Archive for January, 2014

01.31
14

Important Details Of Online Courses On Newspaper Management

by como ·

Newspaper management is out and out a practical field of study. Newspaper is an ever-evolving industry. As a result of globalisation, the people of a country want to connect themselves to the other countries of the world. Newspaper was the first to present the macro world in a micro form before the introduction of satellite technology and electronic media. The reach of newspaper industry is no longer limited to the boundary of print media. It has rather been extended up to the web world. That is why, newspaper management as a career-building discipline is on high demand. Many educational institutes offer online courses on newspaper management.

How is it possible to conduct or pursue online newspaper management courses? Many wonder. This branch of study on newspaper industry involves a number of practical aspects. Conducing practical online courses is no longer a wonder. It has been possible because of e-content. Newspaper printing is a part of overall newspaper management. Pictures or graphics of newspaper printing techniques are provided in form of e-content to the students. They can grip the details of newspaper printing from the e-books and e-magazines that the institutes provide them with. Is it a Herculean task any longer to bag online degrees in newspaper management?

The study of newspaper management is divided into several segments – editorial management, circulation management, sales management, distribution management and business management. Online courses on each of the segments of the discipline are available. Some institutes offer lessons on these management divisions of a management house in the courses on newspaper management as a whole. Having a clear picture of newspaper management and its functions is vital to understand the operation of a newspaper house. The course content of online degrees is aimed at providing integrated lessons on it.

Revenue from advertisement for a newspaper organisation depends on business management of the organisation. Business management looks after the revenue-producing activities of a newspaper. There is a huge demand for qualified personnel in this department of newspaper houses. Evidently, the popularity of online courses on business management of newspaper organisations, too is high. Students of newspaper management need to understand the business sides of a newspaper very well. According to many, online degrees are more focused on the discipline and its subject matter than regular degrees. Research on the development of newspaper management is on the go at some of the institutes.

The circulation department of a newspaper organisation is responsible for the generation of revenue for the organisation. The wider the circulation of a newspaper is, the more is the revenue from advertisement. The students pursuing online courses on newspaper management are required to grasp the minutiae of circulation management. Innovative strategies are devised to widen the circulation and boost the sale of newspapers. Students wishing to work in this department of newspaper houses should develop a command over the functions of sales management. Thus, they will get the best of what they learn about newspaper management and its implication in newspaper houses through online degrees.

01.31
14

Get A Preapproved Loan From Budget Deals

by como ·

Buying a car can actually prove to be a complex process. If you are ready to buy it with down payment then you would be saved with the extra efforts but if you are planning to take a loan then save your time and energy for the things that you would be required to face in the future. Whatever be the case, you should always make sure that you go for a preapproved auto loans because they exist to make things simpler and easier. If you have a preapproved loan at your side, it will be very easy for you to deal with this whole issue you can then focus on the car you want to buy including its price, features and its benefits.

The plus points of preapproved loans are that you are well aware of to what extent you can invest in, that is, how much can you afford, you will get thorough understanding of the costs that you will be paying and lastly, you will be able to shop like a cash buyer. With preapproved auto loan you will have the power of negotiation as you will be aware of what are the lenders willing to offer you. Dealers have the tendency of making you fall for the monthly payment plan, which is really not affordable for our pockets. The dealers do this because they get a scope for squeezing out profit from the loan amount depending on the interest rate. So, if you have a preapproved loan then how do you pay and when do you pay is not the auto dealers concern and they are left with no other option but to indulge in a clear, transparent and a fair deal. Not all car dealers are difficult to deal with; there are some who offer quite reasonable deals which are very customer friendly. The trick is to find right and suitable auto dealer.

Knowing your spending capacity is a very good sign. This means, a person is well aware of his financial situation and hence, stops self from leisure spending. Preapproved auto loans stops you from getting uncalled for surprises which you certainly would not appreciate. And they certainly give you a lot of peace of mind. We have the power to buy the car of our desires without compromising, if we have a preapproved loan in our hands.

Budget Deals Australia is one of the best companies you will probably come across who provide you with loans if nobody else does. Just approach them and acquire your new car! Please click here, www.budgetdeals.com.au

01.30
14

Fed Shutdown Forces Ceasefire in Organic War USDA Louisville Meeting Canceled

by como ·

October 11, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark Kastel, 608-625-2042

Federal Shutdown Forces Ceasefire in Organic War USDA Organics Meeting Canceled in Louisville

Organic Advocates Railing Against Industry/Obama Administration Power Grab

http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/10/fed-shutdown-forces-cease-fire-organic-war-usda-louisville-meeting-canceled/ CORNUCOPIA, WI: As collateral damage spreads, with Congress continuing at loggerheads over a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government, the newest victims include farmers and consumers who depend on the USDA to oversee the propriety and integrity of the organic industry.

