Category: USA-C

BedInABox®.com Earns Made In USA Certified® Recertification for its Mattresses and Foundations

BedInABox®.com Earns Made In USA Certified® Recertification for its Mattresses and Foundations

Made In USA Certified® announced that BedInABox®.com, the US manufacturer and Internet retailer of high quality, technologically advanced memory foam and latex mattresses, has been recertified for having its mattresses and foundation Made in USA by Made In USA Certified®, the nation’s leading 3rd party independent source for USA –Country of Origin claims. This means that the mattress and foundation assembly and production processes have been independently audited and verified that the majority of components used in the manufacture of these products is made in the United States. Continue reading “BedInABox®.com Earns Made In USA Certified® Recertification for its Mattresses and Foundations”

American Refining Group, Inc. is First Oil Refinery in the U.S.A. to Become Made in USA Certified®

Made in USA Certified® proudly grants Certification to American Refining Group, Inc. in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry more than 100 years ago.

american refining

BRADFORD, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–October 14, 2013

American Refining Group, Inc. has successfully completed the Made in USA Certified proprietary supply chain audit process and is the first oil refinery to be granted license to use the Made in USA Certified® Seal for the following products: Brad Penn® Lubricants, Kensol® Naphthas and Distillates and Kendex® Base Oils, Custom Blends, Waxes and Resins.

American Refining Group, Inc, a privately owned facility, is situated on approximately 131 acres in Bradford, Pennsylvania, McKean County and the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry over 100 years ago. The refinery has a rated capacity of 11,000 barrels/ day processing 100% Pennsylvania Grade Crude. This type of crude is available domestically and American Refining Group purchases the majority of their crude from sources in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and West Virginia. It is the oldest continuously operated lube oil refinery in the world. They strive to supply their customers with consistent quality products and flexibility in working together, delivering the highest quality service.

American Refining Group’s stocks are converted into high quality waxes, lubricant base oils, gasoline and fuels, as well as a wide variety of specialty products. American Refining Group’s state-of-the-art blending and packaging facilities have the capability of producing a full spectrum of finished lubricant products. These products are available in a broad range of package sizes including bulk and these products can be delivered either by rail and/or truck. Our total commitment to quality is proven through our packaging plant and refinery being ISO 9001:2008 certified and Made in USA Certified.

Director of Marketing for American Refining Group, Roy Sambuchino states, “We felt that it was important to become Made in USA Certified to be able to distinguish our products as being truly “Made in USA” which is a strong part of our heritage and something our customers value. The Made in USA Certified seal gives our consumers added assurance in their purchases.”

Made in USA Certified’s Co-Founder & President, Julie Reiser stated, “The Bradford refinery was founded in 1881 at the height of the domestic oil boom and is the oldest continuously operating lube oil refinery in the world. Oil refinement in the USA is a critical piece of our Nation’s past, present and future. We congratulate this historic company on their on-going innovation and the good paying jobs they create for hard working Americans in the Bradford, Pennsylvania region. We are proud to certify ARG’s select line of products.”

Made in USA Certified® is the only Registered “Made in USA Certified” Word Mark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is the leading non-partisan, independent third party, certification company for the “Made in USA”, “Product of USA”, “Grown in USA” or “Service in USA” claims. The USA-C™ Seals show that a company bearing these trust marks has gone through a rigorous supply chain audit to verify compliance with our strict certification standards. Together, We Create Jobs in the USA!

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Walmart’s ‘Made in America’ push: From offshoring to onshoring

Reuters | Updated On: September 25, 2013 14:12 (IST)

Walmart image

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, whose focus on low-cost sourcing helped to fuel the offshoring of U.S. manufacturing, has been promoting a patriotic new image in recent months.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company says it is “leading an American renewal in manufacturing” and “bringing jobs back to the U.S.” with its pledge made in January to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made goods over the next 10 years.

But an examination of the company’s “Made in America” campaign suggests Walmart’s caught on to a reshoring phenomenon that was already underway.

In many cases, Walmart’s suppliers had already decided to produce in the United States, as rising wages in China and other emerging economies, along with increased labor productivity and flexibility back home, eroded the allure of offshore production.

Though wrapped in the stars and stripes, the world’s largest retailer’s push to bring jobs back to the United States also makes business sense both for suppliers and retailers.

Some manufacturers are finding they can profitably produce certain goods at home that they once made offshore. And retailers like Walmart benefit from being able to buy those goods closer to distribution centers and stores with lower shipping costs, while gaining goodwill by selling more U.S.-made products.

