Stories About Agriculture

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Cargill, Kennedy and Coe to Develop Beef Cattle Sustainability Assessment
Cargill, Kennedy and Coe to Develop Beef Cattle Sustainability Assessment

COLLABORATION - Cargill Cattle Feeders, the cattle supply arm of the company's U.S. beef business, has entered into an agreement with Wichita-based consultancy Kennedy and Coe, in a joint effort to create a verified beef supply chain sustainability assessment program for Cargill feed yards.As part of the collaboration, Kennedy and Coe will leverage its extensive beef-industry and sustainability expertise and ResourceMax™ assessment service developed by its Vela Environmental division.Based on the successful development of benchmarking and measurement criteria, this type of assessment could eventually be expanded to include cattle production in collaboration with stocker operators, ranchers, as well as with Cargill's strategic feed yard partners.

Field to Market, The Sustainability Consortium Partnering to Harmonize Metrics for Sustainable Agriculture
Field to Market, The Sustainability Consortium Partnering to Harmonize Metrics for Sustainable Agriculture

NEW METRICS - Across the entire agricultural supply chain — from the farm to the store shelf — the challenge of meeting demand for a rapidly growing population, while conserving natural resources, necessitates a harmonized, science-based approach to measure and communicate sustainability in agriculture. On Friday, Field to Market®: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture announced a partnership with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) aimed at achieving this goal.

Trending: This Week in Sustainable Palm Oil — Featuring PepsiCo, IKEA & Unilever
Trending: This Week in Sustainable Palm Oil — Featuring PepsiCo, IKEA & Unilever

SUPPLY CHAIN - On Wednesday, PepsiCo’s newly launched Pepsi True was pulled from Amazon.com after being overwhelmed by negative reviews from rainforest activists calling out Pepsi for its failure to adopt more responsible palm oil policies that will help end deforestation and modern slavery in South East Asia.The campaign, which comes one month after the celebrated launch of Pepsi True for exclusive sale on Amazon, involved thousands of activists and consumers from corporate watchdog SumOfUs.org and the Rainforest Action Network, who overwhelmed the product’s page with bad reviews urging the company to adopt better palm oil policies. Within a few hours of the campaign, Pepsi True was removed from the Amazon.com marketplace.

Social Enterprise Using Low-Cost Kiosks to Provide Drinking Water in Rural India
Social Enterprise Using Low-Cost Kiosks to Provide Drinking Water in Rural India

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - India-based social enterprise Spring Health has announced plans to join the Business Call to Action (BCtA) and provide safe drinking water to two million customers in rural India by 2017 to improve the health outcomes of more than five million people in Eastern India by 2019.Spring Health is the Indian counterpart of US-headquartered Windhorse International, founded by entrepreneur Paul Polak with Indian partner Jacob Mathew and CEO Kishan Nanavati.

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Report: Global Market for Conservation Investing Grows to $23 Billion
Report: Global Market for Conservation Investing Grows to $23 Billion

NEW METRICS - Conservation impact investing totaled approximately $23 billion in the five-year period from 2009 to 2013, according to a new report by EKO Asset Management Partners and The Nature Conservancy’s NatureVest division.During the same period, private investments accounted for almost $2 billion of this market — an amount that is growing at an average of 26 percent annually, and is expected to reach more than $5.6 billion by 2018.

Chevy's New Bi-Fuel Impala Can Be Powered by Everything from Sewage and Food Scraps to Beer
Chevy's New Bi-Fuel Impala Can Be Powered by Everything from Sewage and Food Scraps to Beer

WASTE NOT - As more and more organizations are finding ways to create fuel from waste — case in point: Italy is about to become the first country to require cars and trucks to run on biofuel made from agricultural waste — Chevrolet says its 2015 Bi-fuel Impala will be able to run on leftovers, table scraps and, oh, yeah, grains from brewing beer (welcome to the present, Back to the Future fans!).

Global Forum Attendees Design 'Flourishing' Solutions to Real-World Challenges
Global Forum Attendees Design 'Flourishing' Solutions to Real-World Challenges

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - On Thursday, the first full day of Flourish & Prosper: The Third Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit in Cleveland, Ohio, the morning’s plenaries and CEO panels explored how business can move beyond how social and environmental responsibility are thought of today, to a new mindset of "full-spectrum flourishing" where “companies prosper, people excel, and nature thrives.”

Manomet’s VCI Drives Unprecedented Awareness on Key Topics of Dairy Farm Sustainability
Manomet’s VCI Drives Unprecedented Awareness on Key Topics of Dairy Farm Sustainability

NEW METRICS - The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences announced its initial, successful fielding of the Vital Capital Index for Dairy Agriculture (VCI) with the Agri-Mark dairy cooperative, best known for its flagship brand of award-winning Cabot dairy products. Nearly 94 percent of the cooperative’s 1,200 member farms completed Level 1, the “Awareness” portion of the VCI.

