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Stories About Agriculture

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Practical, Affordable Solutions for BOP, Closing Loops Rule Sustainia's Top 100 Solutions for 2015
Practical, Affordable Solutions for BOP, Closing Loops Rule Sustainia's Top 100 Solutions for 2015

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Each year, Scandinavian think tank Sustainia highlights leading-edge sustainability solutions, technologies and practices from around the globe in its Sustainia100. Published today, this year’s list, which highlights standouts from more than 151 countries, points to a new development: sustainability alternatives are increasingly becoming the affordable and convenient choice.

How Timberland Partnered with Smallholder Farmers to Scale Sustainable Development in Haiti
How Timberland Partnered with Smallholder Farmers to Scale Sustainable Development in Haiti

ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE - On Wednesday, over an intimate, invite-only lunch at SB ’15 San Diego, Timberland and the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) screened the trailer for their documentary, KOMBIT: The Cooperative, scheduled for release in October 2015.KOMBIT means “pulling together” in Haitian Creole. Timberland says this is the perfect description of the partnership among local Haitians, as well as its work with them and SFA to rebuild the island nation’s environmental and economic landscape through small-scale farming.

Timberland and Smallholder Farmers Alliance: A Model for Driving Economic and Environmental Progress in Haiti
Timberland and Smallholder Farmers Alliance: A Model for Driving Economic and Environmental Progress in Haiti

PRESS RELEASE - With an estimated 1.5 percent tree cover remaining, Haiti is one of the most severely deforested countries in the world. In January 2010, an earthquake devastated the people of Haiti and illuminated the ongoing degradation of the country’s natural environment. While short-term relief efforts were essential, sustainable changes to restore tree cover and agricultural production remain critical for the future of Haiti. The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) is the culmination of a $1 million, five-year, innovative public/private partnership led by Timberland, delivering a long-term solution that empowers Haitians to play an active role in spurring economic development, improving agricultural practices, and supporting reforestation and environmental restoration.

Sustainable Design, Consumer Behavior Change Key to Moving Away from Wood-Based Paper, Packaging
Sustainable Design, Consumer Behavior Change Key to Moving Away from Wood-Based Paper, Packaging

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Jeff Mendelsohn, moderator and founder of New Leaf Paper, opened up Tuesday’s SB ‘15 San Diego panel about the use of non-wood fiber with two questions that — from a consumer’s perspective — are questions we all should embrace and act on, now:

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Campbell Soup Company joins EDF initiative to reduce environmental impact of food production
Campbell Soup Company joins EDF initiative to reduce environmental impact of food production

PRESS RELEASE - Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) today announced a collaboration with Campbell Soup Company and its subsidiary, Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated, to improve water quality and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by optimizing fertilizer use and improving soil conservation in the company’s wheat sourcing areas.

Maine Farmers Feeding Crops, Livestock with Brewery and Coffee Shop Waste
Maine Farmers Feeding Crops, Livestock with Brewery and Coffee Shop Waste

WASTE NOT - Organic matter produced during brewing and coffee roasting processes is becoming a farming and gardening staple as an effective, low-cost alternative to commercial fertilizer and feed for a growing contingent of farmers and gardeners in Maine, according to the Bangor Daily News.As more of the state’s ubiquitous microbreweries are finding ways to make their operations more sustainable, they’ve realized repurposing their spent grains as fertilizers eliminates waste, while simultaneously benefitting local farms and gardens.

Walmart Announces New Animal Welfare Policy, $4M in Savings After Water Policy Revamp
Walmart Announces New Animal Welfare Policy, $4M in Savings After Water Policy Revamp

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Today, Walmart announced a commitment to improving farmed animal welfare across its global food supply chain with one of the most comprehensive animal welfare policies of its kind. The change in policy comes after six hidden-camera videos taken by animal welfare group Mercy For Animals (MFA) at Walmart pork suppliers across the country exposed extreme animal abuse.

MillerCoors' Trenton Brewery Upcycling Wastewater Into Fish, Animal Feed
MillerCoors' Trenton Brewery Upcycling Wastewater Into Fish, Animal Feed

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - MillerCoors’ Trenton Brewery in Ohio will now also produce fish and animal feed.Thanks to a partnership with biotech company Nutrinsic, wastewater from MillerCoors’ beer-making process will now enter Nutrinsic’s sustainable protein production facility co-located at the brewery’s Water Reclamation Facility. The biotech company says the wastewater will become a feedstock for ProFloc™, a high-quality protein ingredient for use in fish and animal nutrition. ProFloc is produced using patented technology that upcycles nutrients that would otherwise be undervalued or discarded, making it a sustainable protein source for all types of aquatic and terrestrial animal feeds.

Survey: U.S. Beekeepers Lost 40% of Bees in 2014
Survey: U.S. Beekeepers Lost 40% of Bees in 2014

MARKETING AND COMMS - Beekeepers across the United States lost more than 40 percent of their honey bee colonies during the year spanning April 2014 to April 2015, according to the latest results of an annual nationwide survey led by a University of Maryland professor.While winter loss rates improved slightly compared to last year, summer losses and total annual losses were more severe. Commercial beekeepers were hit hardest by the high rate of summer losses, which surpassed winter losses for the first time in five years, intensifying concerns over the long-term trend of poor health in honey bee colonies.

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Hershey Highlights Progress in Fourth CSR Report
Hershey Highlights Progress in Fourth CSR Report

PRESS RELEASE - The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) has issued its latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, highlighting advances made during the past year against wide-ranging CSR goals. In particular, Hershey made continued progress through initiatives and programs supporting the company’s work in responsible sourcing, environmental sustainability, ingredient transparency and simple ingredients.

