Farmers want to see major change in the UK food supply chain
With transparency issues, excess waste and ethical question marks regarding labor, it comes as no surprise that the food supply chain is making headlines again this week. This time around, farming unions in the UK are making waves, claiming there needs to be a seismic change in the country’s food supply chain. The unions highlighted voluntary codes and unfair contracts, in which farmers are forced to bear all the risk, as areas requiring an immediate change. Furthermore, farmers want legislators to improve the labeling of food so it is easy to see which food is local, and which is imported. This could perhaps serve the unions well as the trend for locally sourced food continues to grow.
British farmers are encouraging consumers to ask retailers what they are doing to support the country’s farming industry, an effort that appears to be working. After a recent meeting between Farmers for Action and supermarket Morrisons, a new brand of milk was created that will kick 10 percent of the retail price back to farmers.
To read more on this developing story, click here.
Big supply chain software industry news
It was announced this week that the ERP software firm Infor will be purchasing GT Nexus, a California-based software company focused on helping companies improve communication along the supply chain. The deal is reportedly worth $675 million. GT Nexus brings some big name clients to the table, including Adidas, Caterpillar and Pfizer. The company helps ensure the smooth transaction of payments between buyers and suppliers and is present in over 90 countries.
Infor seems to have taken note of an important industry trend, namely the growing importance of supply chain visibility, and took action this past week by acquiring a well-known industry brand. This is something that market-leading SAP SE should note. In 2014, sales of supply chain management software topped out at $9.9 billion, a 10.8% increase compared to the previous year. As reliance on technology to better manage inventory, orders and communication along the supply chain grows, one can expect similar moves within the supply chain software industry in the coming months.
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Wind turbines testing limits of logistics
An interesting story out of Canada touched upon a clean energy issue that is creating logistical headaches, not just in Canada, but in other countries as well. Wind turbines are getting larger, and the latest project from Pattern Energy Group will see a total of 61 wind turbines, with 60 meter long rotors, installed in Bristish Columbia. As a comparison, 30 years ago, typical turbines had a diameter of 15 meters. The tower holding the enormous rotors will be 110 meters tall, giving the turbine a total reach of 170 meters. The increase in size is logical as the quality of wind is much better higher up of the ground.
That being said, the question “How big is too big?” must be posed. The transportation of these turbines is proving tricky, especially in more hilly regions. Efforts to counter this problem by assembling the turbines on site have proven to be too expensive. Aside from the logistical challenges, the industry is beginning to receive some resistance from residents that are not too fond of the monstrous windmills cluttering the skyline. This will certainly be an interesting industry to watch over the next few years.
The full story can be read here.
Have a nice weekend!