Supply Chain Sparrow

Supply Chain Sparrow SCSparrow offers a new voice and perspective for the global community of supply chain stakeholders who grow, raise, manufacture, transport, distribute and consume the time- and temperature-sensitive goods that feed and nourish, heal, care, and inspire us.
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Operating as usual

Excellent reporting by the AP on palm oil production and the toll it exacts on people and the environment. Another examp...
09/25/2020
Palm oil labor abuses linked to world’s top brands, banks

Excellent reporting by the AP on palm oil production and the toll it exacts on people and the environment. Another example of why we need to ask more questions about the food we eat and where/how it's produced. From the article: "Palm oil is virtually impossible to avoid. Often disguised on labels as an ingredient listed by more than 200 names, it can be found in roughly half the products on supermarket shelves and in most cosmetic brands. It’s in paints, plywood, pesticides and pills. It’s also present in animal feed, biofuels and even hand sanitizer." #foodsupplychain #labor #sustainabilty

PENINSULAR MALAYSIA (AP) — Jum’s words tumble out over the phone, his voice growing ever more frantic. Between sobs, he says he’s trapped on a Malaysian plantation run by government-owned...

Another example of the significant decentralization of the food supply chain we are witnessing as a result of the pandem...
09/15/2020
Some but not all US metro areas could grow all needed food locally, estimates study: Researchers estimate potential for locally sourced food based on land needs for different diets

Another example of the significant decentralization of the food supply chain we are witnessing as a result of the pandemic. This is truly a positive development, however, especially because it also promotes improved dietary changes. The summary is a quick read, and worthwhile...

How local could food be in the U.S.? A modeling study estimates the distance within which metro centers could meet food needs if they tried to feed themselves locally. Some -- but not all -- could rely on nearby agricultural land, and dietary changes would increase local potential, according to the....

Robotics can be cute and delightful, especially when they're serving adult beverages. Mitigating human touches and trans...
08/21/2020
Cheers to Robot Supported Happy Hours – Supply Chain Sparrow –Supply Chain News and Resources

Robotics can be cute and delightful, especially when they're serving adult beverages. Mitigating human touches and transactions in food/bev supply chain is key at the retail level as much as it is behind the scenes. Meanwhile, coronavirus continues to fuel adoption of robotics from food processing plants to high-tech bars and coffee kiosks.

Robots are gaining acceptance in the food and beverage industry as a way to limit human touches during the coronavirus pandemic.

Milk Run is looking to expand in Austin, Denver and Detroit, as business has taken off since the COVID-19 outbreak. Unde...
08/05/2020
Milk Run: An Innovative Online Grocer, Helping Farmers, Is Expanding

Milk Run is looking to expand in Austin, Denver and Detroit, as business has taken off since the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the traditional model, farmers only earned about 0.08 cents on the dollar for their goods. However, by cutting out the middlemen and going direct-to-consumer, farmers earn 0.60 cents on the dollar under Milk Run's business model. Consumers also value knowing more about how their food was grown and raised #foodsupplychain

Launched in Portland, Oregon in 2018, Milk Run is an online grocer, dedicated to helping farmers and producers earn more money.

There are seven Class I freight railroads in North America, including Kansas City Southern. The WSJ report concerning a ...
08/03/2020
WSJ News Exclusive | Private-Equity Firms Discuss Bid for Kansas City Southern

There are seven Class I freight railroads in North America, including Kansas City Southern. The WSJ report concerning a potential takeover of KSC is big news for a sector that handles huge volumes of freight, including perishables such as fresh and frozen food, and beer and wine, along with shelf stable foods and agricultural goods like grains. KSC's business includes a lot of U.S.-Mexico trade too (Mexico is now the number one trade partner for the U.S.). Rail execs tell Supply Chain Sparrow that the rail industry can no longer rely on "bread and butter" commodities, namely coal, to support business. They need to diversify their commodity mix and simultaneously improve customer service, which means better reliability for time-sensitive freight and visibility so shippers can monitor their cargo moves.

