Timmy elsewhere

At the ASI.

On that mech engineers report about food. Odd how so few have noted that they\’re calling for the poor world to get supermarkets.

5 thoughts on “Timmy elsewhere”

  1. Many odd things about that story that made one, er, scoff. Or not. But never mind, they won’t have time to think about them when they’re fitting chiller units in Brazzaville.

  2. I was in India last year. India generally does not have supermarkets, because regulation has prevented them from opening. If ever there was a simple way to improve the quality of many people’s live, opening a few supermarkets would be it.

  3. It’s not supermarkets – it is efficient, meaning low-waste, storage and transport systems that they want. These guys are engineers: they can see the problems with the systems and how to save umpteen million lives without changing the retail structure. UK food wastage was far lower than Russian before we had supermarkets and when they had the massive capital investment in logistics systems that you attribute to the power of the supermarkets. Please don’t fall for the Grauniad line that it is all about economics: the engineers are talking commonsense (anathema to Grauniad, and may other, journalists).
    The simplest improvement would be to go back to every farmer having a cat.

  4. UK food wastage was far lower than Russian before we had supermarkets and when they had the massive capital investment in logistics systems that you attribute to the power of the supermarkets

    Complete failure to comprehend the point.

    It’s not about the level of capital investment.

    It’s about the incentives.

    If you want to make money, you will do you best to deliver to the consumer what they want (or what you can persuade them that they want.)

    If you are meeting 5-year tractor production targets, you will report that you are exceeding 5-year tractor production targets.

    India is, for misguided protectionist reasons, preventing the rational investment in logistic infrastructure. This cannot be compensated for by irrational government investment in infrastructure. Although some of the latter _might_ enable some of the former, if the rules are eventually relaxed. But I wouldn’t bet on it being cost effective. YMMV.

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