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Pennsylvania Rations Alcohol Due To Crippled Supply-Chain

Pennsylvania Rations Alcohol Due To Crippled Supply-Chain

Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times,

A shortage of certain alcohol brands is leaving some drinkers in low spirits; the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) announced…

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Pennsylvania Rations Alcohol Due To Crippled Supply-Chain

Authored by Beth Brelje via The Epoch Times,

shortage of certain alcohol brands is leaving some drinkers in low spirits; the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) announced this week it would begin rationing a list of popular liquor labels.

Due to sustained supply chain disruptions and product shortages, purchase limits of two bottles, per customer, per day were applied to certain items beginning Friday, Sept. 17, and will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

The two-bottle limit applies to all consumers and liquor license holders such as bars and restaurants, and includes 43 well-known labels including Hennessy Cognac, Don Julio 1942 Tequila, Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne, and Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

The rationing was not a surprise to Shawn McCall, general manager at Room 33 Speakeasy in Erie, Pa. The speakeasy has had trouble getting some brands for the last three or four months.

“I haven’t been able to get Bulleit Bourbon for a month. Jack Daniel’s was out for a while but it’s back in now,” McCall told The Epoch Times in a phone interview. “People know there is a shortage, so bar owners are overstocking. That is why they put a limit on it.”

In Pennsylvania, wine and spirits are sold at state-operated stores where both consumers and liquor license holders shop. The state stores buy directly from producers so they have a first look at supply.

“We are aware of product shortages in other states,” PLCB Press Secretary Shawn Kelly told The Epoch Times in an email.

“While the current supply challenges are not unique to Pennsylvania and are impacting markets across the U.S., the PLCB has experienced product shortfalls before, and we regularly impose bottle limits on products for which we know demand will exceed supply in order to distribute the product as fairly as possible. These bottle limits are preventative measures to fairly distribute product and minimize out-of-stock situations, which will vary by location.”

Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association, says the rationing adds to a growing list of challenges for small businesses.

“Before the pandemic I believe there were problems making kegs, having to do with steel tariffs,” Moran told The Epoch Times in a phone interview.

“We’ve dealt with shortages before. But now it seems to be one thing after another. We went through this with chicken wings, ketchup packets, plastic cups, and there is still a recovery effort going on from COVID. Businesses were having a hard time finding employees. The combination is really hampering recovery for small business.”

Moran hopes that when Pennsylvania’s legislators return to session Monday, they have a plan to help small businesses.

Glass Shortage and More

There are several reasons for the shortage. All producers who spoke with The Epoch Times pointed to increased consumer demand as one reason.

“Many of our brands, including Buffalo Trace Bourbon, have been on allocation for a few years due to demand outstripping supply of aged whiskey,” Amy Preske, spokeswoman for the Kentucky-based Sazerac Company told The Epoch Times in an email. “On average, the whiskeys we sell today were made seven to eight years ago (2013/14) and we underestimated today’s consumer demand.”

Buffalo Trace Distillery is in the midst of a $1.2 billion expansion, including more barrel warehouses, construction of an additional still, additional fermenters, and expanding its dry house operation. But it will still be a few years before bourbon supply catches up with demand. This shortage is related to any glass shortage or worker shortage in the supply chain, Preske said.

Barrels of bourbon are seen inside of a closed storage building as they age at the Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown, Kentucky on April 11, 2019. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images)

But Svend Jansen at Jack Daniel’s Distillers headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, says those issues did impact its operation.

“We are managing through the impact of global supply chain disruptions, including glass supply and challenging cost headwinds. With the rebound and recovery of our markets and channels, coupled with strong consumer demand for our brands, we are currently managing through glass supply constraints,” Svend told The Epoch Times in an email. “We have deployed a number of risk mitigation strategies and are working actively with our suppliers and distributor partners to optimize our supply chain to meet the consumer demand. While we expect these disruptions to persist throughout the fiscal year, we believe that the impact will become less significant in the second half of the year.”

A global glass shortage is affecting large and small companies. Adam Flatt, co-owner of Franklin Hill Vineyards in Bangor Pa., and Social Still, makers of Sasquatch Vanilla Maple Bourbon in Bethlehem Pa., says the cost of bottles has gone up and it’s tough to buy them at any price.

