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Plant-based ‘meat’ craze drives demand for yellow peas
JULY 3, 2019 | Financial Times | by Emiko Terazono.

The soaring popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has shone a spotlight on a new star ingredient: the humble pea.....From Beyond Meat, which has seen its shares rocket after a flotation in May, to US meat producer Tyson and Nestlé of Switzerland, food companies are turning to protein from the yellow pea as the key ingredient for plant-based foods including burgers, bacon, tuna and yoghurt...The rush to introduce products amid a spike in demand from consumers has led to a scramble to secure supplies. The squeeze has not been caused by the availability of the yellow pea itself — which is plentiful, boosted by Chinese curbs on Canadian imports in the wake of the Huawei row, and a move by India to place tariffs on pulses — but a lack of processing capacity to produce the protein powder extracted from the legume. Producers have simply not kept pace........companies are received just 25% of their pea-protein orders as suppliers diverted the shipment to other buyers....in the face of increased demand....locking down supplies had been front of mind. “We’ve started building up a stockpile. Everyone else is doing it as well.”....Yellow peas, a pulse or dry edible seed that is part of the legume family alongside soyabeans, lentils and chickpeas, have become the protein source of choice for many food companies as consumers are turning away from soyabeans......there is no exchange-based market for pea protein isolate and prices are hard to track,... demand is so strong that buyers have struggled to secure long-term supply deals. “For companies that want to lock in prices for the remainder of 2019 and 2020, there is reluctance from their suppliers to guarantee higher quantities at lower prices,”...Beyond Meat has signed a three-year contract for its pea protein with Puris, adding to a supply agreement with Roquette, which expires at the end of the year. .....Ripple Foods, a California start-up that produces pea-protein based milk, has seen sales double every year since it launched in 2016. The company, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, contracts farmers to grow yellow peas and then processes its own pea protein. That insulates Ripple from price swings.....taking Ripple out of the pea protein market...An increasing number of food and ingredient companies have invested in the pea protein sector over the past few years. Cargill.... backed Puris at the start of last year, putting in $25m and launching a joint venture.

New plants to produce pea protein are expected to get up and running over the next year. Roquette is building a processing plant in Manitoba, Canada, while Verdient Foods of Saskatchewan, a plant protein group backed by James Cameron, the Oscar-winning director of the film Titanic, is also planning new capacity.

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Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  Cargill  food_tech  legumes  Nestlé  plant-based  pulses  Puris  proteins  Ripple  Roquette  soybeans  stockpiles  supply_chains  supply_chain_squeeze  Tyson  Verdient 
july 2019 by jerryking
Tyson Made Its Fortune Packing Meat. Now It Wants to Sell You Frittatas.
Feb. 13, 2019 | WSJ | By Jacob Bunge

Tyson’s strategy is to transform the 84-year-old meatpacking giant into a modern food company selling branded consumer goods on par with Kraft Heinz Co. or Coca-Cola Co.
.....Tyson wants to be big in more-profitable prepared and packaged foods to distance itself from the traditional meat business’s boom-and-bust cycles. America’s biggest supplier of meat wants to also be known for selling packaged foods........How’s the transformation going? Amid an historic meat glut, the company’s shares are worth $4.9 billion less than they were a year ago—and are still valued like those of a meatpacker pumping out shrink-wrapped packs of pork chops and chicken breasts....Investors say the initiatives aren’t yet enough to counteract the steep challenges facing the poultry and livestock slaughtering and processing operations that have been the company’s core since....1935.....Record red meat and poultry production nationwide is pushing down prices and eroding Tyson’s meat-processing profit margins. Tariffs and trade barriers to U.S. meat have further dented prices and built up backlogs, while transport and labor costs have climbed. .......The packaged-foods business is itself struggling with consumers gravitating toward nimbler upstart brands and demanding natural ingredients and healthier recipes........Tyson's acquisition of Hillside triggered changes, including the onboarding of executives attuned to consumer trends. Tyson added managers from Fortune 100 companies, including Boeing Co. and HP Inc., who replaced some meat-processing officials who led Tyson for decades. The newcomers brought experience managing brands, understanding consumers, developing new products and building new technology tools, areas Tyson deemed central to its future......A chief sustainability officer, a newly created position, began working to shift Tyson’s image among environmental groups, .....Shifting consumer tastes have created hurdles for other packaged-food giants, such as Campbell Soup Co. and Kellogg Co. .... the meat business remains Tyson’s biggest challenge. In 2018 a flood of cheap beef, fueled by enlarged cattle herds, spurred a summer of “burger wars,” meat industry officials said. .......investment in brands and packaged foods hasn’t insulated Tyson’s business from these commodity-market swings. ........The company is also trying to improve its ability for forecast meat demand..........developing artificial intelligence to help Tyson better predict the future.........Scott Spradley, who left HP in 2017 to become Tyson’s CTO, said company data scientists are crunching numbers on major U.S. metropolitan areas. By analyzing historic meat consumption alongside demographic shifts, the number of residents moving in and out, and the frequency of birthdays and baseball games, Mr. Spradley said Tyson is building computer models that will help plan production and sales for its meat business. The effort aims to find patterns in data that Tyson’s human economists and current projections might not see. ......Deep data dives helped steer Tyson toward what executives say will be one of its biggest new product launches: plant-based replacements for traditional meat,
Big_Food  brands  Coca-Cola  CPG  cured_and_smoked  data_scientists  Kraft_Heinz  meat  new_products  plant-based  prepared_meals  reinvention  shifting_tastes  stockpiles  strategy  sustainability  tariffs  Tyson  predictive_modeling 
february 2019 by jerryking
Software as Weaponry in a Computer-Connected World - The New York Times
JUNE 7, 2016 | NYT | By NICOLE PERLROTH.