A group of big buyout investors is considering a takeover bid for railroad operator Kansas City Southern that could be worth more than $21 billion and mark a big bet on U.S.-Mexico trade.

Legal cannabis producers face sizable investments for licenses, permits, and other costs related to maintaining complian...
07/23/2020
California Lawmakers Want Hefty New Fines to Curb Illegal Cannabis Sales

Legal cannabis producers face sizable investments for licenses, permits, and other costs related to maintaining compliant operations. Consumers who purchase legal cannabis instead of black market cannabis are also assured of product safety in the form of lab testing, ingredient certification, and proper manufacture of edibles. Cannabis industry execs welcome efforts to curb black market cannabis, even though some prefer a "carrot" approach rather than the "stick."

A bill making its way through the legislature would punish enablers rather than the illegal businesses themselves

More on the sustainability trend in packaging alternatives for wine, beer and spirits #beveragesupplychain #sustainabili...
07/15/2020
See the world’s first whiskey bottle made out of paper

More on the sustainability trend in packaging alternatives for wine, beer and spirits #beveragesupplychain #sustainability #packaging

Johnnie Walker’s new whiskey bottle is made from a surprising ingredient. Don’t worry, it still tastes the same.

Salute to Sustainability! Anthony Pasqua does this meet with your approval?
07/12/2020
Paper wine bottle can cut carbon footprint by 84%, says Frugalpac

Salute to Sustainability! Anthony Pasqua does this meet with your approval?

Frugal Bottle – a new bottle made from 94% recycled paperboard – believes it can shake up the wine and spirits category by challenging the traditional dependence on glass bottles.

A company's success is determined by its supply chain performance. In the cannabis sector, the need for supply chain tal...
07/10/2020
Help Wanted: The Cannabis Industry Needs Supply Chain Talent – Supply Chain Sparrow –Supply Chain News and Resources

A company's success is determined by its supply chain performance. In the cannabis sector, the need for supply chain talent and expertise is critical, but there are unique challenges and requirements that come with the job, says Max Simon, CEO of Green Flower.

There's a shortage of supply chain talent and expertise in the emerging cannabis industry. Successful candidates need an open mind, ability to navigate complex regulations, and willingness to learn new skills.

The legislative activity building around cannabis legalization + decriminalization = a radically new cannabis landscape ...
06/26/2020
Why more states could legalize cannabis in 2021

The legislative activity building around cannabis legalization + decriminalization = a radically new cannabis landscape in 2021. As always, there are impacts on the supply chain. Namely, is the current supply chain--physical and digital--prepared to meet increased demand? Already, the cannabis industry has an urgent need for supply chain talent and expertise. Watch for SCSparrow's cover story on this topic when it posts July 1 #cannabissupplychain #cannabislogistics https://cnn.it/2YyQZU2

Amid a recession and social unrest, the cannabis industry sees its moment.

Cool, but can it fit in a British letterbox? Read on to see how that criteria drove the flat wine bottle innovation...
06/25/2020
In an Upside-Down World, Is America Ready for Flat Bottles?

Cool, but can it fit in a British letterbox? Read on to see how that criteria drove the flat wine bottle innovation...

A new plastic wine bottle format from Garçon Wines is coming to the U.S. market, but potential benefits of convenience and sustainability keep it on the level. In Wine Spectator's Unfiltered.

China--a country where the pork, beef and poultry is infected with avian flu, African swine flu, and foot and mouth dise...
06/23/2020
Federal agents seize nearly 20,000 pounds at illegal meat at Ports of LA, Long Beach

China--a country where the pork, beef and poultry is infected with avian flu, African swine flu, and foot and mouth disease--exports nearly 20,000 pounds of meat to the U.S. where it's confiscated at the ports of L.A.-Long Beach. Good work on the part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection! This story has all the ingredients of a food safety disaster.

Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products arriving from China, the largest trading partner the U.S. has.

Expect more and continued protests along the food supply chain as essential workers in farm fields and processing plants...
06/11/2020
Protest Wednesday: Supply chain workers, Teamsters demand more coronavirus safeguards

Expect more and continued protests along the food supply chain as essential workers in farm fields and processing plants, grocery stores, truckers and others voice their concerns about health and safety. There will be implications for consumer food prices and for food supply chain stakeholders.

