October 22, 2020: 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.

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

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 on October 21 took part in IATA’s webinar on the industry’s readiness for the transportation of vaccines and life science products lead 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,” said Glyn Hughes, IATA’s global head of cargo. “This MOU between the CCA and IATA formalises an ongoing collaboration between the two organizations with the aim of better assisting the industry in improving the quality of pharmaceutical and perishable consignment handling and transportation.”

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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