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Start-Ups Prosper In “Clean Label” America At The Expense Of Big Food

April 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A cluster of Chicago-area start-ups is profiting from health-conscious America’s growing demand for foods and drinks that are less processed, contain few ingredients, and fewer artificial ingredients and fillers. Gluten-free baking company Simple Mills is prospering following the “clean label” trend, with its products now in 3,000 stores in the U.S., making it the third largest American baker by revenue. RXBar, which makes, an all-natural protein bar, grew by 300 percent last year and expects similar growth in 2016. These companies are increasing market share as big food producers struggle to reformulate familiar product lines without hurting texture or flavor.
"Small Startups Profit from Clean Label Movement", Specialty Food, April 27, 2016, © Specialty Food Association, Inc.
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Gleaning Not Only Reduces Food Waste, It Broadly Benefits Communities

April 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Gleaning is a well-established agricultural practice that involves collecting and sharing excess farm produce that did not make it into the commercial food distribution pipeline. AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer Julie Schubert describes what she learned in her nine months of service in Vermont, participating in the gleaning process. The biggest takeaway is the realization that gleaning is all about the community relationships among farmers, volunteers, collection sites, and ultimately the people receiving healthful fruits and vegetables. In the Rutland community alone in 2015, the Farm and Food Link’s Glean Team gathered and distributed 36,500 pounds of produce – nearly $60,000 worth – from 29 local farms.
Julie Schubert, "Harvest Watch - Vista View: What It Means To Glean", Rutland Herald (Vermont), April 26, 2016, © Rutland Herald
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Sustainability, Purity, Simplicity Are Dannon's New Watchwordsl

April 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Yogurt maker Dannon is requiring its milk suppliers to adhere to the company’s animal welfare standards and to improve and conserve soil. The new requirement is part of Dannon’s response to a growing consumer concern about the source and wholesomeness of food. Consumers increasingly seek fewer synthetic ingredients in their foods, want their food to be more pure, and want food animals treated humanely. A slew of new food companies represent fairly tough competition for Dannon – which sells a third of all yogurts in America – by touting the simplicity and purity of their products.
Stephanie Strom, "Yogurt Buyers Send Dannon Back to the Farm", The New York Times, April 26, 2016, © The New York Times Company
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Juice Industry May Have A Profitable Way To Use Leftover Pulp

April 26, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Scientists and grad students at Washington State University have figured out a way to put carrot pulp to good use. The pulp, or “pomace,” that is left over after carrots (and other fruits and veggies) are juiced can be added to cornstarch and used to expand snack foods, making them “puffier.” The researchers found that a five percent concentration level worked best. Mixing in the pomace not only increases the volume, it adds fiber and beta-carotene without affecting the flavor. An added bonus? It creates a use for a processing byproduct at a time when juice production is on the rise.
Scott Weybright, "Reducing waste while improving snack nutrition", News release, Washington State University, April 26, 2016, © Washington State University
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Demand For Environment-Friendly Beauty Packaging Drives Growth For PET In Western Europe

April 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
PET bottle packaging is forecast to expand at a 3 percent CAGR, or 174 million units more, in Western Europe during the years 2015–2019. Driven by demand for premium and sustainable packaging, PET is expected to be the most popular packaging for the beauty care market. With Western Europe expected to see more growth in beauty and personal care packaging, beauty brands need to provide consumers with an enhanced buying experience while continue pushing for environment-friendly packaging.
Karine Dussimon, "Beauty Packaging in Western Europe: PET Meets Growing Demand for Greener Solutions", Euromonitor International, April 24, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Asia Is Serious About Handling Food Waste Efficiently

April 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
South Korea and other Asian countries are aggressively tackling their food waste problems. On the national level, South Korea’s food waste management system is part of a decades-old recycling effort created to ease pressure on landfills. Food waste is collected and recycled as animal feed or compost. Or people can buy a home food waste processor that turns table scraps into dried powder for fertilizer. Other countries serious about putting food waste to good use include: Japan (two million tons into animal feed, 0.6 million tons into animal feed, annually) and Taiwan (0.4 million tons a year into pig feed).
Chang May Choon, "South Korea cuts food waste with 'pay as you trash'", The Straits Times, April 24, 2016, © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.
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Kroger Launches 2016 Earth Day Marketing Campaign