In a unique regulatory structure, Congress created the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)(http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateQ&navID=NationalOrganicProgram&leftNav=NationalOrganicProgram&page=NOSBHome&description=NOSB&acct=nosb) to advise the USDA Secretary on policies impacting the organic industry and to specifically oversee and carefully review for approval any synthetic and non-organic material and ingredient used in organic farming and food production. Additionally, the NOSB reviews the approved substances that “sunset,” as the law governing organics requires that the materials be reevaluated every five years.

Now, the semiannual NOSB meeting, scheduled for the week of October 21, in Louisville, Kentucky, has been canceled. An e-mail distributed October 1 by Miles McEvoy for the National Organic Program, stated the meeting would be cancelled if a budget was not put in place by Thursday, October 10 at 5 p.m. EST.

“Progress in managing the organic industry, enforcement and oversight have all come to a screeching halt with the gridlock in Washington,” stated Mark A. Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst for the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute (http://www.cornucopia.org/).

The organic industry has been engaged in their own battle, pitting agribusiness interests and their lobby group, the Organic Trade Association (http://www.ota.com/index.html), in frequent conflict with public interest groups representing the farmers, consumers, environmentalists and co-op retailers who helped build what is now a vibrant $30 billion industry.

The latest dustup concerns a power grab by the USDA that arbitrarily changes the rules for approval of synthetic and non-organic materials used in organics. When Congress passed the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, it created a diverse 15-member NOSB with a minority of corporate agribusiness representatives. And in an attempt to push the oversight of the industry towards consensus, the regulations require a two-thirds majority for “decisive” votes like reapproving a synthetic material for use in organics after it sunsets.

“The USDA has now turned the entire sunset process on its head,” said Barry Flamm, former NOSB chairman and chair of the policy development subcommittee for four years. “The Board’s Policy and Procedures Manual, revised over the past few years, requires a vigorous sunset review which is beginning to show in the decisions. The USDA’s National Organic Program’s (NOP) recent action disregards the Board’s policies and the Organic Act. Importantly, instead of needing a super-majority of the Board every five years to continue using a synthetic in organics, the NOP has, without the legally required consultation with the NOSB, published an edict in the Federal Register (http://69.175.53.6/register/2013/Sep/16/2013-22439.pdf) requiring a two-thirds vote to instead remove a material,” Flamm explained.

Another highly respected former NOSB chairman, James Riddle, commented on the unilateral switch in policy by the USDA’s National Organic Program. “The use of synthetic substances in organic production and processing is an exception, not an entitlement,” Riddle said. “There must be an affirmative decisive vote of the NOSB for substances on the National List to be renewed. Without affirmative decisive votes of the NOSB, substances sunset after five years.”

In 2012, The Cornucopia Institute published a report entitled The Organic Watergate (http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/05/the-organic-watergate-advocates-condemn-corruption-and-usdas-cozy-relationship-with-corporate-agribusinesses-in-organics-2/), profiling what it called a corrupt relationship between giant agribusinesses that had invested in organics and USDA officials. The report exposed the existence of biased technical reviews of synthetic materials considered by the NOSB and the stacking of the Board with agribusiness executives in seats that Congress reserved for farmers, scientists and other independent stakeholders.

“We focused sunlight on the fraud and deception in the process. The result was a turnaround in the NOSB, which has acted more judiciously in preventing some synthetics from entering the organic production stream,” said Mark Kastel, Cornucopia’s Codirector.

Since the release of that report, the NOSB has denied petitions for several synthetic preservatives proposed for use in infant formula, rejected unnecessary additives like sugar beet fiber (likely made from GMOs), and voted to discontinue the use of tetracycline, an antibiotic used to control fireblight on apples and pears, because of concerns regarding human health and environmental impact.

“The OTA and its members (WhiteWave, Kellogg’s, Smuckers, Safeway, etc.) have seemingly lost control with the process at the National Organic Standards Board,” observed Cornucopia’s Kastel.

“In response it appears that the USDA is changing the rules of the game making it virtually impossible to remove synthetics from use in organics,” added Flamm.

In a blog posting (http://organicmattersblog.com/2013/10/01/stop-the-lies-and-get-behind-your-national-organic-program/) Melody Meyer, the newly elected board chair of the OTA and the Vice President of Policy and Industry Relations for United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI), had a decisively different take on the USDA’s announced sunset changes. She called for supporting the “gusto and vigor the program [NOP] delivers to our growing industry” while simultaneously describing the concerns by public interest groups as “lies” and “bogus.”