“Two years ago, I paid $1.47 for a glass bottle, now I pay $2.50 a bottle,” Flatt told The Epoch Times in a phone interview.

“The supply chain is broken for sure for us small guys, and now suppliers are not warehousing as much as they used to.”

In January, he ordered 6,000 bottles for October. The supplier has changed the delivery to no sooner than January, but his orders have been pushed back so many times he is not confident about getting bottles by then. Flatt has changed bottle designs, suppliers and still struggles to get bottles. And there is more.

“There are labor shortages. For a while, nothing could be shipped to you. The bottle company was on quarantine and people were not allowed to work. Now demand is back, even better than before,” Flatt said.

“But everything seems more challenging. Like pricing, a dollar more a bottle. Sometimes you think, ‘I’ll pay a little more to fix a problem,’ but money can’t fix some of these problems.”

Every part of the supply chain has problems, says Pat Shorb, president at  Holla Spirits, a York, Pa. vodka producer.

“If we were to order today, we would have issues getting bottles, caps, labels—many are experiencing problems with their glues, we can get them but they are delayed—it’s all down the board. It’s parts for equipment. It’s drivers, general freight at the ports, delays getting products out of warehouses and into stores,” Shorb told The Epoch Times in a phone interview.

“There’s not a person in the industry who is not feeling the constraints of the supply chain.”

Shorb says he has a supplier who needs 50 workers in his warehouse and can’t find the workers, even with a $3,000 sign-on bonus. It means products sit in the warehouse longer and the company makes adjustments.

“We’re forecasting better, working more in advance and in higher quantities, and hoping that the supply chain issue shakes itself out,” Shorb said, adding that Pennsylvania’s ration of major brands is an opportunity for consumers to embrace new brands.

“A majority of major spirit brands are foreign-owned. It’s a great opportunity for consumers to support your local or regional producers, to experiment. There are phenomenal local products of superior quality and consumers should try them.”

Products Rationed in Pennsylvania

Bars and consumers may buy no more than two bottles of any items on this list.

  • 1792 Chocolate Bourbon Ball Cream Liqueur 34 Proof 750 ML

  • Baker’s Straight Bourbon Small Batch 107 Proof 750 ML

  • Blanton’s Single Barrel Straight Bourbon 750 ML

  • Blood Oath Bourbon Trilogy 3 Pack Second Edition 99 Proof  2.25 L

  • Bond and Lillard Straight Bourbon 100 Proof 375 ML

  • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey 90 Proof 1 L

  • Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon 90 Proof  750 ML

  • Buffalo Trace Straight Bourbon 90 Proof 1.75 L

  • Colonel E H Taylor Jr Straight Bourbon Small Batch Bottle in Bond 100 Proof 750 ML

  • Dom Pérignon Champagne Brut 750 ML

  • Don Julio 1942 Tequila Añejo 80 Proof  750 ML

  • Don Julio Tequila Blanco 80 Proof 750 ML

  • Eagle Rare Single Barrel Straight Bourbon 10 Year Old  750 ML

  • Elijah Craig Single Barrel Straight Bourbon 18 Year Old 90 Proof 750 ML

  • Hennessy Cognac VS 80 Proof 750 ML

  • Hennessy Cognac VS 80 Proof  1 L

  • Hennessy Cognac VS 80 Proof 200 ML

  • Hennessy Cognac VS 80 Proof 375 ML

  • Hennessy Cognac VS 80 Proof 50 ML

  • Hennessy Cognac VS 80 Proof 1.75 L

  • Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Black Label Tennessee Whiskey 80 Proof 1.75 L

  • Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne 750 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne Rose 750 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne Brut 375 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne Brut 750 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne Brut 1.5 L

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne Brut 187 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne Rosé 750 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne Rosé 187 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Champagne  750 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Nectar Imperial Champagne Rosé  750 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Champagne Rosé 375 ML

  • Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Champagne Rosé 187 ML

  • Patrón Tequila Silver 80 Proof 750 ML

  • Russell’s Reserve 13 Year Old Straight Bourbon Barrel Proof 114 Proof 750 ML

  • Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey 90 Proof 750 ML

  • Veuve Clicquot Champagne Rose 750 ML

  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne Brut 1.5 L

  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne Brut 750 ML

  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne Brut 750 ML

  • Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne Brut 375 ML

  • WB Saffell Straight Bourbon 107 Proof 375 ML

  • Weller Special Reserve Straight Bourbon 90 Proof 750 ML

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/19/2021 - 22:00

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Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid ‘Green Pass’ Takes Effect

Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid ‘Green Pass’ Takes Effect

Following Israel across the Mediterranean being the first country in the world to implement an internal Covid passport allowing only vaccinated citize

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Huge Dock Worker Protests In Italy, Fears Of Disruption, As Covid 'Green Pass' Takes Effect

Following Israel across the Mediterranean being the first country in the world to implement an internal Covid passport allowing only vaccinated citizens to engage in all public activity, Italy on Friday implemented its own 'Green Pass' in the strictest and first such move for Europe

The fully mandatory for every Italian citizen health pass "allows" entry into work spaces or activities like going to restaurants and bars, based on one of the following three conditions that must be met: 

  • proof of at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine

  • or proof of recent recovery from an infection

  • or a negative test within the past 48 hours

Via AFP

It's already being recognized in multiple media reports as among "the world's strictest anti-COVID measures" for workers. First approved by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi's cabinet a month ago, it has now become mandatory on Oct.15.

Protests have been quick to pop up across various parts of the country, particularly as workers who don't comply can be fined 1,500 euros ($1,760); and alternately workers can be forced to take unpaid leave for refusing the jab. CNN notes that it triggered "protests at key ports and fears of disruption" on Friday, detailing further:

The largest demonstrations were at the major northeastern port of Trieste, where labor groups had threatened to block operations and around 6,000 protesters, some chanting and carrying flares, gathered outside the gates.

    Around 40% of Trieste's port workers are not vaccinated, said Stefano Puzzer, a local trade union official, a far higher proportion than in the general Italian population.

    Workers at the large port of Trieste have effectively blocked access to the key transport hub...

    As The Hill notes, anyone wishing to travel to Italy anytime soon will have to obtain the green pass: "The pass is already required in Italy for both tourists and nationals to enter museums, theatres, gyms and indoor restaurants, as well as to board trains, buses and domestic flights."

    The prime minister had earlier promoted the pass as a way to ensure no more lockdowns in already hard hit Italy, which has had an estimated 130,000 Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

    Meanwhile, the requirement of what's essentially a domestic Covid passport is practically catching on in other parts of Europe as well, with it already being required to enter certain hospitality settings in German and Greece, for example. Some towns in Germany have reportedly begun requiring vaccination proof just to enter stores. So likely the Italy model will soon be enacted in Western Europe as well.

    Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 07:35

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    Tracking Global Hunger & Food Insecurity

    Tracking Global Hunger & Food Insecurity

    Hunger is still one the biggest – and most solvable – problems in the world.

    Every day, as Visual Capitalist’s Bruno Venditti notes, more than 700 million people (8.8% of the world’s population)..

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    Tracking Global Hunger & Food Insecurity

    Hunger is still one the biggest - and most solvable - problems in the world.

    Every day, as Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti notes, more than 700 million people (8.8% of the world’s population) go to bed on an empty stomach, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

    The WFP’s HungerMap LIVE displayed here tracks core indicators of acute hunger like household food consumption, livelihoods, child nutritional status, mortality, and access to clean water in order to rank countries.

    After sitting closer to 600 million from 2014 to 2019, the number of people in the world affected by hunger increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In 2020, 155 million people (2% of the world’s population) experienced acute hunger, requiring urgent assistance.

    The Fight to Feed the World

    The problem of global hunger isn’t new, and attempts to solve it have making headlines for decades.

    On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans.

    The event was followed by similar concerts at other arenas around the world, globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations, raising more than $125 million ($309 million in today’s dollars) in famine relief for Africa.

    But 35+ years later, the continent still struggles. According to the UN, from 12 countries with the highest prevalence of insufficient food consumption in the world, nine are in Africa.

     

    Approximately 30 million people in Africa face the effects of severe food insecurity, including malnutrition, starvation, and poverty.

     

    Wasted Leftovers

    Although many of the reasons for the food crisis around the globe involve conflicts or environmental challenges, one of the big contributors is food waste.

    According to the United Nations, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tons of wasted food per year, worth approximately $1 trillion.

    All the food produced but never eaten would be sufficient to feed two billion people. That’s more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe. Consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa each year.

    Solving Global Hunger

    While many people may not be “hungry” in the sense that they are suffering physical discomfort, they may still be food insecure, lacking regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development.

    Estimates of how much money it would take to end world hunger range from $7 billion to $265 billion per year.

    But to tackle the problem, investments must be utilized in the right places. Specialists say that governments and organizations need to provide food and humanitarian relief to the most at-risk regions, increase agricultural productivity, and invest in more efficient supply chains.

    Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 23:30

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    Retail And Food Sales: If It’s Not Inflation, And It’s Not, Then What Is It?

    OK, so we went through the ways and reasons consumer price increases are not inflation, cannot be inflation, are nowhere near actual inflation, and what all that really means. The rate they’ve gone up hasn’t been due to an overactive Federal Reserve,…

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    OK, so we went through the ways and reasons consumer price increases are not inflation, cannot be inflation, are nowhere near actual inflation, and what all that really means. The rate they’ve gone up hasn’t been due to an overactive Federal Reserve, so it has to be something else. This is why, though the bulge has been painful, it’s already beginning to normalize. Without a persistent monetary component (in reality, not what’s in the media) the economy will adjust eventually.

    It already has. Several times, and that’s part of the problem.



    If not money, and it’s not, then what is behind the camel humps? No surprise, Uncle Sam’s ill-timed drops along with reasonable rigidities in the supply chain.

    An Economist might call this an accordion effect. One recently did:

    The closures and reopenings of different industries, coupled with the surges and lags in consumer purchasing during the pandemic, have caused an “accordion effect,” says Shelby Swain Myers, an economist for American Farm Bureau Federation, with lots of industries playing catch-up even as they see higher consumer demand.

    Not just surges and lags, but structural changes that have been forced onto the supply chain from them. With the Census Bureau reporting US retail sales today, no better time than now and no better place than food sales to illustrate the non-economics responsible for the current “inflation” problem.

    When governments panicked in early 2020, they shut down without thinking any farther than “two weeks to slow the spread.” This is, after all, any government’s modus operandi; unintended consequences is what they do.

    The food supply chain had for decades been increasingly adapted to meeting the needs of two very different methods of distributing food products; X amount of capacity was dedicated to the at-home grocery model, while Y had been set up for the growing penchant for eating out (among the increasingly fewer able to afford it). Essentially, two separate supply chains which don’t easily mix; if at all.

    Not only that, food distributors can’t simply switch from one to the other. And even if they could, the costs of doing so, and the anticipated payback when undertaking this, were and are massive considerations. McKinsey calculated these trade-offs in the middle of last year, sobering hurdles for an already stretched situation back then:

    Moreover, many food-service producers have already invested in equipment and facilities to produce and package food in large multi-serving formats for complex prepared-, processed-, frozen-, canned-, and packaged-food value chains. It would be highly inefficient to reconfigure those investments to single service sizes.

    And if anyone had reconfigured or would because they felt this economic shift might be more permanent:

    For food-service producers, the dilemma is around the two- to five-year payback period of new packaging lines. Reinvesting and rebalancing a food-service network for retail is not a straightforward decision. Companies making new investments would be facing a 40 percent or more decline in revenue. And any number of issues could extend the payback period or make investments unrecoverable. Forecasts are uncertain, for example, about the duration of pandemic-related demand shifts, the recovery of the food-service economy, and the timeline of returning to full employment.

    So, for some the accordion of shuttered restaurants squeezed food distributors far more toward the grocery and take-home way of doing their food businesses. And it may have seemed like a great bet, or less disastrous, as “two weeks to slow the spread” morphed to other always-shifting government mandates which appeared to make these non-economics of the pandemic a permanent impress.