One of the protests is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. at a CVS distribution center at 777 S.Harbor Blvd. in La Habra.

Calling on reefer BCOs: Share your comments.Hello FB contacts. Currently working on several articles focused on the glob...
06/08/2020

Calling on reefer BCOs: Share your comments.
Hello FB contacts. Currently working on several articles focused on the global reefer market, and the challenges and opportunities post-pandemic. Topics include the impact of blanked sailings, reefer box repositioning, service disruptions, cold chain bottlenecks, and supply chain digitization, including tracking/tracing/monitoring of perishables. If you're available to comment, email [email protected].

Nikola's hydrogen-electric powered trucks are giving Tesla trucks some real competition. And, @nikolamotor is super savv...
06/05/2020

Nikola's hydrogen-electric powered trucks are giving Tesla trucks some real competition. And, @nikolamotor is super savvy about supply chain management--an issue that has plagued Tesla. Anheuser-Busch announced a sizable purchase of Nikola trucks last November, and they're rolling out this year. @AnheuserBusch says it will have 100% of its long-haul dedicated fleet sustainably powered by 2025. Food/Bev companies have been early adopters of sustainably powered trucks and forklifts.

DTC is def where's it at for many small- and medium-size wineries, which equates for new opportunities for logistics pro...
06/03/2020
How small wineries are recouping lost tasting room and restaurant sales

DTC is def where's it at for many small- and medium-size wineries, which equates for new opportunities for logistics providers.

Shelter orders to slow the coronavirus pandemic took a major share of revenue for the typical premium vintner, but a new analysis shows how boutique Wine Country producers have been able to claw back some of the lost sales.

You know it's a "thing" when there's a contest devoted to it: International Canned Wine Competition (https://wineindustr...
06/03/2020
Wine Brand West + Wilder Finds Its Groove With Innovative Packaging and Solid Supply Chain Practices – Supply Chain Sparrow –Supply Chain News and Resources

You know it's a "thing" when there's a contest devoted to it: International Canned Wine Competition (https://wineindustryadvisor.com/2020/06/01/international-canned-wine-competition-now-accepting-entries). The quality, consumer demographics, and marketing around canned wine has changed dramatically in the past few years. Check out our recent article on West + Wilder, whose canned wine would be a worthy contender https://www.scsparrow.com/wine-brand-west-wilder-finds-its-groove-with-innovative-packaging-and-solid-supply-chain-practices/

Wine Brand West + Wilder Finds Its Groove With Innovative Packaging and Solid Supply Chain Practices Lara L. Sowinski · April 2020 · Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share via Email The COVID-19 pandemic is upending most industries, including the wine industry. While grocery st...

Yes, we are seeing consumer shifts in how/where food is produced, and purchased. This current food supply chain trend wi...
06/03/2020
Coronavirus-related disruptions in the beef supply chain have spurred changes. Will they last?

Yes, we are seeing consumer shifts in how/where food is produced, and purchased. This current food supply chain trend will become permanent post-pandemic. Farmers and ranchers are increasingly exploring options such as direct-to-consumer via e-commerce, CSA, co-ops, and supplying smaller, regional markets and grocery chains.

What do you do if you’re a rancher with five semitrailer loads of cattle ready to go but there’s no room at the feedlots because COVID-19 outbreaks at the big meatpacking plants have th…

Boosting compliance with cannabis rules and regs not only supports legal operators, but tamps down the black market--and...
06/03/2020
California Agency Seeks More Cannabis Cops – Supply Chain Sparrow –Supply Chain News and Resources

Boosting compliance with cannabis rules and regs not only supports legal operators, but tamps down the black market--and with it--the proliferation of untested and potentially dangerous cannabis products. We trust food safety rules to ensure the products we buy in the grocery store will not sicken us. The cannabis industry likewise needs improved compliance to protect consumer safety.

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control wants more peace officers to boost regulatory compliance, support legal operators, and protect public from untested and potentially dangerous cannabis products.

