1. Organic Food Companies Change Business Model by Expanding Deeper into Supply Chain - The Minute

    01:31

    from 3BL Media Added

    The rapid sales growth in organic foods, a thirty two point two billion dollar business last year, has caused major supply problems for organic food companies. U.S. retail sales of organic food more than tripled over the decade through 2013, according to the Organic Trade Association. But this market explosion has caused organic production to lag behind market demand, causing higher prices and a shortage of products. Some companies have had to buy supplies overseas, raising issues of certified organic quality as well as additional shipping costs. Now, organic food companies are expanding the conventional agricultural business model of supplier and buyer by investing directly in their supply chain. Nature’s Path, a Canadian organic cereal maker, has paid two million dollars for a Montana farm to secure its supplies of wheat and oats. Pacific Foods, a soup maker, and Chipotle Mexican Grill are making strategic moves to finance farmers, offer technical training, and recruit more organic growers. Hain Celestial Group, maker of brands such as Earth’s Best and Health Valley, has promised multi-year contracts to farmers for organic corn. In the case of organic foods, the market is demanding business innovation. Read the release: http://bit.ly/1O4Ex0T © 2015 | 3BL Media | All Rights Reserved

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    • The Business Case for Social Leadership: Companies Protest Indiana and Arkansas Laws - The Minute

      01:33

      from 3BL Media Added

      Protests against laws in Indiana and Arkansas that could allow discrimination against gay couples are coming from a broad spectrum of the business community. Tech companies like Apple, Salesforce.com, Twitter, Yelp, and Square, not known for their public engagement with social issues, have spoken out against the laws. Business-as-usual NASCAR and the NCAA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, have voiced their concern. Eli Lilly and Angie’s List, both also headquartered in Indianapolis, have announced their opposition. So have several national conventions—a $4.4 billion four industry that supports 75,000 jobs in Indiana—the state’s Chamber of Commerce, and other business leaders. In Arkansas, companies from Walmart to Acxiom, a technology company based in Little Rock that employs 1,600 workers, have spoken against that state’s bill. These protests from such a variety of businesses—and ones without an explicit social mission—show that today’s companies are engaged as never before with the urgent issues of our time. Business now exercises a level of social leadership that has replaced political activity as the go-to action arena for progressive change in our culture. Read the release: http://bit.ly/1NH2ZmV © 2015 | 3BL Media | All Rights Reserved

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      • Health Systems Compete with Medical Insurers for Clients and Revenue - The Minute

        01:25

        from 3BL Media Added

        Traditional business models in the health care industry continue to be disrupted by the Affordable Care Act. In a potentially major shift in practice, health systems and medical groups are now competing against medical insurers by enrolling employer groups and individual consumers in their health plans, reports Modern Healthcare. A number of major, multi-state health systems, including Ascension Health, the largest U.S. not-for-profit system, have acquired health plans or insurance licenses. So have some regional health systems and even a few medical groups. Providers are turning to the insurance market because they are entering global budget contracts and would like to capture savings from more efficient care delivery themselves. But health care systems and medical groups that launch their own plans complicate their business-as-usual negotiations with insurers over payment rates and networks. Some health systems that have entered the insurance markets have even had their provider contracts canceled by insurers in disputes over reimbursement rates. It looks like the ?creative destruction? of innovation is alive and well in the health care sector. Read the release: http://bit.ly/1D33KHe ? 2015 | 3BL Media| All Rights Reserved

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        • Top 100 Hospitals Record Higher Profits, Lower Costs Under ACA - The Minute | 3BL Media

          01:40

          from 3BL Media Added

          In this new era of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are working hard to improve outcomes, both for patients and for their bottom lines. There are two main drivers for change. One is negative: financial penalties, such as the one percent cut in Medicare payments under the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services? Hospital-Acquired Reduction Program, which penalizes poor performing hospitals. This year, 724 hospitals will be penalized for failing to meet new standards. The other driver is positive: the opportunity for increased profitability. The annual Truven Health Analytics list of the One Hundred Top Hospitals for 2015 evaluates 2,787 institutions. Performance is measured across more than a dozen categories, including mortality, complications, length of stay, readmissions, patient satisfaction and spending per beneficiary. In terms of financial performance, the top-rated hospitals had an average operating margin of 14.4 percent, compared with 3.6 percent for the peer group. Inpatient expenses per discharge were three percent lower, and the Top One Hundred also saw two percent lower costs per episode in treating Medicare patients. Lower costs and higher performance equals better business for hospitals and better outcomes for their patients. Read the release: http://bit.ly/1ErsHuf ? 2015 | 3BL Media| All Rights Reserved

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          • Conservatives and Environmentalists Join to Break Up Florida?s Solar Power Monopoly - The Minute

