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Stories About Agriculture

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Clinton Foundation, Kuli Kuli Looking to Moringa to Tackle Poverty in Haiti
Clinton Foundation, Kuli Kuli Looking to Moringa to Tackle Poverty in Haiti

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Superfood social enterprise Kuli Kuli has announced a partnership with the Clinton Foundation and a Haitian nonprofit, the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), to develop a new moringa supply chain in Haiti. Earlier this month, Chelsea Clinton met with Haitian women moringa farmers.

Domtar Leads Pulp and Paper Industry in Self-Generated Energy
Domtar Leads Pulp and Paper Industry in Self-Generated Energy

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - This week, Domtar Corporation released its 2015 Sustainability Report, highlighting its environmental leadership in fiber-based product production and its support of sustainable harvesting.Among its most notable accomplishments, the company self-generated 74 percent of the electricity used in its pulp and paper mills through cogeneration technologies and hydropower, outpacing the US pulp and paper industry average of 59 percent. Nearly two-thirds of this self-generated energy came from renewable fuel derived from its pulping chemical recovery process and from wood residuals left over from log debarking.

Asia Pulp & Paper Retiring Commercial Plantations to Protect Tropical Peatlands
Asia Pulp & Paper Retiring Commercial Plantations to Protect Tropical Peatlands

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Today, Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) announced it is committing to retire roughly 7,000 hectares (~17,300 acres) of commercial plantation areas to protect threatened carbon-rich peatlands — the first time that plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes worldwide.Peatland development in Indonesia represents one of the single largest terrestrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world1. Retiring these plantation areas will help support the Government of Indonesia’s target of a 26 percent reduction in emissions by 2020.

Consumer Goods Forum Publishes First-Ever Set of Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines
Consumer Goods Forum Publishes First-Ever Set of Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines

COLLABORATION - The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), a global industry network driven by its members to encourage the adoption of practices and standards that serve the consumer goods industry worldwide, has announced publication of the first-ever Sustainable Palm Oil Sourcing Guidelines.

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USDA Invests $63M to Support Renewables and Energy Efficiency
USDA Invests $63M to Support Renewables and Energy Efficiency

CLEANTECH - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass, small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.

Startup Develops Solar-Powered ‘Smart’ Garden Watering System
Startup Develops Solar-Powered ‘Smart’ Garden Watering System

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Agriculture consumes close to 70 percent of water demand, but a significant 10 percent goes to domestic applications, such as maintaining lawns and other landscaping.Arguably, the best and most sustainable course of action is to let your lawn die and plant indigenous landscapes but, realistically, not everyone is going to do that. The next-best thing, however, would be to find a way to maintain non-native landscaping using as little water as possible.A company called Blue Marble hopes to help people do just that by leveraging Internet of Things technology to conserve water during domestic irrigation.

Study: Almond Industry on Its Way to Carbon Neutrality Through Byproduct Reuse, Irrigation Management
Study: Almond Industry on Its Way to Carbon Neutrality Through Byproduct Reuse, Irrigation Management

WASTE NOT - A new study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology highlights the progress of the notoriously water-consumptive almond industry in becoming carbon-emission neutral or even carbon negative. The research, undertaken by UC Davis scientists, highlights the carbon capture potential of almond orchards and concludes that reusing byproducts from almond production and harvest is critical to the industry’s environmental impact and emissions reduction.

To Till or Not to Till, That Is the Agri-Question
To Till or Not to Till, That Is the Agri-Question

SUPPLY CHAIN - Farmers have tilled the soil - turning it as preparation for planting - for millennia. But that legacy is under scrutiny today as “soil health” has entered the vernacular – at least amongst people aware of prevailing agri-trends such as those recently discussed in the New York Times.

To Infinity and Beyond: How Levi's Is Embracing the Circular Economy
To Infinity and Beyond: How Levi's Is Embracing the Circular Economy

THE NEXT ECONOMY - At Levi Strauss & Co., our sustainability thinking has traditionally begun at the cotton stage of the product life cycle. The cotton is picked, ginned, spun, and woven into fabric. The fabric is cut, sewn, and finished into a pair of jeans before being sent to a distribution center, then on to your favorite store where the jeans are sold to you.

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Ethiopian Gene Bank Preserving Agricultural Biodiversity
Ethiopian Gene Bank Preserving Agricultural Biodiversity

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The Third International Conference on Financing for Development was held in Ethiopia this week, gathering top government officials to discuss initial implementation plans for the UN’s post-2015 development agenda.

