Or rather, how mobile technologies are enabling better supply chain management in rural India than in not-so-rural England.
Whilst listening to a MIX08 session online – I Wanna Go Mobile – the host, Michael Platt, retold a story about Indian fishermen benefitting from mobile technologies. In the past, rural villages along the coast of India relied on their local fishermen for food. Without enough fish, people starved. With too many fish, food was wasted. Thanks to mobile phones, there are now fish merchants along the coast. When the fishermen catch more fish than their local village needs, they can contact the merchants and sell their surplus. A simple solution and everyone benefits.
In the same week, I discovered sheep in England eating chocolate fudge. When a certain will-remain-unnamed retail organisation orders too much food, they have an arrangement with a company to remove the surplus on a daily basis. Doesn’t matter what the surplus is, it must be gone instantly. This isn’t food that has gone past its sell-by date. Presumably it’s more efficient to get rid of excess stock than to store it in warehouses. And that’s fair enough. But, with our government spending a whopping 50p per school dinner, wouldn’t you think we could come up with a better method for distributing edible surplus stock?
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