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Sarah, thank you for this detailed view inside the strategy and operations of an LFP. Given LFPs are a highly influential sector in the U.S., I wonder if educating legislators and/or advocacy organizations on the risks to food prices due to this change might move the needle in the medium term. In the short term, I like your suggestion to identify labor from local communities, but longer term this is a significant threat to the supply chain that all stakeholders should take seriously.

On December 1, 2017, Laura Kelley commented on Taking a Bite out of Apple: Fighting the Tides of Isolationism :

Chris, thank you for opening up such an important debate on the role of private companies through the lens of Apple. I agree with Kamau that many of the issues you have raised are outside of the scope or control of Apple as a private corporation, and they fall under the purview of government or regulatory bodies. One interesting area Apple could consider is intensifying its regulatory efforts, to fully educate the government on the challenges and costs of shifting more operations and employment to the US. Their operations and supply chain are exceptionally complex and reducing the information assymetry might help to align expectations on what levers can be pulled, at what cost.

On December 1, 2017, Laura Kelley commented on Life-Saving Drones: Zipline in East Africa :

Joe, great article. I think this drone technology does hold a lot of promise for various uses in East Africa, but I think it’s also to address the root cause of the supply chain issues in healthcare. You noted the symptoms (inconsistent availability, spoilage) and some root causes (lack of funding, infrastructure/rainy season). However I think it’s essential look at the full range of root causes for the lack of availability of medical products, which also include non-optimal use of funds, low ability to forecast consumption due to lack of human capital and IT systems, and highly centralized systems that create long lead times. I believe these need to be addressed in order to create systemic change in the medical supply system in Rwanda, as delivery is only one aspect of the supply chain.

On December 1, 2017, Laura Kelley commented on Mercy: Delivering better quality healthcare at a lower cost :

Sakshi, great post. I was intrigued that the concept behind Mercy Virtual incorporates just in time delivery, which is promising to reduce costs, and follows a similar trend to some acquisitions that McKesson has made. The progress they have made in reducing costs is impressive through transparency in data that almost allows the different provides to compete against each other. I believe to have the biggest possible impact, however, they will need to address interoperability of EHRs.

On December 1, 2017, Laura Kelley commented on The Bees are Dying! :

Jonathan – excellent post, thank you for sharing this important and timely subject. Chipotle’s response to cannibalize avocado sales with queso is a great tactical choice. I will be interested to see, as avocado supply continues to be variable, how Chipotle will balance consistency with their original product (are avocados are integral to their offering long term?), consumer preference (what is WTP for guac?), and bottom line. Although I like your suggestions to purchase avocado farms and invest in habitat, I am not optimistic that private investments will be adequate to stem the tide of dwindling bee habitat (climate change seems to be happening faster than they can evolve). Chipotle could consider donations to create more political will to address climate change at the federal level, but it risks alienating some customers. PS – thank you for writing about a topic of keen interest to me… (mass extinction).

On December 1, 2017, Laura Kelley commented on Could a Srirachapocalype be on the Horizon? :

Thank you @hak for sharing such a “hot” topic, and highlighting the risks that climate change, as well as the operational choice to rely on one supplier, are causing for Huy Fong. You present excellent operational choices in terms of expanding the mix of suppliers from different geographies, creating production facilities that are closer to supply, and experimenting with the inputs to the recipe. It’s particularly that we typically discuss modifying a product to satisfy consumer preferences; yet in this case, the product may have to be modified instead to account for operational constraints. I don’t know where I would be without srirach,a but I’m confident Huy Fong will create something that tastes amazing if he needs to modify it!