In addition to The Cornucopia Institute’s concerns about the USDA power grab, the reaction from some of the most prominent public interest representatives in the organic arena has been swift in universally condemning the procedural changes at the NOSB.

The Organic Consumers Association is circulating an electronic petition that now has over 11,000 virtual signatures condemning the USDA power grab. Other noted organic advocates, including Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, Beyond Pesticides, and Center for Food Safety have issued statements challenging the reversal in organic governance.

“The USDA might have received a temporary reprieve with the cancellation of the NOSB meeting this month in Louisville, but the stakeholders who truly care about the integrity of the organic label, and the principles it was founded upon, are not going away,” affirmed Kevin Engelbert, a certified organic dairy farmer from New York and another former NOSB member.

Since the release of the Organic Watergate report, the USDA has also taken away the right of the NOSB to review conflicts of interest from Board members and technical advisors with corporate entanglements. The USDA has refused to follow NOSB annotations, or stipulations, governing the use of synthetic materials such as not allowing the additive carrageenan to be used in organic infant formula (well documented in independent research to be injurious to health and banned by other worldwide regulatory bodies). The Cornucopia Institute has also criticized the USDA for siding with corporate interests on enforcement actions. When it was learned that giant factory farms were confining chickens, sometimes 100,000 to a building, and not affording them “access to the outdoors” as required by organic law, the USDA sanctioned a loophole allowing the use of tiny porches, only holding a small percentage of birds, as a legal substitute for outside access.

“The institutional bias at the USDA, in favor of biotechnology and industrial-scale agriculture, needs to stop at its National Organic Program,” said Flamm, the former NOSB chairman. “It should not take a court challenge to have political appointees and civil servants uphold the statute passed by Congress to protect farmers, ethical business participants, and consumers, engaged in organic commerce.”

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The Cornucopia Institute is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, stakeholders involved in the good food movement, and the media.

01.30
14

Financial Planning And Services

by como ·

A professional who provides financial services to customers is known as a financial adviser. The term financial adviser is comprehensive and includes different professionals related to the finance industry such as investment advisers, brokers, accountants, insurance agents and financial planners.

Depending upon the training they have had and the licenses they have secured, financial advisers provide different financial services to customers. A customer is also known as a client in financial services industry.

In the U.K, three main bodies award qualifications for financial advisers. Chartered Insurance Institute, the foremost of the three, offers professional financial services qualifications to all levels, from beginner to degree. The second is the IFS School of Finance, which offers alternative courses and qualifications in selected specialist areas including mortgages and equity release. The third is the Institute of Financial Planning, which offers the Certified Financial Planner qualification.

Financial advisers in the U.K were required to clear a series of examinations and receive a Certificate in Financial Planning (which was formerly known as the Financial Planning Certificate) or the Certificate for Financial Advisers. Furthermore, they were required to be authorized by the Financial Services Authority, before they would be allowed to practice. This was replaced recently with a new standard of qualification classed as Diploma. Usually a diploma holder or higher qualified adviser will have Dip FA or Dip PFS after their name.

In the United Kingdom, the most widely accepted highest standard qualification for financial advisers is the title Chartered Financial Planner.Tied advisers are allowed to recommend only the financial products marketed by the company they represent. They might be employed by that company or work for that company under a type of self-employment contract. Restricted advisers are similar to tied advisers, except that they represent a number of different companies. Also, they may choose not to recommend certain structures of investment or to not advise on the whole of the market, which makes them restricted. Also, the independent adviser must offer clients the choice of paying a fee for advice about products.

Financial advisers in the U.K typically provide financial services such as;

Investments
Pensions & Self-Invested Plans
Mortgage Advice
Inheritance Tax
Discretionary Investment
Life Assurance

Manchester being a popular city, a financial adviser Manchester offers is usually reliable and offers a proven track record. The financial adviser Manchester city can provide would typically be recognized and trusted. Similarly with Brighton, a financial adviser Brighton offers would be dependable. Any financial adviser Brighton can provide would typically have a proven track record and would be recognized from the authorities.

01.29
14

How Older People Can Embrace Technology And Improve Their Lives

by como ·

Technology is normally associated with the young and the trendy. Cell phone and computer companies market the gaming and music abilities of their phones and computers. The phones come in fashionable colors with hip ringtones and flashy features.

