What we're thinking about

What we’ve been reading recently

Morrison’s goes *cough* local

Morrisons has stated it plans to open hundreds of convenience stores over the next few years as part of its expansion programme. The retailer’s decision follows the successful trial of two ‘M local’ convenience stores in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and Manchester, which opened in the summer.
Via Fresh Plaza

Haunting the High Street – The Ghost of Christmas Past

I would love to think that we can regenerate our High Streets into vibrant and lively centres of small-scale commerce, culture and community, but we have no chance as long as the bully boys rule the playground. Statistics abound regarding the rise and rise of the supermarket/chain store culture, but it is hard to visualise the scale of it in the light of a few cold percentages, so here are some figures to play with. Our main county town, Hereford, with a population of 55,800, has sixteen supermarket outlets. All bar one of these are within the city – three of them within the High Street shopping area. This looks like overkill to me, but there is outline planning permission for more (after all, we haven’t got a Waitrose yet). Of the major supermarket chains, Morrisons recently announced plans to open 25 new stores nationwide next year, whilst Waitrose plan a 5-year expansion to open 100, taking them into Scotland with 80 stores. Earlier this year, Asda announced their own expansion plans to add a further 168 stores to their total over the next few years. And that’s just three of the usual suspects…
From Food and Life

Are You Ready for the Social Supply Chain?

Now we are starting to see leaders leveraging social networks for more business-to-business (B2B) processes. Collaborating with customers, suppliers, outsourced manufacturers, LSP’s and other partners. It is not a case of IF social networks will have an effect on your business and associated supply networks. It is a case of WHEN. As one of the executives on the CSCMP Panel commented “Five years from now we won’t be talking about social media in supply chain management–it will just be supply chain management”. The advent of social networks is offering a whole new wave of opportunities. As ever, it’s what you do with these opportunities and how you manage them that will make the difference.
Via Forbes

Suppliers feeling Big Price Drop

Tesco’s Big Price Drop is being dubbed the Big Price Flop as suppliers report the retailer has been asking for massive sums to help pay the cost of the promotion. “It’s just as we predicted would happen when the price cuts were announced,” one supplier said. “They have asked for a ridiculous amount of money, I mean an unfeasibly insane sum.”
Via Fresh Produce Journal

Willie Nelson: Occupy Big Food

From seed to plate, our food system is now even more concentrated than our banking system. Most economic sectors have concentration ratios hovering around 40 percent, meaning that the top four firms in the industry control 40 percent of the market. Anything beyond this level is considered “highly concentrated,” where experts believe competition is severely threatened and market abuses are likely to occur.

Many key agricultural markets like soybeans and beef exceed the 40 percent threshold, meaning the seeds and inputs that farmers need to grow our crops come from just a handful of companies. Ninety-three percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn grown in the United States are under the control of just one company. Four companies control up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of beef in the U.S.; four companies dominate close to 60 percent of the pork and chicken markets.

Despite all they’re up against, family farmers persevere. Each and every day they work to sustain a better alternative — an agricultural system that guarantees farmers a fair living, strengthens our communities, protects our natural resources and delivers good food for all. Nothing is more important than the food we eat and the family farmers who grow it. Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil, pollution of our water and health epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

We simply can’t afford it. Our food system belongs in the hands of many family farmers, not under the control of a handful of corporations
Via The Huffington Post

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One thought on “What we’ve been reading recently

  1. Thanks for the support, Ed - I appreciate it! Those of us who are thinking straight must stick together. Perhaps 2012 will be the year we join the dots?

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