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Growth Returns To Asian FMCG Market

July 27, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
FMCG growth in Asia is accelerating, according to researcher Kantar Worldpanel, with the personal care care segment leading the way. The overall pace of growth reached 3.4 percent in the first quarter, up from 3.3 percent in 2016, due largely to the strong health & wellness and convenience sectors. Value growth in food was up about 0.8 percent over last year.  But beverage growth was flat, indicating that consumers are “rationalizing their spending.” Dairy growth was healthy (4,2 percent), as was homecare (3.2 percent), but both were slower than a year ago. Personal care grew 9.6 percent, a major spurt over a year ago. “Self-pampering and indulgence remained important to consumers,” the company said.
"Asia Consumer Insights Q1 2017", Report, Kantar Worldpanel, July 27, 2017, © Kantar Worldpanel
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Consumer Watchdog Accuses Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Of “Greenwashing”

July 26, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Unilever’s Ben & Jerry’s ice cream brand continues to “greenwash” its products, advertising them as “all natural” though they are contaminated with herbicides. The association recently sent samples of Ben and Jerry’s top-selling ice-cream brands to an independent testing lab for analysis. The lab found that 10 out of 11 samples tested positive for Roundup (glyphosate and AMPA) herbicide contamination. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate or AMPA. Testing of nationally-distributed organic ice cream brands found that three out of four tested negative for Roundup contamination. The Whole Foods' 365 brand was found to be contaminated with glyphosate. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
Ronnie Cummins, "Only One Out of 11 Popular Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors Tested Negative for Cancer-Causing Herbicide Glyphosate", AlterNet, July 26, 2017, © Independent Media Institute
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Senate Bill Would Ban Use Of Brain Damaging Pesticide

July 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Seven Democratic senators have introduced legislation to ban the harmful pesticide chlorpyrifos, that has been found to cause brain damage in children. The Trump administration’s EPA recently denied a petition to ban the chemical on March 29. A federal appeals court on July 18 denied a petition by green groups to force the agency to reverse its decision and enact the ban. The bill, the “Protect Children, Farmers and Farmworkers from Nerve Agent Pesticides Act of 2017,” was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and six other Democrats. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, attorneys general in seven states have formally objected to the EPA’s refusal to ban the pesticide.
Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, "This Harmful Pesticide Should Have Been Banned Years Ago. Now It Could Finally Happen.", Natural Resources Defense Council, July 25, 2017, © Natural Resources Defense Council
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Coca-Cola India Has Adapted To New Retail Landscape - Krishnakumar

July 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola’s India business says his company, one of the oldest in the world, has been able to overcome the inertia that often accompanies tradition and heritage by changing its business strategy when necessary to connect with consumers. This has meant expanding beyond a one-brand identity. According to T. Krishnakumar, consumer behavior in India has changed along with changes in retail. Mom-and-pop stores have evolved into a complex environment of more organized and larger-format stores. Today’s “hyper-productive” consumers are interested in traditional and local products, as well as new cultures and senses. Technology creates opportunities for companies, but it also heightens consumer expectations of brands. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola India ]
Ruhail Amin, "Coca-Cola's India mission is to grow beyond a single-brand company: T Krishnakumar", exchange4media.com, July 24, 2017, © exchange4media.com
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Company Says Sweet Potato-Based Sweetener Is More Healthful Than HFCS

July 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A North Carolina food ingredients company that specializes in pioneering applications of sweet potatoes grown in the state has developed a sweetener it says is a more healthful alternative to high-fructose corn syrup and honey. “Carolina Sweet,” developed by Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, is a 75-Brix (a measurement of sweetness), vegetable-based clean label sweetener that is rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. CIFI says it naturally adds consistency, allowing for the reduction or elimination of thickening agents.
"Sweetening with Sweet Potatoes: Carolina Sweet Replaces Undesirable Ingredients", News release, Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients, July 19, 2017, © Carolina Innovative Food Ingredients
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U.K. Relaxes Overly Cautious “Use By” Dates On Food Packaging

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Calling current rules overly cautious, the U.K.’s Food Standards Agency has issued draft guidelines urging supermarkets to scrap “use by” dates on packages of food that wouldn’t cause poisoning in favor of “Best Before” dates. The proposed rules also state that packaging should tell customers how to store food, and should display the snowflake logo to indicate that a product can be frozen. The goal is to reduce the 7.3 million tons of food a year, two million tons of which is due to it “not being used in time.” The guidance is “under consultation” until August. ][Image Credit: © NHS (UK]
Liz Dunphy, "Supermarkets are Told to Stop Telling Shoppers to Throw Away 7.3m Tons of Good Food Every Year by Scrapping 'Use By' Dates", Mail Online, July 17, 2017, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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Courts Pass “Natural” Food Cases To FDA, Which Dithers About Definition