Older people are seldom interested in all this, but the basics of technology, without all the extras, can come in very handy for older people. The elderly of today didnt grow up in a time where technology was as essential as it is today. They are scared to experiment and use technological devices such as computers and cell phones. That said, there are many elderly people who are quite competent in using their cell phones and computers but they are in the minority.

Technology can add to the comfort of the elderly and it can allow them to stay independent for much longer. The explosion in the technological device market has been phenomenal. If you can think of something to make your life easier and more comfortable, you are almost certain to find it.
While many of these devices might be unaffordable to a lot of elderly people, a basic computer and cell phone is within reach of many elderly peoples budget.

A cell phone is a wonderful device that allows older people to stay in contact. There are cell phones on the market with bigger buttons and screens that make it easier to use. Sending text messages is a daily occurrence in almost everybodys life. Staying in contact with loved ones and family or friends is very important in older peoples lives. Receiving a message from a loved one can brighten up a lonely persons day.

The advantages of computer technology to the elderly are more important than what most people realize. What is there that you cant do over the internet? Elderly people can be in control of their own finances by using the internet banking services. For someone who finds it difficult to walk or stand in queues, internet banking is a wonderful tool. The elderly person wont have to rely on others to get to the bank and they wont have to go through all the distress of actually visiting the bank. It wont only have an impact on the elderly persons life, but also on those responsible for driving them around and assisting them in these tasks. Many online shops provide an online grocery ordering and delivery facility as well.

Independence is the one aspect in the life of the elderly that should be nurtured and technology can do that.

01.20
14

Things You Can Do Now To Cash in On Social Marketing

by como ·

Seven is a magic number. Why? Because there are seven simple strategies every small business can employ to jump on the social marketing bandwagon. The best part: most require only a moderate investment of time and/or money.

1.Start Blogging – Blogging is old news to many. Not quite the distant past, but still not the futuresort of a Web 1.5. Is blogging whats hot at the moment? Well, no. It certainly doesnt compare with chasing a link from the front page of Digg. But blogging is alive and well! It continues to be a great way to get interactively connected with your customers. Dialoguing is the reason social marketing exists. How much time you invest in your blog is up to you, but youll get out what you put in. You dont have to drive yourself crazy putting in daily entries, but you should establish a regular schedule for your blog updates. Otherwise, when people check your blog theyll see the same-old/same-old so often that theyll stop visiting your sitewhich is the whole reason you started the blog! So dont shoot yourself in the foot by creating a blog thats a visitor-repellent rather than a visitor-magnet.

Blogging is not a monologue. Your blog is not the electronic equivalent of Hamlets soliloquy. Just the opposite! Blogging is about creating conversations and joining others in progress. Take time to read what others in your industry are saying. Get in on the discussion (and get your name out there) by posting your comments on other blogs. It’s free, and again, the amount of time you invest can bring some very big returns. The beauty of blog posts is that youll almost always be encouraged to supply your name and URL when leaving a comment. This is a great way to build visibility and create a springboard to catapult traffic from other blogs to yours.

2. Take and Share Digital Photos – Flickr can be a tremendous marketing tool thanks to its incredibly active photo groups. The time and cost investment are minimal, and you can use Flickr to reach thousands of highly targeted prospects with compelling images of your product.

3. Be The Answer Man (or Woman) at Yahoo Answers – Theres one thing you have to offer that no one else does your expertise. If you’re a service-based business, your knowledge is your #1 marketing tool. Yahoo Answers is a great place for you to hammer away at prospects. Imagine being the go-to person that people seek out. Thats who youll be at Yahoo Answers.

Theres no better way to share your expertise and make an instant and direct connection with potential customers. I know dozens of marketing pros like me who spent as little as an hour or two each week answering SEO and promotion-oriented questions there. They tell me that theyve been able to track big results from even that small investment of time.

4. Get Into the Movie Business – Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but moving pictures are worth their weight in solid gold marketing. Fortunately, good video cameras are cheap these days, and a short video needs little editing/production work in todays “everyones a filmmaker” environment. And if youve got the creative “chops” to add some sizzle to a video, go for it! Be the next Scorsese, if you can. Fortunately, the software you need to add special effects won’t break the bank. The most “viral” videos are usually spontaneous and unproducedmerely “captured” by a videographer. For marketing purposes, however, a produced video is the way to go and a how-to video featuring your product is a good choice. If the look or location of your business is a selling point, “tour” videos of a workplace, a restaurant, the homes you sell, the real estate you landscape, etc. are your best bet.

Marketing videos are finding a home on local search portals like CitySearch. The find-it-in-your-town site announced that local video ads will be added to its listings. YellowPages.com is also exploring the idea of video opportunities.

