Nico K

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Glad to read this Japees, thank you for sharing!

Hi Sarah,
Thank you for your article. It makes me think a lot about local farms where I worked in the UK for a few years before university. Firstly trying to abide by labour regulations, these farms employed cheap polish labour. However, when tougher regulations came down with the rise of UKIP, it became easier for the farms to reduce their dependence on legal labour and hire in a much less official manner. As opposed to LFP who are large enough to be scrutinised, local farms and producers may often be forced into the black market to avoid the costs you mention.
Furthermore, these result in hiding some of the labour from local residents, further fuelling some of the social unrest seen in results such as Brexit.

Hi AT,
Thank you for your article. I agree with your recommendations to Lindt, and wonder if we could even draw some more from our discussion of IKEA? For example, what is stopping Lindt from purchasing some farms, or taking an ownership stake, to drive more money into the region and take on full responsibility for its actions and impacts?
I think an industry consortium is possible, but it will need companies to sign up to it. The fairtrade movement is a good example of a parallel, and yet I believe that the message is lost on the majority of consumers. Unfortunately, perhaps the forces of capitalism will be too great to create a large shift without changing the final consumer demand – that, in my opinion, is where Lindt should be focusing.

On November 27, 2017, Nico K commented on Blood Donations in a Digital Age :

Hi Pratik,
Thank you for bringing this topic to light – I appreciate your lens on this supply chain, and would never have guessed it made up a majority of the Red Cross’s value.
Certainly, the US seems far ahead of the UK, and I am glad to discover it so – the digitisation already seems well under way and hopefully some of the more glitch-y aspects can be rectified fast, though of course there is a question of how to attract the best digital talent when companies like Uber, whom you mentioned, are causing a skyrocket of tech / engineer salaries, starving other poorer industries of the skills required?
One more change which I might suggest would be related to the forecasted demand which you mention. I believe that as well as helping donors plan their donations better, hospitals should go as far as disincentivising people to donate at some points of the year, if the busiest periods will be within their next minimum donation window.

On November 27, 2017, Nico K commented on Cimpress: Custom Products on a Mass Scale :

Hello TOM Lover,
Thank you for your interesting article. The similarity in the challenge faced between Cimpress attacking personalisation compared to Li & Fung attacking the internet is really interesting, it seems even twenty years on there is a lot of value to be had from what Li & Fung found to be the online opportunity for them: “aggregates orders across its brands and automatically batches and routes jobs to the manufacturing facility that best optimizes cost with consumers’ requested delivery times and locations”.
I find the final question of your essay very interesting, and indeed the issue faced by Cimpress. I think if they were to look at their main threats in the next decade, most of them would be related to competition rather than obsolescence; is becoming a platform the only way to make the competition join you, rather than challenge you?

Hi GWtrouble7,
It is interesting reading this from a UK consumer standpoint, where none of the issues you referred to in your article were publicised widely, nor is Chipotle’s position as being particularly sustainable vaunted about. It makes me wonder to what extent, especially as consumers become more aware, the level of criticism a company’s sourcing will receive will depend on the bar that it sets itself, as opposed to what consumers, or regulators, believe that bar should be?
I would also love to know if you have any comparisons of the 1% increase in food costs to tackle some of their challenges – this seems very little to me to save a) the brand, b) the mission and c) the chain?
Thank you!

On November 27, 2017, Nico K commented on The post-Brexit hangover: One big headache for Diageo :

Though I hope that SWA negotiations will not fall through, I am concerned given Scotland’s vote for independence that there could be murky waters ahead. Furthermore, the border debates with Ireland are raging currently and so both of Diageo’s primary whisky channels are under great risk! It is ironic that given the above difficulties they face further afield, that some of their biggest issues may still come from their dealings with old friends…