April 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kroger Co. announced its “Sustainability Lives Here” campaign, as part of the retailer’s celebration of 2016 Earth Day. Also aimed at highlighting the company’s sustainability commitment and efforts, the campaign includes the launch of a new website, SustainabilityLivesHere.com, which features tips on becoming environment-friendly, healthy recipes, and recycling projects; in-store events, such as sampling of wholesome meal designed for Earth Day and “Meet the Farmer” events; and in-store signage aimed at highlighting sustainable areas of the grocery store.
"Kroger to Celebrate Earth Day in Stores with 'Sustainability Lives Here'", Kroger , April 22, 2016, © The Kroger Co.
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Advocates Of A Streamlined Lifestyle Feel The Hate From Purists

April 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Bloggers who write about their daily efforts to reduce household waste to zero are not immune from criticism. Purists of every stripe lambaste Kathryn Kellogg and other millennial women for not following the right kind of sustainable lifestyle, whether it be veganism or anti-toilet paperism. But despite all the hate mail, Kellogg and other followers of zero-waste gurus like Bea Johnson, author of “Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Your Waste,” persevere in their quest. Kellogg’s trash for the past year – everything that was not recycled or composted – fits in an eight-ounce jar. That’s a far cry from the average three pounds of trash produced by every American every day.
Leilani Clark, "Zero-waste bloggers: the millennials who can fit a year's worth of trash in a jar", The Guardian, April 22, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Procter & Gamble Sees Earth Day As Time To Reflect On Sustainability Achievements

April 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble said it sees Earth Day as an opportunity to reflect on the company’s achievements in terms of integrating sustainability into its business operations worldwide. According to the company, it has a long history of environmental stewardship, with P&G publishing its first environmental safety publication, which focused on surfactants in rivers, in 1956; developing the first method for evaluating chemical biodegradability in 1973; and creating a corporate sustainability department in the 1990s. Some of the company’s sustainability achievements include launching Tide purclean, the first bio-based laundry detergent with the cleaning power of Tide, in North America; making bottles from recycled content in Europe; and achieving advances in water purification and solar energy in China.
"Earth Day 2016: Everyday Changes That Make a World of Difference", Procter & Gamble, April 22, 2016, © Procter & Gamble
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Organic Personal Care Market To Grow To $13.2 Billion By 2018, TMR Says

April 22, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
By 2018, the world’s organic personal care products market is forecast to expand at a CAGR of 9.6 percent to $13.2 billion, according to Transparency Market Research. Accounting for 32.1 percent of the organic market, skin care is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.9 percent during the period covered by the study. Grand View Research, in comparison, estimated the skin care segment grew to $2.5 billion in 2013, and will grow at a CAGR of 9.6 percent through 2020. North America accounted for 35 percent of demand for organic personal care products, according to TMR, with the U.S. market growing at a CAGR of 10.2 percent.
Jeb Gleason-Allured , "Natural & Organic: How Big is Big?", GCI Magazine, April 22, 2016, © Allured Business Media
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Root-To-Stalk Cooking Helps Prevent Food Waste

April 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The realization that single-family households in Toronto, Canada, throw out about 275 kilograms of food scraps each year – 75 percent of which is composted by the city – led one cooking teacher and caterer to find a way to reduce food waste. One solution comes in the form of good old-fashioned root-to-stalk cooking of seasonal produce. For hygienic reasons, she discards only the much-handled outermost leaves of a cabbage. Everything else – except the pulpy core – is cooked. Chopped broccoli stalks are pureed for hummus, soups or stir-fries. Potato peels are roasted with olive oil and salt until they are as crunchy snack as potato chips. Other oft-discarded vegetable parts that can be put to good use include woody asparagus ends, dark green sections of leeks, and the stem ends of dill, parsley and cilantro.
Lois Abraham, "Vegetable scraps go upscale: Root-to-stalk chefs cook with kale ribs, potato peels", National Post, April 20, 2016, © National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
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L'Oreal Says It Has Reduced Environmental Footprint Of 74 Percent Of New Products In 2015

April 20, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal said 74 percent of its new or renovated products have an improved environmental or social profile in 2015, against the company’s 100 percent target. According to the company, the calculation corresponds to 85 percent of volumes of products manufactured and includes all product categories, but excludes range extensions. Also, the company said 22 percent of new or renovated products have become more environment-friendly, due to a new formula that lowers their impact on the environment. In addition, 14 percent have an improved social profile because they include raw materials from Solidarity Sourcing programs, while 43 percent have an improved environmental profile, due to a reduction in the environmental footprint of packaging.
"L’Oréal 2015 Progress report", L’Oréal, April 20, 2016, © L’Oréal
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Kimberly-Clark Professional Joins US Composting Council And Keep America Beautiful To Create Guide To Workplace Composting