Upload your videos to a unique page on your own website or add them to your blog page. But dont stop there! YouTube is the most obvious and the most active sharing destination. And there are so many others. Just nose around the web and youll find em.

5. Dont Wait To Visit StumbleUpon.com – There are many so-called discovery type sites in social marketing. The best-known are Digg, Reddit, and Netscape, but theyre also a bit complicated. StumbleUpon requires the lowest time investment. The sites functionality makes it much quicker and easier to join groups related to your industry and add friends from those groups.

Once youve joined and created your lists, you can start to upload “sticky” (appealing to visitors) content and before you know it, other users will “stumble upon” what you’ve added. Thats when the “magic begins”. When visitors give your pages good feedback, your content is shown to even more users.

You cant sell your product or service on StumbleUpon. The benefit it offers is increased traffic, which can lead to increased profits. Those profits are just a click away because your site is just a click away. Think of StumbleUpon as a way to increase awareness, Blog readership, grow subscribers, etcall of which ultimately feed into your profit stream.

6. Join Up – A HUGE part of social marketing is detective work. You need to find your customers where they like to hang out. Well, if your customers are like most people on the planet, its pretty likely that they hang out at Yahoo Groups or Google Groups to share interests and opinions.

Fetch, Marketer! Go get those prospects.

Like Flickr, the groups at Yahoo and Google are organised into interest-based lists. When you join the lists and discussions, you can offer your expertise (theres that word again) and become a trusted member of the communitythe person that other people will want to do business with.

Theres no better outcome to marketing than that!

7. Make Friends, Not Noise – As you explore social marketing opportunities across the web, be sensitive to the rules and regulations posted on various websites. As a member of a social community, its your obligation to play by the rules so make sure you know them and follow them! But here’s one general rule for using these sites as marketing tools: Don’t spam the system. Flickr doesn’t want your entire product inventory posted, and they have rules against doing so. But a few high-quality photo submissions that add to the community are fine.

Whatever social marketing you do, make a contribution to the community. Try to add content and comments of value, not an endless spew of “Buy my product” messages. In other words, dont be a leech thats merely there to suck up prospects. Give back a little. Or, better yet, give back a lot! When you do that, you’re on the road to social marketing success. (Translation: more money than youll know what to do with!)

And remember, with social marketing were not talking about any old traffic. Were talk about platinum, USDA Prime, pre-qualified, eager to do business, trusting, ready and willing prospects who dont think of you as a business they think of you as a friend.

So be a good friend. Deliver on the promise of quality and service. If you do that, social marketing will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.

So stop dreaming and start marketingsocially

01.19
14

time management in the Kitchen

by como ·

The key to better cooking at home is efficiency at your kitchen. Planning, preparation and organization are all part of any successful chef’s arsenal in creating the top-most meals whether at home or at a busy hotel restaurant.

Better, hotter and fresher dishes will be easier when you put an effort to manage your time at the kitchen. Preparing even the most extravagant dishes can be easy as long as you have made a plan from start to finish. Lower stress and more confidence is the results of a time managed kitchen.

Managing my Kitchen time?

Having a plan will make any master chef or cook at home wannabe more confident the dishes they prepare. Memorizing the meals in your head can be easy if you are just preparing one meal. But if you are simultaneously cooking two, three or more dishes using just your head might produce a kitchen disaster.

The plan starts out hours before the cooking time. If you can spend 5 minutes to skin and chop up onions that you will be using for the week, you can save tons of time when it’s actually time to cook them. You can prepare several items this way. Eggs, vegetables, garlic, onions, garnishing can all be sliced or cooked beforehand. In fact some hotels pre-cook their poached eggs the night before breakfast buffet. That is the only way they can keep up with hundreds of guests for breakfast.

Pre-cooking meat is an open secret in many a posh restaurant. You may think that your steak has been freshly grilled but in fact it was half cooked hours before your order. Fresh lobster? Think again, that crustacean was sitting on the pot long before you sat down on your reserved seat.

It is absolutely essential to save as much time as you can in doing the things that aren’t related to the act of cooking itself. You can measure your sugar, salt, pepper, paprika or any spice and put them in little plastic containers ready to be used instantly when they are needed. Gourmet dishes can be prepared at lightning speed with this method.

Doing the dishes can be done in fast-forward mode. It just takes four fills of your sink. The first one being the pre-rinse stage to get rid of all the leftovers. The second stage will have the dishes pass through a soapy water fill and wipe briskly with a sponge. And the last two to rinse. Try it and save tons of time.