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Food-related class action lawsuits have been rising over the last nine years, but dropped eight percent last year. A law firm that keeps track of the suits said the decline last year could be the result of the FDA grappling with the claim “natural.” There were 145 lawsuits filed in 2016, mostly in California and New York, alleging false labeling related to ingredients or the type of processing used in a product. The decrease in lawsuits seems to be related to the frequent application of the “primary jurisdiction” doctrine in food litigation. A judge can stay or dismiss actions pending an administrative agency’s resolution of a matter, viz., the FDA’s ongoing exploration of the definition of “natural." [Image Credit: © FDA ]
Deanna Pogorelc, "Fewer ‘Natural’ Lawsuits in 2016", New Hope Network, July 17, 2017, © Penton
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Proposed N.Y. City Rules Require Large Retailers To Cull Compostables From Trash

July 17, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
New York City’s Sanitation Department, unveiling new rules implementing a goal to cut landfill dumping to zero over the next 13 years, is requiring chain restaurants and big retail stores to split waste into compostable materials and just plain garbage. Any restaurant bigger than 7,000 square feet, big box stores with more than 50 locations, and grocery stores bigger than 10,000 square feet, will need to separate out compostables. The fine is $100 per infraction. There is a six-month public comment period for the rules. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
Aaron Holmes, "Large Chain Businesses Must Separate Compost Under New City Rules", New York Daily News, July 17, 2017, © NYDailyNews.com
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SodaStream’s Frontal Assault On Bottled Water

July 16, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Israel-based SodaStream International is challenging the bottled water industry – particularly PepsiCo, Nestlé and Coca-Cola – with a new marketing campaign that features a fictional futuristic anthropologist explaining to schoolchildren about the “homoschlepiens” species. Those would be people of the distant past who bought sparkling water in environment-damaging plastic bottles. This confuses the children who, of course, use SodaStream machines to get their sparkling water. The ad dovetails with a couple of consumer trends: spurning carbonated sugary drinks, and embracing eco-friendly packaging and products. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi admitted to Wall Street analysts recently that the industry is seeing "profound change." [Image Credit: © SodaStream International ]
Lindsay Rittenhouse, "Our Biggest Soda Rivals Are Prehistoric and They Keep Trying to Shut Us Up: SodaStream CEO", TheStreet.com, July 16, 2017, © The Street, Inc
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It Takes A Village To Reduce Food Waste

July 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Composting is crucial to the fight against food waste, says a University of Iowa student and environmentalist. The practice would help cut the 18,000 tons of food waste that annually ends up in the Iowa City landfill. Composting involves different agencies and organizations, from food co-ops to supermarkets to local governments. But the best advice on reducing food waste is fairly simple. It comes from food journalist Michael Pollan who tells people to buy fresh ingredients in smaller quantities more often. It essentially means mindful thriftiness.[Image Credit: © OregonMetro.gov ]
Dot Armstrong, "Armstrong: Local Composting Will Help Reduce Waste", The Daily Iowan, July 13, 2017, © The Daily Iowan
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Enterprise Software Company Tackles Food Waste, Small Farm Management

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Enterprise IT software giant Cisco Systems says its products are being used to solve food waste and farm management problems. A start-up company that helps manufacturers and farms make use of extra food raised $2.5 million to buy Cisco's enterprise software. Boston-based tech start-up Spoiler Alert’s cloud-based software links food producers, food banks, and pantries. The company helps them track food they throw away or donate. In addition, Cisco’s software has helped smaller and rural farms connect their “Farm from a Box” units with Wi-Fi capabilities and an Internet of Things (IoT) system to optimize everything from water and energy use to guidance on farm management. [Image Credit: © Spoiler Alert ]
Stephanie Chan, "Technology that Helps Reduce Food Waste", News release, Cisco Systems, July 12, 2017, © Cisco Systems
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Coca-Cola Set To Boost Amount Of Recycled Plastic In Its Bottles

July 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
In response to environmental pressures and concerns, Coca-Cola in the UK announced it will increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50% by 2020, up from a current target of 40% by 2020 for its UK and European operations. Many environmentalists believe the target is inadequate, Greenpeace UK points out that other bottlers are already at 50% and are aiming to be at 100% by 2020. Greenpeace estimates that the top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled plastic in their products, with none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.
"Coca-Cola to increase amount of recycled plastic in its bottles", The Guardian, July 12, 2017, © The Guardian
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Australia’s CSIRO, Veggie Producers Put Wonky Produce To Work