April 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kimberly-Clark Professional joined the US Composting Council and Keep America Beautiful to launch the Guide to Workplace Composting. Designed to help companies and organizations develop composting programs at the workplace, the guide features detailed instructions and resources for business enterprises and facilities seeking to recycle organic matter into fertilizers and soil conditioners. Composting can also reduce erosion, improve the soil’s drought tolerance, and reduce the creation of greenhouse gases.
"Kimberly-Clark Professional Partners with US Composting Council and Keep America Beautiful to Create Workplace Composting Guide", Kimberly-Clark, April 19, 2016, © Kimberly-Clark Corporation
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Unilever Expands Efforts To Promote Packaging Recycling

April 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever is expanding its #RethinkRecycling campaign to promote recycling of empty bottles and other packaging of bathroom products in the United States. According to the company, an estimated $11 billion of used packaging materials go to landfills instead of recycling centers each year. Unilever became a founding investor in the Closed Loop Fund to help promote recycling in the country.
"Closing The Loop: Boosting Recycling In The Bathroom And Beyond", Unilever, April 19, 2016, © Unilever
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L'Oreal VP For CSR And Sustainability Describes Efforts To Reach 2020 Sustainability Goals

April 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Seeking to reduce by 60 percent its overall environmental footprint by 2020, L’Oreal wants to incorporate sustainability into its innovation model in order to make each beauty category more sustainable, according to Jonathan Maher, vice president of CSR and Sustainability. Maher said part of his job involves coordinating the company’s Sharing Beauty with All sustainability campaign in the United States. To measure the company’s sustainability achievements, L’Oreal developed a customized eco-design tool that helps product development teams in determining ways to improve new product’s environmental profile.
Simon Pitman, "L’Oréal puts words into action on sustainability", Cosmetics Design , April 19, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Kimberly-Clark Proves Sustainability Is Good For Business

April 19, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kimberly-Clark launched its Sustainability 2022 long-term sustainability strategy in 2016. Since recognizing the need to be socially and environmentally responsible since the mid-1990s, the company has integrated sustainability into all aspects of its business operations. Every five years, the company sets its sustainability strategies, which include specific targets under the People, Planet, and Products pillars. Its recently concluded Sustainability 2015 strategy, saw the company achieving 40 percent reduction in absolute water consumption and a 15-percent reduction in absolute greenhouse gas emissions in the Asia Pacific region. Kimberly-Clark’s commitment to sustainability has helped it emerge unscathed from consumer groups calling for boycotts of products linked to deforestation and the haze crisis in Southeast Asia.
Kristie Thong , "Kimberly-Clark: Why sustainability matters", Future Ready Singapore, April 19, 2016, © Future Ready Singapore
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Foodservice Management Firm Collaborates To Cut Food Waste

April 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A multinational facilities and foodservice management company said it is collaborating with businesses, government agencies and nonprofits to achieve the Obama administration’s goal of reducing food waste in the U.S. by 50 percent within 14 years. Sodexo has developed a model that the foodservice industry can follow to cut food waste, free up landfill space and reduce methane gas emissions. The Zero Food Waste to Landfills scheme follows the guidance offered by the recent ReFED report, which outlines 27 strategies to halve food waste by 2030. Though one in five U.S. children are in danger of hunger, America spends $218 billion growing, processing, transporting and discarding food that is never eaten, the company said.
"Sodexo Commits to Zero Food Waste to Landfills", News release, Sodexo, April 18, 2016, © Sodexo
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USDA App Helps Consumers Reduce Food Waste At Home

April 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) estimates that 133 billion pounds of food in the available food supply – $161 billion worth – go uneaten each year. To help combat the enormous waste problem, the agency offers a free downloadable app called FoodKeeper for Apple and Android devices that helps consumers remember when food stored in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry was purchased. It allows users to set up automatic notifications when products are nearing the end of their recommended storage date. The app also:  advises on storage methods that extend shelf life; discusses more than 400 food and beverage items; and offers cooking advice to eliminate foodborne bacteria.
Kristina Beaugh, "USDA Tips for Reducing Food Waste and Preventing Illness", News release, U.S.Department of Agriculture, April 18, 2016, © USDA
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Snack Products Make Good Use Of Edible Fruits Destined For Landfills

April 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Two British entrepreneurs have developed a way to take excess, but still fresh, fruit or fruit that is judged unsuitable for selling, and turn it into a healthy “fruit leather” snack. "Snact" comprises apples, bananas, mangoes, and other fruits that are blended, spread out and dried in a dehydrator for eight hours before being cut into small pieces. The bendable and chewy fruit snack is sold in 20-gram bags. Available flavors include apple and raspberry; apple and mango; and apple, blueberry and banana. According to the U.N., 45 percent of all fruit and vegetables produced globally ends up in landfills.
Shane Hickey, "The innovators: fruitful idea turns waste food into a tasty snack", The Guardian, April 17, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Cage-Free Eggs: Growing Popularity, Huge Profit

