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Period: September 1, 2016 to October 1, 2016
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

Bumble Bee Expands Clean Label, Traceability Programs

Shelf-stable seafood company Bumble Bee announced that its line of solid white albacore tuna in water and oil has been Non-GMO Project Verified. The rest of its family of canned and pouch tuna products would be verified by the end of the year. As part of its “clean label” strategy, the company recently switched to sea salt in all of its canned tuna products. Bumble Bee said it’s committed to traceability of its seafood, noting that all of its tuna comes from wild caught fisheries. Its Trace My Catch website for tuna products was expanded to include salmon, sardines and clam products.

"Bumble Bee Moves TO Non-GMO Project Verified Tuna", News release, Bumble Bee, August 23, 2016

Starbucks Battles Hunger – And Food Waste – With FoodShare Program

The Starbucks restaurant chain, which announced an anti-waste initiative in March, says it has donated 300,000 meals to local food banks across the U.S. The FoodShare initiative was launched to fight food waste and hunger with the help of the Food Donation Connection and Feeding America. FDC workers pick up Starbucks' surplus food using refrigerated vans, and redistribute it to food pantries. In its first year five million ready-made meals will be distributed to charities and expects that number to increase to 50 million meals within five years. The company will expand the program from the current 1,150 Starbucks locations to all 7,600 by 2019.

"Starbucks is Trying a New Initiative to Stop Wasting so Much Food", Business Insider, August 25, 2016

Yumeshokunin Brings Water-Saving Toothbrush To Paris Exhibition

Yumeshokunin Co., Ltd.’s Misoka toothbrush is designed to conserve water, requiring only a cup of water per brushing session. Equipped with bristles covered with nano-sized minerals designed by the company, the toothbrush has sold 3 million units. Yumeshokunin will put the toothbrush on display at its exhibit at the 2016 Maison & Objet Paris trade show.

"A Japanese Toothbrush Designed to Conserve Water", Beauty Packaging, August 31, 2016

Knorr Hopes To Educate Consumers About Water Wasted In Food Production

Consumers are increasingly aware of the need to conserve –  or at least not to waste –  water. But, according to the Unilever brand Knorr, much of the water wasted in the world is “hidden’ in food production. Water wasted in the production of common foods amounts to roughly 1,000 gallons a day per person at a time when as many as 500 million people globally face water shortages. To help combat this problem, Knorr launched a campaign with the Water Footprint Network (WFN) to encourage consumers to change food buying habits. The company has created a list of alternative food items with a lower water footprint, and is asking consumers to: limit food waste and buy food that is certified as sustainably sourced.

"Knorr Campaign Asks Consumers to ‘Eat’ Less Water", Sustainable Brands, September 02, 2016

General Mills Partners With British Nonprofit To Feed The Hungry, Reduce Food Waste

General Mills U.K. says it has been helping a nonprofit organization distribute food to hungry people while helping to reduce food waste. The company donated 31 tons of surplus food – Nature Valley bars, Old El Paso meal kits, Green Giant vegetables, Betty Crocker baking mixes, and Yoplait yogurt – to the U.K.-based organization FareShare. Its partnering with FareShare is in line with the strategic focus of the General Mills Foundation: promoting food secure communities and sustainable agriculture. General Mills UK has worked with FareShare for nearly ten years.

"Tons of Surplus Food Reduce UK Hunger", Blog entry, Taste of General Mills, September 07, 2016

KFC Continues To Use Chickens Raised With Antibiotics

Representatives of U.S. conservation and consumer groups never got to deliver their anti-antibiotics petition – with 350,000 signatures – to KFC executives in Louisville, Kentucky. But they were gratified to learn later that KFC parent company Yum! Brands is reviewing its position on the use of antibiotics in its chicken supply chain. Whether anything comes of that is impossible to predict. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health experts continue to warn that livestock and poultry use of antibiotics contributes to the pressing public health threat of antibiotics resistance. 

"Over 350K Urge KFC to Change Chicken Antibiotics Policy", News release, Natural Resources Defense Council, September 11, 2016

Kroger Makes It To Dow Jones Sustainability Index-North America For Fourth Consecutive Year

Kroger Co. said it was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index-North America for the fourth consecutive years. Evaluating the top 20 percent of the 600 largest companies in the US and Canada in the S&P Global Broad Market Index and leaders in sustainability efforts, the DJSI reviews a number of factors in economic, social, and environmental terms.