July 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Australia’s national research body hopes to stop the waste of $1.7 billion worth of wonky – i.e., ugly, misshapen – vegetables considered unfit for the supermarket by transforming them into saleable, nutritious food products. CSIRO is working with vegetable growers to grab the culled uglies, initially carrots and broccoli, and turn them into shelf-stable fermented products, nutrient-dense powders, and kids’ snack foods. A commercial participant in the project, Fresh Select, says it want to reduce the 15-20 percent of its produce that is unmarketable to five percent. It’s good for business sustainability and it reduces food waste. [Image Credit: © CSIRO ]
Lucinda Jose, "Ugly Vegetables Get a Fair Go as Food Scientists Strive to Cut Waste", ABC News (Australia), July 11, 2017, © ABC
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L’Oréal Uses Bioprinting To Create Live Skin Tissue For Cosmetics Testing

July 8, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA may not require it, but L’Oréal says it has ended live-animal testing of new cosmetics and has turned to alternatives such as EpiSkin, a lab-grown human flesh-like tissue available in more than 100,000 samples representing numerous ethnicities. And lately the company has partnered with biotech Organovo to apply advanced 3-D bioprinting technology (left) to create skin tissue with hair follicles. The technology would allow mass production of skin tissue for lab testing. It is not unlikely that the 3-D printed tissue will become, like EpiSkin, a profit center for L’Oréal. [Image Credit: © L’Oréal  ]
Laura Goldman, "L’Oreal Grows Human Skin to Replace Animal Testing", Care2, July 08, 2017, © Care2.com, Inc.
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Restaurant Reduces Food Waste Through Efficient Purchase, Preparation

July 7, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A Brooklyn, N.Y., Japanese restaurant is expert at cutting food waste. Chef and owner Yuji Haraguchi’s Okonomi restaurant is so efficient at buying and using ingredients that he discards only two bags of trash a day. Every effort is made to use all parts of whatever meat and fish are purchased each day. For example, he buys locally caught fish from his own fish shop. The meat of the fish is used to make for Okonomi's Japanese-style breakfast and lunch. The head and bones are simmered for ramen stock that will be served at dinner. On a recent day, Okonomi served 69 breakfast meals and 59 bowls of ramen to 130 diners. Only one bag of garbage was tossed out at the end of the day. [Image Credit: © Okonomi ]
Fred Katayama , "Nothing Goes to Waste at Okonomi", Reuters, July 07, 2017, © Reuters
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U.K. Supermarket Chain Experiments With Smart Food Label

July 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s is testing an advanced labeling technology to help customers avoid tossing edible food in the waste bin before its time. The company sticks a color changing label to packets of its own brand sliced ham. The smart label changes from yellow to purple the longer the packet has been open. It is sensitive to temperature as well, because an open pack of ham has a relatively long fridge life when kept below 5º C (41º F). The new label is being used on ham packages in all 601 stores and will be expanded to other foods if consumers like it. [Image Credit: © Sainsbury's ]
Lauren O'callaghan, "Sainsbury’s Launch Colour Changing LABEL on Ham Packets to Reveal When Meat is OFF", Sunday Express, July 04, 2017, © Express Newspapers
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New York City Expands Organic Waste Collection Program

July 3, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The N.Y. City Department of Sanitation is expanding its organics program of curbside collection of food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste to more residential areas. The expansion to more neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx means two million residents will be able to participate. The department's goal is to make the program available to all New Yorkers by the end of 2018, through either curbside service or neighborhood drop-off sites. The "organic" waste collected is turned into compost, a soil amendment, or renewable energy. [Image Credit: © NY City ]
"July Update: More than 2 Million New Yorkers Now Have Access to NYC Organics Curbside Program", NYC Department of Sanitation, July 03, 2017, © NYC.gov
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Sales Of Sustainable Cocoa-Based Confectionery Products To Reach $9 Billion

June 29, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sales of cocoa-based products that feature labels such as Fairtrade and Rainforest alliance will reach $8.9 billion in 2017, according to Euromonitor, and are expected to grow 1.3 percent through 2020 because certification schemes build consumer confidence in cocoa-related products. Chocolate confectionery products make up the bulk of total sales of cocoa products that carry sustainable trade and farming labels. “Without investment in sustainable production, the future of the global cocoa industry is uncertain,” a Euromonitor analyst said.
Douglas Yu, "Chocolate Confectionery Contributes Most to Value Sales of Sustainable Cocoa Products: Euromonitor", ConfectioneryNews.com, June 29, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Advanced Card Technology Ensures Food Safety, Prevents Waste

June 28, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, getting food to the table devours 10 percent of the U.S. energy budget, half of U.S. land, and 80 percent of fresh water. But 40 percent of the food in the U.S. – $150 billion a year – is never eaten. Natures Frequencies is well aware that the biggest concern of U.S. consumers who ponder whether – and when – to throw out food is safety.  With that in mind, the company developed the Food Freshness Card, a laboratory- and commercially-tested technology to keep food fresher longer. The card combines specific frequencies, elements and customized programs, encoding information on a substrate. It helps assist with freshness all along the food chain, from farm to retailer to the home. The card recently won the United Fresh Innovation Award for the best new food safety solution. [Image Credit: © Food Logistics ]
"The Food Freshness Card: The Newest Technology in the Food Industry Wins the 2017 United Fresh Innovation Award for Best New Safety Solution", News release, Nature's Frequencies, June 28, 2017, © Nature's Frequencies
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Chefs Show That So-Called Ugly Produce Is More Than Just Edible