April 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Researcher Mintel – noting the “fever pitch” of the movement among food producers, restaurants, and retailers toward cage-free eggs – reports that half of Millennials put the cage-free/free-range claim among their top five concerns. The claim is less important to Baby Boomers, only 40 percent of whom put it among their top five. Mintel notes that the companies on the cage-free bandwagon may be reacting to consumer demand, or to a genuine concern for animal welfare. But another possibility has more to do with dollars and cents. Though cage-free eggs only cost 15 cents more a dozen to produce, they sell at twice the price of conventional large eggs: an average of $2.99 a dozen, compared to $1.29.
Billy Roberts, "Cage-Free-For-All?", Blog, Mintel, April 14, 2016, © Mintel Group Ltd.
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Food Sniffing Tool Could Help Reduce Food Waste

April 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A new gadget linked to a smartphone app may help significantly reduce the £700 ($1,022) worth of food British households waste annually. The Foodsniffer ignores the use-by date and gets right to the “nose” of the matter, analyzing the gases emitted by foods and transmitting findings to the app. The gadget purportedly can let you know if food is fresh, needs thorough cooking, or is downright hazardous to your health. The $129 Foodsniffer was created by a Lithuanian inventor – a company slogan is “You can’t trust your nose! – who claims the device is 85 - 90 percent accurate.
Lauren O'Callaghan, "The END of wasted food? New gadget claims it can tell if your food needs binning", Daily Express, April 14, 2016, © Northern and Shell Media Publications
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Unilever CEO Paul Polman Calls On Business To Be More Proactive In Protecting Environment

April 14, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever CEO Paul Polman is calling on business to put more importance on long-term sustainability goals than profits. Polman said the cost of doing nothing about to protect the environment is becoming more expensive than action. With governments still hampered by debt following the global financial crisis of a decade ago, business must be willing to pay for developments promoting sustainability, the executive said. After his appointment as Unilever CEO in 2009, Polman proposed the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, which seeks to double the company’s revenue while reducing its environmental impact by half and sourcing 100 percent of raw materials from sustainable suppliers.
Damon Kitney, "Unilever chief Paul Polman urges the long view for business", The Australian, April 14, 2016, © News Limited
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General Mills Touts Progress In Sustainability, Healthful Foods

April 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
In a corporate progress report, General Mills says it has made significant headway in its plan to sustainably source all of its 10 “priority ingredients” – about half of its yearly raw material purchases – by 2020. The company also noted progress in delivering more healthful foods. It has lowered sodium and sugar content (in cereals and yogurts) and reformulated some products in response to consumer preferences. It eliminated artificial colors and flavors in its cereals and added gluten-free products. It also said it is now “the third-largest U.S. natural and organic food producer.”
Eric Schroeder, "General Mills encouraged by progress on health and wellness goals", Food Business News, April 13, 2016, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING CO
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Hotel Chain To Plant Vegetable Gardens At A Quarter Of Its Facilities

April 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
France’s AccorHotels announced it will try to reduce food waste in its 3,900 hotels by 30 percent by planting vegetable gardens at many of its facilities. The group said it generates 25-30 percent of its revenue by serving 150 million meals a year. It implement its plan by first determining how much food it is wasting. Restaurants will be required to weigh and record food that is discarded to best determine how to cut waste. The company said it is supporting “urban agriculture” by planting 1,000 vegetable gardens at its hotels over the next four years. The global chain includes the Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis hotel chains.
"Major hotel chain to grow vegetables at 1000 properties to cut food waste", The Guardian, April 13, 2016, via Agence France-Presse, © Agence France-Presse
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Start-Up Gets Venture Cash It Needs To Market Its Food Waste Solution

April 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A Redmond, Wash.-based start-up has raised more cash in a third financing round, bringing the total to $30 million, to support further development and marketing of a machine that reduces food waste by turning unsold and scrap food into a useful product. WISErg's machine, called the Harvester, is used by food stores to dispose of food waste. Customers include Whole Foods Market, Costco and PCC Natural Markets. The Harvester grinds food waste into a slurry that the company takes and processes into a fertilizer that can be used on organically grown crops. There are Harvesters in more than 20 locations in Seattle alone.
Rachel Nielsen, "From food waste to fertilizer: Redmond startup attracts $12.3M", Business Journals, April 11, 2016, © American City Business Journals
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Turning Used Coffee Grounds Into Gold

