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From Our CEO

Eating Local, Even if You’re on the Express

By ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE

While walking through a subway station, you expect to see newsstands, coffee shops, maybe a pharmacy or convenience store. Stumbling upon a farm would be, to say the least, a surprise. But that’s exactly what commuters inside Seoul’s Sangdo Station are finding. Underground along Line 7, passengers encounter a glass-walled room alive with leafy greens, herbs and edible flowers.

Kotaro Hosokawa writes for Nikkei Asian Review that the subterranean vegetable farms stem from a collaboration between Seoul Metro and agricultural startup Farm8. The goal is to boost revenue and fill vacancies in areas that are unappealing to retailers — primarily in subway stations far from the city center or outlying retail spaces.

Farm8 Assistant Manager Yeo Chan Dong emphasizes the fact that growing hydroponic vegetables under light-emitting diodes is 40 times more efficient per unit area than doing so outdoors. Plus, the hydroponic vegetables are becoming very popular among consumers — especially parents, who are wary of food grown in the open air because of South Korea’s hazardous pollution.

Notably, it’s not just farming. Adjoining these outlets are Farm8 cafes where people purchase juice and salads made from the fresh vegetables, as well as places where children can learn about agriculture. Farm8 has even started testing “smart farms,” in which artificial-intelligence-powered robots will plant, water and harvest.

Change takes root

“Without change, both organizations and individuals risk becoming irrelevant,” writes Darrin Eastes, CPIM, in the brand new issue of SCM Now magazine. He says that it’s essential for supply chain professionals to embrace transformation, challenge old norms and — as with deciding to grow salad makings in a subway station — initiate the unexpected.

In fact, this issue of SCM Now is full of stories to inspire and enable you to enact pioneering change. In the “Professional Development” department, ASCM Career Coach Rodney Apple writes: “If there is anything that is constant within the field of supply chain, it’s rapid change. Many supply chain professionals make the mistake of focusing too much time on day-to-day tasks and not enough time reading up on supply chain news or researching leading companies. Spotting and adapting to trends are powerful ways to accelerate your leadership skills.”

And “Customer Experience” department author Annette Franz offers strategies for bringing about change in your organization, including specific ways to lead by example, communicate the vision, and motivate and include others: “When people are involved in the decision-making process from the beginning, the solutions and suggestions are richer in depth and quality.”

SCM Now encompasses a world of supply chain knowledge, news, research and emerging trends. Access this key ASCM member benefit digitally; or, if you prefer reading SCM Now in print, become a print subscriber and enjoy 25% off with code SCMNOW25. Finally, our editorial team always welcomes feedback and contributions from readers. Share your thoughts and expertise at editorial@ascm.org

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