Let’s Talk Turkey… Turkey Logistics, That Is!
Thanksgiving day is nearly here. It’s a great time to celebrate with friends, family and, of course, food. If you’ve ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner at your place, you know it can be a headache to orchestrate a symphony of side dishes and store runs. But, have you ever wondered how the turkey gets to your table? The turkey industry is a great example of how an expertly coordinated supply chain can create holiday magic!
Let’s Talk Turkey
Thanksgiving poses an interesting logistics challenge: millions of people want the exact same product, ready on the exact same day. Turns out, there are people, processes and technology behind turkey, too! From the farm to the grocery store, the combined power of logistics, transportation and #SupplyChainGeeks across the country ensures that your Thanksgiving dinner will leave you stuffed.
While you’re busy celebrating Easter, or perhaps taking an early summer beach trip, Turkey Day preparations are already underway on the farm, where it all begins with an egg. Producers ensure that a sufficient amount of eggs are laid in the warmer months so that there will be enough turkeys to prepare come fall.
Frozen turkeys account for about 90% of Thanksgiving sales, which helps because they can be prepped and stocked further in advance than fresh meat. They require storage in temperature-controlled warehouses and processing facilities, more important parts of the supply chain.
Just four states––Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri––are responsible for the majority of turkey production in the US. Their turkeys are distributed around the country, thanks to the work of logistics operators and transport carriers.
Did you know that Americans spend more than $1 billion on turkeys for Thanksgiving each year? In order to ensure an adequate supply for shoppers to gobble up, retailers will start prepping up to 6 months in advance for the holiday. Stores can begin to stock frozen turkeys, which have a long shelf life, much earlier than fresh birds.
Fresh turkey has only a 21 day shelf life, so they need to arrive in grocery store aisles just in the nick of time. This requires an intricate, quickly-moving feat of logistics so that the fresh produce doesn’t spoil during transport. Learn more about food safety and the cold chain here.
Large-scale turkey producers, like Butterball, Jennie-O, and Perdue also look to the possibilities of logistics and blockchain to share information with the consumer about their product. Jennie-O turkeys come affixed with a label that allows the consumer to search a code on their website to discover more about where their main course has originated from––down to the name of the farm!
This year, while you and your family are giving thanks around the table, let’s take a moment to appreciate the #SupplyChainGeeks who made it happen!
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Want more Thanksgiving Fun?
Check out our Thanksgiving-themed coloring page for a nice activity for your little #SupplyChainGeek in training.
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