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MSC to Enact More Rigorous Standard for Sustainable Fisheries
MSC to Enact More Rigorous Standard for Sustainable Fisheries

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has launched an updated version of its sustainable fishing standards, to come into effect on April 1, 2015.Developed over the past two years, Version 2.0 of the MSC’s Fisheries Certification Requirements incorporates the latest knowledge and understanding of the science and management behind sustainable fisheries and aquatic environments. The year-long consulting stage of the project involved input from experts and stakeholders worldwide, including fishing industry scientists, NGOs and MSC’s partners.

Fair Trade USA Kicks Off Fair Trade Month with Expanded Product Categories
Fair Trade USA Kicks Off Fair Trade Month with Expanded Product Categories

SUPPLY CHAIN - Alongside Fair Trade Month, Fair Trade USA has announced the launch of several new Fair Trade Certified™ products across new categories, including home goods, apparel and coconut.In 2014, the third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America partnered with 109 new companies (for a total of 915), and helped launch 455 new Fair Trade Certified products into the North American market. The growth and increased availability of Fair Trade products empowers shoppers to choose items that make a positive difference — from ensuring that factory workers have safe working conditions, to helping farmers and workers improve their communities and environment.

Startup Setting Out to Make Fashion Industry Transparent, 'Just'
Startup Setting Out to Make Fashion Industry Transparent, 'Just'

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The deadly collapse of the Rana Plaza textile factory in Bangladesh in April 2013 was a tragic, overdue wake-up call to the fashion industry — not only to take action to ensure the safety of workers throughout their value chains, but also to illustrate the critical need for transparency as far as their operations reach throughout the world.

Report: Half of Global Wildlife Lost Between 1970 and 2010
Report: Half of Global Wildlife Lost Between 1970 and 2010

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Global populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish dropped 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).The 2014 Living Planet Report says this biodiversity loss is occuring disproportionately in low-income countries — and correlates with the increasing resource use of high-income countries.

Goodyear Turning Rice Husk Waste Into Fuel-Efficient Tire Treads
Goodyear Turning Rice Husk Waste Into Fuel-Efficient Tire Treads

WASTE NOT - The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced Monday it will begin using ash left over from the burning of rice husks to produce electricity and an environmentally friendly source of silica for use in its tires.

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Cargill, Doughnut Companies Promise Sustainable Palm Oil, But NGOs Say Devil Is in the Details
Cargill, Doughnut Companies Promise Sustainable Palm Oil, But NGOs Say Devil Is in the Details

SUPPLY CHAIN - This week, three more major food companies announced new policies around the sourcing of palm oil.

Investors Press Palm Oil Producers to Halt Deforestation
Investors Press Palm Oil Producers to Halt Deforestation

SUPPLY CHAIN - Institutional investors representing over half a trillion dollars in assets under management are calling on four major palm oil producers to adopt an immediate moratorium on deforestation and join the growing effort within the industry to establish traceable, deforestation-free palm oil supply chains.Led by Green Century Capital Management, investors called on Sime Darby Plantation, Kuala Lumpour Kepong Berhad, IOI Corporation Berhad, and Asian Agri to cease their efforts to weaken the existing threshold for no-deforestation.

Perdue Foods Sets New Standard for Antibiotic-Free Chicken
Perdue Foods Sets New Standard for Antibiotic-Free Chicken

SUPPLY CHAIN - Last week, Perdue Foods announced that it has discontinued the use of antibiotics at all of its chicken hatcheries, another step in setting a standard that defines the responsible use of antibiotics in poultry production. While the company, with farms based in Salisbury, Maryland, says it has not used antibiotics for growth promotion in its poultry since 2007, it does use an animal-only antibiotic to control an intestinal parasite, and to treat and control illness within unhealthy flocks.

Unilever, Solidaridad Partner to Help 1 Million Smallholder Farmers
Unilever, Solidaridad Partner to Help 1 Million Smallholder Farmers

SUPPLY CHAIN - Unilever and Solidaridad have announced a new partnership to improve the lives of one million people in Unilever’s extended supply chains.As part of this new partnership agreement, both parties will raise a mix of public and private grants, credit and investments to finance the smallholder farmer initiatives. They also will share the cost of three full time employees to execute the joint program.This builds on Unilever’s and Solidaridad’s history of creating sustainable supply chains that already engage more than 150,000 smallholder farmers and workers in India, Mexico and Colombia.

Bacardi Aspires to 100% Sustainable Sugarcane Sourcing by 2022
Bacardi Aspires to 100% Sustainable Sugarcane Sourcing by 2022

SUPPLY CHAIN - Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately held spirits company, has pledged to obtain 40 percent of the sugarcane-derived products used to make its rums from certified, sustainable sources by 2017 and 100 percent by 2022 — an industry first — as part of a new global sustainability campaign.Marking the 152nd anniversary of the company’s founding, Good Spirited: Building a Sustainable Future builds on current programs and efficiencies that reduce water and energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and sets new goals in three primary areas: responsible sourcing, global packaging and operational efficiencies.

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National Council of Chain Restaurants Urges Further Reductions to Corn Ethanol Mandate
National Council of Chain Restaurants Urges Further Reductions to Corn Ethanol Mandate

CLEANTECH - This week, the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR), which represents just about every US quick-service and table-service chain you can think of, submitted comments to the EPA on its proposal to reduce the levels of corn ethanol mandated under the embattled Renewable Fuel Standard.

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