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5 Ways To Protect Your Ohio Food Company From Supply Chain Disruption




As an owner or senior executive of a food business, you know that a lean production has become a cornerstone of successful supply chain management.

But you also know that dependence on and relationship with suppliers from outsourcing and minimizing stock creates many risk exposures.

So, successfully trying to navigate a complex supply chain that spans across the region, nation or globe is complicated considering the many factors that can cause supply chain disruption and liability issues.

There are a number of reasons how a key supplier or buyer can become a “disruptor” – from natural disasters to human interface and technical malfunctions (to name a few)… and no matter the reason, the disruption can have a dramatic impact on supply chain partners from both directions.

Let’s say your supply chain spans internationally. And a disruptive event happens in Europe, for example. This could cause a customer service nightmare for your retailers here in the US.

And unfortunately, this type of disruption is happening to the supply chain more often than you may think.

Insurer, Zurich Services Corporation surveyed corporate risk managers and supply chain risk managers – and the results revealed that 74% of respondents experienced a supply chain disruption within a 12 month period.

Not only does disruption affect your top and bottom line, but it also impacts your brand and relinquishes market share.

So what exactly is your liability in the supply chain?

Unfortunately you can be held liable for a supply chain partners’ mistakes. A defective or inherently dangerous product can cause liability issues for its manufacturer, processor, distributor or even retailer – who are collaboratively and jointly responsible.

But here’s the good news…

You can control the risk.

Fortunately, there are risk management strategies and solutions to reduce the risk of being liable.

Here’s 5 ways to ensure that your food company is protected against supply chain disruption.

  1. Choose your suppliers carefully. Consider conducting third-party audits and inspections if possible to ensure that their commitment to business interruption and prevention matches your standards.

  2. Verify that your suppliers have insurance coverage. Remember, a certificate of insurance is evidence of insurance only when the certificate is written, and not at any time after that moment.

  3. Clearly define contract scopes and draft all contracts carefully with legal counsel.

  4. Work with a credible and qualified risk management and insurance professional to understand the extent of your exposure, and create a business interruption worksheet to quantify as accurately as possible the effect these exposures could have on revenue and profit.

  5. Transfer your risk by purchasing appropriate insurance coverage.

Next Step:

Let’s protect your supply chain from disruption.

My name is Pat O’Neill, and I’m a food and agribusiness recall protection specialist here at The O’Neill Group.

I would be happy to work with you to develop supply chain solutions that reduce the risk of disruption, and transfer your risk to an insurance program that is tailored to your specific needs. In addition, I will reach out to your supply chain partners to help minimize supply chain risk from top to bottom.

Call me at (330) 334-1561 or email me at

Click here to visit our Product Recall Insurance page, which includes more information and resources on Food Safety, Compliance, and Risk Management.


This article was adapted from Zywave’s Managing Risk Across the Supply Chain article. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.