“This is not a public relations effort. This is an economic, financial, mathematical-driven effort. The economics are substantially different than they were in the 80s and 90s,” Bill Simon, chief executive of the Walmart U.S. chain, told the Reuters Global Consumer and Retail Summit earlier this month.

The initiative is modest for now. For a company with $466.1 billion in annual sales, an additional $50 billion of spending over a decade will barely register. Also, the main Walmart U.S. unit sells mostly groceries and already procures two-thirds of its goods – including a lot of food – from U.S. sources.

Walmart’s high-profile commitment is, though, an important symbolic shift. A retailer that for decades has prompted hundreds of U.S. companies to move production overseas, thanks to its relentless insistence on cost-cutting, now is urging at least some production back. It will even offer longer-term purchasing guidance to some companies to encourage them.

Hampton Products International did not need Walmart to tell it about the changing cost structure of global commerce. Hampton, which supplies locks and door hardware to retailers including Wal-Mart, began “resurrecting manufacturing” at its Wisconsin plant back in 2008, said CEO H. Kim Kelley.

Walmart’s push this year served mainly to speed its business decision, Kelley said. “We moved much more quickly and aggressively to ramp manufacturing to meet Walmart’s timetable,” he said.

But ultimately, Hampton’s decision to manufacture some products back in the United States was driven by simple but compelling math, Kelley said. Take the example of a door hardware part that Kelley declined – citing competitive issues – to define more precisely than that.

Over the past six years, the price of producing the part in China has risen 24 per cent to $2.20 from $1.77, because of the Chinese currency’s appreciation and increased labor costs. Throw in transport costs and U.S. tariffs, and that product, delivered to the United States today, would cost about $2.53, Kelley said.

By moving production back to the United States, Hampton can make the part today for just $2.16, a nearly 15 per cent saving even including the amortized investment in its new U.S. plant. In addition, Hampton has reduced inventory sitting idle on a ship or in finished goods in its distribution centers.

Relocating production to the United States also yields a number of soft but important benefits, Kelley said. These include better control of the manufacturing process, an ability to respond swiftly to customers, and a much smaller impact on the environment as the U.S. plant uses less energy than its Chinese counterpart and is 7,500 miles closer to where the product is sold.

“The benefits are obvious,” said Kelley. “We cut our costs, improve our sustainability, reduce the cost of finished goods inventory and create U.S. jobs.”

Commitments help some suppliers

Walmart’s push is aimed at product categories that have been difficult to produce at a cost advantage in the United States for some time. The retailer plans to sell everything from General Electric Co light bulbs made in Ohio and Illinois to Element Electronics Corp televisions that will be assembled in South Carolina.

The latest company to sign on is Korona S.A., a Polish candlemaker that will produce Walmart U.S.’s Mainstays tea light candles in Virginia, a move that Walmart said took more than a year to put together.

Walmart still declines to sign long-term contracts with suppliers, but its market power is so immense that companies will sometimes make investments based on expected demand from the retailer. Also, Walmart has helped some suppliers make contact with state economic development officials who can offer tax breaks or other incentives.

Renfro Corp began ramping up U.S. sock production two years ago, said CEO Bud Kilby, sinking more than $10 million into two factories in Tennessee and Alabama and hiring nearly 250 new workers. It is ready to do more now that Walmart has asked Renfro to further expand its U.S. capacity.

Walmart has not given Renfro firm orders associated with the request, but the sock maker is set to invest at least another $10 million and create another 195 jobs, Kilby said.

“We trust them,” Kilby said. “They asked us to do it and they made a commitment to support it and to buy product. But there is no contractual agreement – no purchase orders or anything like that.”

Walmart’s U.S. manufacturing summit in Orlando, Florida in August featured speakers such as Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and GE CEO Jeff Immelt. The meeting gave hundreds of suppliers the chance to meet with governors or economic development officials from 34 states, as well as two banks and one private equity firm.

“We can provide the certainty to the people who invest capital, to make it worthwhile,” said Simon, the Walmart U.S. CEO.

Walmart sometimes makes what it calls “multi-year commitments” based on financial data suppliers share.

“It really depends on what they need and how much of their capital expense and their strategic plan they’re willing to share,” said Michelle Gloeckler, senior vice president of Walmart U.S.’s home business and a leading executive on the retailer’s Made-in-America commitment.

When 1888 Mills LLC came to Wal-Mart in 2012, it projected that the cost of making towels in the United States was coming closer to the cost of overseas production. The textiles company felt it could order new machinery to help it reduce the cost differential, but only if it had a multi-year commitment from Walmart, Gloeckler recalled.

