Daily Archives: January 4, 2011

S. 510 Is Days Away From Becoming Law – Is This The End Of The Farmers Market?

I must admit that I have been a little remiss where S510 is concerned. I thought it was just another bill designed to improve labelling and traceability through the supply chain and that its net effect, if passed, would be to simply increase costs for any growers and manufacturers who didn’t already have modern systems in place to document and track every step of the agriculture-based supply chain — from farmer’s field to store shelf.

(I know that most manufacturers don’t have these systems in place, but since the technology has existed for quite some time now, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. Given the US crackdown on everything import, export, and supply chain related over the last few years with the threats of terrorism and all the tainted food scandals, there’s no way a food and beverage manufacturer could not claim that they did not know it was coming eventually. Plus, there are quite a number of low-cost SaaS and open-source systems out there that can do the job for a fraction of what a good ERP/MRP would have cost ten years ago when the
costs were truly prohibitive.)

However, after reading this recent piece by Sam Osborn over the VBS.TV blog, I’m a little worried. Sam is calling it The Most Dangerous Bill In The History of America, and if he’s right, he’s not far off.

According to the post, the basics of the bill grant the FDA supreme authority over every seed that will eventually grow into an American food-stuff and the supremacy of this power stretches to the inspection of growing, harvesting, sorting, and storage operations, minimum standards related to fertilizer use nutrients, hygiene, packaging, temperature controls, animal encroachment, etc. And the bill calls for the inspection of any purveyor of food, ranging from a farm corp beast like Perdue to your Aunt Maye who sells blackberry jam at the town fair. This would literally put farmer’s markets and most organic food producers out of business.

And it gets worse, according to Dr. Shiv Chopra, S.510 would preclude the public’s right to grow, own, trade, transport, share, feed and eat each and every food that nature makes. It will be unconstitutional and contrary to natural law. (Source: The World Prophecy)

And the bill, dubbed the Food Safety Act, passed the House of Representatives on December 21 with a 215-144 vote. All that’s left is for President Obama to sign it into law. Is this the end of the organic supply chain?

New Year. New Rules. Are You Ready?

It’s The New Year in the Gregorian Calendar (as opposed to the Julian Calendar or the Islamic Calendar), which means that it’s the new year in most English Speaking and/or countries where a branch of Christianity is the dominant religion, including the US and the UK. That means, for many of you, you have a whole new set of rules and regulations to deal with. Are you ready?

For example, the eight edition of the International Commerce Terms (Incoterms 2010) take effect today. For example, no longer can you use DAF, DES, DEQ, and DDU as they have been replaced with DAT and DAP. The Advance Cargo Declaration is now mandatory in the European Union, which now includes Estonia (not to be confused with Elbonia). Accounting reglations specified in the HITECH Act take effect today and affect suppliers in the US Health Services & Medical Devices supply chain. Minimum wage goes up in ten (10) different states today, and this will no doubt lead to increases in logistics costs for SMEs, who already have to contend with the increases in small package courier costs at FedEX and UPS coming into effect on Monday.  And for those of you sourcing internationally to low-cost countries, let’s not forget that the GSP went away on January 1!  (And now those low cost countries aren’t so low cost anymore!)

For those of you in the chemical industry, you have to deal with the new reporting and filing requirements for the classification, labelling, and packaging of chemicals in Europe, courtesy of the European Chemicals Agench. For those of you in the energy industry in India, you need to be cognizant of the new Renewable Energy Certificate Regulation, and be compliant if you want to take part in REC trading. And for those of you reading down under (or, from your perspective, up over) in the automotive industry, all new vehicles must be fitted with electronic stability control (ESC) systems. (Well, unless you’re in Victoria, then you have until November, but why be compliant in only one state when the other five will follow suit in 10 months?)

And I’ve only scratched the surface. It’s a new year, and it is bringing new challenges. Are you ready?

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