Made in USA: Retail giant sets the trend
Following a deadly fire at a supplier’s Bangladeshi factory which killed 112 people; Wal-Mart’s reputation went up in flames as the media criticized the international retail chain for exploiting cheap labor. However, in a bid to improve its supply chain policies, the retail giant has announced this week plans to increase the number of American based suppliers within its supply network. Through increasing the number of products sourced from local suppliers, Walmart aims to move production closer to the point of sale in order to respond more readily to the latest trends and fashions. According to the Business Upstart Journal, by 2020 Wal-Mart will source $50 billion worth of clothing, sports and furniture products from local suppliers. This is a huge step forward for the American retail industry and it could be interesting to see how other outlets respond to this supply chain shake-up.
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UK public left with food for thought as food crisis bites
This year an exceptionally cold winter has left many European countries fighting over scraps as a poor harvest has left food stocks dwindling. The UK in particular has been left dangerously exposed to the supply shortages as climate change, economic pressure and a thriving global population drive up the price of produce. However, an article featured in the Telegraph highlights some interesting approaches to curb problems impacting the supply of food.
One of the main ideas suggested is to get the public more involved in in the food supply chain through growing more of our own food at home. While for the vast majority achieving complete self-sufficiency is perhaps unrealistic, growing at least a small amount of the food we eat could go a long way in achieving a more resilient food supply chain.
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Water issues wash away billions every year
An article released this week highlights the growing concern over China’s water supplies. Although often overlooked, water is a critical component for many supply chains and shortages have already forced numerous Chinese factories to shut down and many more to relocate. In total, it is thought the disruption caused by droughts, floods and water pollution costs businesses around $28 billion every year. However, this is not the first time the nation’s water supply has been in the spotlight. In March over 6000 animal carcasses were discovered floating down a Shanghai river.
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Have a nice weekend!