"Kroger Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index for Fourth Consecutive Year", Kroger, September 13, 2016

Carrefour Joins Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe

Carrefour was included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe for 2016. DJSI highlighted Carrefour's long-term commitment to sustainability as a core part of its business strategy. Only the best-performing companies are eligible for the DJSI, and Carrefour is the only French company included in the 12 top companies in the Food & Staples Retailing category.

"Carrefour selected for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Europe (DJSI)", Carrefour, September 13, 2016

Community Fridge Provides Collection Point For Surplus Food In Quebec

A community development organization in Quebec says a refrigerator it set up in the city of Sherbrooke collected four tons of surplus food from restaurants, farms, business and local citizens in just three months. Dubbed Frigo Free Go, the refrigerator is such a success that the Corporation de development économique communitaire (CDEC) expects to install others in the city. The collected food that was redistributed rather than wasted means a reduction of 9.4 tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent four cars traveling 20,000 km a year.

"Frigo Free Go showing positive results", Sherbrooke Record (Quebec, Canada), September 14, 2016

British County Joins Big Food Companies In Fight Against Food Waste

A British county is working with the local waste partnership to make food and drink production and consumption more sustainable. They have signed the voluntary 2025 Courtauld Commitment whose goal is to reduce the environmental impact of food and beverages from farm to table. The Hampshire County (U.K.) Council is working with the Integra waste organization to accomplish three key goals: a 20 percent reduction of food and drink waste; a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity of food and drink consumed; and a reduction in the impact of water use in the supply chain. Food and drink companies in the U.K. and abroad – including grocery retailer Waitrose, food manufacturer Nestlė, and restaurant chain Pizza Hut – have all signed the Courtauld Commitment.

"Hampshire's War on Waste", News release, HantsWeb, September 15, 2016

Unilever Eyes Takeover Of Honest Company

Unilever PLC is negotiating to acquire Honest Co., the household and personal care company co-founded by actress Jessica Alba. Under discussion is a proposed deal that would value Honest at more than $1 billion but a lot lower than the $1.7 billion valuation the company received in a 2015 fundraising round. Since its founding in 2011, Honest has raised more than $200 million from external investors, including venture capital firms General Catalyst Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Buying Honest would give Unilever a point of entry into the market for natural or green cleaning products and diapers.

"Unilever Is in Talks to Acquire Jessica Alba’s Honest Co.", Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2016

Composting Service Helps Consumers, Farmers, And The Environment

A Massachusetts start-up is offering a composting service that benefits consumers, businesses, farmers, and the environment. Bootstrap Compost provides its customers with composting buckets with compostable liners and lids. The buckets are filled with fruit and vegetable scraps, then picked up by the company either weekly or biweekly. Once finished, the compost is taken to farms, but some is reserved for customers to use in their own gardens. Using a composting bucket saves the water that would be used to run food scrapes down a kitchen disposal, and makes household waste lighter, less smelly and easier to manage.

"Local Company Brings Easy Composting to Needham", Needham Wicked Local, September 16, 2016

Real Junk Food Project Repurposes Surplus Food In A Network Of Affiliated Cafes

While Britain’s lawmakers ponder possible legislation on curbing food waste, private organizations and entrepreneurs have taken matters into their own hands with some eye-popping success. The Real Junk Food project, founded only three years ago, maintains a 6,000-square-foot warehouse in the city of Leeds that collects between two and 10 tons of food daily from a variety of sources, including supermarket chain Morrisons. Food collected is then distributed to one of 30 Real Junk Food cafes around the city. There are 125 such cafes throughout the U.K., and in Israel and Australia, and is growing exponentially worldwide. The surplus food is sold to anyone for any amount they can afford, including donated labor and services.

"The Real Junk Food Project: Revolutionising How We Tackle Food Waste", The Guardian, September 18, 2016

Feed The 5000 Anti-Food Waste Events Coming To The U.S.