Preparing for any situation if the real key to time management in the kitchen. If you know that you may run out of hot water for your chop suey and you have a few quarts ready to pout you will definitely save time. Writing down all the ingredients and steps with the meal your currently doing will boost your confidence and productivity.

All great cooks have several arsenals in their kitchen. And the kitchen timer is the prime weapon. Not one cook in the world can cook several dishes together without a trusty kitchen timer. In fact a cook can use as many as 5 at a time. One for eggs, one for that chicken soup. One for baking and one for timing that icing mix. Several more high end kitchen timers can time all of those in one digital timer device.

A kitchen timer will mean no second guessing if you beef is already tender enough or if your toast has been down the oven long enough (French toasts need an oven to be done well, another secret from a chef).
Make sure you have a kitchen timer right on a convenient place on your kitchen. Free from anything that would obstruct its view and would cause it to fall. Along planning, preparation and the other techniques mentioned in this article, time management in the kitchen can be easy for anyone learn.

01.18
14

Organic Industry Watchdog FDA Food Safety Rules Threaten to Crush the Good Food Movement

by como ·

September 19, 2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark Kastel, 608-625-2042

Organic Industry Watchdog: FDA Food Safety Rules Threaten to Crush the Good Food Movement

New Report Suggests Proposed Rules Could Drive the Nation’s Safest and Best Farmers Out of Business

http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/09/fda-food-safety-rules-threaten-crush-good-food-movement/ CORNUCOPIA, WI: After years of deliberation in Congress, interagency meetings, lobbyist activity, and a never-ending stream of food poisoning outbreaks, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally poised to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

However, according to a just released white paper by The Cornucopia Institute at http://www.cornucopia.org/FoodSafety/, the FDA’s draft rules are so off the mark that they might economically crush the country’s safest farmers while ignoring the root threats to human health: manure contaminated with deadly infectious pathogens generated on “factory” livestock farms and high-risk produce-processing practices.

-In response to deadly outbreaks involving spinach, peanut butter and eggs, Congress acted decisively three years ago to pass the Food Safety Modernization Act,” said Mark A. Kastel, Codirector at The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group based in Wisconsin. “Better oversight is needed but it looks like regulators and corporate agribusiness lobbyists are simultaneously using the FSMA to crush competition from the organic and local farming movement.”

Cornucopia’s report closely examines the FDA’s draft regulations (http://www.fda.gov/Food/guidanceregulation/FSMA/ucm334114.htm) for implementing the new food safety law, and a new FDA guidance (http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/Eggs/ucm360028) designed to control Salmonella in eggs produced by outdoor flocks. The report concludes that the new proposals would ensnare some of the country’s safest family farmers in costly and burdensome regulations in a misdirected attempt to rein in abuses that are mostly emanating from industrial-scale farms and giant agribusiness food-processing facilities.

Family farm advocates, and groups representing consumers interested in high-quality food, thought they had won a victory when the Tester/Hagan amendment was adopted by Congress exempting farmers doing less than $500,000 in business from the new rules. But Cornucopia’s report suggests the FDA seems more interested in a “one-size-fits-all” approach to food safety regulation.

In reality, the report suggests that small farms are not really exempt. The FDA is proposing that the agency can, without any due process, almost immediately force small farms to comply with the same expensive testing and record-keeping requirements as factory farms.

“In practical terms,” explains Judith McGeary, a member of The Cornucopia Institute’s policy advisory panel and Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, “the FDA will be able to target small farms one-by-one and put them out of business, with little to no recourse for the farmers.”

The FDA’s economic analysis also shows that farms over $500,000 (still small in the produce industry) will be significantly impacted with some being driven out of business.

“The added expense and record-keeping time will potentially force many small and medium-sized local farms – owner-operated, selling at farmers markets directly to consumers or to local grocers and natural food co-ops – out of business,” Kastel added.

The Institute’s analysis points out that the FDA has wildly inflated the number of foodborne illnesses that originate from farm production (seed to harvest rather than contamination that occurs later in processing and distribution).

It also alleges that the FDA has failed to recognize that specific processed crops such as fresh-cut, or produce grown in certain regions are the genesis of 90% of dangerous outbreaks in fruits and vegetables. In addition to imports from countries like Mexico, where the most recent Taylor Farms Cyclospora outbreak (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/30/business/taylor-farms-big-food-supplier-grapples-with-frequent-recalls.html?_r=0) originated, the evidence indicates that fresh-cut bagged/boxed salad mix and greens, other pre-cut vegetables and sprouts are much more prone to contamination.

