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Period: August 1, 2018 to September 1, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Australian Retailers Broadcast Their Environment-Friendly Credentials

In Australia, supermarkets are using their environment-friendly efforts as marketing tools. Retailers are also using their “green credentials” to position themselves against their competitors and shield themselves from the bad PR effects of news reports about pollution-related disasters. For example, in April 2018, Woolworths announced it will stop using single-use bags across the country by end of June. Ikea Australia said it will buy back and resell used furniture, a practice it has been doing in other countries. As more companies make environment-friendly claims, they face the risk of consumers becoming skeptical about their corporate social responsibility efforts and, consequently, the brands being damaged.

"Green is the new black: why retailers want you to know about their green credentials", Inside Retail, July 02, 2018

India’s Kerala State Taps Blockchain, IoT To Upgrade Food Supply Chain

In India, the state of Kerala is planning to use a combination of blockchain technology and the Internet of Things to improve its food supply, including milk, vegetable, and fish. Being implemented through the state’s Kerala Development and Innovation Strategic Council, the program aims to use separate ID tags for each food shipment to keep track of food products across the supply chain. To ensure fast and reliable delivery and prevent food waste, each part of the supply chain will include radio frequency identification or RFID tags integrated with mobile apps. 

"Kerala to use Blockchain Technology for Food Supply", Blockchain Council, July 08, 2018

Which? Study Shows A Third Of Plastic Packaging Used By UK Retailers Hard To Recycle

Results of an analysis by Which?, a consumer group, revealed that as much as 29 percent of plastic packaging used by UK retailers is non-recyclable through the usual collection schemes or hard to recycle. Results of the study of packaging used for 27 everyday private-label products sold by 10 leading retail chains showed Lidl had the lowest percentage of easily recyclable packaging at 71 percent. Morrisons topped the results with 81 percent of tested products with packaging considered widely recyclable.

"One-third of UK supermarket plastic is not easily recyclable, analysis shows", The Guardian, July 19, 2018

Brandless Secures $240-Million Investment From Softbank

Japan's Brandless Inc. revealed Softbank's $100-billion Vision Fund investment unit has invested $240 million in the online retailer. In three previous rounds of funding, the online seller of exclusively own-brand, generic daily household products had easily secured $51 million. According to Softbank managing partner Jeff Housenbold, Brandless' data focus and its ability to create excitement around ordinary products have convinced the bank to invest in the online retailer.

"This No-Brand Startup Won $240 Million to Fight Amazon on Price and Quality", Bloomberg Businessweek, July 31, 2018

Morrisons Steps Up Fight Against Single-Use Plastic By Removing Cucumber Sleeves

UK supermarket chain Morrisons is responding to the call for less single-use plastic in packaging by removing the plastic sleeves on cucumbers, although the Cucumber Growers’ Association claims that the shrink-wrap keeps the cucumber hydrated and helps prevent it being damaged. Removing the sleeve reduces shelf life by two days to five. The move only applies at the moment to whole cucumbers sourced from the UK and Netherlands. Mini and pre-cut cucumbers will also retain their plastic covering. The move follows other initiatives from the chain, including replacing plastic bags in the produce aisles with brown paper bags, and selling at a discount reusable containers on its fresh meat and fish counters.

"Morrisons removes cucumber plastic sleeves to reduce waste", The Grocer, August 07, 2018

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