On average, there are 15 to 50 defects per 1,000 lines of code in delivered software, according to Steve McConnell, the author of “Code Complete.” Today, most of the applications we rely on — Google Chrome, Microsoft, Firefox and Android — contain millions of lines of code. And the complexity of technology is increasing, and with it the potential for defects.

The motivation to find exploitable defects in widely used code has never been higher. Governments big and small are stockpiling vulnerabilities and exploits in hardware, software, applications, algorithms and even security defenses like firewalls and antivirus software.

They are using these holes to monitor their perceived enemies, and many governments are storing them for a rainy day, when they might just have to drop a payload that disrupts or degrades an adversary’s transportation, energy or financial system.

They are willing to pay anyone who can find and exploit these weaknesses top dollar to hand them over, and never speak a word to the companies whose programmers inadvertently wrote them into software in the first place.
adversaries  software  hackers  books  coding  vulnerabilities  exploits  software_bugs  bounties  black_markets  arms_race  cyber_warfare  cyber_security  Stuxnet  espionage  Iran  security_&_intelligence  malware  cyberweapons  weaponry  stockpiles  financial_system 
june 2016 by jerryking
Sponsor Generated Content: 4 Industries Most in Need of Data Scientists
June 16, 2014 12:00 am ET
4 Industries Most in Need of Data Scientists
NARRATIVESby WSJ. Custom Studios for SAS

Agriculture
Relying on sensors in farm machinery, in soil and on planes flown over fields, precision agriculture is an emerging practice in which growing crops is directed by data covering everything from soil conditions to weather patterns to commodity pricing. “Precision agriculture helps you optimize yield and avoid major mistakes,” says Daniel Castro, director of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank in Washington, D.C. For example, farmers traditionally have planted a crop, then applied fertilizer uniformly across entire fields. Data models allow them to instead customize the spread of fertilizer, seed, water and pesticide across different areas of their farms—even if the land rolls on for 50,000 acres.

Finance
Big data promises to discover better models to gauge risk, which could minimize the likelihood of scenarios such as the subprime mortgage meltdown. Data scientists, though, also are charged with many less obvious tasks in the financial industry, says Bill Rand, director of the Center for Complexity in Business at the University of Maryland. He points to one experiment that analyzed keywords in financial documents to identify competitors in different niches, helping pinpoint investment opportunities.

Government
Government organizations have huge stockpiles of data that can be applied against all sorts of problems, from food safety to terrorism. Joshua Sullivan, a data scientist who led the development of Booz Allen Hamilton’s The Field Guide to Data Science, cites one surprising use of analytics concerning government subsidies. “They created an amazing visualization that helped you see the disconnect between the locations of food distribution sites and the populations they served,” Sullivan says. “That's the type of thing that isn't easy to see in a pile of static reports; you need the imagination of a data scientist to depict the story in the data.”

Pharma
Developing a new drug can take more than a decade and cost billions. Data tools can help take some of the sting out, pinpointing the best drug candidates by scanning across pools of information, such as marketing data and adverse patient reactions. “We can model data and prioritize which experiments we take [forward],” Sullivan says. “Big data can help sort out the most promising drugs even before you do experiments on mice. Just three years ago that would have been impossible. But that's what data scientists do—they tee up the right question to ask.”
drug_development  precision_agriculture  farming  data_scientists  agriculture  massive_data_sets  data  finance  government  pharmaceutical_industry  product_development  non-obvious  storytelling  data_journalism  stockpiles 
june 2014 by jerryking
African Art Is Under Threat in Djenne-Djenno - NYTimes.com
August 2, 2012 | NYT | By HOLLAND COTTER.