New Heineken Campaign Heralds 'Legendary 7' Sustainability Pioneers Behind Its Beer
New Heineken Campaign Heralds 'Legendary 7' Sustainability Pioneers Behind Its Beer

MARKETING AND COMMS - Heineken has teamed up with Blippar — the augmented reality smartphone app — to launch a new digital campaign that taps into increasing consumer interest into sustainability and a desire to understand more about the ingredients of beer.To highlight the beer giant’s commitment to buying 50 percent of its main raw materials from sustainable sources by 2020, the “Legendary 7” campaign tells the story of seven farmers from France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the UK who produce the sustainable barley and hops used to brew Heineken beer.

Trending: Stakeholders Continue, with Mixed Success, to Push Brands on Contentious Ingredients
Trending: Stakeholders Continue, with Mixed Success, to Push Brands on Contentious Ingredients

SUPPLY CHAIN - This week has seen another concerted push by concerned stakeholders to clean up major brands’ supply chains.On Tuesday, for the second time in a month, hundreds of activists once again took part in a Week of Action in grocery stores and public spaces across the United States, rebranding grocery store shelves and engaging shoppers to warn them that products from PepsiCo’s Quaker brand may contain Conflict Palm Oil.

UC Davis, Mars, Inc. create sustainability partnership
UC Davis, Mars, Inc. create sustainability partnership

PRESS RELEASE - In September 2014, UC Davis and Mars, Incorporated, agreed to a partnership that created the Innovation Institute for Food and Health, managed through the UC Davis World Food Center. In January this collaboration was officially launched.Bruce German, a food science and technology professor as well as the facilitator of the development of the Innovation Institute for Food and Health, said that the goal of the partnership is to bring science into practice in order to create advances in sustainable agriculture, food safety and health.“At the core of this institute is the realization that it is not enough for UC Davis to lead the world in agriculture and food science: we must lead the world in bringing that science to practice,” German said.

BCFN Hosting Contest for Innovators Under 35 to Solve Global Food Problems
BCFN Hosting Contest for Innovators Under 35 to Solve Global Food Problems

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition's (BCFN) Young Earth Solutions! (YES!) program is running its fourth innovation contest to encourage young researchers and university students under the age of 35 to develop innovative solutions to problems within the global food system.Past BCFN YES! finalist ideas include more informative food labels, the incorporation of more plant-based meals into school lunches, apps to help consumers make healthier choices, waste-free technology for fruit and vegetable processing and more.

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Paper: Definition, Focus, Accountability Needed to Turn Deforestation Commitments Into Action
Paper: Definition, Focus, Accountability Needed to Turn Deforestation Commitments Into Action

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - In its new position paper published today, Halting Deforestation and Achieving Sustainability, the Rainforest Alliance addresses the recent surge in deforestation-free pledges. Timed to coincide with an Innovation Forum event in Washington, DC on “How Business Can Tackle Deforestation,” the paper argues the deforestation-free trend is an exciting development, but needs definition, focus, and accountability to deliver lasting benefits for forests, people and the planet.

Trending: NGOs, Brands, Suppliers Making Deforestation-Free Plantations, Packaging a Reality
Trending: NGOs, Brands, Suppliers Making Deforestation-Free Plantations, Packaging a Reality

CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING - Barely a week in and April could very well shape up to be ‘Zero-Deforestation Month’ if the multi-sector momentum around addressing the issue continues. So far, we’ve seen a new commitment from Yum!

Hershey Will Source Enough Sustainable Cocoa For Bars, Kisses and Kit Kats By 2016
Hershey Will Source Enough Sustainable Cocoa For Bars, Kisses and Kit Kats By 2016

SUPPLY CHAIN - The Hershey Company announced on Tuesday that it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa in 2016 to surpass the amount of cocoa required for the global production of four of its most popular chocolate brands: Hershey's, Kisses, Kit Kat and BrooksideThe chocolate company also has pledged that it will source enough certified and sustainable cocoa to add the global Reese’s brand and others to these first four brands in 2017.Reaching this responsible sourcing milestone was possible due to progress in sourcing cocoa from certified and sustainable cocoa farms, Hershey says.

Pulp Nonfiction: 'Out of Fashion' Campaign Targets Apparel Brands Contributing to Deforestation
Pulp Nonfiction: 'Out of Fashion' Campaign Targets Apparel Brands Contributing to Deforestation

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - In recent years it’s become common knowledge that companies using palm oil in their snack foods or publishers sourcing paper fiber from Indonesian pulp mills may be at risk of contributing to deforestation and labor rights abuses.

NGOs Say Yum! Brands' New Palm Oil Commitment Is a Good Start, But It Lacks Meat
NGOs Say Yum! Brands' New Palm Oil Commitment Is a Good Start, But It Lacks Meat

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Today, Yum! Brands, the second-largest fast-food giant in America thanks to its KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut brands, became the latest food company to commit to sourcing deforestation- and peat-free palm oil. NGOs including the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Greenpeace are applauding Yum! for being the biggest global fast food company to commit to sourcing better palm oil, but note that the commitment falls short of perfect.According to Yum!'s new palm oil policy:

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Trending: Activists, Shareholders Continue to Rail Against Companies Lagging on Sustainable Palm Oil
Trending: Activists, Shareholders Continue to Rail Against Companies Lagging on Sustainable Palm Oil

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - This week, stakeholders continued to take action to pressure companies into turning over a new leaf when it comes to their sourcing practices — around what has become known as Conflict Palm Oil.

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