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Period: March 15, 2018 to April 15, 2018
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

New Plant-Based Burger’s Veggie Fats Sizzle On The Grill

California-based Don Lee Farms has begun distributing nationally its Organic Plant-Based Raw Burgers, made with beans and seeds, and certified organic, vegan, non-GMO and gluten-free. The burger is free from artificial ingredients or preservatives. According to the company, the burger “bleeds” organic beet juice and sizzles on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. “It’s a burger made with plants, not with science,” said a Don Lee Farms spokesman.

"Don Lee Farms Introduces First Organic Raw Plant-Based Burger — Made With Plants, Not With Science", News release, Don Lee Farms, February 15, 2018

Walmart Unveils High-Tech Produce Spoilage Initiative At Distribution Centers

Walmart has introduced an “Intelligent Food” initiative to improve perishable food quality and eliminate waste from the produce supply chain. Dubbed “Eden,” the initiative has been implemented company-wide in 43 grocery distribution centers and other facilities over the last 12 months. The company says Eden has already reduced spoilage by “tens of millions of dollars” in fiscal 2018 (since January 27, 2018), and will eliminate $2 billion in spoilage over the next five years. Under the program, visual inspection of fresh produce at distribution centers is being automated and digitized. Algorithms and other advanced technologies monitor the temperature and freshness of produce and perishable foods from farm to supplier to warehouse to Walmart’s shelves.

"Walmart Introduces Eden, its High-Tech Fresh-Food Initiative", Supermarket News, March 01, 2018

Mutual Fund Company Hopes To Force Amazon To Issue A Food Waste Report

A mutual fund company with an environmental conscience has petitioned the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to compel Amazon.com’s shareholders to vote on a proposed food waste report. Boston-based Green Century Capital Management says it has worked with Kroger, Costco and other retailers on food waste; Safeway, Publix, Ahold USA, and Target have all addressed the issue. According to the company, which had begun talking about the issue with Whole Foods Market management before last year, it sent a letter to Amazon’s management and board outlining its concerns. But when Amazon said it did not want to issue a food waste report, Green Century filed a shareholder resolution asking that the proposal be voted on by shareholders. Amazon has challenged the shareholder request to the SEC.

"Amazon Latest Retailer Being Prodded on Food Waste", Supermarket News, March 02, 2018

Company Transforms Food Manufacturing Waste Into Versatile Flour

A company that turns food processing byproducts into a versatile and nutritious flour has release the SuperGrain+ line of snack bars. The 160-calories bars are non-GMO, made with organic ingredients, and come in Honey Cinnamon IPA, Chocolate Coffee Stout, and Blueberry Sunflower Saison. Each bar contains four grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and eight grams of sugar. Functional ingredients include manuka honey, ginseng, and coffee fruit. ReGrained’s patented technology rescues, processes, and stabilizes food manufacturing byproducts to create the fiber- and protein-rich SuperGrain+ flour usable in all commercial applications, from savory to sweet..

"ReGrained Shifts the Paradigm on Upcycled Ingredients Launching an Irresistibly Delicious and Sustainable SuperGrain+™ Bar Line", News release, ReGrained, March 05, 2018

Colorado Issues Guidelines For Schools That Offer A Food Share Program

Schools in Colorado are now allowed to share unwanted school-sponsored lunch items by placing them on a “share table” rather than tossing them in the trash. Shareable items include unopened milk or juice, whole fruits, or packaged items. Hungry students, especially low-income ones, can grab the food for free. Food left over at the end of the day is checked to make sure it’s still safe to eat, then is put back into circulation the next day. The Colorado Department of Education recently released rules that school districts follow, after many districts implemented their own programs. The state also has promotional materials, guidelines, and signs.

"Waste Less, Eat More: 27J’s Food Share Program Cuts down Cafeteria Waste at Schools", The Standard Blade, March 07, 2018

Freezing Bread At Home Would Help Cut Down On Food Waste

More than 24 million slices of bread are tossed into the trash every day in the U.K. because it has not been consumed in time. It’s a huge food waste problem that has some simple solutions. Fifty-six percent of Britons aged 18 to 34 eat bread at least four days a week, a poll found, and 31 percent eat it every day. Sixty-nine percent throw bread away every week and 26 percent know they can make toast straight from frozen bread, but don’t do it. A representative of food waste group Love Food Hate Waste said if everyone stored their bread in the freezer it would keep fresh longer and reduce food waste. “You can even use bread straight from the freezer to make toast without needing to defrost it first," said Sarah Clayton..

"Simple Mistake Most Young Brits are Making with their Bread - and It's Costing Them", Mirror, March 14, 2018

Voracious Fly Larvae Offer An Interesting Food Waste Solution

For a long time, composters the world over have known about the amazing ability of ravenous black soldier fly larvae [left] to break down food waste and create rich plant fertilizer. Now scientists at the National University of Singapore – which has an abundance of the species – are working to breed the fittest, hungriest flies. At the same time, Singapore's first insect farm, Insectta, is turning about 500 kg of food waste from food suppliers, stalls, and homes into fertilizer every day by 100 kg of black soldier fly larvae. The fertilizer is then used to grow kale, lettuce, and other vegetables. Researchers at Insectta are also studying how the larvae can be turned into other products, like pet food..