Ethical battles surrounding the ownership of, and right to control and dispose of, art from the past rage on in Africa, as in other parts of the world....the wars over art as cultural property take many forms: material, political and ideological. On the surface the dynamics may seem clear cut, the good guys and bad guys easy to identify. In reality the conflicts are multifaceted, questions of innocence and guilt often — though not always — hard to nail down. In many accounts Africa is presented as the acted-upon party to the drama, the loser in the heritage fight, though such is not necessarily the case, and it certainly doesn’t have to be, and won’t be if we acknowledge Africa as the determining voice in every conversation...finding sculptures in situ, in their historical context...unauthorized trade in such art had been illegal since 1970, when Unesco drew up its Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. But the digging went on, and getting art out of the country — through porous borders, with a payment of bribes — was (and still is) easy. ...Certain archaeologists, the McIntoshes among them, were aghast at the ruinous plundering and took action. They were convinced that any Western attention paid to Malian antiquities increased the market value and encouraged looting. With this in mind they proposed an information blackout on any and all “orphaned“ Inland Niger Delta objects, meaning any that had not been scientifically excavated — most of those in circulation... The antiquities wars were not easy on dealers, collectors and museum administrators. Not only were their jobs threatened and acquisitive passions blocked, but they acquired unfortunate reputations. Once esteemed as cultural benefactors, they came to be seen, in some quarters, as hoarders and thieves.

Where does Africa itself stand in all of this? Is it merely the battleground on which science and commerce clash, a passive stretch of turf to be either righteously conserved or carved up and parceled out? Or is it — could it be — an active, gainful partner in cultural exchange?

It could. Art-alert countries like Nigeria and Mali have stockpiles of objects in storage. Selections of them could be leased out to Western institutions, or even swapped for temporary loans of Western art. The idea that Africa would not be receptive to such exchanges is wrong. It has fine museums (in Bamako, in Lagos), impressive private collections (one is documented in Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie’s superb book “Making History: African Collectors and the Canon of African Art“), and at least a few sharp critics (check out Kwame Opoku at modernghana.com).

There’s no reason to think that concepts of art in Africa and the West — I use these generalities for convenience only — have to jibe. But clearly a sense of the complex value of patrimony is strong and can be pushed further. The time is long past due to be compiling comprehensive digital databases not just of art from Africa, but also of art that’s still there. Not only would this be an invaluable, promotional resource for international study, it would also be a lasting record of types of ephemeral art, or of things too fragile to move, or of objects that have, in the event of political instability, a good chance of being lost.
Africa  art  collectors  collectibles  Mali  ethics  museums  books  embargoes  contraband  archeological  dealerships  art_galleries  art_history  Nigeria  threats  Islamists  antiquities  Timbuktu  sub-Saharan_Africa  heritage  history  stockpiles 
august 2012 by jerryking
What makes Mick Davis stand out -- strong nerves
27 Mar 2007 | The Globe and Mail pg.B.2. | Eric Reguly.

Canadian mining bosses should get out of the office more often...For Canadian (mining CEOs) when the price rises sharply, visions of price collapse immediately fill their heads, and for good reason. The last downward cycle was so brutal that the mining companies were lucky to come out of it alive. They totally misjudged the current cycle, though. The Canadian CEOs should have spent less time on the golf course and more time watching stockpiles of nickel (and copper, zinc and lead) in Shanghai, Mumbai, Taipei and Seoul disappear like beer at Oktoberfest....Xstrata CEO Mick Davis and the intelligence gatherers at Glencore International, the commodities trader that controls 35 per cent of Xstrata, endlessly traipse around the planet to pick up information on reserves and supply and demand. They feed the data into a black box, which rattles and shakes and spits out a range of eye-popping numbers. Then Xstrata runs out and buys nickel companies when nickel prices are outrageously, unsustainably, stupidly high, or so everyone else thinks. Then the company and its shareholders make obscene amounts of money....CVRD and Inco have been spectacularly right, the Canadians spectacularly wrong. The result is a Canadian nickel mining industry with no nickel miners left of any size. Falconbridge, Inco and LionOre have been eradicated as independent, home-grown names. Investors who sold Inco and Falconbridge left fortunes on the table...The Xstrata lads didn't just get smart on price forecasts. They also figured out how to treat the hedge funds: Respect but don't fret about them. The hedgies pump volatility into the system. When commodity prices fall, say, 10 per cent, share prices might fall by double that amount as the hedgies head for the tall grass. As a CEO, you need strong nerves to endure such violent up and down movements. Mr. Davis has strong nerves and it has paid off. Many other mining bosses look at the hedge funds with fear.
CEOs  commodities  commodities_supercycle  Eric_Reguly  Glencore  inventories  lessons_learned  market_intelligence  Mick_Davis  mining  price_forecasts  scuttlebutt  sellout_culture  stockpiles  volatility  Xstrata 
june 2012 by jerryking
In Praise of 'Gouging' - WSJ.com
September 7, 2005 | WSJ | Editorial.