June 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Thirteen chefs from around the U.S. recently tackled a food waste-related challenge: how to transform 300 pounds of wonky or ugly produce – otherwise bound for the landfill – into enticing and delicious appetizers, salads, main dishes, sides and desserts. Their cache of dreadful edibles included purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots, all salvaged from local farms. The dinner the chef teams prepared was the highpoint of a three-day sustainability "boot camp" run by the James Beard Foundation.  The organization is on a mission to cut the estimated 571,000 tons of food waste generated annually by U.S. restaurants and food service providers by one third. [Image Credit: © USAF ]
Lela Nargi, "Is It Really So Offal? 'Ugly Food' Boot Camp Entices Chefs and Diners", National Public Radio, June 23, 2017, © npr
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Large Firms Tell How They Eradicated Forced Labor In Supply Lines

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has published a report containing case studies from 12 member companies describing how they got rid of forced labor in their supply chains. CGF says forced labor is an endemic social problem in global supply chains and cannot be solved by one company alone. The Cola-Cola Company, Unilever, Nestlé S.A. and Tesco all shared their experiences in dealing with the global $150 billion problem. [Image Credit: ©   CGF]
Emma Jane Cash, "Industry giants unite to eradicate forced labour in global supply chains", Food Navigator, June 22, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Greenpeace Targets Coca-Cola – And Plastic Bottles – In Social Media Campaign

June 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Greenpeace has launched a Twitter initiative that turns Coca-Cola’s summer marketing campaign into an anti-plastic bottle promotion. The organization blames Coca-Cola, among other plastic bottle users, for clogging the waterways and shores of the world.  Coke’s summer campaign puts exotic beach locations on its bottles – the very same containers “that are polluting the beaches and rivers of many of these holiday hotspots.” Greenpeace is asking followers to photograph Coke bottles found on shores or in the water and Tweet the images using two special hashtags as a way to get Coke “to stop choking our oceans.” [Image Credit: © Pixabay ]
Louisa Casson, "Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy = a gift for the End Ocean Plastics campaign", Greenpeace.org UK, June 22, 2017, © Greenpeace
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Marks & Spencer Experiments With Laser-Coded Fruits, Vegetables

June 20, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
British retailer Marks & Spencer has begun selling avocados labeled with lasers. The idea is to eliminate the need for paper stickers, and save 10 tons of paper and glue annually. M&S hopes other retailers will adopt the technology, not only for labeling avocados, but other fruits and vegetables. The lasered label includes the shop logo, best before date, country of origin and barcode entered at checkout. The intense light of the laser discolors only the top layer of the fruit, and does not affect the fruit itself. 
Katie Morley, "Avocados with Laser-Printed Labels Go On Sale at M&S in Bid to Cut Paper Waste", The Telegraph, June 20, 2017, © Telegraph Media Group Limited
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Don’t Want To Eat Ugly Carrots? Then Drink Them!

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Two Australian entrepreneurs have come up with a spirited answer to the problem of ugly carrots. Often discarded, either by farmers or grocers, the wonkier of the orange roots end up in the landfill or as animal feed. But two farmers’ wives – their husbands’ Queensland farms produce 350 million carrots a year – have turned the unwanted cracked, marked, or just weird looking ones into vodka. With technical advice from a local winemaker, the two learned to reduce the carrots to "a sort of carrot soup stock" when it is distilled. The stock is then infused through a shiraz grape base. Each bottle contains 20 percent carrot. “We tell people to garnish their drinks with carrot sticks," Alice Gorman said. [Image Credit: © Alice Gorman / ABC ]
Jessica Hinchliffe, "Carrot Vodka the Latest Approach to Reduce Food Waste by Spirited Vegetable Growers", ABC, June 19, 2017, © ABC
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Wienermobile Hits The Road To Showcase Nitrate-Free Dogs

June 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
After a year of experimenting, Kraft’s Oscar Mayer brand of hot dogs announced it has gotten rid of added nitrates and nitrites. The only remaining traces of those compounds are found naturally in celery juice, an ingredient used in processing. The product also contains no artificial preservatives or by-products. To make sure Americans know about the changes, Oscar Mayer has launched a summer Wienermobile campaign. The hot dog-shaped vehicles, driven by “HotDoggers,” will travel the U.S. distributing samples.
S.A. Whitehead, "Oscar Meyer Teaches an Ol' Dog New, Nitrate-Free Tricks", QSRWeb, June 15, 2017, © Networld Media Group, LLC
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Gleaning Program Reduces Food Waste, Feeds The Needy

