some cases, businesses are investing in solar solutions to free themselves from relying heavily on Eskom-supplied power, which requires a substantial initial investment and is not possible for smaller businesses.

Moreover, restoring the power load after a period of load shedding can cause further instabilities, requiring more regular maintenance and, in some cases, more frequent replacement of equipment.

What we are committing to

Atlantis Foods has already invested and implemented additional resources, such as generators and various energy saving actions, which allow us to keep our products at a stable temperature and to maximise our rate of production. We have generators at all our owned and operated sites, as well as at any external sites where we store products.

We consider our clients our business partners and can ensure you that we will do everything in our power to control costs and to work with you to meet your needs with quality seafood products and the logistical support you need.

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