Walmart crunched the numbers and agreed to carry 1888 Mills’ “Made Here” towels for an undisclosed number of years. It also agreed to stock 600 stores at first and then add more as production increased, a staged rollout unusual for the chain.

The “Made Here” towels are selling 30 percent better than those they replaced on the shelf that were made outside the United States by another supplier, Gloeckler said.

“Not an aggressive target”

Management consultants began highlighting the benefits of U.S. manufacturing years ago.

With wages rising elsewhere and U.S. energy costs on the decline, the United States can be a competitive manufacturing hub again, says Hal Sirkin, a senior partner of the Boston Consulting Group and co-author of the book “Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything” who spoke at Walmart’s summit.

“We are seeing a lot of products now that have already reached the point where it is already cheaper to manufacture it and deliver it in the United States than to have it made in China and have it shipped across and pay tariffs and duties,” he said.

It costs slightly more to make a vacuum cleaner in China than in the United States when you add up the cost of labor, buying components and raw materials, overhead, energy costs, shipping and “soft costs” such as managing inventory, he said.

Labor costs are typically about 20 to 25 per cent of the total cost of a product. For categories like clothing, that require more manual work, production is likely to stay in countries with lower wages, Sirkin said.

Manufacturing experts largely welcome Walmart’s commitment to purchase U.S. goods, though the size of its pledge has not impressed them.

“It’s not an aggressive target,” said Thomas Duesterberg, executive director of the Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century project at the Aspen Institute.

Walmart says that $50 billion is just a starting point.

The retailer’s effort matters regardless of the size, said Suzanne Berger, a professor and manufacturing expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “A Walmart decision, however minimal or cosmetic, is a powerful signal,” she said.

To find out more about our certification(s) programs, please visit our Made in USA Certified website: wwwUSA-C.com

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From China, The Future of Fish

Meet the Chinese tilapia, a bland food product that grows fast and sells cheap. Environmentalists hate it, but Americans keep ordering more.

By Bruce Einhorn

(Fixes reference to U.S. food-service market in the 27th paragraph.)

At the end of a wooden pier, a squat red machine the size of a dishwasher hums along with the din of nearby cicadas. The fish-feeder is tossing grain pellets into one of Chen Haiping’s nine fish ponds, each as long as a football field, in the town of Shuixi, in China’s Guangdong province. It’s breakfast time, and thousands of tilapia are thrashing their tails and sticking their mouths into the air to get some of the soy-and-corn mixture. Chen, a 32-year-old former duck farmer with a wispy mustache, has been running this farm for eight years.

Before the tilapia, these ponds were filled with shrimp, which the Chinese like. They aren’t big fans of tilapia, a foreign fish; the name in Chinese,luofeiyu, refers to tilapia’s origins in Africa. It doesn’t have much flavor, and it doesn’t grow big enough to put in the middle of the table at a family meal. Americans, however, can’t get enough of Chinese-raised tilapia, so tilapia it is. The fish, Chen notes, are hardier and don’t require as much work. “Shrimp can die much more easily,” says Chen, who wears a wide-brimmed straw hat to protect himself from the 95-degree heat.

Despite environmental warnings about Chinese-raised tilapia from watchdog groups such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which publishes an influential best choices/avoid list of seafood and rates Chinese-raised tilapia as “avoid,” U.S. consumption keeps rising. In 2009 the U.S. imported 404 million pounds of tilapia, up from 298 million in 2005. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) imports nearly 200 shipping containers, or 8.8 million pounds, every month, although they will not say how much comes from China. (The company declined to comment.) Domestic fish farmers can’t come close to meeting demand. Although there are tilapia farms in the U.S., the fish does better in tropical climates, so most of it comes from Asia or Latin America.

Continue reading “From China, The Future of Fish”

10 Must Have Made in America Styles for Fall 2013

Made in USA Certified Seal

The temperature is starting to cool, football season is underway, and the leaves are definitely changing. There is no question that Fall is steadily approaching and just as the leaves and temperature change, so should our clothes, reports the All American Clothing Co.

Arcanum, OH (PRWEB) September 18, 2013

The All American Clothing Co., one of the fewest and finest USA made clothing companies, today issued a report on the must have USA made styles for fall. Yes, there are clothing options out there that are made in America. Here are the 10 styles.

Click here for an updated list of USA made clothing items for sale.

1. AA Men`s Regular Jean Medium Stonewash:

This American made jean comes with a comfortable All American, Classic Relaxed Fit – not too tight, not too loose. The jean is Made in the USA all the way from the materials to the labor as it can be traced back to the American farmers who grew the cotton with a process called Traceability. The process supports over 12,000 American workers.

