Tesco to end trade with Zimbabwe

June 30, 2008

Tesco to end trade with Zimbabwe

The BBC reports on how Tesco responding to political and consumer pressure it to no longer source products from Zimbabwe.

Supermarket chain Tesco has announced it will stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe while “the political crisis persists” there.

The retail giant buys around £1m ($1.9m) worth of goods, including vegetables, from Zimbabwe.

Tesco said it was looking for other ways to support workers there.

This is an example of how in the business environment, political and consumer pressures can force business organisations to change the way in which they do business.

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River Cottage 0-1 Tesco

June 29, 2008

Following on from my earlier post, found an interesting article in the Guardian about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s attempts to change Tesco’s chicken policy.

The campaign to improve the welfare of chickens sold in Tesco stores, led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hijacked the company’s annual meeting yesterday, drawing groans from the pensioners and standard bearers of middle England there to pose a question about their local store or to take advantage of a spot of free lunch.

Well worth reading.


Profits over welfare

June 28, 2008

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, he of River Cottage fame, has alas failed in his attempt to get Tesco to change their chicken policy.

The BBC reports on his attempt at the Tesco shareholders meeting.

Tesco shareholders have not backed proposals to improve welfare standards for chickens championed by TV cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The chef wanted investors to adopt new standards for rearing birds, but the plan got fewer than 10% of votes at its annual general meeting in Solihull.

Read more.

Though this is a setback for Hugh’s campaign, a lot of consumers are changing their own buying habits at the supermarket. Over the last few years virtually all of the chicken I buy has been organic for me the main reason has been flavour and concerns about chemicals used.

I have noticed recently in both Sainsburys and Morrisons the amount of shelf space they give free range, organic and RSPCA Freedom chicken has really increased.

However with the continuing economic pressures on consumers, will price give way to quality and taste? According to an article I read in the Guardian, the answer is no, as what goes first with an economic downturn is going out to restaurant.


Airbus unveils carbon fibre plane

June 27, 2008

BBC reports on the roll out of Airbus’ new transport plane for the airforces of the EU.

…the King of Spain will unveil the Airbus A400M, built for air forces across Europe including the RAF.

Airbus unveils carbon fibre plane

One of the key technological innovative parts of this plane is the wings.

They are made mostly of hi-tech carbon fibre and are manufactured in the UK.

New technologies and ways of working allow companies to improve their products making them more attractive to customers and often cheaper and easier to manufacture.

Watch video of the rollout.

More links on Airbus. Photo source.


Ford ‘to make fewer big vehicles’

June 27, 2008

BBC reports on how Ford is going to focus on smaller cars.

Car giant Ford has said it will cut its production of large trucks and large sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in favour of more fuel efficient models.

This is very likely a response to the impact of growing concern about the environment from consumers.


Nokia buys out Symbian

June 25, 2008

The BBC reports on the Nokia buyout of Symbian:

Finnish mobile phone giant Nokia is paying 264m euros ($410m; £209m) to buy out the other shareholders in handset software firm Symbian.

Nokia, which already owns 48% of the UK-based firm, intends to develop its software to compete with Google’s planned Android operating system.

This is (probably) in response to both Google’s Android phone operating system and the continued sucess of Apple’s iPhone.

Technology can have a postive and negative impact on the functions of teams. Being able to use a mobile phone as a mini-computer can allow members of a team out in the field communicate, collaborate and work more effectively than if all their phone did was make phone calls!

The ability to check e-mail, read and edit documents, allows teams to work more effectively when out of the office.

As well as teams, technology such as mobile phones can impact on the performance of the business. If competitors start using technology in innovative ways, this can give them a competitive edge and other businesses will need to respond accordingly if they are to retain market share.

Technological changes need to be noticed and acted upon in the business environment, in order for businesses to retain their competitive edge.


Networks and virtual teams

June 17, 2008

In the traditional business world, teams would either be formed in physical locations, or would need to spend time travelling in order to meet in physical locations.

In the modern connected world, it is easier for teams to communicate and network.

It is possible to create virtual teams which never (or rarely) meet in physical locations and use a range of web tools to communicate and collaborate.

Modern tools such as Adobe’s ConnectNow allow teams to communicate, share and collaborate in ways which were never ever possible before.

Networks and virtual teams

Online word processors such as Buzzword allow teams to collaborate on documents and share information in new ways.

There are a range of ways in which technology impacts on the function of teams, read more.