            01:28

            from 3BL Media Added

            You?d think that Florida, with the country?s third largest population and a politically conservative electorate that focuses on individual choice, would be a solar power leader. After all, the Sunshine State has plenty of the basic resource. But Florida ranks only 13th nationally in installed solar capacity, behind Number 12 Pennsylvania. The reason? Florida is one of only five states that prohibit third-party sales of solar power from non-utility companies. Consumers can buy electricity only from utilities. As a result, the Florida market has been underperforming at a time of rapid growth for the solar industry. Now, an unlikely alliance of Tea Party conservatives and liberal environmental activists has launched a ballot initiative campaign to eliminate restrictions that protect utilities from competition. This approach seems contagious: Conservatives for Energy Freedom, which has allied with the Sierra Club, is active in Georgia as well as in Florida, and an Arizona group, Tell Utilities Solar Won?t be Killed, is also active in nine other states. Looks like the future for free market solar power business in Florida could be preparing for an upward trend. Read the release: http://bit.ly/1EaZPpQ ? 2015 | 3BL Media| All Rights Reserved

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            • Principles and Profits: The Container Store Story - The Minute | 3BL Media

              01:45

              from 3BL Media Added

              Profits versus virtue: that’s the cover story of the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. Its graphic illustration of two poles of business activity that have been historically thought of as opposing, but are increasingly looked to as complementary, define the point of the issue’s feature about the Container Store. The article reports the company’s DNA as “conscious capitalism,” a business strategy with a bottom line built on a higher purpose. By profit standards, the Container Store is doing very well. Its sales for 2014 are estimated at $790 million, with adjusted earnings of $94 million. It operates 70 stores with 5,000 employees. Principles are healthy, too. The company pays those employees an average of $48,000 a year, about twice the typical retail salary, and provides many other employee benefits. Read the release: http://bit.ly/1LATc0E © 2015 | 3BL Media| All Rights Reserved

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              • Counting the Cost of Climate Change - The Minute via 3BL Media

                01:35

                from 3BL Media Added

                If nothing is done about climate change, dangerous levels of extreme heat are likely across the Midwest, causing crop losses of corn and wheat up to 69 percent, rising energy costs up to 16 percent higher, and a reduction in labor productivity by three percent. Those are some of the warnings in a report from the Risky Business Project, Heat in the Heartland: Climate Change and Economic Risk in the Midwest. - Read more: http://bit.ly/1IFaQnK © 2015 | 3BL Media | All Rights Reserved

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                • Banks Work to Measure Culture as Well as Numbers - The Minute

                  01:30

                  from 3BL Media Added

                  Last fall, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley used the word “culture” forty-four times in a speech warning bank executives that regulators would break up the big banks if they didn’t change their practices. Today, culture has become the new buzzword of the moment in the financial sector. Banks are now focusing on employee attitudes and values to head off the bad behaviors that led to the 2008 financial crisis. But how are banks to measure such a qualitative factor as culture when they have historically scored their worth by quantitative number and data crunching? Read More: http://3blmedia.com/News/Banks-Work-Measure-Culture-Well-Numbers-Minute © 2015 | 3BL Media| All Rights Reserved

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                  • UN Says 2015 Will be “The Year of Sustainability”-The Minute

                    01:30

                    from 3BL Media Added

                    2015 is a landmark year for the United Nations. It’s the 70th year since its founding in 1945, after the most destructive war in history. Without its efforts over the last seven decades, today’s world would be worse off in terms of social justice, human rights, and peace, no matter how qualified those ideals may seem to be currently. But, says UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the year also looks to be significant in another area: sustainability. Read More: http://3blmedia.com/News/UN-Says-2015-Will-be-Year-Sustainability-Minute © 2015 | 3BL Media | All Rights Reserved

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                    • Solar Power Utilities Look to New Investment Models - The Minute

                      01:35

                      from 3BL Media Added

                      Two-thirds of the nation’s solar capacity installed in the U.S. last year was utility-scale solar power. The rapid growth of this new industry has been driven by government loan guarantees and an Investment Tax Credit worth 30 percent of a project’s cost. The results have been the Ivanpah plant, a venture between BrightSource Energy, NRG Energy, and Google, and two plants developed by the Spanish energy company, Abengoa. Located in the Mojave Desert, all three produce electricity when the sun is not shining by storing solar power for overnight use. Between them, they produce enough electricity to power over 300,000 homes throughout California. But the loan guarantee program has expired, and the tax credit drops from 30 percent to 10 percent at the end of this year. So solar power companies are looking to other financial tools to attract investors. Read More: http://3blmedia.com/News/Solar-Power-Utilities-Look-New-Investment-Models-Minute © 2015 | 3BL Media | All Rights Reserved

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