Archive for the ‘Sourcing Safe Foods’ Category

Global Food Risks

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

 

Today?s post is by Michael Figueroa, Project Manager at SafeSourcing

This year alone California farmers are predicted to lose $3 billion due to persistent drought[1]. Avian Flu has cost nearly $3.3 billion nationwide in the US[2], while the resultant egg shortage continues to wreak havoc with the market by doubling egg prices[3]. Yields in North Korea are feared to come in as low as 50% below normal due to drought, which could pose huge humanitarian needs and market risks[4]. The average amount of arable land needed to support an American standard of living is approximately 10 acres per capita[5], though as of 2012 there were only between 0.49-0.6 acres of arable land on earth per capita[6]. The UN has stated that food production must double by 2050 in order to meet demand[7] due to rising population as well as rising global affluence. As the world population continues to increase the number of hungry mouths on the globe, it becomes ever more vital to have a strategy for dealing with disruption in food production markets.

Unfortunately, one of the greatest challenges to this problem is understanding what all of the potential risks are. As unpredictable weather patterns emerge, we are warned to expect the unexpected by the scientific community due to global warming, and political disruptions are equally unpredictable. Though there are recommended steps for discovering the unknown variables, and managing what is known.

Identify the risks: Does your organization have a risk mitigation department? One that focuses on proactive measures to ensure continued production in a crisis, not just financial hedging?


[1] “Drought May Cost California’s Farmers Almost $3 … – NPR.” 2015. 18 Aug. 2015 <http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/06/03/411802252/drought-may-cost-californias-farmers-almost-3-billion-in-2015>

[2] “Bird Flu Cost the US $3.3 Billion and Worse Could Be Coming.” 2015. 18 Aug. 2015 <http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/15/bird-flu-2/>

[3] “Egg prices in the US nearly double after outbreak of avian flu.” 2015. 18 Aug. 2015 <http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/16/egg-prices-in-the-us-nearly-double-after-outbreak-of-avian-flu>

[4] “North Korea fears famine as drought halves food production …” 2015. 18 Aug. 2015 <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/19/north-korea-fears-famine-as-drought-halves-food-production-says-un>

[5] “The State of World Population 2011 – UNFPA.” 2011. 19 Aug. 2015 <http://foweb.unfpa.org/SWP2011/reports/EN-SWOP2011-FINAL.pdf>

[6] “Arable land (hectares) | Data | Table – The World Bank.” 2010. 19 Aug. 2015 <http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.ARBL.HA>

[7] “Food Production Must Double by 2050 to Meet Demand …” 2014. 18 Aug. 2015 <http://www.un.org/press/en/2009/gaef3242.doc.htm>

 

Coordinated risk management: Form alliances with national and international producers and brokers establishing protocols for responding to shortages that protect the most vulnerable populations from food shortages.

Identify the weaknesses in your supply chains: An example would be diversification of farm location can mitigate drought risk confined by geographical location.

Move to non-biofuel energy production: Using energy sources such as nuclear, solar, and wind allow farming capacity to be used for food instead of bio-fuels, which some studies have shown to be a net-energy loss product[8].

Early warning: Have mechanisms in place for capturing information regarding shortages and market disruptions.

Supplier resilience standards: If you are a purchaser, adopt requirements of your suppliers for managing risk that incentivizes food production resilience.

In the face of dealing with all of the food commodity disruptions in the market, and increasing pressure to shave already thin margins, it?s easy to lose sight of the fact that a major disruption doesn?t just mean loss of revenue, but can also mean loss of life within the markets of the most vulnerable consumers. For example, US food aid to foreign countries comes from US commodity surplus, but aid has decreased by 64% in the last decade due to reduced surplus[9]. This and many other examples are why it?s so extremely important for those of us working in the food procurement and production industries to build resilience into their long term strategies.

For additional insight on this topic I highly recommend the report by the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience[10].

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our ?Risk Free? trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.


[8] “Economic Cost of Biodiesel and Corn Ethanol per Net BTU …” 19 Aug. 2015 <http://www.ag.auburn.edu/biopolicy/documents/Economic%20Cost%20of%20Biodiesel%20and%20Corn%20Ethanol%20per%20Net%20BTU%20of%20Energy%20Produced.pdf>

[9] “Food Aid Reform: Food For Peace By the Numbers … – usaid.” 2013. 19 Aug. 2015 <https://www.usaid.gov/foodaidreform/ffp-by-the-numbers>

[10] “Extreme weather and resilience of the global food system.” 2015. 18 Aug. 2015 <http://www.foodsecurity.ac.uk/assets/pdfs/extreme-weather-resilience-of-global-food-system.pdf>

 

 

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Be careful when you make disparaging remarks about Food Manufacturers; you may find yourself facing a civil liability suit?