April 11, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A former British architecture student has found a way to turn used coffee grounds into flammable bricks that can be used as fuel for wood-burning stoves, at the same time reducing food waste. The technology involves removing the oil from the grounds – collected from coffee shops, retailers, airports and coffee factories – then compacting them. The coffee bricks then burn without any coffee aroma. So far, Bio-bean has dealt with companies that spend a lot of money to transport and then dump the used grounds in landfills. The company picks up the waste grounds, processes them, and sells them back to their clients as cheap fuel. Bio-bean feels consumers will also save a lot of money burning coffee ground briquettes rather than conventional charcoal, wood, or coal.
Rebecca Burn, "This fuel made from old coffee will launch in the summer, at half the price of wood", The Telegraph, April 11, 2016, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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New Butterball Ground Turkey Brand Made From Antibiotics-Free Birds

April 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Turkey processor Butterball LLC announced a new line of ground meat made from birds never treated with antibiotics. The move puts Butterball in the rapidly expanding group of meat and poultry processors that are eradicating antibiotics from their animal husbandry schemes. Perdue Farms Inc. in February said it is transitioning to chicken and turkey products that use “no antibiotics ever.” Tyson Foods Inc., said it will eliminate antibiotics by September 2017. Butterball says its “Farm to Family” brand of antibiotics-free ground turkey is already appearing in grocery stores. It expects to generate $100 million in retail sales over the next three to four years from the product.
Megan Durisin et al., "Turkey Burgers Go Antibiotic-Free as Butterball Jumps on Trend", Bloomberg, April 09, 2016, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Natura Cosmetics And Symrise Receive UEBT Certification For 40 Ingredients From Amazon

April 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Natura Cosmetics and Symrise Amazon said the Union for Ethical BioTrade has certified a total of 40 natural ingredients from the Amazon as ethically sourced from 14 supplier communities in the Brazilian Amazon. With the certification, which follows the UEBT’s announcement of its internationally recognized standard, Amazon-sourced ingredients, such as andiroba and maracuja oil, cupuacu butter, and acai pulp, can be used in national and international markets. Natura Cosmetics has always promoted and associated itself with Brazilian biodiversity; for example, its Ekos product line is based on Amazon ingredients sourced responsibly from local communities.
Andrew McDougall, "Natura and Symrise obtain UEBT certification for 40 Amazon ingredients", Cosmetics Design , April 08, 2016, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Tom's Of Maine Joins Hand With Recycling Firm TerraCycle To Reduce Landfill Waste

April 7, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Tom’s of Maine partnered with recycling company TerraCycle to launch the #LessWasteChallenge campaign aimed at reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills. Consumers can help support the campaign by visiting the company’s website and committing to reduce their family’s household waste by one pound per week. Tom’s of Maine has been developing natural and sustainably produced personal care products for the past 45 years, the company said. Also, it aims to achieve zero waste to landfills by 2020 at its manufacturing facility in Maine.
"Tom’s of Maine Celebrates Earth Month with the #LessWasteChallenge Pledge to Inspire Less Waste Going to Landfills", MultiVu/PR Newswire, April 07, 2016, © MultiVu
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Likely Global Ban On Plastic Microbeads Presents Business Opportunities For Makers Of Alternative Ingredients

April 6, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
As governments worldwide move towards banning the use of plastic microbeads as ingredient for personal care products, business opportunities are opening up for manufacturers of alternative ingredients. North America, which according to Euromonitor International data accounts for 20 percent of global consumption of polyethylene in beauty and personal care products, introduced legislation banning microplastics from rinse-off cosmetics in 2015. Europe, which accounts for almost 50 percent of PE consumption in BPC products, has yet to introduce similar legislation. Leading BPC companies have been exploring alternative to microplastic beads and deal with environment-related issues.
Maria Coronado Robles, "Potential Global Ban on Plastic Microbeads Opens Up New Opportunities", Euromonitor International, April 06, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Walmart, Sam’s Club Pledge 100% Cage-Free Eggs Within Ten Years

April 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart and Sam’s Club announced a commitment to sourcing only cage-free eggs by 2025, though they hedged a little, saying the accomplishment of the goal depended on “available supply, affordability and customer demand by 2025.” In a statement the companies said the cage-free pledge supports their “aspiration” of achieving the “five freedoms” of animal welfare for farm animals in its supply chain,” announced a year ago. Besides freedom to express normal animal behavior, the others are freedom from hunger and thirst; discomfort; pain, injury or disease; and fear and distress. The company is requiring all of its egg suppliers to be certified and fully compliant with United Egg Producers (UEP) Animal Husbandry Guidelines.
"Walmart U.S. Announces Transition to Cage-Free Egg Supply Chain by 2025", News release, Walmart, April 05, 2016, © Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
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Colorado Project Generates Methane Gas, Then Electricity, From Food Waste