Anti-gouging laws also punish companies for building excess capacity and reserves in advance of a crisis like the one we're now having. One lesson of Katrina is that we should reward companies for stockpiling oil and gas for the times when it is most urgently needed. Price gouging laws give them no incentive to endure the costs of carrying this excess inventory.
editorials  pricing  natural_calamities  stockpiles 
june 2012 by jerryking
Scouting staffs are the true All-Stars in salary cap era
4/3/2008 | USATODAY.com | By Kevin Allen
When the salary cap was introduced, the league was supposed to be about younger free agents moving from team to team.

Instead, it's probably more about scouting and drafting than it has ever been....The salary cap system was supposed to be about all teams being on equal financial footing and general managers, from large and small markets, being able to jump into a rich free agent pool every summer....The key to staying in contention is having a steady stream of inexpensive younger players stepping in ...With the salary cap preventing large market teams from stockpiling talent, there is indeed less tolerance and patience for any long-term rebuilding plan. General managers are expected to repair as they rebuild....a poor drafting history now hurts a franchise far more than ineffective penalty killing. Good coaching can solve problems, but it can't overcome a lack of talent....if management is smart in those cities, what it should do is overhaul the thinking, or perhaps the personnel, making the drafting decisions. To win in this league, you need as many All-Stars on your scouting staff as you need in your lineup.
scouting  Octothorpe_Software  talent_management  talent  sports  salaries  large_markets  talent_scouting  stockpiles 
october 2011 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs Rakes In Profit in Credit Crisis - NYTimes.com
November 19, 2007 | New York Times | By JENNY ANDERSON and
LANDON THOMAS Jr.
At that point, the holdings of Goldman’s mortgage desk were down
somewhat, but the notoriously nervous Mr. Viniar was worried about
bigger problems. After reviewing the full portfolio with other
executives, his message was clear: the bank should reduce its stockpile
of mortgages and mortgage-related securities and buy expensive insurance
as protection against further losses, a person briefed on the meeting
said.
Rarely on Wall Street, where money travels in herds, has one firm gotten
it so right when nearly everyone else was getting it so wrong.
With its mix of swagger and contrary thinking, it was just the kind of
bet that has long defined Goldman’s hard-nosed, go-it-alone style.
Goldman’s secret sauce, say executives, analysts and historians, is
high-octane business acumen, tempered with paranoia and institutionally
encouraged — though not always observed — humility.
====================================

Strategic nous - "practical intelligence/good judgement/shrewdness" = "high-octane business acumen"
Goldman_Sachs  Lloyd_Blankfein  proprietary  herd_instincts  contrarians  paranoia  humility  special_sauce  business_acumen  herd_behaviour  Wall_Street  stockpiles 
february 2010 by jerryking
Canada stockpiles ventilators for flu fight
Jul. 07, 2009 | The Globe & Mail | Gloria Galloway. As
the H1N1 pandemic spreads globally, Canadian public health findings show
– for unknown reasons – that victims here have been younger and sicker,
and have required more ventilators than most other countries, including
the United States.
ventilators  flu_outbreaks  healthcare  Canadian_Healthcare_System  pandemics  H1N1  public_health  stockpiles 
july 2009 by jerryking
Pandemics and Poor Information - WSJ.com
MAY 11, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Whenever there's a threat of epidemic, alongside early deaths comes the casualty of information. Asian governments at least learned from their recent experience of bird flu and SARS the importance of not covering up outbreaks. The still open question is how to assess warnings that health professionals make based on inadequate information. Almost by definition, the risk of an epidemic occurs when the one thing disease experts know for sure is that they don't know for sure what will happen.
"What new information would be sufficient to change your decision?"

Alexander's question (AKA 'Dr. Alexander's question') is a question used to uncover assumptions and associations that may be confusing your judgment. Asking what information would be needed to change your mind can help bring faulty reasoning to light, and it can also point out what facts you should be researching before committing yourself and others to a course of action.

The uncertainty about the longer-term threat of the current swine flu is a
reminder that nature is more complex than mathematical models.Scientific
hypotheses can then be tested, but this approach has limits when it
comes to predictions.
"Alexander's Question," named for a physician who had posed a canny
question of his fellow experts: What information might make the group
change its mind about the need for immunization? Focusing on it would
have led to more focus on uncertainties: the trade-off between side
effects and flu, the difference between the severity of the flu and its
spread, and the choice between mandatory vaccinations and stockpiling in
case of later need. Decision makers should ask themselves what new
"knowns" would change their views.
pandemics  epidemics  risk-assessment  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  information_flows  information  decision_making  immunization  critical_thinking  uncertainty  assumptions  questions  Dr.Alexander's_Question  information_gaps  hidden  latent  facts  change_your_mind  problem_framing  tradeoffs  flu_outbreaks  side_effects  vaccines  stockpiles  information-poor  CDC  unknowns 
may 2009 by jerryking

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