June 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Farmers often end up with a surplus of edible produce, either because of intentional over-production, or because much of the crop is too ugly for retail grocers. In 2016, a survey in Vermont found that 14.3 million pounds of vegetables and berries grown each year never reach the dinner plate. To help solve that problem, volunteers at the Healthy Roots Collaborative Gleaning Program collect the surplus from the fields, transport it to 18 charitable distribution centers, and share it with needy families. The program plans to double the amount of gleaned produce from two counties during the 2017 growing season to 20,000 pounds. [Image Credit: © Healthy Roots Collaborative ]
Hannah Baxter, "Summer Gleaning", St. Albans Messenger (Vermont), June 13, 2017, © Vermont Publishing Company
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After Trump Spurns Paris Accords, Coca-Cola Renews Commitment To Green Policies

June 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola was one of several Atlanta, Ga.-based companies that announced renewed commitment to their energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction policies in the wake of President Trump’s spurning of the 2015 Paris accord in early June. Trump ignored a strongly worded letter signed by 30 CEOs and published in The Wall Street Journal on May 10 that urged the president not to reject the Paris agreement. The letter said dropping out of the pact would create “strong potential for negative trade implications.” Signers included James Quincey of Coca-Cola, and top executives of General Electric, HomeDepot, Delta Airlines, and others. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Company ]
Maria Saporta and Dave Williams, "Atlanta companies double down on clean energy following Trump announcement", Atlanta Business Chronicle, June 09, 2017, © American City Business Journals
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Wholesale Baker Kangaroo Brands Says Its Flatbread Sandwiches Are Clean Label

June 9, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Milwaukee, Wis.-based Kangaroo Brands announced that its Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin frozen sandwiches are now made with all natural flatbread pockets filled with 100 percent Angus beef, antibiotic-free chicken, all natural Jones sausage and Wisconsin Cheese. The company also noted that the sandwiches contain no “bad stuff,” like artificial flavors, trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup. The frozen, handheld breakfast and snack sandwiches are sold nationwide to grocery stores, club, convenience stores, and mass merchandisers, as well as foodservice, military and private label customers. [Image Credit: © Kangaroo Brands ]
"Sandwich Bros. Sandwiches Now Made With All Natural Flatbread Pockets", IChainnel, June 09, 2017, © iChainnel
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Beauty Industry Leaders Keep Supporting Paris Agreement Despite US Departure

June 6, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal, The Estee Lauder Companies, Unilever, and other leading cosmetics and personal care companies still support the Paris Agreement, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to remove the country from the climate change deal. Prior to Trump's announcement, beauty and personal care companies were calling on the president to remain committed to the deal, which strengthens the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Deanna Utroske, "Beauty industry stands up for Paris Climate Agreement, despite US plans to back out", Cosmetics Design, June 06, 2017, © William Reed Business Media SAS
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Charitable Food Distributions On The Rise In Great Britain

June 4, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K. is experiencing an upsurge in charity food distribution, according to a report by the country’s largest food bank network, Trussell Trust. The network handed out 1.2 million food parcels to families and individuals in need from 2,000 pantries in 2016-2017, the ninth consecutive annual rise. But Trussell is not the only food distribution operation in the U.K. The Independent Food Aid Network (Ifan) says at least 651 grassroots food banks operate independently of Trussell. They include small voluntary groups that distribute only a few food parcels a week, to larger charitable operations that hand out thousands of parcels each year. A Labour Party MP said the figures “show the tide of hunger sweeping the U.K.” [Image Credit: ©   Tesco]
Patrick Butler, "Report Reveals Scale of Food Bank Use in the UK", The Guardian, June 04, 2017, © Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies
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S.C. Firm Provides Food Waste Pickup, Composting Service

June 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A South Carolina company that specializes in commercial food waste collection and composting is extending its services to households in Spartanburg and Greenville. Atlas Organics offers a weekly service in which households pack their food waste into sealable bins for pickup ($24 a month), or drop it off themselves ($14 a month). Atlas takes the waste to its site at a local landfill and turns it into compost. Subscribers to the compost service receive a monthly delivery of high quality compost in return – for free. Subscribers can feel good about helping the environment and “putting your waste to work." [Image Credit: © Atlas Organics ]
Lillia Callum-Penso, "Upstate Company Offers Solution to Food Waste Problems at Home", Greenville Online, June 01, 2017, © USA Today
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Increasing Concern, Confusion, About Animal Welfare In U.S. Food Industry

