retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe
Minnesota Public Radio has an interesting story about how Glen Taylor, described as "the billionaire owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves," is investing in a new food business that will make transparency a key business value.

According to the story, "Taylor and a group of investors are spending millions of dollars to convert a former beef plant into a hog processing facility, Prime Pork. They plan to open by January ... Robots will do some of the butchering, including a robotic arm designed to remove ribs."

And, MPR says, "The plant will process more than 6,000 hogs a day, which makes it a medium-sized operation."

But perhaps most importantly, "Hogs from each farm supplying the plant will move through the plant together as a group. That will make it easier to keep track of where each cut of meat originated."

Taylor says that customers who want more information about their food will be able to get it. "The customer can know which farms the hogs came from. How they're raised, what they're fed, how they're treated."

The goal is to develop a business model that is responsive to growing customer concerns about "where and how our food is produced," MPR says, and growing suspicion about "big food" companies in general.

Which I think is smart. Which I think acknowledges modern realities. Which I think is an attitude that ought to be emulated by more companies. Which I think is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: