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the total production of Has the De Beer diamond lost i

"And while the law [of competition] may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department."
-Andrew Carnegie

Since the 1930s when Sir Ernest Oppenheimer established the Central Selling Organisation, De Beers Consolidated Mines have controlled the selling and marketing of approximately 80% of the worlds rough diamond production (Capon, 1998).  However, in 1996, Australian company, Argyle, stunned the world by announcing that they would no longer market diamonds through De Beers C.S.O.  Many economists predicted that Argyle wouldnt be able to compete against the mammoth De Beers. Yet in the year to December 31, Argyle recorded a profit of $142.5 million, an increase of 76% (Treadgold, 1999).  De Beers is currently looking like losing the monopoly it has had on the diamond industry for almost seventy years.

A monopoly is an industry in which there is only one organisation that supplies a particular good, service or resource which has no other similar alternatives.  Monopolies are created by barriers which restrict the entry of new organisations (McTaggart et al, 1999).  In a perfect monopoly, the seller has total control over the quantity of goods or services available for sale and the price at which the items are sold (Butterworths Business .. Dictionary, 1997).  De Beers Consolidated Mines Central Selling Organisation has had a monopoly on the selling of rough diamonds since the 1930s.
A monopoly industry is characterised by having no close substitutes.  Although there are substitutes for diamonds such as rubies, emeralds and cubic zirconias, many believe that there are no other gems that exhibit the same beauty of the diamond.  Perhaps this belief was created out of De Beers advertising campaign, A Diamond is Forever (Capon, 1998, pg 6) which began in 1947.  Whatever the reason that consumers want diamonds, and diamonds only, doesnt matter.  Consumers demand the real thing and will pay for the luxury.

The second factor which creates a monopoly market are barriers to enter the market.  Common barriers to entry include licenses, patents, entry lags, economics of scale and control of inputs (Browning & Browning, 1989).  Control of inputs is the factor that constricts entry into the diamond industry.  De Beers Consolidated Mines of South Africa, through its ownership of mines and its central sales organisation, controls 85 percent of the worlds diamond output (Browning & Browning, 1989, pg 330).  De Beers enormous clasp on the marketing of rough diamonds has made it almost impossible for other producers to enter the diamond market.

The combination of lack of close substitutes and control of inputs created the De Beers monopoly.  Argyle has rewritten the books on the marketing of diamonds and in turn has caused De Beers grip on the industry to loosen.  

Argyles entry into the market has changed the way in which customers are supplied and is one of the chief reasons behind its successful entry into the diamond marketing industry. The dictatorial style of marketing used by De Beers where packets of diamonds are shown at sights and the customer must take what is offered with no possible negotiation is being threatened by Argyles approach to marketing (Treadgold, 1999).  According to the managing director of Argyle, Gordon Gilchrist, their marketing method has aligned the customer and the supplier (Treadgold, 1999).
The other reason that has enabled Argyle to move in on the diamond market is their slight product differentiation.  Argyles diamonds are of lessor quality compared to De Beers.  World diamond prices have fallen over past years. In 1990 an average diamond sold for $US780 per carat in Japan.  Today, the current price is $US410 per carat (Treadgold, 1999).  Customer preferences have shifted to a higher demand for cheaper, lessor quality diamonds, the type that Argyle is supplying.

Argyles shift away from De Beers has resulted in a demise of the diamond industry monopoly with a shift to an oligopoly market type.  An oligopoly market structure is characterised by a small number of organisations supplying a certain good, service or resource.  Examples of oligopoly style markets include the petroleum industry, airplane manufacture and computer software (McTaggart et al, 1999).   The firms in oligopoly ... more

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A public relations proposal for the american egg board

A Public Relations Proposal for the American Egg Board, 1997

"AN EGG IS ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE" - OSCAR WILDE

Eggs should be avoided because they are high in cholesterol. This is the biggest MYTH that has cracked the good reputation of the egg in the past years. In 1945, the number of eggs consumed per capita each year was 402. Then the news broke - scientists discovered a link between high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and an increased risk of heart disease. Americans have cut down on their egg consumption fearing negative effects on their health. Fifty years later, in 1995, consumption dropped to 240 eggs per capita.

The cracked reputation of the egg is now being patched up. New research is reveals a positive future for the mistreated egg. Furthermore, the egg industry has experienced an increase in production in recent years. In 1995, 174.4 million cases of eggs (360 eggs/cartons in each case) were produced, and in 1997, the number rose to 183.2 million cases. The U.S. egg industry is a major contributor to the nation's food supply. In 1996, the distribution into the marketplace of the 177.6 million eggs produced is as follows:

53.0% - purchased at retail
27.9% - further processed (used in the manufacturing of products such as cakes, pies, pasta, etc.) for food service, manufacturing, retail and export
17.4% - for food service use
1.7% - for export

Cholesterol and its link to heart disease have been the biggest detriments to the egg's good name. Nutrition experts recommended a daily limit of 300 milligrams of cholesterol in order to maintain a low cholesterol level. A single egg yolk contains 200 milligrams of cholesterol thereby causing experts to suggest a 4-egg-a-week limit. Since that time, however, changes in expert opinion have come about. Recent research has shown that there are two types of cholesterol: Dietary cholesterol, the cholesterol consumed in foods and blood cholesterol, the cholesterol found in the bloodstream (also called serum cholesterol).  Recent studies have concluded that the amount of dietary cholesterol has little effect on the level of blood cholesterol.

The culprit is actually saturated fat, a substance that is not abundantly found in eggs. Blood cholesterol can be broken down into two major parts: HDL or high-density lipoprotein and LDL, low-density lipoprotein. HDL, known as good cholesterol, helps move cholesterol back to the liver for removal from the bloodstream. LDL, referred to as the bad cholesterol, helps cholesterol stick to artery walls. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol and LDL levels more than any other element in the diet. Eating foods like red meat, which are high in saturated fat, strongly affect the cholesterol levels in the blood. On the other hand, eating eggs, which contain The. HDL cholesterol, is less threatening, according to nutrition experts. Studies have shown that many people on a low-fat diet can eat one or two eggs a day without measurable changes in their blood cholesterol levels.

The discovery of the differences between the bad cholesterol (HDL) and good cholesterol (LDL) helps to end this delusion of the egg.  Prevention of heart decease means strict monitoring of the bad cholesterol in the blood stream. Spreading the news of the dietary cholesterol (good cholesterol) present in the egg will encourage American's to consume more eggs. In addition, based on data from the American Heart Association, there are no direct relationships between egg consumption and Coronary Vascular Disease (CVD) mortality in male or female populations. Evaluating the data resulted in some interesting comparisons.

Weekly per capita egg consumption in France, the United States and England are 5.1, 4.5, and 3.3 eggs per week where as the   CVD mortality rate per 100,000 per year is 250, 460 and 516 respectively. Japan showed the lowest CVD mortality rate, with the highest per capita egg consumption (6.5 eggs per person per week).

Salmonella Enteritidis (S.E.) bacterium was another concern regarding eggs. The situation with this bacteria is fortunately not as grave as it seems. If the egg is properly handled and prepared, the chances of consuming an egg that is infected with Salmonella is slim. In fact, the number of outbreaks linked to Salmonella ... more

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