Do you really want to know what’s in your food??…
In light of an article released this week, it seems the discovery of horse meat in beef products should be the least of our worries. From traces of arsenic in beer to rodent hair in chocolate, disgusting additives have become staple ingredients in many things we eat and drink. However, if the thought of unintentionally consuming poisonous chemicals has not already turned your stomach, the government’s lax approach towards edible infidelities certainly will.
According to the article, the American food and drug association (FDA) have deemed a number of unwelcomed ingredients as “unavoidable defects”. While some of these ingredients are listed on food packaging, many are not, as the FDA allows manufacturers to legally produce products with traces of foreign materials. For example, this means for 100g of chocolate, consumers may find up to one rodent hair while in the average jar of peanut butter there could be as many as 5.
As the horse meat scandal galloped across Europe, numerous calls were made to increase transparency across the food supply chain. However, perhaps the industry should completely review how manufacturers are regulated.
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More tragic events cloud international supply chain operations
Two further supply chain disasters were in the news again this week. These events come in the wake of a collapsed Bangladeshi building which housed five garment factories. Over 1,100 workers died in this incident. According to a story run by the Guardian, a Coca-Cola factory in India caught fire this week which caused extensive damage to the surrounding area as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze. According to the report, such fires are relatively common in India as proper safety precautions are not regularly applied. A second event reported by the Huffington Post involves yet another collapsed building, this time in Cambodia. Initial reports point to a total of two deaths with seven people still reported as missing.
These events prove that the collapsed building incident in Bangladesh is not a local problem and that companies all over the world are sacrificing safety in order to drive down supply chain costs.
Alliance boots stomps into new markets
Following a difficult period for high street retailers, reports suggest pharmacy giant Alliance Boots has suffered a 2.6% drop in revenue as the poor demand plagues sales across key UK markets. Although profits were slightly lifted as supermarket Walgreens started retailing ranges of Alliance boots products across America, the retailer has this week announced ambitious expansion plans in order to remedy its revenue woes.
According to the Guardian, the retailer plans to further expand its pharmaceutical operations across China as well as entering new South American markets. At present, the retail group has established operations across 19 of China’s provinces; however the expansion could see the pharmacy expand into all 34 provinces. Given that in the last year alone, UK high streets have endured a 3% fall in shoppers, it will be interesting to see how other retailer’s tackle falling demand.
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