June 1, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Animal welfare – i.e., housing, handling, feeding, and slaughter – in the food industry is a major concern of American consumers, according to a market researcher. The concern stems from worries about food safety: there is a belief that animals raised under healthy conditions will produce meat and poultry that is safer, better tasting and more nutritious. But consumers seem to be confused about some product claims. For example, only 19 percent said they understood the terms ”grass-fed” or “certified humane.” A third said they are well-informed about claims such as hormone-, steroid-and antibiotic-free, cage-free, free-range, pasture-raised, and certified humane. Nevertheless, two-thirds agreed that humane treatment of animals raised for food should be a societal concern and a regulatory issue.
"Animal Welfare in U.S. Food Industry Both Helped and Hindered By Consumer Misconceptions", News release, Packaged Facts, June 01, 2017, © Packaged Facts
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When Flies Pig Out, China Reduces Its Food Waste Problem

May 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
China, with 1.4 billion of people, has a serious food waste problem. A farm in Sichuan province in the southwestern region of the country is working on it, however, using the larvae of black soldier flies – maggots – to devour mountains of leftover meat, vegetables and fruits. The larvae can eat twice their weight in food refuse. On average, one kilogram of maggots can eat two kilos of garbage in four hours. Not bad considering that each person in the country throws away almost 30 kilograms of food every year. And it’s a sustainable system: the farm processes the maggots into a high-protein animal feed and their feces into an organic fertilizer.
"In China, Maggots Help Deal With Food Waste Problem", AFP Relax News, May 31, 2017, © Network18 Media and Investments Ltd
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Peapod Fine-Tunes Customers’ Online Search Options

May 31, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Online grocer Peapod’s smart shopping technology now has more search filters so shoppers can further refine selections based on personal dietary tastes and preferences.. In addition to common search filters like brand preference, price and sale specials, the company now offers 16 nutrition options, including non-GMO, sugar free, vegan, and vegetarian. The new filters were selected based on consumer food and nutritional trend data. For example, 42 percent of consumers read nutrition labels before purchasing, 33 percent of Millennials say they eat a meat alternative product every day, and sales of non-GMO products will hit $330 billion by 2019. [Image Credit: © Peapod ]
"Peapod Expands Nutrition Filter Options To Help Shoppers Make Mindful Food Decisions Even Faster", News release, Peapod, May 31, 2017, © Peapod
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Food Sharing Service In English Village Hopes To Expand

May 30, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The founder of a community fridge in a Hampshire village in England was pretty surprised to find how people from as far away as Germany were interested in her idea, and eager to get her advice. The community fridge in Botley is the fourth in the U.K. to offer food sharing, a concept that not only reduces food waste, it helps people in need. Riki Therivel’s “nice way for neighbors to share food” has become so popular that families regularly use it. Retail grocer Tesco drops off food twice a week as well. It’s providing such a useful service to the community that its temporary home at a local church has become permanent, though the fridge hopes for a larger facility in a shopping center. [Image Credit: © United Nations University ]
Callum Keown, "Community Fridge a 'Huge Success' and Could Move into West Way Centre", The Oxford Times, May 30, 2017, © Newsquest (Midlands South) Ltd
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Companies Partner To Provide Crop Insurance To At-Risk Coffee Farmers

May 25, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Nespresso is partnering with an insurance consortium to develop pilot crop insurance program for climate-dependent small coffee farmers in Colombia. Coffee and insurance markets do not always provide risk transfer mechanisms for the long-term security of small coffee farmers. The objective of the pilot insurance program from Nespresso and Blue Marble Microinsurance, a consortium or eight insurers, is to enhance farmers' welfare, address supply chain risk, and incentivize investment in coffee growing regions.
"Nespresso And Blue Marble Microinsurance Announce Partnership And Plan To Launch Pilot Crop Insurance Program For Smallholder Coffee Farmers In Colombia", News release, Blue Marble Microinsurance, May 25, 2017, © Blue Marble Microinsurance
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Canadian Grocers Use Smartphone App To Get Surplus Food To Consumers

May 24, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Grocery retailers in Ontario, Canada, have partnered with the developer of an app designed to make it easier to sell unsold surplus food to consumers at big discounts. Flashfood app users are notified and can dial up deals on their phones for food that is three days to a month away from its best-before date. Users then pay using their phones and visit the Flashfood zones in the stores to pick up purchases. Grocery retailers Farm Boy and Longo say they have diverted kept more than 1,500 meals from landfills. [Image Credit: © Flashfood ]
"Major Ontario Grocery Chains Set Precedent to Reduce Food Waste", News release, Flashfood, May 24, 2017, © Flashfood
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P&G Supports Campaign For Sustainable Forest Management In Carolinas

May 23, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Procter & Gamble Company joined the American Forest Foundation, International Paper, and 3M Company to establish the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative. Focusing on the Coastal Carolinas Plain, the campaign seeks to educate and work with family woodland owners to promote sustainable forestry, forest certification, improvement of habitats for endangered species, and conservation of bottomland hardwood forests in the region. As part of the initiative, the corporate partners will provide $285,000 to AFF to support the organization's forest sustainability efforts in North and South Carolina.
"3M, International Paper, P&G Team Up in the Name of Sustainable Forestry", Sustainable Brands, May 23, 2017, © Sustainable Life Media Inc.
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State Governments Target Hunger, Food Waste, Environment