“The proposed rule is a mess,” said Daniel Cohen, owner of Maccabee Seed Company, a longtime industry observer. “The FDA has much greater expertise on food safety issues from harvest to the consumer, but focused instead on farming issues from planting to harvest. Limited, modest, and more focused steps to improve on-farm food-safety could have produced simple, affordable, effective, and enforceable regulation.”

According to Cornucopia, the most important lost opportunity in the collaborative process between Congress, the FDA and the USDA is the lack of attention directed at the giant concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs (factory farms) raising livestock. The massive amount of manure stored at these factory farms is commonly tainted by highly infectious bacteria that have been polluting America’s air, water and farmlands.

“Federal regulators propose nothing to address sick livestock in animal factories and their pathogen-laden manure that is contaminating surrounding rural communities, nearby produce farms and our food supply,” Kastel lamented.

No More Organic Eggs?

The 2010 salmonella outbreak in eggs, centered in Iowa, shone a spotlight on industrial-scale egg houses confining thousands of hens in filthy and dangerous conditions.

The salmonella outbreak led to comprehensive regulation and new guidance for organic farmers. Organic farmers are required by federal law to provide outdoor access to their hens and the new FDA guidance, according to Cornucopia, materially undermines this management practice. And they are doing this despite scientific evidence tying higher rates of pathogenic contamination to older, massive factory farms with cages and forced molting (practices banned in organics) rather than raising birds outside.

“Their new guidance, on one hand, will make it difficult, expensive and maybe even impossible to have medium-sized flocks of birds outside,” Kastel stated. “At the same time, the FDA has colluded with the USDA’s National Organic Program to say that tiny ‘porches’, which hold only a minute fraction of the flock, will now legally constitute ‘outdoor access.’ This is a giveaway to conventional egg companies that are confining as many as 100,000 birds in a building and calling these ‘organic.'”

The Cornucopia Institute has publicly stated that they are investigating legal action against regulators if enforcement action is not taken, under the Organic Foods Production Act (http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC50603700), against the large industrial operations confining laying hens and broilers indoors.

The issue of food safety in Washington has been a contentious one, causing rifts even between nonprofits representing the interest of consumers and family farm organizations that have been historically aligned in support of organic and local food. Some consumer advocates pressed for no exemptions, even as farm policy experts have supplied evidence indicating smaller, family-operated farms are inherently safer.

“Only an idiot would not be concerned with food safety,” said Tom Willey, a Madera, California, organic vegetable producer and longtime organic advocate.

Added Willey: “The antibiotic resistant and increasingly virulent organisms contaminating produce, from time to time, are mutant creatures introduced into the larger environment from confined industrial animal operations across the American countryside. The FDA’s misguided approach could derail achievements in biological agriculture and a greater promise of food made safe through respect for and cooperation with the microbial community which owns and operates this planet upon which we are merely guests.”

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The Cornucopia Institute is a nonprofit organization engaged in research and educational activities supporting the ecological principles and economic wisdom underlying sustainable and organic agriculture. Through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, The Cornucopia Institute provides needed information to family farmers, consumers, stakeholders involved in the good food movement, and the media.

01.17
14

Best Pre-employment Test Use Ability Based Sales Assessment Testing, Not Sales Aptitude Tests

by como ·

The old-style pre employment Sales Personality Tests and Sales Aptitude Tests often try to disguise themselves as Sales Assessment Tests, which they are really not. Conventional personality tests are “blind” to the impact of a job applicant’s experience, sales training and knowledge of sales techniques. For example, a fresh college graduate with zero sales experience and a top producing sales superstar with 25 years of sales experience may both score 85% on a Pre Employment Sales Personality Test (or Pre-employment Sales Aptitude Test) if they both share similar personality traits. However, in the real world of selling the sales superstar may outsell the inexperienced salesperson by up to twenty to one. There is a much better way to hire good experienced salespeople, by using a “Real” Sales Assessment Test, as this article explains.

While pre employment Sales Personality Tests or Sales Aptitude Tests may offer some value towards recruiting inexperienced entry level salespeople, there is a much better way of hiring good experienced salespeople, using a sales ability based Sales Assessment Test such as The JOY Tests (TM) of Total Sales Ability (TM) from Dan Joy, Inc.

How Can You Determine Which is the Best Pre Employment Test for Sales?

There is a lot more to success in selling than just personality, aptitude or lack of call reluctance. One can have the right “sales personality” or “sales aptitude” but if they don’t possess or learn good sales skills and techniques, they are not very likely to succeed in the sales profession. There are also people who can call incessantly, but cannot close.