April 5, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Landfills are piled high with rotting food that emits methane gas. But a Colorado project is turning the methane gas produced by cattle dung and discarded food into electricity. The Heartland Biogas Project uses six holding tanks to store 1.7 million gallons of either food waste or manure slurry. “Digesters” turn the mess into a water-based sludge, some of which becomes compost. But the more interesting byproduct is methane gas, produced by anaerobic digestion of spoiled milk, old pet food and vats of grease mixed with beneficial bacteria. The gas is transported to an interstate pipeline and used to make electricity. Several problems are tackled in the process: putting a greenhouse gas to work generating renewable energy; diverting food waste from landfills, reducing harmful emissions; and creating jobs.
Luke Runyon, "How Colorado Is Turning Food Waste Into Electricity", National Public Radio, April 05, 2016, © NPR
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“Free From” Is Good, But It’s No Substitute For Unprocessed

April 2, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Food writer Marion Nestle writes that it’s all well and good that the food industry is getting rid of bisphenol-A (BPA) from its packaging, and removing unnatural additives, artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, gluten and GMOs – or at least including GMOs on their labels. Products sell better, and companies make more money, when the labels proclaim “free from.” And consumers benefit “to an extent,” she says. But highly processed foods still contain a lot calories, and often excessive salt and sugar. People need to eat vegetables and other unprocessed foods. “No amount of subtraction from highly processed foods is going to change that,” she concludes.
Marion Nestle, "No amount of 'free from' labelling will make processed food good for you", The Guardian, April 02, 2016, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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Michigan Retail Chain To Transition To Cage-Free Eggs Over Coming Decade

April 1, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Midwestern retail chain Meijer announced a commitment to all cage-free eggs in its stores by 2025. The company's current volume sales of cage-free eggs are “relatively low,” but the trend is in that direction. Meijer sells cage-free, free-range and traditional eggs, most of them sourced from farms in Michigan that have been working with the Meijer family for more than 50 years. Meijer (Grand Rapids, Mich.) operates 223 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
"Meijer Announces Goal to Source Only Cage-Free Eggs by 2025", News release, Meijer, April 01, 2016, © Meijer
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It Will Be A Slow Journey, But Antibiotics-Free Bandwagon Is Gaining Riders

March 31, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Chickens fed antibiotics can live in cramped, unsanitary conditions without getting sick. They also tend to gain more weight. However, a highly vocal movement against antibiotic use in meat and poultry in the United States is inducing more producers to end the use of antibiotics. The goal is to protect consumers from a growing threat of antibiotic resistance as well as early puberty in children. Restaurant chains like Subway and McDonalds are demanding antibiotics-free meats. And poultry producers, including Tyson, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Farms, and Foster Farms have all promised to mostly stop using antibiotics over varying time frames. It’s an uphill climb, however: 92 to 95 percent of food produced in the U.S. contains antibiotics.
Emily Balsamo, "Movement Against Antibiotic-Treated Meat Gaining Momentum in the United States", Blog, Euromonitor International, March 31, 2016, © Euromonitor
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Germany’s Agri-Minister Hopes To End Food Waste By 2030

March 30, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Germany’s food and agriculture minister wants to end food waste he believes is due largely to confusing expiration dates on packages, but his plans are more ambitious than that. According to one study, Germans discarded 82 kg of edible food in 2012, mostly fruits and vegetables, pasta and bread. Christian Schmidt’s plan to end food waste by 2030 includes eliminating the “best before date” established by food manufacturers. Not an expiry date, it merely suggests how long the food will retain its specific taste, smell, color, consistency and nutritional value. Schmidt has also called for installing electronic chips in food packaging, such as yogurt cups, that show a color-coded scale indicating product aging. Schmidt’s agency has spent €10 million researching the technology.
Nicole Sagener, "Germany plans ‘smart’ packaging to cut food waste", EurActiv.de, March 30, 2016, © EurActiv.com plc
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Starbucks FoodShare Program Will Donate All Unsold Food By 2021

March 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Starbucks has been donating unsold pastries to charities since 2010 with the help of Food Donation Connection (FDC), a service provider that collects the food at the company’s 7,600 stores. Recently Starbucks announced a plan to donate ready-to-eat meals, including refrigerated perishables such as fruit cups and sandwiches, to food banks through its collaboration with FDC and a new partnership with Feeding America. In the first year, the Starbucks FoodShare program will provide nearly five million meals to individuals and families. The company will expand the program over the next five years to eventually rescue 100 percent of its food.
Jessica Leigh Hester, "Their Coffee Is Controversial, But Starbucks Gets Food Waste Policy Right", CityLab, March 24, 2016, © The Atlantic Monthly Group
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California Could Be First State To Mandate Clearer Food Expiration Labels

