Viewing posts from: November 2016

Food Safety as an Emerging Risk for AgriBusiness in America

Posted November 29, 2016 by Administrator

qtq80-6zlLqVModern food production systems are vulnerable, as evidenced by food safety crises in America. Food borne illnesses strike 48 million Americans every year, many of whom are hospitalized or killed from deadly viruses and bacteria (i.e. salmonella, E. coli, and many more), parasites, allergens, mold, toxins and contaminants. These incidences have caused the public to express concern about the safety of the food they consume and the food supply chain.

Food safety risks can be reduced if food safety hazards are identified early and important information is exchanged properly between all parties involved in maintaining food safety. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works with a variety of public and private partners to ensure a healthy system of food safety oversight that uses the research-based knowledge to prevent food-related issues that make people sick.

In order to achieve the FDA’s goals for improving the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, the food system must be viewed as a whole. Everyone who participates in the food chain and supply system must be held accountable for preventing hazards and following the rules established. For example, the FDA has specific prevention-oriented standards for seafood, juice and eggs as does the U.S. Department of Agriculture for meat and poultry. All parties involved in the food supply chain need to follow best practices established by food safety pioneers and to recognize that any breakdown in the farm-to-table process can cause great harm to the health of consumers and extensive disruption and economic loss to the food industry as a whole.

Food processors need to evaluate their operations and make plans for reducing – or eliminating – hazards. Monitoring standards that prevent contamination are essential as are implementation of corrective measures when necessary. As food safety rules and standards are improved, the FDA needs to have more effective enforcement tools for ensuring prevention measures are adequately and effectively implemented, which may include mandatory recalls when needed to quickly remove contaminated food from the market.

Science-based research standards need to be taken into account when developing standards for the safe production of fruits and vegetables that will minimize or eliminate the risk of serious illness or death. Safety standards need to be set and followed for the transportation of all types of food.

Food safety is an emerging risk for America, one that can be improved with collaboration between all existing food safety agencies in the country, a focus on prevention, research-based policies, determination of best practices, rules and standards, and accountability for all aspects of the food production and supply chains. If these principles are adhered to, the future of food safety in American will achieve a dramatic and positive change.

Thanksgiving Weekend – Holiday Theft Awareness

Posted November 21, 2016 by Erin


Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as Thanksgiving approaches. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and warehouses and trailers are filling up with valuable inventory. Naturally, these make for target-rich environments to would-be thieves. In fact, around Thanksgiving 2015 there were 18 reported cargo theft incidents totaling approximately $1.48 million in reported losses.

Source: Freightwatch International

Please click on the link below for some great loss prevention tips from Great West Casualty Company that can help motor carriers and drivers prevent cargo thefts this year.

10 Ways Fleets Can Improve Fuel Economy

Posted November 21, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_20471446 - Copy (2)Every year, U.S. vehicles consume more than 6 billion gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline combined. Fuel costs are the largest part of a fleet’s operating budget, so it makes sense to focus on fuel reduction strategies. Many corporate sustainability initiatives contain a fuel efficiency program. Volatile fuel prices have leveled out in the last few years, making it somewhat easier to plan and manage fuel costs.

Individual drivers are usually responsible for finding fueling stations on their own. This makes it difficult for managers to forecast the fuel budget, both on the road and off the route. It is well worth it to develop an effective fuel management strategy to ensure costs are kept in check.

Here are some ways fleet managers can set up an effective fuel management strategy.