Instead of testing for just sales aptitude or sales personality, the best approach is to test for Total Sales Ability ™. A good sales assessment test can reduce subjectivity and guesswork, and help sales recruitment agencies and corporate sales recruitment people make more objective hiring decisions. The JOY Tests ™ of Total Sales Ability ™ from Dan Joy, Inc., are such sales assessment tests. They may be used for pre-employment testing as well as post-hire evaluations for promotion, retention or training purposes.

The conventional pre-employment Sales Personality Tests or Sales Aptitude Tests are often inadequate for hiring top-producing experienced salespeople, and should not be confused with real pre employment Sales Tests or pre-employment Sales Assessments.

Common Sales Recruiting Mistakes:

A sales hiring mistake can cost an employer up to $100,000 or more. Many sales recruitment firms and employers are deluged with sales resumes, but have no way of knowing who can really sell. So, they often tend to hire someone with whom they “feel comfortable”, who is “like them”, who “looks good”, or who has “industry knowledge”. None of that necessarily means that the person can actually sell.

Same Sales Assessments for Pre Employment Testing and Post Hire Evaluations:

As an employer, you would ideally want to invest in Sales Assessment Tests which can not only be used as pre-employment tests but also for post-hire evaluations for promotion, retention or training purposes. Furthermore, you should be able to test Business Development professionals at different career levels, e.g., a Salesperson, Sales Manager, Sales Director or VP of Sales & Marketing. If the same Sales Assessments can also be used for testing Manufacturer’s Reps, Sales Engineers, Distributors and Franchisees, that would be even better. There is one Sales Assessment Test which does all of the above.

Recommendation:

The JOY Tests ™ of Total Sales Ability ™ from Dan Joy, Inc., meet all of the criteria above for good well-rounded Sales Assessment Tests. For a limited time only, prospective employers can get 10 Free Sales Assessment Tests (Pre Employment Screening Tests) to help them hire great sales executives by following the link in the “About the Author” or Bio / Resource box below or by visiting the website of Dan Joy Inc., directly through any major search engine.

01.16
14

Travel Insurance Tips For Dummies

by como ·

Travelling abroad neednt fill you with worry, but its important to be covered just in case the worst does come along. Flight cancellation and loss of baggage or passport are some of the more trivial things that could happen while your away, but you could also find yourself in a very sticky financial situation should you or one of your group become ill or suffer an accident. Outside the EU, medical expenses wont be covered, while even inside the EU you may need to pay for transport home or private treatment. Taking out the correct travel insurance policy can cover you against all of these misdemeanours, and give you peace of mind while youre away. If youre looking for the best travel insurance deal for this summer, then take a read of this article for some tips for finding the best policy.

Check What You Already Have
If youre a premium customer with a bank or credit card company, then chances are that youll already have travel insurance included. This is particularly likely if youre paying a monthly fee for your banking. Make sure you check this out with your bank and read the small print of the deal it might not be valid outside of the EU or if you have special circumstances, but a phone call should clear this up. If you dont have a policy already, then it really pays to shop around. Its easier to do now thanks to the web all you really need to do is key travel insurance into a search engine, flick a few of the results and enter your requirements. Price comparison websites are particularly useful, so if you filter through a couple of these then youll be on the right track.

Special Clauses
Anyone with special conditions can get quoted ludicrously high amounts from most traditional insurers. People with histories of serious illness or disability, and those who are pregnant or over sixty-five can all find themselves struggling to justify the cover price. Make sure you have an EHIC card (when travelling within Europe) and check out specialist insurers that may be able to give you a better deal. If you find the cover to still be unaffordable, then the price may drop if you ask the insurer to exclude pre-existing conditions; though its then your call on the risks of going abroad with limited cover. Also, the EHIC card wont cover you for everything. In fact, it will only give you as much medical cover as a local citizen in your destination country it wont cover you for luggage loss or plane ticket cancellation.

Dont Over Cover
When searching for a policy, its important to understand what kind of cover you need. If you just take the first policy you find, youre likely to either be substantially over insuring yourself, or perhaps even under insuring. Be particularly wary of premium insurance deals offering extremely high amounts of cover when you dont really need it. For instance, do you really need 50 million worth of medical insurance cover? The answer is almost certainly not. In fact, its probably best to go for something more towards the 2 million mark for maximum medical expenses cover, while you should go towards 1 million for personal liability. Flight cancellation is also worth considering too no one wants to be in the nightmare scenario of not being able to go on holiday for whatever reason, but then having to stump up for it anyway.