May 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
As debates rage at the national level over healthcare, immigration policy, and other issues, state governments are tackling more mundane local problems like food waste, hunger, and environmental protection. California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont already have laws on the books that restrict the amount of food and other organic waste (e.g., soiled and compostable paper and yard waste) that can be dumped in landfills. Maryland, New Jersey and New York are pondering similar laws. States are offering tax breaks to farmers and small businesses that donate food rather than throw it into the landfill. They are also limiting the liability of food donors, and standardizing “use by” labels so consumers don’t toss food that is still edible. It’s a significant endeavor: one in seven Americans suffers from “food insecurity,” defined as “limited or uncertain access to adequate food.”
Jon Frandsen, "States Try to Reduce Food Waste with New Laws", SF Gate, May 22, 2017, © Hearst Communications, Inc.
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Airport Donates Unsold Concession Foods To Needy

May 22, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
The Austin, Texas, airport has launched a program to salvage and share unopened, unsold concession foods with the 180,000 needy citizens of the city. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s Food Rescue Program has partnered with its concessionaires and with the nonprofit Keep Austin Fed to donate the food rather than sending it to the landfill. Begun in March, the program collected and donated more than 3,500 unsold food products in the first month, including sandwiches, salads, snack boxes and buns. The long-range goal of the program is to help reduce the 40 percent of food wasted in America. [Image Credit: © Austin-Bergstrom Airport ]
"Unsold sandwiches, salads donated to Keep Austin Fed", News release, City of Austin (Texas), May 22, 2017, © City of Austin
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Unilever Names New VP Of Sustainable Business Development

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever has appointed Weber Shandwick's Benelux CEO Annick Boyen as vice president of sustainable business development and communications for Europe. Boyen, who has had a 22-year career with Weber Shandwick, will also manage Unilever's external affairs operation in Brussels. She will report to Sue Garrard, Unilever's global SVP of sustainable business development in the UK, and Europe president Jan Zijderveld.
Arun Sudhaman, "Annick Boyen Departs Weber Shandwick For Senior Unilever Role", The Holmes Report, May 18, 2017, © The Holmes Report
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Sustainable Living Brands Initiative Has Positive Impact At Unilever

May 18, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Products that Unilever six years ago designated as “sustainable living brands” – they offer a strong social or environmental purpose – have proven to be generally more successful than the rest of its product lineup, the company says. They have grown 50 percent faster and delivered more than 60 percent of the growth in 2016. Eighteen ended up in Unilever’s top 40 brands. Most successful sustainable living products include Lifebuoy, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Hellmann’s, with high single- and double-digit sales over the past six years. CEO Paul Polman said the results show that “sustainability is good for business” because consumers want sustainable products. A Unilever-commissioned survey found that more than half of all consumers already buy or want to buy sustainably. [Image Credit: © Ben & Jerry's ]
"Unilever’s Sustainable Living brands continue to drive higher rates of growth", News release, Unilever, May 18, 2017, © Unilever
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Toronto Chef Seeks To End Food Waste And Hunger

May 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Chef Jagger Gordon is on a dual mission – ending food waste and hunger – has opened a subsidized eatery that allows customers to pay what they feel they can afford. Gordon’s Soup Bar in Toronto (Ont.) is the direct beneficiary of his other program, Feed It Forward, that collects unsold, unused food otherwise bound for the landfill. Patrons not only pay for their own meal, if they can afford it they can contribute $2.50 extra. That buys a chip that goes in a jar to be redeemed by a needy patron. Is Gordon worried his system will be abused? Not at all: "If you are humble enough to come and utilize one of the chips for a meal, you've earned it." [Image Credit: © Jagger Gordon Catering]
Gilbert Ngabo, "Subsidized eatery opening soon in Toronto", The Toronto Star, May 15, 2017, © Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd.
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British Grocery Chain Seeks To “Rescue” Scorned Bananas

May 15, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Sainsbury’s is dismayed that so many of its countrymen, who enjoy bananas fairly often – 30 percent eat at least one a day – nevertheless turn up their noses at – and usually bin – the fruits if they have imperfections like bruises, black marks, or green spots. It’s a serious problem: Britons trash about 1.8 million rejected bananas a day. As part of its £10 million Waste Less, Save More initiative, the company has launched pop-up “Banana Rescue” stations in its 500 stores to offer not only recipes for banana bread, but all of the hardware necessary to make it. That includes mixing bowls, blenders, baking tins and storage solutions. [Image Credit: © Sainsbury's ]
"Sainsbury’s launches in store ‘Banana Rescue’ stations, giving new a-peel to bin-bound fruit ", News release, Sainsbury’s, May 15, 2017, © J Sainsbury plc
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Tesco Keeps Excess Crops From Ending Up In Landfills