A British nonprofit environmental organization is taking its food waste awareness festivals to the U.S. this fall with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. As part of its mission to end food waste at every level of the food system, Feedback will be sponsoring Feeding the 5000 events – begun in the U.K. but now conducted in more than 40 cities worldwide – in Portland, Me., Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Denver, Colo., in October. At the events, free meals crafted entirely with surplus food are served to the public. In addition to demonstrating that surplus food is delicious, the events are meant to raise awareness among supermarkets and big businesses of the need to end practices that lead to food waste.

"Feeding the 5000 Events Spread Across America as Heat Rises in Fight Against Food Waste", News release, Feedback, September 19, 2016

British Lawmakers Tiptoe Toward Food Waste Legislation

A U.K. Parliament panel is receiving advice and comments about how to deal legislatively with Great Britain’s food waste problem. Food industry sectors, including farmers and consumer groups, have submitted comments to the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee. France, Italy, and Denmark all have laws targeting food waste on the books. The Labor Party last year scrapped plans to include a ban on food waste in its manifesto after Conservatives claimed that such a ban would cost £477 million ($621 million). Eight million tons of food are wasted post-manufacture in the U.K. annually. Experts suggest sixty percent of the waste could be avoided, equivalent to £16 billion ($21 billion) in food a year.

"U.K. Parliament Considers Legislation to Ban Food Waste in Britain", Independent, September 20, 2016

Food Waste Supermarket Flourishes In Denmark

A Danish charity (Folkekirkens Nødhjælp) that earlier this year opened a supermarket in Copenhagen dedicated to selling surplus food says the project has been successful enough to open two more stores. Food and other items sold in the stores would normally be thrown away because they are past their sell by date or have other imperfections. The WeFood store collects items from a variety of suppliers and sells them at a 30 – 50 percent discount. The store is part of a Danish government initiative to reduce food waste – 700,000 tons a year – in the country.

"Denmark Plans Two More Food Waste Supermarkets Selling Surplus Produce", Independent, September 20, 2016

Selling Surplus Food Is Easier With New Online Auction Marketplace

Selling surplus food – caused by overruns, irregular sizing, package changes, discontinued items, overstock, etc., – is a real hassle because the process is “chaotic, difficult, frustrating and extremely time consuming.” The key problem is the lack of a true marketplace where surplus product is exposed and sold. That problem may be solved, however, with the emergence of My FoodBids, a sort of eBay for food. The auction-style online marketplace is a quick, easy and safe way for food manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers to sell surplus inventory anonymously. The service is free to buyers; sellers pay a standard 10 commission on a sale.  It is designed to encourage higher bid prices, and faster sales, through open bidding without pricing caps. 

"My FoodBids: The First Online Food Auction Marketplace for Surplus Foods. Think Ebay for foods", News release, My FoodBids, September 21, 2016

Americans Avoid Wonky Fruits And Veggies, Unless They're Cheaper

A large majority of the 2,025 Americans surveyed by the Harris Poll recently said that they prefer produce that is not “wonky” – i.e., ugly, misshapen, blemished, etc. Of the 81 percent who felt that way, 43 percent said good looking fruits and vegetables are very or extremely important. The only criteria more important are price and seasonality. Not so important are the source (local or shipped), the grocer's food waste practices, or organic. Sixty-two percent said they would be at least somewhat comfortable eating ugly produce, but many of these said it should be cheaper. Nevertheless, only 30 percent admitted to buying wonky fruit or veggies in the past year.

"Eight in Ten Americans Say Appearance is At Least Somewhat Important When Shopping for Fresh Produce", News release, the Harris Poll, September 22, 2016

Aldi Receives LEED Gold Certification For Distribution Facility In California

Aldi has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Awarded for its environment-friendly and sustainable distribution center and regional headquarters in Moreno Valley, California, the LEED certification recognizes the discount retailer's efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its business operations. Aldi partnered with Graycor Construction Company to create an environment-friendly design as well as use sustainably sourced building materials for its distribution center and regional headquarters. USGBC said LEED-certified projects have diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills. LEED Gold buildings use 25 percent less energy and generate 34 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional buildings, the USGBC said.

"ALDI Earns LEED Gold Certification for California Distribution Center", ALDI , September 28, 2016

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