Hello everybody! Jody Ann Johnson here with the 80th episode of “Coffee with Jody”.  In honor of Earth Month, we’re going to be talking today about Sustainability, Shopping and Sourcing locally. I think everybody would agree that shopping locally and sourcing locally is good for the community because we’re reinvesting in and creating a healthier economic environment in our community. 

But, I also want to talk about how manufacturing is making a comeback in the United States. Part of the reason why shopping and sourcing locally can be good for your business is because with the increase in automation and increases in efficiency, things can be made better and faster here in the States.  

When they’re made overseas, they have to make a very long trip from wherever it is you’ve sourced from, mainly through ocean transport to get here. As we all know, from the recent blockage of the Suez canal, that can have issues in and of itself.  

The important thing is that we are gaining efficiencies, which are driving down costs, demonetizing and democratizing what it actually costs to purchase anything from a computer to a television and so on. 

Yes, of course, labor can be sourced much cheaper in other parts of the world, however, it can also have a limit to the amount of talent that’s in the area that you’re sourcing from. Additionally, we have to consider as well the standards that we’re accustomed to here in the U.S. 

So being competitive, isn’t just about having lower labor costs it’s also about efficiency. This is why the conversation that we’ve been engaging in now for over a year regarding LEAN practices, whether you’re a manufacturing, hospitality industry, the office environment of professional services, whatever it is, is so important. 

LEAN is about eliminating waste and continuous improvement, by building quality in and all the way up through the principles to respecting people that impacts our efficiencies and makes it much more attractive to source nationally and locally.   

Obviously keeping costs down for a small business allows for its own sustainability, and while that’s really important, I often have to coach people on looking at the hidden costs, whether it’s elevated logistics fees, errors, or delays that impact their ability to be cost-effective overall.  Many times we’re looking at costs inside of silos when we really need to be looking at overall costs and making sure that through analysis, that our costs are kept low.   

When we’ve been able to be smart about identifying hidden costs, whether it’s keeping excess inventory, because we’re worried about being able to get the supply that we need, or having to send something back because it was the wrong product, the wrong size and so on with errors that get made by a supplier, when we source locally and domestically, we greatly reduce the environmental impact and the carbon footprint that we have. So, the idea is, yes, we want to do good for the world and do good for the economy of our community, but we can also do good for our business too 

I was surprised to learn that 40% of food in our home is wasted due to buying something that we bought in bulk, or we bought extra of. Then maybe we didn’t make the meal that night, we went out to dinner or something else, and the food ended up going bad. Because food gets processed, the website, Newharvest.org says our fruits and vegetables travel in the U.S about 1500 miles before they reach their final destination. That’s crazy. And it means that these large growers are growing, picking, preserving, and packaging for the food to make that journey. Many times they haven’t ripen properly and we end up throwing them out.  

A lot of waste happens when you’re looking at overseas labor and reduce costs for products from overseas, especially when we’re looking at food, which is a big theme of this month. 

Either way, when we begin to invest in locally sourced foods, locally and domestically sourced products, we gain a stronger economy and we reduce the carbon footprint, which reduces the environmental damage and helps us to restore the earth, which is the theme of this year’s Earth Day on April 22nd.  

The last thing I want to share with you is the journey of the coffee bean. I was wondering about the journey of the coffee bean, because most coffee is grown in other parts of the world. I don’t know if you noticed, but 62% of Americans have coffee every morning when they wake up and the coffee bean, whether it’s grown in Brazil or in Vietnam, or anywhere else ends up at 12 cent to 25 cent per pound that goes to the actual farmer.  

It gets picked, packaged and sent to a millat the mill they dry it and dehusk it. Then they’ve got to package it again to send to either a trader or to make this long trip through the ocean, to the U.S and then from here, they’re going to roast it and then it’ll have to be packaged again and then sent to where its final destination is. So it makes quite a long journey from the grower to the coffee that you have, either at your local coffee shop or in your home.  

Now I hate to admit it, but I will let you know that we make a pot of coffee and we don’t always drink at all. So I’m looking at, gosh, you know, do we need to make less coffee and then use the Keurig in the office if we want more coffee later in the day. But I have to admit, we waste coffee. 

To think that the farmer only gets between 12 and 25 cents per pound is really sad. So we looked at the coffee growing farms here in the U.S. Our research says there’s only three places that they can grow coffee successfully in the U.S, Hawaii, California, and Puerto Rico. So now we’re looking at where we can begin to get our coffee so that we reduce that carbon footprint and actually get locally and domestically sourced coffee.  

All of this is quite a lot to take in, it can be overwhelming. However, if you start to investigate and dive into sourcing locally, and at least domestically, you may be quite surprised at how beneficial it is to your company.  How it could lower your costs by preventing errors, delays, logistical fees and so on, and make it better for our earth.  

If you enjoyed this video, please like it, share it and subscribe to my YouTube channel where we’ll be continuing to talk about LEAN sustainability in the office, out in our world, and just generally making the world a better place by being a business for good. 

That’s it. Bye for now. 

Portrait, Jody Johnson
About the author,

#1. Jody is a person of action intensely focused on making things happen. #2. She’s a big picture thinker and an accomplished business strategist #3. Jody builds people’s confidence in themselves; she develops and brings out the best in people, she is genuinely interested in others. #4. She’s known as the Velvet Hammer, delivering direct communication with loving regard

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