May 13, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unseasonable weather in the U.K. has spurred bumper crops of cauliflower, carrots, and small iceberg lettuces in danger of going unsold and clogging landfills. To help remedy the situation, retail grocery chain Tesco recently purchased thousands of heads of small lettuce from G’s Fresh, a supplier of salads and produce to retail food chains in the U.K. and Europe. As part of its Perfectly Imperfect initiative, Tesco is selling the small lettuces at deep discounts (29p a head as opposed to 50p). The program benefits G’s Fresh because the small lettuces are tricky to sell. Earlier in the spring, Tesco also bought 220,000 surplus cauliflowers and a million surplus carrots to take advantage of the excess crops while reducing food waste. [Image Credit: © G's Fresh ]
Beth Gault, "Tesco buys thousands of small lettuces from G's to avoid waste", The Grocer, May 13, 2017, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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L'Oreal Partners With Suez To Improve Sustainability And Resource Management

May 12, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal said it plans to improve water usage at some facilities and expand reuse and recycling of waste by improving materials recovery at all company sites. To help achieve this goal, L'Oreal will be working with sustainable resources management company Suez to develop processes that will enhance resource management at all industrial, administrative, and research centers in France and overseas. According to L'Oreal, its partnership with Suez will help the beauty brand achieve its objective of becoming a “circular economy,” integrating biodiversity, ecodesign, digitalization, and material reuse to its business operations.
Jennifer Hermes, "Like Other Cosmetic Giants, L’Oreal Chases ‘Circular Economy,’ Improved Water/Carbon Footprint", Environmental Leader, May 12, 2017, © Environmental Leader ® is a registered trademark of Business Sector Media LLC
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Innovation Drives Fight Against Food Waste, Climate Change, Hunger

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Megatons of wasted food ends up rotting in landfills daily, releasing harmful greenhouse gases, while 800 million people globally endure chronic hunger and malnutrition. A growing number of entrepreneurs recognize the connection between wasted food, hunger and climate change, and see an opportunity to deal with all three. Among the innovations they have developed: Demetra, a natural post-harvest treatment that extends fruit shelf life by retarding the ripening process; the Winnow smart scale helps commercial chefs cut waste by measuring just what they throw from the kitchen every day; and food tech startup RISE uses the spent barley by-product of beer production to make flour for bread, pizza, cookies and other baked goods. [Image Credit: © New York University ]
Umberto Bacchi, "Coffee flour, beer pizza on menu as innovators fight food waste", Reuters, May 11, 2017, © Thomson Reuters
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Knorr’s New Quick Meals Are Free Of Artificial Flavors, Preservatives

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever brand Knorr unveiled quick stovetop meals made without artificial flavors, artificial preservatives or gluten. Ingredients are grown on Knorr Landmark Farms and include “responsibly sourced” rice from Arkansas, dairy from the Midwest, and garlic from California. Knorr said its farmers are encouraged to adopt sustainable practices on their farms, such as improving soil quality, reducing water usage, and increasing biodiversity. New Knorr Selects meals include Four Cheese Risotto, White Cheddar Broccoli, Roasted Garlic Alfredo, Rustic Mexican Rice & Beans, Spinach & Artichoke and Asiago Cheese & Cracked Black Pepper. [Image Credit: © Unilever U.S. ]
"New Knorr Selects Bring Quality, Flavor and Convenience to the Table", News release, Unilever, May 11, 2017, © Unilever
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L'Oreal Haircare Brand Partners With TerraCycle For Chinese Recycling Program

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
Ultra Doux, L'Oreal's natural hair care brand in China, signed a partnership deal with recycling company TerraCycle. Started in the US in 2011, the recycling partnership makes Ultra Doux China's first brand to offer consumers a complete recycling solution for haircare packaging waste. Consumers or communities, by signing up for the program, can collect and send haircare packaging to TerraCycle for free.
"L’Oreal’s Ultra Doux Goes Green with TerraCycle", Marketing-Interactive, May 11, 2017, © Marketing magazine Online
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App Helps Companies With On-Site Catering Avoid Food Waste

May 11, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
An Irish software start-up that targets large companies with on-site catering operations says there are several benefits of using its Tabit app. The app allows employees to order food in advance, for example, from their workstations and avoid wasting time in queues. But a less obvious benefit for companies is the savings when employees are on vacation. Companies spend about $9 and $13 a day providing meals to staff, money – and food – that is wasted if an employee is on holiday (the meals are still produced). The Tabit app integrates with the HR department to avoid the waste, and it adds up when as many as 30 or 40 people are on vacation at the same time. “Multiplied by one or two weeks, that's a lot of money and a lot of potential waste," the company’s founder says. [Image Credit: © Tabit ]
Olive Keogh, "Tabit transforming corporates’ in-house food catering services", Irish Times, May 11, 2017, © The Irish Times
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