    More grocery, less dining. Forever after.

    In one famous example, Heinz Ketchup responded to what some called the Great Ketchup/Catsup? Shortage by rearranging eight, yes, eight production lines to spit out their tomato paste in individual servings rather than bottles. CEO Miguel Patricio told Time Magazine back in June (2021) there hadn’t actually been any shortage of product, just the wrong packaging for it:

    It’s not that we don’t have ketchup. We have ketchup, but in different packages. The strain on demand started when people stopped going to restaurants and they were ordering takeout and home delivery. There would be a lot of packets in the takeout orders. So we have bottles; we don’t have enough pouches. There were pouches being sold on eBay.

    But then…vaccines. Suddenly, after over a year of the above, by April 2021 the doors were flung back open, stir-crazy Americans flew back to their local pubs and establishments (see: below) and within months, according to retail sales, it was almost back to normal again. Meaning pre-COVID.



    The accordion had expanded back out but how much of the food services supply chain had been converted to serve the eat-at-home way which many companies had understandably been led to believe was going to be a lasting transformation?

    Do they undertake even more costly and wasted investments to go back? Maybe they resist, just shipping what they have even if not fully suited in the way it had been before all this began.

    Does Heinz spend the money to reconfigure those same eight production lines so as to revert to producing their ketchup in bottles? Almost certainly, but equally certain they’re going to take their sweet time doing it; milking every last ounce of efficiency – limiting their losses, really – they can out of what may prove to have been a bad decision (again, you can’t really fault Mr. Patricio for being unable to predict pandemic politics).

    Rancher Greg Newhall of Windy N Ranch in Washington likewise told NPR that he has the animals, beef, pork, lamb, chicken, goat, but distributors are caught in the accordion (Newhall didn’t use that term):

    NEWHALL: People don’t understand how unstable and insecure the supply chain is. That isn’t to say that people are going to starve, but they may be eating alternate meats or peanut butter rather than ground beef.

    GARCIA-NAVARRO: Newhall says he hasn’t had any issues raising his animals. It’s the processing and shipping that’s the bottleneck, as the industry’s biggest players pay top dollar to secure their own supply chains.

    The usual credentialed Economist NPR asked for comment first tried to blame LABOR SHORTAGE!!! issues, including those the mainstream had associated with the pandemic (closed schools forcing parents to stay home, or workers somehow deathly afraid of working in close proximity with others) before then admitting:

    CHRIS BARRETT: And there’s also the readjustment of the manufacturing process. As restaurants are quickly opening back up, the food manufacturers and processors have to retool to begin to supply again the bulk-packaged products that are being used by institutional food service providers.

    With US retail sales continuing at an elevated rate, the pressures on the goods sector are going to remain intense.


    Because, however, this is not inflation – there’s no monetary reasons behind the price gouge – the economy given enough time will adjust. And it has adjusted in some ways, very painful ways.

    Painful in the sense beyond just hyped-up food prices and what we pay for gasoline lately, the services sector has instead born the brunt of this ongoing adjustment. Consumers have bought up goods (in retail sales) at the expense of what they aren’t buying in services (not in retail sales); better pricing for sparsely available goods stuck in supply chains, seeming never-ending recession for service providers.

    According to the BEA’s last figures, overall services spending remains substantially lower than when the recession began last year. And it shows in services prices which had been temporarily boosted by Uncle Sam’s helicopter only to quickly, far more speedily and noticeably fall back in line with the prior, pre-existing disinflationary trend following a much smaller second camel hump.



    Once the supply and other non-economic issues get sorted out, we would expect the same thing in goods, too. It is already shaping up this way, though bottlenecks and inefficiencies are sure to remain impediments and drags well into next year.

    Those include other factors beyond food or domestic logistical nightmares. Port problems, foreign sourcing, etc. The accordion has played the entire global economy, and in one sense it has created the illusion of recovery and inflation out of a situation which in reality is nothing like either.

    That’s the literal downside of transitory. We can see what the price bulge(s) had really been, and therefore what it never was.

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