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Period: August 15, 2014 to September 15, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Häagen-Dazs Makers Will Not Use Synthetic Vanilla Flavoring

The makers of Häagen-Dazs ice cream say they will not use vanilla flavoring produced synthetically, though the FDA is expected to approve its safe use in food production. Synthetic biology (“synbio”) vanilla flavoring is made with artificial DNA and genetically engineered yeast. Use of lab-produced synbio vanilla would reduce farm land devoted to vanilla bean production. But advocacy groups say synbio yeast and algae feed on sugar, which would lead to increased sugarcane production. In addition, synbio organisms, which can reproduce, would be impossible to recall if released into the environment. Nestlé makes Häagen-Dazs ice cream in Canada and the U.S., and General mills makes it outside North America.

"Haagen-Dazs Won’t Use Synthetic Vanilla", Environmental Leader, September 03, 2014

Nestle Says Nespresso Brand Will Be Carbon Neutral Within Six Years

As part of a half-billion dollar sustainability initiative comprising several commitments, Nestle’s Nespresso coffee brand has promised complete carbon neutrality within six years. Other “Positive Cup” commitments include: a pledge to source all Grand Cru coffees sustainably in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan; a pledge to help coffee farmers achieve high certification standards in water management, biodiversity and fair treatment of workers; a plan to expand the capacity to collect and recycle used aluminum coffee capsules; and a promise to further reduce the carbon footprint of the company by 10 percent.

"Nespresso Pledges Carbon Neutrality by 2020", Environmental Leader, August 28, 2014

Chinese Shoppers See California As An Exporter Of High-Quality Foods

Food shoppers in China and Hong Kong are paying closer attention to nutrition, sustainability, safety and – logically enough – country of origin, a fact that is driving demand for better quality food products. That’s good news for California food exporters, who are perceived by the Chinese as high quality producers. California has exported about $4 billion worth of food products – fresh produce, health foods, organic foods and premium wines – to Hong Kong and China so far in 2014, a nearly 20 percent increase over 2012. Forecasters see a similar double-digit increase by the end of the year.

"Hong Kong, China Food Imports from California to Exceed $4B amid Mounting Food Scares", Asia Food Journal, August 18, 2014

Companies, Organizations  

Henkel Among World's Leading Companies In Terms Of Sustainability, Dow Jones Indices Show

Henkel announced its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe for the eight consecutive year. According to the company, its listing in both indices confirms its “excellent performance” as one of the leading companies in the Household Products category. Evaluated based on their corporate economic, environmental, and social performance, only 10 percent of the world’s 2,500 largest corporations make it to the lists.

"For the eighth consecutive year included in Dow Jones Sustainability Index", Henkel, September 11, 2014

Target, Wal-Mart Partner To Promote Sustainability And Product Safety In Beauty And Personal Care Markets

Rival discount retailers Target and Wal-Mart agreed to co-host a forum in Chicago to encourage beauty and personal care products manufacturers to improve their sustainability and transparency strategies. Attended by representatives from personal care makers, such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Estee Lauder, and other retailers, including CVS, Walgreens, and Ulta, the meeting called on manufacturers to be more open about the chemicals and other ingredients they use in making their products. Sustainability and product safety proponents, such as the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, lauded the retailers for rising beyond their rivalry and promoting product safety.

"Target, Wal-Mart team up on sustainability", Star Tribune, September 05, 2014

Unilever Ends Membership In BusinessEurope Lobbying Group

Unilever said it has ended its membership in business lobbying group BusinessEurope, suggesting disagreements with the group’s stand regarding environmental regulations and sustainability issues. According to a company spokeswoman, Unilever now prefers to collaborate with other companies with similar views. Many green companies are finding themselves at odds with BusinessEurope’s calls for lowering EU environmental targets after 2020.

"Unilever confirms it has quit BusinessEurope lobby group", Business Green, August 22, 2014

PepsiCo backs new tool to predict water risks

GreenBiz.com, September 05, 2014

Kellogg's to reduce carbon footprint, source responsibly

United Press International, August 13, 2014

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