Monthly Archives: January 2011

Food Labeling – Who Decides

A New York Times article (January 25,2011, B1) describes competing proposals to label food. The Grocery Manufacturers Association announced a labeling scheme that highlights calories, fats etc but also beneficial nutrients like vitamins, protein etc.  But the Federal government claims … Continue reading

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Global Trade Rules and Remanufactured Products

A Wall Street Journal article (January 24, 2011, A3) describes efforts by US manufacturers to press for changes in laws in China, Japan and Brazil that ban or restrict the import of used medical equipment. Manufacturers claim that rising commodity … Continue reading

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Apple’s Global Supply Chain Changes

A New York Times article (January 24, 2011, B1) describes changes to Apple’s global supply chain orchestrated by the COO, Tim Cook.  It claims that when Apple owned plants in California, Ireland and Singapore, the supply chain had 90 days … Continue reading

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Understanding Rare Earths Supply Chains – a DOE Report

For supply chain managers interested in rare earth supply chains, a DOE report, available at  http://www.energy.gov/news/documents/criticalmaterialsstrategy.pdf provides a comprehensive summary. Currently, 97 % of the world’s rare earth metals are sourced from China. A few highlights of the report (a) … Continue reading

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Rising Prices for Coffee, Cotton and Cocoa

A Wall Street Journal article (January 22, 2011) describes rising prices for commodities such as coffee, cotton and cocoa. Reasons for this estimated price increase, as reflected by rising prices of futures, are global.  Significant rainfall in Colombia is expected … Continue reading

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Choices for Dollar Tree as Commodity prices rise

An article in the Wall Street Journal (January 22,2011) describes the dilemma faced by Dollar Tree – a retailer that charges one dollar for products.  Dollar Tree provides an interesting example of a retailer for whom retail price is not … Continue reading

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China Control of Rare Earth Mines

A New York Times article (January 21,2011, page B1) describes the takeover of 11  districts in China that have rare earth deposits.  This increased control will let the government be more strategic regarding exports of rare earths but also reduce … Continue reading

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Flexible Outfits – Swiss Army Knife like transformations

An article in the New York Times (January 20, 2011, E2) describes designers like Donna Karan, JNBY and Calvin Tran who have developed designs that can be worn as “a poncho, a dress, a kimono or a hooded cape” as … Continue reading

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WalMart and Healthy Food

A New York Times article (January 20, 2011, B1) described WalMart’s announcement to lower salt, fat and  sugars in packaged foods and decrease prices of fruits and vegetables over the next five years. Specifically the company plans to reduce sodium … Continue reading

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Slow Steaming, Extra Slow Steaming and Antitrust Exemption

A Supply Chain Digest article (January 13, 2011,http://www.scdigest.com/ontarget/11-01-13-1.php?cid=4091) describes discussions between shipping carriers that transport between Asia and the US to slow down speeds and decrease their environmental impact. Slow steaming reduces speed from 25 knots to 18 knots and … Continue reading

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