Episode 51: What’s the Trouble with the Food Supply Chain with Barry Friends

By Kelly Barner | February 9, 2022

For the last 2 years, supply chains have rarely not been front page news. And of all the supply chains, the food supply chain has been watched most closely. From labor shortages, to outbreaks at meat packing plants, and even the short-lived cream cheese panic of 2021, consumers now have a heightened awareness of the processes and companies required to stock grocery store shelves and restaurant storerooms.

In this episode of The Sourcing Hero podcast, Host Kelly Barner welcomes Barry Friends. Barry is a food industry strategy professional with a background in distribution.

In fact, in preparing for this interview, Barry and I figured out that we briefly overlapped at the same company in the early 2000s: Ahold USA, a large grocery retailer – and at the time commercial food service provider. Today he is a Partner and Foodservice Distribution Consultant at Pentallect.


In this conversation, Barry gives us a detailed understanding of what’s really going on in the food supply chain, when it started, and what changes we may need to make moving forward:

  • Whether COVID-19 is really the source of the disruption we see in today’s food supply chains
  • Why procurement professionals should be paying more attention to changes in others’ demand instead of just watching our own supply chains
  • The many reasons that suppliers are raising their prices – and if there is anything we can do about it


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