Friday, September 11th, 2015

 

Today?s post is by Ryan Melowic; Sr. Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

Food libel laws are laws that were passed between 1991 and 1997 by thirteen U.S. states that permit food manufacturers to sue anyone for libel that say anything negative about the food they manufacturer. The thirteen states that have these laws are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas.

With Food libel laws, the legal standard for guilt is lower; therefore, to avoid being found guilty in this sort of civil liability suit, the defense employed must be stronger than even a criminal liability suit. In some states the burden of proof is on the party being sued. In addition, regardless of the outcome, punitive damages and attorney’s fees for plaintiffs are allowed.

With all the debate surrounding the foods we eat, it is important that you remember the Food libel laws when you share your stance. These laws are meant to sit on the books and discourage public speech by their mere presence; however, many would not pass constitutional scrutiny,

For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our ?Risk Free? trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

 

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Health Canada, a tool for buyers in Canada that costs little yet contains a lot.

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

 

Todays post is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

In Canada, it?s as simple as visiting the Health Canada Website. According to Wikipedia Health Canada (French: Sant? Canada) is the department of the government of Canada with responsibility for national public health. Here you can find news releases, speeches, media notices and research a variety of data related to health and food safety within Canada.

Just as a recent post titled? ?Buyers; Do you need a great place to research product quality and recall issues? that talked about The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission? the Canadian Government has many tools that buyers can use that also cost nothing. You just have to spend a little time on their site.

Sometimes the best tools are the ones you don?t have to pay for.

If you?d like to learn more about SafeSourcing tools that are free for your use, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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CONEG Legislation

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

Today?s blog has been written by Ryan Melowic Senior Director of Procurement Process Improvement at SafeSourcing.

SafeSourcing supports the proper recycling, recovery and handling of waste associated with packaging. Therefore, it is appropriate that we inform our readers about CONEG (Coalition of Northeastern Governors) LEGISLATION. CONEG laws have been around in some states for 20 years.

The law was originally developed by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.? The legislation calls for a ban on the use of packaging that use any of the below specified heavy metals during manufacture or distribution.

According to the? pvctech-CONEG-web-summary-02.04.15.pdf, ?On February 2015 ,The goal of this legislation is to reduce the sum concentration levels of four incidentally introduced heavy metals, namely lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent Chromium present in any package or packaging component to not exceed 100 parts per million by weight.?

A variation of enforcement instruments are available, including injunctive relief and civil penalties, but no doubt the potential disruption to product distribution is likely the harshest penalty of all.

SafeSourcing does the due diligence to ensure its supplier database is packed full of quality suppliers.? The CONEG Legislation is an example of one of the many requirements that SafeSourcing tracks.? For more information on how SafeSourcing can help you with insuring certified suppliers, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service representative.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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So you want to source your products from China?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Today?s post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

In a recent article in USA TODAY titled Report: Drywall sickness real by Elizabeth Weise, the subtitle was Chinese Product confirmed culprit.

This author posted on this subject five years ago with the following two posts.

? 1.?? On May 21st of 2009 I posted.? In Hamlet, Marcellus said ?Something’s rotten in Denmark”
??2.?? On May 22nd of 2009 I posted. What lessons can be learned from yesterday?s post where we posited that ?Something may be rotten in drywall from China??

In the article by Elizabeth Weise mentioned above she goes on to report? that? Chinese made drywall was installed in more than 20,000 homes mostly in the south since 2005 causing a variety of health related complaints. In fact there have been 5 settlements totaling more than $1B. It is not clear how much of the drywall has been replaced.

So, do you really want to source your products from China? Much larger companies that we will leave unnamed have done so in the past and ended up with the type of results listed above.? At the end of the day, if you have not sourced products off shore, you had better know what you are doing!? Do your research or reach out to a company like SafeSourcing for help!

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing can help you with your off shore sourcing, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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As procurement professionals, each and every one of us should accept personal responsibility for protecting the environment.

