Weekend Digest: July 27th, 2018
Thu Jul 26

Weekend Digest: July 27th, 2018

F.B. International’s Weekend Digest is an easy-to-read breakdown of what we’re reading and highlighting from the past week.

More from this week’s theme: High-Tech Farming


Each week, on F.B.’s social media we highlight a different theme, industry, or sector. Take a look at our Twitter and LinkedIn to see what we’ve been talking about this week.

  • According to Forbes, Ag tech investment has been increasing 80% annually since 2012–so what’s to come and what can we do to encourage precision farming: https://bit.ly/2Ny3GGg
  • The top 10 technologies in precision farming right now: https://bit.ly/2vaajqM
  • Photos from 11 of the world’s most high-tech farms: https://tek.io/2v9QfET
  • The downside of high-tech farming–the new equipment can be a nightmare for farmers: https://bit.ly/2LDJcid

What our team is reading this week:

Each week, the team at F.B. chooses an article to share. These are not necessarily related to international business, but are some “good-reads” we think you may enjoy.

Fabrice Bonvoisin, President

I found this article, “Trash as Value: Turning Ocean Waste Into Viable Products,” which was published in the July 2018 issue of Plastic Technology quite surprising and full of interesting data. I was somewhat aware that a lot of plastic is ending into our oceans. In May this year, I saw this alert about plastic waste found at the deepest place in our oceans (https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/plastic-bag-mariana-trench-pollution-science-spd/), and heard about another alarm regarding straws hurting sea turtles which led to a “ban plastic straws” movement. As a consequence, more and more cities like Seattle (https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/02/us/seattle-bans-plastic-straws-and-utensils/index.html) are now banning plastic straws.

Nonetheless, my understanding of the problem was so far from the actual scale–that is measured in millions of metric tons. This Plastic Technology article raises a question: who should be responsible for that pollution along the coastal areas and in our oceans? Based on this article, the industry is taking action before the regulators, whomever they might be. It is also interesting to point out that while the problem reaches many developing countries who don’t have recycling systems in place, many of the actors leading and funding innovative recycling initiatives are Americans and Europeans. Viable consumer packaging can now be produced using beach-plastic at a slightly higher cost. For example, HDPE recycler Envision Plastics of Atlanta, GA made a commitment to collect 10 million lbs of HDPE from high-risks zones over the next 2 years. They already recycled 5 million lbs, but sold only 10% of it. More needs to be done to support companies like Envision to keep islands and coasts clean. It is encouraging to see in the conclusion of this article that companies like P&G, Dell, Suez, and Unilever are demonstrating that the industry can take a key role in a global issue and show the way to a cleaner environment.

When I see the littering in some of our parks and cities, I wonder if such initiatives also exist for inland areas.

Image from Plastic Technology Online

Article: https://www.ptonline.com/articles/trash-as-value-turning-ocean-waste-into-viable-products

Ruby Blau, Marketing Associate

As a somewhat frequent traveler (and an aspiring more-than-frequent traveler), I am always looking for more efficient, more enjoyable, and more user-friendly trip planning tools. I often find myself having booked my transportation in advance, my lodging a bit later, and then arriving at my destination with anywhere from 0-2 things on my “to see” list. For getting around, I usually use Rome2Rio to see my various options for getting from A to B (and maybe C as well) and I peruse AirBnB, HomeAway, and Trivago for lodging. But for things to do? If a friend has been recently, I ask them but if not I often do a cursory search on TripAdvisor once I’m there.

This article from Geek Wire gives us some insight into the startup from ex-Amazon employees: Wanderlust Society. It is a pinterest-style planning tool that uses suggested content algorithms based on both your “friends” and people with similar travel interests.

The tool is just in beta testing right now, but I’m looking forward to giving it a try when it’s fully functional.

        Article: https://www.geekwire.com/2018/ex-amazon-employees-venture-start-wanderlust-society-tool-planning-better-trips/

Balint Homonnai Varga, Assistant Project Coordinator

  Following last week’s ‘Weekend Digest’, I wanted to follow-up on the theme of dive watches with an article that has some explanation and thought. This week I read an article on Hodinkee that felt as a great follow-up for the release of an old-new style divers’ watch.

Divers’ watches were once tool watches that were essential for diving in depths of water. Nowadays, the big, chunky, and digital divers’ watches substitute the traditional mechanic tool watches of the past, as they show more information regarding dives and all things considered, they have better readability in the water. However, there are still divers wearing the mechanic versions of divers’ watches. Pieces such as the Rolex Submariner and Sea-Dweller, or Tudor Pelagos, can all be used for dives, for example. These watches allow their users to use traditional ways of measuring dive time.

This article gives more information about the markings on divers’ watches, and discusses the “complexity” of their dials and bezels.

Image from Hodinkee

                    Article: https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/deciphering-dive-watch-markings

Events you may be interested in next week:

  • August 1st: Healthcare Opportunities in Peru for U.S. Exporters. Webinar, sponsored by the U.S. Commercial Service, is for U.S companies concerning the healthcare sector in Peru, and the TECNOSALUD trade show. TECNOSALUD is the second largest medical convention in South America, providing excellent potential with other attendees such as the Ministry of Health, the Social Security Program (ESSALUD) and the regional governments. 9:00 a.m. CDT. No charge; advance registration required. For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2LNYi1l
  • August 2nd: 2018 Midwest Food Buyers Mission. Sponsored by Food Export Association of the Midwest USA (Food Export-Midwest) and Food Export USA-Northeast (Food Export-Northeast), this will allow you to position yourself and your products in front of pre-qualified, experienced international buyers who continue to seek the latest food trends and products from the United States. It’s the perfect low-cost opportunity to meet buyers from established and emerging markets in one place. Choose from 17 international buyers. Additionally, Food Export In-Market Representatives from Canada, Costa Rica, Japan, Middle East, Nicaragua and Panama will be on hand to meet one-on-one to answer questions and assist with market specific insight. 8:00 a.m., Maggiano’s Little Italy, 515 North Clark Street, Chicago. Fee: $250 (by June 1; $300 thereafter until June 22 deadline). For information & registration, please see: https://bit.ly/2Any58T

Next week’s theme: Micro-Mobility

Image from Pocket-Lint.com


Next week we’re going to be discussing trends in micro-mobility, what it is, and why big name companies are investing in it so heavily. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to see these posts.

Author: Ruby Blau

Ruby is the Marketing Associate for FB International LLC. Ruby focuses on supporting the marketing, social media, and business development efforts of FB International’s clients.

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