"Using Insect Army to Fight Food Waste", The Straitstimes, March 16, 2018

High-Tech “Bumpy” Labels May Extend Shelf Life Of Perishable Foods

British dairy products maker Arla is testing high-tech food labels that gain a “bumpy” texture as food goes bad. When products like milk, cheese, and cream reach the end of their shelf life, gelatin in the label reacts to changes in the packaged food and temperature outside. The resulting molecular breakdown causes the packaging to develop bumps that consumers can see and feel. They no longer need to sniff the product to determine whether it is still safe to eat or drink. Arla teamed up with food technology company Mimica Touch to create the technology that could give suppliers the confidence to offer longer shelf-lives by calculating expire dates based on a best-case scenario.

"Bumpy Labels that Signal When Food Has Gone off Are Set to be introduced for Dairy Products", The Telegraph, March 18, 2018

Company’s AI Technology May Provide Answer To Food Industry Supply Chain Waste

A high-tech home food delivery start-up that is using artificial intelligence technologies to modernize the grocery supply chain has launched a B2B platform targeting food industry companies. Farmstead’s FreshAI model would benefit supermarkets, cafeterias, food production facilities, restaurants, quick service food chains, and convenience stores that need to reduce food waste and improve profit margins. Current methods of supplying stores cause supermarkets to discard 35-40 percent of all perishable foods, the company said. FreshAI, however, allows food businesses to upload operations data securely. The platform then provides daily and weekly recommendations on exactly how much to order of each SKU based on historical sales and consumer tastes..

"Farmstead Launches New 'Fresh AI' Platform That Applies Artificial Intelligence To Help Food Companies Reduce Waste And Improve Margins", News release, Farmstead, March 20, 2018

Henkel Partners With NGO To Remove Plastic Litter From World’s Oceans, Rivers

Henkel has partnered with NGO Waste Free Oceans in a three-year initiative to remove plastic waste from oceans and rivers. Removed plastic waste will be recycled into a million bottles used for its Henkel’s Lovables laundry brand. The two organizations hope to remove enough plastic from rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans to produce 100 metric tons of usable recycled material each year. According to Waste Free Oceans, about 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year, the equivalent of 15 grocery bags filled with plastic for every meter of coastline in the world. Lovables bottles are made from 100 percent recycled material.

"Henkel partners with Waste Free Oceans to fight marine plastic litter", News release, Henkel, March 22, 2018

Nestlé Acts To Increase Redistribution Of Its Surplus Food In U.K.

Nestlé has partnered with a British anti-food waste charity and a surplus food redistributor in a program to curb food waste by ensuring that more of its surplus food is available for both charitable and commercial use. The company says its arrangement with WRAP and Company Shop will mean that more of its part-processed products can be redistributed instead of being used for animal feed or anaerobic digestion. The approach will increase the levels of charitable redistribution from Nestlé’s U.K. operations by the equivalent of two million meals a year, on top of the products that already go to another redistribution organization, Fareshare.

"Nestle Launches New Food Waste Initiative in the UK", Just-Food, December 12, 2018

Companies, Organizations  

Carlsberg Denies It, But Tests Show Its Nepal Brewery Is A Polluter

Carlsberg has admitted to creating air and water pollution problems near its brewery in Nepal, but claims that an upgraded water purifying plant at the facility – along with employee education on avoiding soot particle pollution – has solved the problem. Not so, according to research conducted the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and investigative media company Danwatch, which collected water samples near the brewery. The samples, presented to pollution experts, confirmed massive pollution in one one of the biggest rivers in the country caused by the Carlsberg brewery. “The tests show that the river is contaminated in connection with the brewery and there is a risk that fish will die from lack of oxygen,” said a professor and wastewater expert at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

"Despite 'Solved Problem', Carlsberg Brewery Turns Water Toxic in Nepal", My Republica, March 10, 2018

Nestlé Waters NA Makes Progress On Factory Sustainability Efforts

Third-party accrediting organization Alliance for Water Stewardship has certified a Nestlé Waters NA factory in Ontario, Calif., along with facilities in Canada, for sustainability achievements. Last week AWS certified Nestlé’s Los Angeles and Cabazon, Calif., factories. AWS is an alliance of businesses, nonprofits, public-sector agencies, and academic institutes. The organization’s audit of the California facilities showed combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017, according to Nestlé Waters. Eight Nestlé Waters facilities worldwide have met the AWS standard; two more plants in North America are expected to be certified by the end of this year.

"Nestle Waters factories gain sustainability certifications", Stamford Advocate, March 30, 2018

Using Insect Army to Fight Food Waste

The Straitstimes, March 16, 2018

Shaping the future of water

Hindustan Unilever, March 20, 2018

Products & Brands  

Bolthouse Expands Organic Portfolio With Plant-Protein, Cold-Pressed Drinks

Calif.-based Bolthouse Farms is expanding its 1915 Organic beverage portfolio with several plant-based and cold-pressed products. The protein drinks contain 12 grams of pea-protein, nine grams of sugar, have no more than 160 calories, and come in four flavors. The two new sugar-free cold-pressed juices are available in cucumber a green (leafy green vegetables, ginger, moringa), and watermelon and lemon. The USDA-certified organic beverages are vegan, non-GMO, and packaged in 12-oz. bottles ($3.99). The company has begun packaging its beverages in sustainable, eco-friendly bottles that use 25 percent less plastic.

"Bolthouse Farms Goes Plant-Based with 1915 Organic Juices", Drug Store News, March 13, 2018

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