Dow Implementing Sustainable Ag in Brazil as Part of Carbon-Mitigation Program for Rio 2016 Olympics
Dow Implementing Sustainable Ag in Brazil as Part of Carbon-Mitigation Program for Rio 2016 Olympics

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The Dow Chemical Company, the “Official Chemistry Company” of the Olympic Games and Official Carbon Partner of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, announced Tuesday that Dow AgroSciences Brazil is working with Brazilian farmers from the state of Mato Grosso to implement more sustainable agricultural practices that will generate climate benefits for the mitigation of Rio 2016’s direct carbon footprint.

THRIVE Farmers, Second-Fastest Growing Company in Georgia, Cites Sustainability as Key to Rapid Growth
THRIVE Farmers, Second-Fastest Growing Company in Georgia, Cites Sustainability as Key to Rapid Growth

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Mission-driven coffee startup THRIVE Farmers was recently recognized as the second-fastest growing company in Georgia by The Association for Corporate Growth in Atlanta.

General Mills Commits to 100% Cage-Free Eggs in the U.S.
General Mills Commits to 100% Cage-Free Eggs in the U.S.

SUPPLY CHAIN - General Mills announced a major move toward cage-free eggs this week as part of an updated animal welfare policy that now extends throughout its global supply chain.The Minnesota-based food giant committed itself to 100 percent cage-free eggs for its U.S. operations, a move several other large companies also have taken recently. The company did not set a deadline but said it will work with its suppliers to determine a "reasonable timeline," given the disruption that bird flu has caused to the U.S. egg supply.

London’s First Subterranean Farm Bringing Its Sustainable Produce to Market
London’s First Subterranean Farm Bringing Its Sustainable Produce to Market

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - London’s first subterranean farm will begin selling produce to its first commercial client later this month, marking a breakthrough for the city’s urban farming.

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BASF Convenes Scientists, Leaders at Symposium to Discuss Sustainable Food Solutions
BASF Convenes Scientists, Leaders at Symposium to Discuss Sustainable Food Solutions

LEADERSHIP - On Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago, BASF is hosting a Science Symposium, gathering academics and thought leaders from a variety of disciplines to discuss the challenge of sustaining global food production.The event, “Sustainable Food Chain – From Field to Table,” is part of BASF’s yearlong program to celebrate its 150th anniversary, during which it will collaborate with multiple stakeholders to “co-create” solutions to global issues including smart energy, food and urban living.

Report: Biobased Products Industry Adds $369B, 4 Million Jobs to US Economy
Report: Biobased Products Industry Adds $369B, 4 Million Jobs to US Economy

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - A new report suggests the U.S. biobased products industry has a notable impact on the nation’s economy. It is the first research effort to quantify the effect of this industry from an economics and jobs perspective, according to U.S. Agricultural Secretary, Tom Vilsack.“Before, we could only speculate at the incredible economic impact of the biobased products industry. Now, we know that in 2013 alone, America’s biobased industry contributed four million jobs and $369 billion to our economy,” Vilsack said.

BASF, Cargill Partnership Helping Filipino Farmers Achieve Sustainable Coconut Oil
BASF, Cargill Partnership Helping Filipino Farmers Achieve Sustainable Coconut Oil

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - For more than three years, BASF, Cargill and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH have worked together to promote sustainable coconut oil and improve the living conditions of coconut farmers in the Philippines. This week they’ve announced the establishment of the world’s first certified production of copra, the dried coconut flesh needed to process coconut oil. The project on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao is partly financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) under the develoPPP.de programme.

Top Mexican Companies Will Abstain from Fishing Pacific Bluefin Tuna Until 2020
Top Mexican Companies Will Abstain from Fishing Pacific Bluefin Tuna Until 2020

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Member companies of the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna, representing 93 percent of tuna production in Mexico, have announced they will refrain from fishing Pacific Bluefin tuna until 2020.

Conflict Palm Oil Progress Report Calls Out Major Snack Food Brands for Lagging on Commitments
Conflict Palm Oil Progress Report Calls Out Major Snack Food Brands for Lagging on Commitments

SUPPLY CHAIN - Today, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) released a new progress report, titled Testing Commitments to Cut Conflict Palm Oil, ranking the relative strength of palm oil commitments made since the launch of its Snack Food 20 campaign two years ago. The 2015 progress report shines a spotlight on the laggards in the Snack Food 20 and outlines the actions that these companies — as well as the frontrunners who are pushing ahead on their commitments — can and must take to rapidly cut Conflict Palm Oil from our food system.

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Field to Market, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Harmonizing Metrics for Dairy Feed Sustainability
Field to Market, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy Harmonizing Metrics for Dairy Feed Sustainability

COLLABORATION - Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture and The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy announced a new partnership this week that seeks to harmonize on-farm sustainability metrics and drive greater collaboration between the two organizations. The collaboration will benefit crop producers, dairy farmers and the entire agricultural supply chain by creating a more consistent approach for measuring and advancing continuous improvement in the sustainability of dairy feed production.

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