The Friday Report Blog: November 18th, 2022

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

United Natural Foods, Inc. Brings Indoor Farming to Fulfillment Centers

United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has announced a partnership with Square Roots that will bring vertical farming technology inside several of its distribution centers. UNFI plans to open the first indoor farming system at its Prescott, Wisconsin facility. The farm is currently under construction and is expected to be 20,000 square feet.

The collaboration between UNFI and Square Roots will enable UNFI to better develop its Better for All initiative. The project aims to improve and support relationships between UNFI and its produce suppliers to optimize the supply chain.

The vertically-integrated indoor farming systems developed by Square Roots can be set up virtually anywhere. With the Square Roots system, companies can grow fresh produce year-round, that can be harvested, packaged, and distributed to consumers.

Vertical farming is growing in popularity. This year Walmart invested $400 million into Plenty, which has a partnership with Albertsons. Plenty plans to build the largest indoor farm in the world.

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President Biden Proposes New Rules for Suppliers

The Biden Administration recently announced the Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Proposed Rule. This proposal will require federal contractors and suppliers to meet emissions reductions goals that are aligned with the Paris Agreement. Contractors and suppliers must publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in addition to any climate-related financial risks. The rule is only for companies with over $7.5 million in federal contracts.

The United States is the first government that has made it a requirement for major federal suppliers to disclose emissions and climate risks. Under the proposal, disclosures include direct emissions from controlled facilities, emissions associated with acquired energy, and emissions associated with procurement and travel.

The proposed rule is part of the Biden Administrations Federal Sustainability Plan. The plan aims to achieve net-zero emissions in 85% of the federal supply chain by 2050. Currently, the federal supply chain is estimated to release twice the amount of emissions from operating government buildings and vehicles. The Federal Government has 300,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles.

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Microsoft announces Development of Supply Chain Center

In a move to gain a competitive advantage in the supply chain tech industry, tech giant Microsoft has announced that the company will integrate several of its supply chain systems into one product, the Microsoft Supply Chain Center. The technology is designed to help customers connect data across third-party supply chain management solutions. The company also has plans to introduce the Microsoft Supply Chain Platform, which will enable the company to market a variety of supply chain related solutions to customers.

Kraft Heinz North America, Daimler Truck North America, and iFit are currently testing the product. The companies have used the offerings to solve specific issues in their supply chains. Kraft Heinz used the supply chain center to increase its agility, while iFit used it to optimize transportation costs. Daimler used it to manage truck parts and suppliers.

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