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From Farm To Table: Reducing Waste In The Food Chain

A vendor waits for customers at his stall at a wholesale food market in Mumbai October 14, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Many analysts now expect him to raise interest rates by another 25 basis points on October 29, even after data showing economic growth in the June quarter hit a four-year low. “The pickup in inflation is testament to the lingering inflation risks and underscores the need for the RBI to keep its inflation guards up,” said Leif Lybecker Eskesen, Chief Economist for India & ASEAN at HSBC in a note. Federal bond yields posted their biggest advance in three weeks after the data firmed up expectations for a second consecutive rate hike in as many months. The benchmark 10-year government bond yield ended up 8 basis points on the day at 8.57 percent, its highest since September 23. Other data showed consumer prices rose 9.84 percent year-on-year in September, the fastest pace in three months. Economists in a Reuters poll last week had forecast an annual 9.60 percent rise in retail prices. India is not the only major emerging market wrestling with inflation and high food costs – China’s consumer inflation hit a seven-month high of 3.1 percent in September. But the pace of growth in food prices in India stood out, rising to an annual 18.40 percent last month, the fastest clip since July 2010 and triple the 6.1 percent rise seen in China. India’s inflation data comes on the heels of Friday’s disappointing industrial output numbers. Output grew a much-slower-than expected 0.6 percent in August, hurt by weak investment and consumer demand, dashing hopes of an economic rebound by the end of the year. STAGFLATION?

Walmart food stamps glitch: No spending limit leads to out-of-control shoppers

“I saw people drag out eight to ten grocery carts,” Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd told local CBS affiliate KSLA . “It was definitely worse than Black Friday. It was worse than anything we had ever seen in this town.” The glitch, caused by a power outage during a routine maintenance test at Xerox , took many long hours to correct and affected millions of households across 17 states. Around 7 PM, the Walmart stores in Springhill and Mansfield first noted that EBT cards were not displaying limits and called corporate for guidance. A spokesman for the company acknowledged that the stores got the green light to allow customers to use their EBT cards despite the glitch a decision which led many to load up on hundreds of dollars worth of food items, clearing out entire shelves by the time limits were restored two hours later. Lynd said that at no point were people unruly, and officers were merely brought in to assist with crowd control. Manfield’s police chief Gary Hobbs also reported calm among shoppers, save for a few instances of “pushing and shoving.” However, a store employee told KSLA they were forced to stop selling food by 9 PM because there was nothing left to sell. In Springhill, many overflowing shopping carts were left in the aisles after limits were restored, and employees spent nearly an entire day putting items back. According to ABC News , Walmart will be held responsible for any amount spent over the limit by EBT card holders. A Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services spokesman said the company chose not to adhere to the emergency policy which limits all sales during a system outage to no more than $50.

One third of the worlds food is wasted before it arrives on the kitchen table, said Andrew Liveris, Dow Chairman and CEO. By taking a holistic approach to feeding the worlds population in agriculture, harvesting, manufacturing and packaging, we are creating solutions for the entire supply chain. Dow people are working at the intersections of the sciences to create innovations that will support the growth in food production and conservation that are needed to feed the worlds expanding population. A Fruitful Journey Foods journey begins on the farm where it is critical to protect the food supply at the origin of the supply chain. Innovations in agricultural chemical, biotechnology and germplasm safeguard crops from disease, pests and weeds while increasing yields and reducing the impact on the environment. Dow is working with farmers to create drip-irrigation systems that deliver precise amounts of water directly to crop roots facilitating growth while greatly reducing water waste. And through a range of innovative post-harvest protection products and services , Dow is enabling growers, packers, shippers, exporters, and importers to deliver high-quality fresh fruit and vegetables to consumers. Following its harvest, food goes through a processing phase which allows manufacturers to accommodate the changing tastes and needs of the marketplace. For example, Dows food processing solutions allow the removal of allergens such as gluten giving consumers the opportunity to enjoy increased options that accommodate their dietary restrictions. In dairy processing, Dow offers products that help producers create products that allow for easier handling, greater productivity, superior sanitation, and processing energy savings. Food spoilage is a major contributor to the food waste problem, and keeping packaged foods fresh on the inside while protecting it from outside invaders and delaying spoilage is one of the most obvious consumer benefits in the food chain. Dows resins for flexible stand-up pouches use less material to package items such as soups, baby food and baking ingredients, locking in nutrients to form a barrier against ripening agents or molds that cause food decay. These lightweight packages also mean that more food can fit into each truckload, and vehicles use less fuel to distribute the food, in turn reducing carbon footprints – a win-win for everyone in the supply chain.

EBT Outage Sparks Black Friday-esque Run On Food Shelves at Walmart

The two-hour Walmart food stamps glitch, which allowed Walmart shoppers to use their EBT cards without spending limit, was sanctioned by Walmart headquarters, according to an Oct. 13, 2013, KSLA News 12 report. On Saturday, while shoppers in 17 states were unable to use Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards due to a power outage at Xerox (the company that handles the EBT cards), Walmart shoppers in Springhill and Mansfield in Louisiana experienced quite the opposite. Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd explained that from about 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the EBT cards weren’t showing limits and when they called corporate Walmart, a spokesman said to let the people use the cards anyway. The Walmart food stamps glitch allowed Walmart shoppers to use the EBT cards for two hours without any purchasing limit. As one would expect, after discovering the Walmart food stamps glitch and the power to spend unlimited amounts of money on food and other applicable items, Walmart shoppers loaded up their carts to the fullest. Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd confirms they were called in to help the employees at Walmart because there were so many people clearing off the shelves. He says Walmart was so packed, It was worse than any black Friday that he’s ever seen. One Walmart customer said that “just about everything is gone, I’ve never seen it in that condition. By the time the end of the Walmart food stamps glitch was announced at 9 p.m. on Saturday, those overflowing shopping cards were just left behind in the aisles of the Walmart stores. Despite the Walmart food stamps glitch and the out-of-control Walmart shoppers with overflowing shopping carts, only one woman was detained because she rang up a bill of $700.00 and only had .49 on her card. The woman was help by police until corporate Walmart said that they would not press charges if she left the food. Kayla Whaling, a spokesperson for Walmart, said that the company was fully aware of the Walmart food stamps glitch and that it was fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage. We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards (and purchases on WIC and SNAP) during the outage so that they [Walmart shoppers] could get food for their families.”

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