Mutton dressed as...

11 June 2013
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementThe patron saint of purchasers takes a look at the month’s more unlikely business tales. Mutton dressed as... While this year has seen horse meat canter recklessly on to unwitting European people’s dinner plates, spare a thought for those diners in Shanghai, where Chinese police have busted a criminal gang that has made £1 million by passing off rat, mink, and fox meat as mutton. Since January, authorities have seized 20,000 tonnes of fake or tainted meat, disguised with gelatin, food colouring and industrial chemicals. Sounds delicious. Thank goodness someone is finally smelling a rat. Maggot balm If the Chinese officials need an idea of what to do with all this meat, what about breeding maggots? Now, forgive me if this month’s column is taking a disgusting turn, but it’s all for the general good, as according to Ecover head Gunter Pauli, in Cape Town, South Africa, there’s a factory using offal to churn out 100 tonnes of maggots a day. The high-protein larvae are used for feeding quails and fish. “We’re saving 100 tonnes of fish in the sea, because we’re directly substituting fishmeal,” he enthuses. The eco-buff is also convinced there’s a market in maggot saliva (shudder), which has been shown to heal skin wounds five times quicker than antibiotics. Perhaps as antibiotics become less effective we will soon all be covered in maggots instead. Gulp. Deep man In previous sage advice, I have mentioned that the key to a man’s success in the workplace is to 
wear a pink shirt, or to be handsome. Well scrap all that, because this month I reveal the highest male climbers on the 
career ladder all have deep voices in the manner of Brian Blessed,
the bloke on movie trailers. Research by Duke University in North Carolina has discovered 
men with lower voices make 
more money, run larger companies and stay in their jobs for longer. These executives earned, on average, £121,000 ($187,000) 
more in pay and ran operations with £286 million ($440 million) more in assets. Not much was said about women, but I’d advise Margaret Thatcher-like voice training for everyone. Virgin on rediculous If the above, vaguely sexist evidence of unfairness to women wasn’t enough for one month, it seems that Virgin Trains have their female staff seeing red over a new flimsy scarlet blouse proposed as part of a new uniform, which, according to one employee, is “cheap and nasty” and became see-through in the sunshine. Andy Cross, Virgin’s business support director, told the staff website: “Female employees who are concerned will be offered a £20 voucher to buy suitable undergarments.” I suggest that for this money, they should just buy a good thermal vest. Very Virginal. Rubber rubbish What those villagers (harrassed by punk sheep in main story) could do with now is some peace and quiet from a clever new invention providing recycling opportunities. For those driven to distraction by noisy roads, asphalt made from recycled car tyres, which cannot be sent to landfill, has been found to cut traffic noise by about 25 per cent. In Scotland, the resurfacing of a main road with the material has proved a success. So-called ‘rubber roads’ – which already exist in the US and China – could now be steamrolled out nationwide. Top tip: roads could also become more bouncy and pogo sticks could become the norm, for those looking for an investment opportunity. Revolting sheep There has been much talk in recent months of knowing where your meat has come from, and that it is the correct animal – but has anyone mentioned checking how their meat has behaved as part of their corporate social responsibility? I am prompted to this question after hearing that a flock of delinquent sheep have been terrorizing the small town of Newent in Gloucestershire. When neglected by their owners who allowed them to roam free, the gang of seven sheep were accused of “trashing fences, gardens and other property” along with the more common sheep offence of “obstructing roads”. A local constable said that the community had suffered terribly. But happily, police arranged for the sheep to be rounded up and auctioned off by sheepdogs. 
At least, rounded up by sheepdogs – auctioned off by people. And a good thing too – farmers, please keep your flocks sheepish in future. Tweet of 
the month #Procurement people know how to have fun... dancing 
the night away at #CoupaINSPIRE gala last 
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