March 24, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A California lawmaker believes legislation he has proposed would help solve the food waste problem with one simple change. The bill would replace all the confusing expiration date phrases on food labels with two simpler notices. The confusing terminology – used by manufacturers and not regulated by the federal government – leads to waste of food that is still safely edible. Terms like "best by," "freshest by," and "sell by" would be replaced by ‘best if used by” and “expires on,” the latter indicating food should not be eaten after this date. Foods presenting a food safety problem would be determined by the California Department of Public Health.
Tara Duggan, "Food waste is target of legislation on expiration labels", SF Gate, March 24, 2016, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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Italy’s Food Waste Legislation Takes A Carrot, Rather Than A Stick, Approach

March 18, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
A legislative proposal to reduce Italy’s food waste – by a billion tons this year alone -- has passed the House and is likely to pass the Senate. The bill follows in the footsteps of a new law in France that makes it compulsory for large grocery stores and supermarkets to donate their unsold edible foods to charitable organizations for redistribution to the needy. The Italian version, however, uses a carrot rather than a stick in securing compliance. It provides large tax breaks for participants. The French law imposes stiff fines for discarding unsold food. A billion tons of food waste in 2016 would be twice the amount recovered in Italy last year.
"Italy to Rescue 1 Billion Tons of Food Waste a Year", Eat Drink Better, March 18, 2016, © Sustainable Enterprises Media, Inc.
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New York City Schools Serve Only Antibiotics-Free Chicken For Lunch

March 17, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
New York City's public schools have contracted with Somma Food Products to provide all 1,700 schools – 1.1 million students – in the system with 100 percent antibiotics-free, vegetable-fed ChickenTopia Drumstix for lunch. The city's Department of Education is one of six large urban school districts known as the Alliance that two years ago agreed that all school lunch chicken products must be sourced from humanely treated chickens raised with zero antibiotics of any kind and a vegetarian diet. Besides ChickenTopia, Somma Food Group's products include Merrywood Farms and Range Grass Fed Beef.
"New York City SchoolFood Launches Chickentopia 100% Antibiotic-Free, Vegetable-Fed Chicken from Somma Food Group", News release, Somma Food Products, March 17, 2016, © Somma Food Products
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Non-GMO Trend Continues, Though Scientists Aren’t Sure GMO Foods Are A Threat

March 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Claiming to be non-GMO – as some restaurants, grocery chains and food companies have at least partially done – is not only problematic, it’s increasingly difficult to defend from a scientific standpoint without proof that GMO foods present a threat to humanity. It’s problematic because GMO crops and animal feed are inescapable. Staunchly anti-GMO Chipotle had to finally admit its meat and cheeses come from GMO-fed cows. Whole Foods acknowledged “GMOs are ‘pervasive’ and can be found in 70 percent of packaged foods.” Meanwhile, the scientific community seems less hostile to the food industry’s growing application of GMO technology as it waits for some reliable evidence that GMO foods are safe – or unsafe.
Chris Sorensen, "In defense of GMOs", Canadian Grocer, March 13, 2016, © Rogers Media Inc.
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Campbell Soup Cans To Be Mostly BPA-Free By End Of 2016

March 13, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Campbell Soup Co. began using cans made with acrylic or polyester linings in March, and has committed to eliminating all cans with bisphenol A (BPA) linings over the next year. The company said all varieties of Campbell's soups and gravies, Swanson broths and Spaghettios pasta products will be packaged in non-BPA-lined cans. It is on schedule to have three-fourths of its soup portfolio in non-BPA cans by December. BPA is a component in metal can coatings that protects food from direct contact with metal surfaces. Studies have found that the compound causes health problems.
Ramkumar Iyer, "Campbell Soup to switch to BPA-free cans by 2017", Reuters, March 13, 2016, © Thomson Reuters
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Tesco Makes Its Food Waste Pilot Project Official

March 12, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Following a successful six-month, 14-store pilot program, British grocery chain Tesco has finalized a plan to donate all unsold food to 5,000 charities in an effort to eradicate food waste from its stores and distribution centers by 2017. During the test, the Community Food Connection program resulted in delivery of more than 22 tons of food to needy people – approximately 50,000 meals. The company acknowledged it had discarded more than 55,000 tons of food last year. The Tesco initiative follows a similar effort by the Morrisons grocery chain.
Caroline Mortimer, "Tesco to give all unsold food to charity after finalising deal", Independent, March 12, 2016, © independent.co.uk.
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Kimberly-Clark Earns Climate Leadership Award From U.S. EPA

