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How local manufacturing will solve global supply issues

How local manufacturing will solve global supply issues


Purchased something since the pandemic? Chances are you’ve probably had to pay more, wait longer, or not even find what you’re looking for. You aren’t alone, as supply chain issues have plagued customers, retailers, and manufacturers across industries.


These challenges began with the halting of production in overseas factories due to COVID-19 breakouts or lockdowns. This interruption resulted in a sharp decline of product supply in an otherwise well-oiled (pun intended?) globalized supply chain. While sometimes the end of the pandemic seems within reach, the reverting of product flow to its steady stream does not. Recent announcements of additional lockdowns in China as the country battles COVID-19 have sparked fears that the problem will get worse before it gets better.


Not that we have a crystal ball or anything, but we have anticipated such widespread supply problems if one chain in the link were to break. In our 2019 Urban Impact Report, we projected that “a shortfall in [globalized supply chains] can cause the entire system to come to a standstill.” Sound familiar? We wrote this in support of the alternative – local manufacturing.


ChopValue Microfactory


From our standpoint, local manufacturing can circumvent global supply issues while adding the following benefits:


1. Less waste. What we have coined urban harvesting allows us to source raw material from our local communities. By urban harvesting this waste, we reduce the amount of material that ends up in the landfill.


ChopValue Urban Harvesting


2. Less emissions. Without having to source materials from overseas, and through selling products to customers that are as local as possible, we reduce the distance that goods travel, thus reducing their carbon footprint.


ChopValue Collection and ChopValue Vancouver HQ Showroom


3. Local jobs. Overseas production of goods has destabilized job markets for decades and forced people who want to work with their hands to adopt a keyboard instead. We want to contribute to the comeback of local craftsmanship and give people an opportunity to earn a fair living using their hands.


ChopValue Vancouver HQ Team


Don’t get us wrong, we love globalization. However, we aspire to globalize ideas instead of materials and product. Through our vision of establishing a global network of Microfactories, we can produce ecosystems of strong relationships between local partners (restaurants, retailers, customers) while meeting global demand.


ChopValue Microfactories


Now, we know what you’re thinking. Last time you checked the ChopValue map, you didn’t see enough factories to believe that we are producing locally all over the world. And you’re right, we’re not there yet. But in the last two years, we've expanded from our initial Microfactory in Vancouver to 60 locations in development across North America, Asia, and Europe – with plenty more to come in 2022. If we can do this during a global pandemic, we are confident that our vision will continue to come alive in the post-COVID world.


ChopValue Franchise Partners


So one day in the near future, you'll be in Sydney, Tokyo, Berlin, or Cape Town, and see a ChopValue truck picking up chopsticks from local restaurants, to process at local factories, to sell to local customers. Ideally, one day these chopsticks will be made with local wood species, too! And when you want to buy your next work-from-home desk during the next pandemic (..those words were hard to type), we can provide one that you don’t have to wait months for.


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