Arizona-based EZ Weed will use American Green's smart vending machine, the AGM, as their "system of choice" for installa...
05/29/2020

Arizona-based EZ Weed will use American Green's smart vending machine, the AGM, as their "system of choice" for installations inside cannabis dispensaries. While the average sales process in a dispensary takes 15-45 minutes, EZ Weed expects to reduce the transaction time to 3-5 minutes. The company, which launched in January, is headed by Lauren Smee, managing partner (center), and backed by retired NFL linebacker Lamarr Houston (on the left).

Significant development for Israel, whose farms are among the biggest producers of medical cannabis in the world.
05/20/2020
Israel approves medical cannabis exports

Significant development for Israel, whose farms are among the biggest producers of medical cannabis in the world.

Israel gave approval on Wednesday for exports of medical cannabis, paving the way for sales abroad that the government expects to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Supply Chain Sparrow
05/15/2020

Supply Chain Sparrow

Supply Chain Sparrow's cover photo
05/15/2020

Supply Chain Sparrow's cover photo

Unfortunately, this commentary from a supply chain expert at Iowa State University illustrates why the food supply chain...
05/13/2020
Supply chain challenges to remain as states start to reopen • News Service • Iowa State University

Unfortunately, this commentary from a supply chain expert at Iowa State University illustrates why the food supply chain is "broken" and prospects for mending it remain bleak. Simply put, when it's more "cost-effective" to dump milk and let crops rot in the field, then it's clear that we're beholden to "cost" and "efficiency" above all else, and we're willing to co-exist with food insecurity, unacceptable levels of food waste, environmental damage, livestock that's pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics, and all the rest that we'd rather not acknowledge. On a brighter note, SCSparrow listened in on a webinar hosted by UC Davis this afternoon, with panelists representing Raley's grocery store, produce wholesaler Veritable Vegetable and others who believe that the emerging model for the food supply chain will not be driven solely by efficiency, but with more of an emphasis on regional sourcing of food, an emphasis on relationships between suppliers, buyers, and retailers, improved sustainability, and more thought towards nutrition, flavor, and diversity #foodsecurity #foodsupplychain #perishables

An Iowa State supply chain expert expects some of the same challenges that led to toilet paper shortages will continue to disrupt the supply chain as states start to reopen.

And you thought Wisconsin was simply home to cheese curds? While dairy is the top agricultural sector for the badger sta...
05/12/2020
Wisconsin In the Race to Reclaim Status as Nation’s Top Hemp Producer

And you thought Wisconsin was simply home to cheese curds? While dairy is the top agricultural sector for the badger state, it's also a leading producer of soybeans, corn and cranberries. Hemp seems like a natural fit for the state #hemp #foodsupplychain #perishables #coldchain

Once the top hemp producer in the country, Wisconsin’s hemp program is experiencing a rapid growth of hemp farmers, strong educational efforts and major infrastructure investments.

U-turns might be challenging, but this double trailer can hold plenty of perishables, especially if it's a multi-temp, i...
05/08/2020
World's largest refrigerated truck launched in Spain

U-turns might be challenging, but this double trailer can hold plenty of perishables, especially if it's a multi-temp, i.e. frozen and chilled. It's all about the ice cream ; 0

The world's largest LHV refrigerated truck has just been launched and is already in circulation in Spain, although still in the trial period. It is the result of a project of the University…

SCSparrow (the sommelier) remembers tasting wine from Baja, Mexico at Chateau Marisa Barrio and being blown away. New (a...
05/07/2020
Pennsylvania's Emerging Wine Scene Surprises Even Those Closest to It | Wine Enthusiast

SCSparrow (the sommelier) remembers tasting wine from Baja, Mexico at Chateau Marisa Barrio and being blown away. New (and re-discovered) wine producing regions and AVAs are fundamentally changing the wine market, including what consumers are drinking, how they're buying it, and how it's moving through the supply chain--from the vineyard to the glass.

Pennsylvania is not always the first in mind for wine. But local sommeliers and restaurants are showing why it should be, and their mission starts at home.

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