U.S. trade tariffs to be imposed on EU food products
The supply of food and drink products that are exported from the EU to the U.S. could be affected when a new 25% tariff increase is imposed on October 18th. The list of products that will have these tariffs enforced on them include an “expansive array of wines, cheeses, produce, meat and seafood” from countries across the EU including France, Spain, Germany, the UK and Ireland.
The implementation of these tariffs could see prices rise for both the products directly affected by the tariffs as well other items in stores and restaurants, according to experts, who believe businesses across the food chain will increase prices “to make up for new costs”.
The effects that these new tariffs will have on prices will vary according to Dean Gold, former buyer for Whole Foods, who says that “large importers will be able to shift the costs of the new tariffs around” by increasing prices of other products or negotiating lower prices with suppliers. However, it is with smaller business where the supply of products maybe affected most, with businesses willing to source products from elsewhere if “people aren’t willing to pay higher prices”.
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Unilever’s plastic reduction pledge
In their global production, Unilever is currently responsible for producing “700,000 tons” of plastic a year, but it has been announced that they plan to “significantly cut plastic usage” by 2025. With measures such as using “fully recyclable or compostable packaging” and packaging that is made of at least 25% recycled plastic, the new strategy outlines how the company aims to half the amount of virgin plastics that they use.
The announcement comes from Unilever’s CEO, Alan Jope, who said in a press release that “radical action” needs to be taken to reduce plastic waste. He continued that Unilever is “committed to ensuring all our plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.”
Alongside this Unilever wants to “to boost investment in waste collection” in plans that will see the company increase its “producer responsibility schemes”. The schemes will see businesses “paying for the collection of its packaging” so it can be reused or recycled.
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Walmart to use blockchain technology
A blockchain pilot project is to be introduced by Walmart to trace the supply of shrimps from Andhra Pradesh, India, to Sam’s Club, a retail warehouse chain owned by Walmart in the U.S. The pilot will be “the first known use of blockchain to track shrimp exports” according to an official statement from Walmart.
Through collaboration with Sandhya Aqua, an Andhra Pradesh based seafood company, and Stanley Pearlman Enterprises, an American retail supplier, Walmart wants “to incorporate the shrimp supply chain to the blockchain-enabled IBM Food Trust”. The IBM Food Trust is a blockchain solution which connects all parties in the supply chain through “a tamper-proof, shared record of food origin, transaction data and processing details”. The project will help “local communities” and “benefit local farmers and producers” according to Walmart’s vice president of corporate affairs, Paul Dyck, who also said that the introduction of blockchain would “help transform the food system”.
With the blockchain project enabling Sam’s Club to “digitize information and share data across a complex supply chain network in a secure manager”, if the pilot is successful, more blockchain technology could be seen across food supply chains.
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Have a great weekend!