The real reason Prince George is always pictured in shorts...
The real reason Prince George is always pictured in shorts...

Shorts, smog and $345 chocolate: the supply chain in numbers

7 October 2016

Royal dress, missing marine aircraft and a new Egyptian capital feature in this round up of the world of procurement and supply chains…

Eight years old

Good news for Britain’s tailors! When Prince George of Cambridge is eight he will be allowed to wear trousers, according to etiquette expert William Hanson. The three-year-old Prince is always photographed wearing shorts because, as Hanson told Harper’s Bazaar: “Although times are (slowly) changing, a pair of trousers on a young boy is considered quite middle class – quite suburban. And no self-respecting aristo or royal would want to be considered suburban.”

100,000 hours

The time in which the US Navy expects to lose four of the new MQ-4C Triton maritime unmanned aircraft systems. It has ordered 70 of them from Northrop Grumman. Despite concerns expressed by the Department of Defense, a Navy spokesperson said that attrition rate was “appropriate”.


The infrastructure investment required to bring Egypt’s economy up to the level where it can be rebuilt – according to the Egyptian government. That process is already underway, with a little help from China which is investing $35bn in President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s plan to build a new capital in the desert, 28 miles southeast of Cairo. The $45bn project, scheduled for competition in 2021, could house 5m people.

7 metres

The height of a smog-eating metal tower, erected in Beijing, and designed by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde. Comprised of 45 silver plates, which look like half open windows, the tower contains an air-purifying machine that takes in smog and expels clean air. The purifier makes a low hum, asked what the noise was by a Beijng resident, Roosegaarde replied: “That is not noise. That is the beautiful sound of clean air moving towards you.” His tower will tour other polluted cities in China.


The number of spectators who watched Lewis Hamilton win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in July, the biggest crowd at any F1 race this season. Yet, the circuit’s parent company British Racing Drivers Club revealed this week, that it would almost certainly make a loss in its current financial year. The biggest cost to BRDC was the £19.9m fee it has to pay F1 to host the race.


The expected drop in demand for cement in Kazakhstan in 2016, as the country’s economy stalls. In nine out of the past ten years, cement usage has grown by 15-30% a year. The fall, predicted by one of the country’s largest cement makers, Steppe Cement, comes despite a $2bn investment in infrastructure by the government ahead of Expo 2017 in the capital Astana. Despite slowing demand in China, and lower oil prices, the World Bank says Kazakhstan’s economy could grow by 1.7% in 2017.


The cost of a 50g bar of To’ak chocolate, believed to be the most expensive in the world, made on a farm in remote Ecuador. For $345, you get one of the Vintage 2014 bars (only 100 were ever made), in an Elmwood box, with a pair of tongs (so you don’t spoil the taste with the oil on your fingers) and a 116-page booklet detailing the origin of the cacao. To’ak was founded by American conservationist Jerry Toth and Austrian designer Carl Schweizer and its name means ‘earth’ or ‘soil’ in ancient Ecuadorian dialects. Cheaper bars are available at a cost of only $260.

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