  1. Require drivers to drive conservatively. Fuel economy can be improved by 33% percent when drivers stay within speed limits and driving conservatively, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) Holding drivers accountable for driving safely and avoiding harsh stop-and-go driving can translate into lowered fuel costs.
  1. Stop unneeded idling. Unnecessary idling, even just one hour per day, can waste as much as $189 per vehicle, according to the EPA. The bigger the vehicle’s engine, the more fuel it consumes when idling. Fleet managers and vehicle owners can download a Vehicle Idle Reduction Savings Worksheet from the Argonne National Laboratory Energy Systems research website to help them calculate potential savings from reducing idle times here.
  1. Keep tires inflated to the optimal tire pressure. Fuel economy can be improved by keeping tires inflated to the correct pressure. Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage for as much as 0.4 percent for every pound per square inch (psi) reduction in pressure.
  1. Plan Efficient Delivery Routes. Adjusting routes can optimize fuel economy. Consider route planning software to help plan routes and reduce fuel consumption.
  1. Use the Proper Diesel Truck Engine Oil. Using the right engine oil can improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent. For a complete discussion about the best engine oil to use for your rigs in 2017, click here.
  1. Make sure your wheels are in alignment. It is imperative that you keep your wheels aligned. If any are out of alignment, it increases the drag on your vehicle, which reduces fuel economy.
  1. Instruct drivers to use cruise control. Make sure your drivers use cruise control if their rig is equipped with it. Cruise control helps drivers maintain a constant speed, which saves fuel.
  1. Remove unneeded payload. Reduce the weight on your vehicle by clearing away unnecessary equipment, tools, parts or products that are not needed that day, therefore improving fuel mileage.
  1. Consider installing a telemetric system. Telemetric systems will provide managers with the data needed to address poor driving habits, such as harsh braking, excessive idle time or unnecessary acceleration. It can also report oil pressure and other diagnostic information, which gives managers information that can really make a difference in fuel economy.
  1. Instruct drivers to use lowest-cost fuel stations. Many fuel card companies offer fuel pricing information every day. Buying fuel from the lowest priced stations can really add up for fleets.

To learn more about transportation practices and coverages to help your business succeed, contact us.

Sustainable Development Goals Critical to Agribusiness

Posted November 10, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_3008334The future of sustainable development goals has significant implications for the future of agribusiness and the human condition. There are new opportunities for farmers that view emerging and frontier markets as their source of long-term growth. Consumers in these markets could significantly increase by the year 2025. Taking action on sustainable development goals could help address slower growth obstacles that are giving rise to “trapped value” in the emerging markets.

Public declarations of support for sustainable agribusiness goals are likely to give rise to competitive pressure. Some farmers could get a jumpstart in their profit centers by organizing partnerships and even positioning themselves as leaders in sustainable development that could work in their favor. Being slow to take action could lead to the risk of being left out of these relationships and a source of competitive disadvantage.

A strong sustainable development goal on food security and agriculture is seen as a key to poverty eradication and sustainable development. Agricultural job creation is also a means for poverty eradication. Challenges include key relationships, interdependencies and possible tensions between consumption and production, i.e. where, what and how farmers produce is conditioned by consumers’ food preferences. There is also a challenge for agribusiness in terms of responsibility to communities and to the protection of the natural resources on which they depend. It may even make sense to establish a legally-binding framework for corporate social and environmental responsibility.

There is a need for enhanced support to small-holder agriculture and livestock herding, as well as small-scale fisheries, including farmer-centric, knowledge-based support programs. The need for increased investment in agriculture must be emphasized, including both public and private investment in agricultural research and development, and the rebuilding of state-central roles in agricultural production. There is also a need for the provision of basic services for rural areas.

Other barriers are external, such as weak infrastructure in emerging markets, lack of capacity among target customers and supply chains, and regulatory and policy complexities. Internal challenges include difficulty monitoring, measuring and communicating impact, alternative investment opportunities that take priority, long-time horizons for profitable payback and lack of clear funding mechanisms.

Awareness of the challenges is the first step to managing them. Sustainable development goals offer a powerful mechanism to create coordination for solving complex problems. To learn more about protecting and growing your agribusiness organization, contact us.

Webinar: Procedures for Handling Driver Accidents

Posted November 2, 2016 by Administrator

Truck InsuranceDespite even the best efforts, all organizations are susceptible to accidents. It’s critical to have proper procedures in place to avoid delays and miscommunication. Join Cline Wood University and expert guest speaker Scott Dunwiddie to learn how to ensure fast, fair and legally compliant resolution to accidents. Topics include:

* Initial Contacts
* Claim Reporting
* Important Information and Documents
* Post-Incident Review

Date & Time: Tuesday Nov 15, 2016 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CST

Registration URL:

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