2. AA Ladies Bethany Low Rise Jeans:

A comfortable fit and confident look for the girl with curving hips and thighs. This USA made jeans enhances natural curves as they become beautiful in this contoured to fit jeans.

3. Quarter-Zip Fleece:

The quarter-zip fleece is stylish, ultra-soft and versatile; it can be worn to the football game or a casual day in the office.

4. Ladies’ Fine Jersey Long Sleeve Tee:

This soft fine jersey long sleeve tee is a great basic tee to have. It has a smooth, lightweight surface that’s crazy for comfort.

5. AA Men`s Classic Jean:

The All American Classic Jeans fits just like the old favorites do. This is a regular (not relaxed) fit jeans with a straight leg, mid-rise and is made of a premium 13.5 oz. denim. This jeans is made in the USA and features ‘Traceability Technology’ to show exactly where the jeans came from.

6. Ladies’ Jersey Leggings:

Wear these soft, stretchy leggings in a look that is blazing and survive the cold without even trying.

7. Men’s Hooded Pullover Sweatshirt:

There is nothing too crazy about this sweatshirt. It is soft, roomy, and American made.

8. Eco Micromodel Fine Jersey Ladies Long Sleeve Tee:

This linky soft and lightweight long sleeve tee is another essential for the wardrobe. It is elegant and effortlessly chic.

9. At Work Crew Socks:

This American made sock is fully cushioned with a hard-working, stay-up leg.

10. Men’s Long Sleeve Tee Shirt:

This high quality, durable shirt will look great in the fall. The cut on the shirt is tighter across the chest and the armpits.

Want more? Be sure to check out the All American Clothing Co. for many USA made clothing styles.

To find out more about Made in USA Certification please visit our website at: www.USA-C.com

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Rye Bother? An Inside-The-Barrel Look At American Whiskeys

By Michaeleen Doucleff

 

Ten years ago rye whiskey was on the brink of extinction.

Despite its venerable history as the whiskey made byGeorge Washington, only a handful of distillers were bottling this quintessentially American spirit. And you definitely couldn’t order a rye Manhattan at your local cocktail lounge.

My, how times have changed.

Now craft distilleries have popped up across the country devoted solely to making the golden liquor. And hipsters from Brooklyn to San Francisco can impress their friends by commenting on the peppery notes imparted by the rye in their Old Fashioned.

Rye lovers say the whiskey is spicier, edgier and less sweet than bourbon, which is made of corn. But few studies have actually looked at what makes American whiskeys unique how fermenting rye versus corn changes the taste, aroma and mouth feel of the spirit.

Chemist Thomas Collins is trying to fill in those blanks. He and his team at the University of California, Davis, have analyzed the flavor profiles of about 70 American whiskeys, including 38 bourbons and 10 ryes.

In many cases, Collins says, what matters the most for a whiskey’s flavor isn’t what grain is in the bottle but where the spirit was produced and what other whiskeys are made at the distillery.

Through their analysis, Collins and his colleagues discovered about 4,000 unique compounds in the 70 American whiskeys, they said Monday at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in Indianapolis.

That’s not so surprising. Any beverage that has been roasted, fermented and then aged in oak barrels is bound to serve up a sensory smorgasbord of compounds.

But when Collins and his team whittled down the list to about 30 to 50 critical flavors in each whiskey, a surprising pattern emerged.

Rye and bourbons made at the same distillery had flavor profiles that looked more similar to each than to other ryes and bourbons, respectively. In other words, each distillery left a stronger fingerprint on the spirit’s character than the grain did.

In contrast, the ryes made at operations that don’t also produce bourbon had a unique flavor profile distinct from corn whiskeys.

Why? Collins isn’t exactly sure, but he thinks a big reason is that the dominating flavors in American whiskeys come from the wood, not the grains or the yeast.

All bourbons and most ryes are aged in oak wood barrels that are charred to release an array of flavor compounds. Think vanilla flan, burnt caramel and smoky wood. These compounds seep into the whiskey as the spirit sits in the barrels. If distillers are aging their rye whiskeys in the same type of barrels that they use for their bourbons, then the two liquors wind up with a similar flavor profile.

“When you look at the unaged whiskeys, then you can see the difference between rye and corn bourbons,” Collins says. “But once the spirit is put into the barrels, the wood compounds dominate the flavors that come from the grains.”