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

I was rereading a survey conducted in 2008 by the Disney Family of eight thousand (8,000) adults. When asked who should enforce environmentally sound practices?? Forty percent of respondents indicated that it should be the government; thirty nine percent indicated that it should be individuals; thirteen percent indicated that it should be businesses and nine percent indicated that it should be the schools. That forty percent of individuals surveyed defaulted to this being a government responsibility is an issue or a cop out dependent on your own beliefs.

This author doesn?t believe that government can do it alone without guidance from the people. I don?t believe that businesses can do it alone without guidance from the government in the form of standards. I don?t believe that people can do it alone without taking it to the work place. And, unless we focus on it in the home and the workplace there is not much schools can do to enforce their environmental educational content. If parents don?t support it, children will not participate. In fact without all of us working together towards a common goal success is questionable.

At SafeSourcing there are many things that we are passionate about. However, three drive our daily thinking and actions.

1.?Reducing the costs of goods and services for our customers.
2.?Supporting the global community through the sourcing of safe goods and services.
3.?Supporting the environment through eco friendly sourcing practices that we hold suppliers accountable to that provide those goods and services.

Through these beliefs, we try to pay it forward every day where the environment is concerned. Can you or your company boil your environmentally focused CSR initiatives down to three distinct points that can be measured? If you can, your customers will notice. Ours do.

If you’d like to learn more about how SafeSourcing? can help you reduce your operating costs and give back at the same time, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Services Account Manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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Organic. FDA Approved. No GMO

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Today?s post is by Shelly Hayre; Project Manager at SafeSourcing.

As I walk around the grocery store reading labels of my common purchases and avoiding ?known? bad ingredients, I wonder why it is allowed in our food if it is proven to be bad for our health. Only does it start getting removed from food when the general public is aware of the effects and will not purchase products with that ingredient.

This will lead you to the organic products, but these products can be very expensive at the grocery store. Grocery stores typically only carry a few organic lines and it does not cause enough competition on the shelf for lower prices.

BUT it gets better! Greek yogurt is my food of choice for breakfast. It has many benefits that are greater than regular yogurt, many consumers are aware of this. The problem is that consumers look for the word ?GREEK? and they assume it has all the benefits they read about in a magazine. This is not always the case. Greek yogurt, for example, does not have a standard for labeling your product ?GREEK? yogurt. So you could really be eating a yogurt that does not provide the extent of what that magazine told you.

Unless you are very educated on food products and have disposable money for true organic food it is hard to avoid these new food processes that cut cost for producers. I often wonder why this is not regulated more.

SafeSourcing does research, on your behalf, to verify the suppliers offer a good quality product and service to fit your needs. We understand the sales pitch can be so good that it is hard to understand how good the product or service will be. Let?s remove the sales pitch and get down to the quality and cost!

For more information on how we can help you with your procurement needs or on our ?Risk Free? trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.? We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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What is The Certified Humane Raised & Handled Program?

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Todays post is by Ron Southard, CEO of SafeSourcing.

To begin with, we have many farms, processors and agriculturally focused companies as customers and suppliers in our database.

I was reading today in the Arizona Republic about proposed legislation by the states ranchers and farmers that would allow them to police their own farms for livestock cruelty. This is being supported by the Arizona Cattle Growers Association.?In fact if a public citizen takes a picture or video?of such cruelty and does not turn it over to them within 5 days it would be considered a class 1 misdemeanor. Isn’t this kind of like the of watching the henhouse with a shotgun? Nor to mention the constitutionality?of restricting free speech.?

There are programs out there that provide protections against cruelty in factory framing and The Certified Humane Raised & Handled program which is an inspection, certification and labeling program for meat, poultry, egg and dairy products from animals raised to humane care standards is one of them.

According to the Humane Farm Animal Care website over 10 billion animals raised for food in the U.S. annually endure inhumane treatment. Most are confined such that they can?t behave normally. Chickens can?t flap their wings or move. Pigs can?t turn around. Crowding and stress from these conditions compromise animals? immune systems. They must ingest antibiotics regularly to prevent disease. Further, the current system of factory farms causes problems for the people involved, the environment, and consumers, as well as for the animals.

According to Humane Farm Animal Care the impact extends beyond the animals. Overuse of antibiotics in animals is causing more strains of drug-resistant bacteria. The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences estimated the annual cost of treating antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. at $30 billion.

What can retail buyers do? Look for and buy products labeled Certified Humane Raised and Handled? and encourage the suppliers of your favorite food brands to become certified and to use Certified Humane Raised and Handled? ingredients in their products.

