McDonald’s restricts use of antibiotics in its beef supply chain
People are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of overusing antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance; however, do we consider the presence of medical antibiotics in our food? Antibiotics are commonly used in animal agriculture to prevent the spread of disease and to promote livestock growth. According to the PEW Charitable Trusts, about 70 % of all antibiotics in the US are used in the animal agricultural sector.
This week leading fast-food chain McDonald’s made a commitment to restrict the use of medical antibiotics in its beef supply chain. The company intends to measure the use of antibiotics in the supply chains of its 10 biggest markets, which account for 85% of its global beef supply. Based on its findings, the company will set targets in 2020, which it will then enforce on suppliers by 2022. McDonald’s is the largest single global purchaser of beef and this move is hugely important for the chain restaurant industry, as it will pressure rivals to pursue similar policies. The chain has already phased out medically important antibiotics from its chicken supply chain, spurring a chain reaction amongst rivals due to its sizeable influence on farming practices. But removing antibiotics from the beef supply chain may prove to be more difficult because the animals have a much higher average lifespan than chickens and thus more chances of falling ill.
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Amazon sets new penalty fees for sellers that don’t meet package safety standards
According to a CNBC report, Amazon recently sent an email to its third-party sellers, informing them that it will be introducing penalty fees for shipped packages that don’t meet Amazon’s safety requirements. Amazon has rules in place to make sure packages with hazardous products, such as aerosol products and electrical goods containing rechargeable batteries, comply with US federal regulations.
These “unplanned services” fees should help Amazon to reduce warehouse clutter and hopefully reduce the number of hazardous material safety violations. Amazon has seen a significant increase in reported incidents of shipments that violate the US Department of Transportation’s regulations. This year, the number of incident reports reached 42, compared to just 2 reports in 2009. There have been multiple cases of undeclared aerosols and some of the most recent leakages included a gasoline leak and a leak from a punctured bear repellent container. Most consultants and merchants have been supportive of the fees, despite concerns over lack of clarity and the company’s past record of falsely charging sellers. All in all, the new fees should help speed up Amazon’s warehouse operations.
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Company successfully pilots oil blockchain
The Abu Dhabi National Company (ADONC)-a leading state-owned oil company in the UAE- has announced that its oil blockchain pilot with IBM has been a success. The blockchain “could be the first application of blockchain in oil and gas production accounting” and it will be used to track, validate and execute transactions at every stage along the value chain. The company also hopes to embed the blockchain with other advanced technologies, such as Artificial intelligence, for enhanced operational efficiency.
UAE is a world leader in oil and natural gas production. The ADONC currently has a daily output of around 3 million barrels of oil and 9.8 cubic feet of raw gas. IBM claims that this platform will enable it to track “every molecule of oil, and its value, from well to customer”. The operating costs will consequently be reduced, helping to sustain the firm’s value in the long-term and making it an attractive investment, particularly as oil prices are expected to rise in 2019.
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Have a nice weekend.