“Craft distilleries or ones that just focus on making rye must be doing something different in terms of the aging or the distilling process,” Collins says, to get a unique character to their ryes.

Another factor blurring the line between whiskeys is the fact that many ryes don’t actually have that much more er, rye in them than corn, says Scott Harris of Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville, Va.

By law, rye whiskeys must contain at least 51 percent rye. The rest can be corn, wheat or any other grain. The same goes for bourbons, except they need to be 51 percent corn.

“The vast majority of Tennessee bourbon and rye on the market are some mixture of rye and corn together,” Harris tells The Salt. “Sometimes it’s disclosed. Sometimes it’s not.”

Recently, more craft distillers like WhistlePig in New York, Old Potrero in San Francisco and the shop Harris runs with his wife are starting to make 100 percent rye whiskeys. Then the difference between bourbon and rye becomes crystal clear, says Harris.

“When I taste 100 percent corn bourbon, it tastes like Halloween candy corn. It’s super sweet, with almost a caramel-type flavor,” he says. “With a whiskey that’s 100 percent rye, there’s not as much upfront sweetness. And there’s a white pepper note at the end that really distinguishes rye from corn.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

 

To become Made in USA Certified please request a free quote here:  www.USA-C.com

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Promoting Made in U.S.A., but Very Carefully

BRANDS reviving the “Made in the U.S.A.” slogan to attract buyers for American-produced goods are relying less on patriotism and more on data that shows consumers are willing to pay a premium for better quality, quicker availability and product safety.

This ad for Whirlpool, which makes some products abroad, also said most of its appliances “sold in the U.S. come from our U.S. factories.”

 But many companies are stepping gingerly, avoiding sweeping claims and spelling out what “Made in the U.S.A.” means for their products. Consumers are more shrewd about how few consumer goods actually are made in the United States, leaving companies less wiggle room about the origin of products.

The Whirlpool Corporation, for example, specified in full-page print advertisements this year that 80 percent of its appliances “sold in the U.S. come from our U.S. factories.” Despite its deep American roots, the 101-year-old company — which makes Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air products — has, like other corporate giants, moved some manufacturing abroad.

As a result of its centennial celebrations last year, some consumers have urged the company to talk more about its American origins, said William Beck, a senior marketing director at Whirlpool, which spent $57.4 million in 2011 on advertising, according to Kantar Media, a WPP unit.

In recent months, the appliance giant has been underlining its American factories, and noting in its overall brand advertising that it employs about 22,000 workers (15,000 of them at its manufacturing plants), and spends $7.4 billion annually on operating and maintaining its factories in Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

But Whirlpool, whose ad drew a full-page rebuttal from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers accusing it of shutting factories in the United States, said nostalgia and similar sentiments do not drive its sales. “Whirlpool’s key differentiating points are quality and innovation,” said Mr. Beck, and “the icing is that, hey, we’re made in the United States.”

Whirlpool does not share its market research, but other market studies show that customers increasingly take note of where a product is made. Perception Research Services International, in a September study, found that four out of five shoppers notice a “Made in the U.S.A.” label on packaging, and 76 percent of them said they would be more likely to buy a product because of the label.

While shoppers, especially those over 35, say they want to help the economy by buying United States-made goods, “the motivating factors actually may be quality and safety,” said Jonathan Asher, executive vice president of Perception Research Services. The company, which is based in Teaneck, N.J., surveyed 1,400 consumers last summer. “People are paying attention in categories that are ingested like food, medicine and personal care products, but less so in electronics, office supplies and appliances,” he said.

In a separate study, the Boston Consulting Group found that 80 percent of consumers surveyed said they would be willing to pay more for “Made in the U.S.A.” products than for those carrying a “Made in China” label.

They would pay the biggest differential for items like baby food and wooden toys, and a smaller percentage for electronics, apparel and appliances, said Kate Manfred, director of the group’s Center for Consumer and Customer Insight in the Americas, which released the study in mid-November.

“Safety and quality, and keeping jobs in America, are the important factors,” she said.

Bixbi, a Boulder, Colo., pet treat provider, has relied on safety to increase sales. The company, which started in 2008 amid revelations of tainted dog food ingredients imported from overseas, sells dog treats made from locally raised chickens and other animals.

“Our sales have grown 600 percent each year,” said James Crouch, who founded the small company with his brother, Michael. “Locally sourced is a key advantage.”

But for all the talk about American-made goods, Bixbi is one of the few clients that have adopted “Made in the U.S.A.” marketing, said Dave Schiff, co-founder of Made Movement, a Boulder advertising firm that handles the Bixbi account.