Autonomous driving to boost sensor-component supply chain
Autonomous driving is quickly catching on, indicating that suppliers as well as their Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) are set to reap the benefits within the next few years. Sales of radars, infrared, and ultrasonic sensors are predicted to skyrocket from approximately $742 million worldwide to an eye-opening $1.1 billion per year in 2020 according to IHS Automotive.
Egil Juliussen, a principal analyst for IHS Automotive said that “there will be many new growth opportunities”. The Mercedes S-Class, with the most advanced autonomous driving features available on the market today, has a total of 36 driving technologies such as “collision prevention assist” and “Pre-safe”. Juliussen adds that “autonomous driving will open the door for more high-tech companies to be suppliers of software, sensors, and chips.”
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Saving the bees means saving our food supply chain
Since 2004, U.S. bee keepers have noticed a loss of 33 to 100 percent of the worker bees from their healthy hives. This fast decline in the amount of bees is known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and also affects both France and the United Kingdom. It is caused by a pesticide called neonicotinoids, which was introduced as it is less harmful to birds and mammals. However, little was known about the potential negative impact this pesticide could have, such as weakening the immune system of bees and increasing their vulnerability to various diseases.
Bees pollinate a third of our food crops. This implies that they are a pivotal part of our food supply chain. Thus consumers should not buy seeds that are pre-treated with neonicotinoids as these only encourage CCD.
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New measures to reduce campylobacter levels throughout the chicken supply chain
The latest Food Standards Agency (FSA) analysis on the levels of Campylobacter in retail chicken revealed the industry still has a lot of work to do as levels of this bacteria are still too high. This bacteria is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the UK. The FSA survey highlighted that three-quarters of chicken sold throughout the UK between February 2014 and February 2015 tested positive for having campylobacter present. Asda had the highest contamination levels at more than 80 per cent, with Tesco having the lowest contamination levels at 66.5 per cent. Nonetheless, the National Farmers Union (NFU) believes that positive steps are being taken to address the issue.
Duncan Priestner the NFU poultry board chairman said that he is “confident that the recent raft of measures introduced throughout the supply chain to tackle campylobacter should start to see real results in coming months”. However, Prof Brendan Wren from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) believes that there is a need to develop “a vaccine for poultry flocks coupled with adequate biosafety in farms”.
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Bank of America, Philips & Walmart to cut supply chain energy
Supply chain emissions account for approximately 80 per cent of the total carbon footprint of large consumer-facing multinational corporations (MNCs). Therefore, action to minimize this has a profound impact on the environment and on efficiency. It was reported that 83 percent of the members of the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) supply chain program were able to realize savings due to emission reductions and 33 per cent of their suppliers reported cuts in costs. Suppliers are however believed to lack both the knowledge and capital to carry out energy efficiency projects and also lack a strong consumer brand to drive them towards having a more responsible corporate image.
To combat this, Action Exchange was implemented as a part of the CDP supply chain initiative in order to help suppliers identify energy efficiency measures. During the pilot phase of the program, the following top 5 leading CDP members were involved: Bank of America, L’Oréal, PepsiCo, Philips and Walmart. This pilot phase took place in 2013 and a total of 65 suppliers participated. This year, that number rose to around 200 companies. If CDP´s supply chain members engaged their entire supply base a total of 4000 suppliers would be involved implying that 1000 Metric tons of CO2-e greenhouse gas could be mitigated against by 2020.
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Have a nice weekend!