The SafeSourceIt??Global Supplier Database contains all suppliers that are Certified Humane Raised & Handled and we encourage others to follow this model.?For those companies that are found guilty of cruelty in factory framing practices or violate the laws that are there to protect our livestock, they will be eliminated from our database and not allowed to participate in events for our customers.

Please contact a SafeSourcing customer service representative to learn more about our risk free sourcing trial program.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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Are you industry certified?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Today?s post is by Heather Powell, Project Manager at SafeSourcing Inc.

You may be certified in your field of expertise, but is your company?

According to Wikipedia:

There are three general types of certification. Listed in order of development level and portability, they are: corporate (internal), product-specific, and profession-wide.

Corporate, or “internal” certifications, are made by a corporation or low-stakes organization for internal purposes. For example, a corporation might require a one-day training course for all sales personnel, after which they receive a certificate. While this certificate has limited portability ? to other corporations, for example ? it is the most simple to develop.

Product-specific certifications are more involved, and are intended to be referenced to a product across all applications. This approach is very prevalent in the information technology (IT) industry, where personnel are certified on a version of software or hardware. This type of certification is portable across locations (for example, different corporations that use that software), but not across other products. Another example could be the certifications issued for shipping personnel, which are under international standards even for the recognition of the certification body, under an International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The most general type of certification is profession-wide. Certification in the medical profession is often offered by particular specialties. In order to apply professional standards, increase the level of practice, and protect the public, a professional organization might establish a certification. This is intended to be portable to all places a certified professional might work. Of course, this generalization increases the cost of such a program; the process to establish a legally defensible assessment of an entire profession is very extensive. An example of this is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), which would not be certified for just one corporation or one piece of accountancy software but for general work in the profession.

Clearly to have a personal certification benefits you as an individual in multiple ways, as a standardization that you understand your field of expertise and this can create a bigger salary.

Now, is your company certified? The same benefits of certification to you as individual are excellent benefits to your company! These certifications show your company knows its business inside and out, is organized to a set industry standard, and by being certified shows you took the extra steps to the best in your field- whereas your competition may not be.

Companies looking to hire a new service look for certifications. They may look for the certifications before looking any further into your business, its practices, and even pricing models!?

At SafeSourcing, Inc. our databases of suppliers are certified in their fields of expertise and when we source new suppliers for you our customer, the first thing we look for are certified companies who can achieve all that our customer would want in a company.? We take the extra care and steps to ensure you are getting the best of the best when sourcing new business, products, or services.

If you?d like more information on the SafeSourceIt? Supplier Database of over 427,000 cleansed global sources of supply, on how SafeSourcing can help you with your eProcurement needs, or on our ?Risk Free? trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services account manager.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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I could not finish watching the disgusting video of an Oklahoma Pig Farms abhorrent behavior!

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Today?s post is by Ron Southard CEO at SafeSourcing Inc.

Why are we called SafeSourcing?? It?s very simple because we strive for a world where the products and services from our supply chain are safe. That includes the safety and humane treatment of our farm stock. We hold our suppliers accountable to these standards and have from day one of our company launch. In the beginning we supported 25 standards that support the supply chain and the environment. What has changed since then is the number of certifications and organizations we support. We try to introduce suppliers and companies that support each other?s corporate and social responsibility initiatives as a way to pay forward both our suppliers and customers best practices for a safe supply chain.

I have to be honest I am not a vegan. I do eat meat including pork. However, there are humane practices that support the harvesting of this farm stock. One example is the ?Humane Raised and Handled a program administered by Humane Farm Animal Care at www.certifiedhumane.org.? We regularly publish information on our SafeSourcing daily blog such as the recently posted Farm to Fork ? Where Does the Trace Start? As well as other pertinent subject matter. We also provide more detailed information relative to safety programs and certifications in the supply chain in our Sourcing Wiki such as the following link on the Humane Raised Handled.

Now be ready to be disgusted.

NBC news released the following video titled Tyson-foods-dumps-pig-farm-after-nbc-shows-company-video-of-alleged-abuse? Congratulations to Tyson. We just wish you had uncovered and acted on this sooner yourself.

I hope like this author you could not finish watching this disgusting behavior. Pigs are intelligent animals and this behavior is disgusting. I can?t image what the home life is like for people related to these workers.

If you?d like to learn more about safety in the supply chain or how our programs can support your social responsibility initiatives, please contact a SafeSourcing customer services representive.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments

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