March 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Kimberly-Clark revealed it has received a Climate Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Center for Corporate Climate Leadership. For reporting and verifying company-wide greenhouse gas inventories and achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, the company received the Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management “Goal Achievement Award.” EPA’s Climate Leadership Awards highlight companies’ voluntary work to manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their supply chains.
"Kimberly-Clark Receives EPA National Award for Climate Leadership", Kimberly-Clark, March 09, 2016, © Kimberly-Clark Corporation
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Whole Foods Says To Install Rooftop Solar Panels On 100 More Stores

March 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods plans to install rooftop solar power farms on 100 its stores and distribution facilities, according to a New York Times report. Covering almost a quarter of the retailer’s total store lineup, the move is expected to benefit both the company’s public image and its bottom line. Power provider NRG Energy will install the solar panels, which will be up to 200 times larger than the energy company’s usual home arrays.
Michael Grothaus, "Whole Foods Will Add Rooftop Solar Farms To Many More Stores", Fast Company, March 09, 2016, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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Nonprofit, Corporate Collaboration Joins Fight Against Food Waste

March 9, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Six months after the USDA and EPA spearheaded an initiative to reduce food loss and waste by half within 15 years, a nonprofit and corporate collaboration known as ReFED has joined the fight. The group has put forth a 27-step roadmap for the U.S. to reduce food waste 20 percent by 2026. The roadmap suggests eliminating sell-by dates and changing the composition of animal feed. Focusing heavily on prevention, the plan urges food companies, for example, to adjust packaging to discourage waste, selling smaller portions and designing packages to prevent food spoilage. The plan, which ReFED says would create thousands of jobs and save consumers billions of dollars, has the support of 30 organizations, including the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Justin Worland, "This Could Be the Best Way to Solve America’s Food Waste Problem", Time, March 09, 2016, © Time Inc.
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Shiseido Receives Award For Corporate Ethics And CSR

March 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Shiseido Co., Ltd., said it has received a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition, its fifth consecutive year of earning the award, from Ethisphere Institute. Based in the United States, Ethisphere Institute is an international think-tank that has been evaluating about 1,000 companies from more than 100 countries, focusing on their corporate ethics and corporate social responsibility efforts and activities. According to Shiseido, for about 140 years since it was founded in 1872, the company has been working to serve customers “through beauty and wellness,” which it considers a fundamental principle of all its business operations.
"Shiseido Awarded World's Most Ethical Companies Designation Five Years in a Row", Shiseido, March 08, 2016, © Shiseido Co.,Ltd.
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Burt's Bees Secures Lea Michele's Support For Campaign To Bring Back Bees

March 8, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Burt’s Bees partnered with actress Lea Michele to launch #BringBackTheBees, a campaign aimed at seeding 1 billion wildflowers to help reverse the decline in bee population worldwide. Spearheaded by the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, the campaign will donate 1,000 wildflower seeds for every purchase of the Pink Grapefruit, Wild Cherry, and Coconut and Pear variants of the brand’s lip balms. According to the company, the scents would not exist without bee pollination.
Danica Lo , "Lea Michele’s Skin-care Secrets Include Bees and Balm", Women's Wear Daily, March 08, 2016, © Fairchild Publishing, LLC
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Danish Store Sells Ugly, Expired Food At Deep Discounts

February 27, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Danish supermarket WeFood has come up with a unique solution to the food waste problem that is particularly severe in developed countries because of aesthetic or food safety concerns. The store only stocks food that is past its expiration date, is misshapen or has other imperfections, or has damaged packaging. Food prices are 30 to 50 percent cheaper than at other stores. To accomplish its mission, WeFood has formed partnerships with local supermarkets and butchers, produce importers and manufacturers of organic granola bars. It also has the support of the government, which says Denmark has reduced food waste by 25 percent in five years.
Roberto A. Ferdman, "Past-prime food finds new life in new store", The Washington Post, February 27, 2016, © The Washington Post
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L'Oreal USA Joins DOE's Better Buildings, Better Plants Program

February 23, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
L’Oreal USA said it has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program as part of the company’s efforts to improve its energy efficiency. In this connection, the company promised to improve its energy efficiency by 25 percent over the next 10 years. This will also help the company strengthen its competitiveness while minimizing the environmental impact of its operations.
"L'Oréal USA Joins Department of Energy's Better Buildings, Better Plants Program", L’Oréal, February 23, 2016, © L’Oréal
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