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Stories About Agriculture

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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.

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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.

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.

Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste
Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste

WASTE NOT - Pulp Green Tech Holding (PGT), an R&D-focused company that owns Thai Gorilla Pulp Ltd., announced this week that it has successfully achieved a high-grade paper pulp made from empty palm fruit bunches, which are most often treated as waste material from the palm oil extraction process.The company estimates that roughly 95 percent, or 300 million tons, of this raw material is currently discarded per year.PGT says the process is highly cost-efficient and will enable investors, palm oil producers and paper pulp mills to achieve ROI of over 100% in the first year of operation, assuming the pulp is sold at a price of comparable non-wood materials.

New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy
New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy

CLEANTECH - New York recently made available $21 million to help the state’s dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy.Most of the funding — $20 million — is available through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to generate electricity and heat from organic wastes. Food processing manufacturers, farms or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

Chipotle's New Comedy Series Spoofs the Evils of Industrial Ag
Chipotle's New Comedy Series Spoofs the Evils of Industrial Ag

MARKETING AND COMMS - This week, Chipotle announced the upcoming premiere of “Farmed and Dangerous,” a new original comedy series that satirically explores the world of industrial agriculture in America. Produced by Chipotle and Piro, a New York-based studio known for its unique work in film and television, the initial four-episode season will air Monday nights on Hulu and Hulu Plus beginning Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. The comedy integrates Chipotle’s values and commitment to serving “Food with Integrity” without any explicit Chipotle branding.

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Food Brands, Farming Groups, NGOs Urge Obama to Enact Federal GMO Labeling Law
Food Brands, Farming Groups, NGOs Urge Obama to Enact Federal GMO Labeling Law

MARKETING AND COMMS - A group made up of over 200 organizations including food companies, organic farming and environmental groups have signed a letter urging President Obama to enact labelling laws highlighting products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Medical Marijuana Farm Recovering 97% of Its Wastewater Through Reverse Osmosis
Medical Marijuana Farm Recovering 97% of Its Wastewater Through Reverse Osmosis

CLEANTECH - Kind Love, a state-licensed medical marijuana grower in Denver, Colorado, is improving the operational efficiency and environmental sustainability of its grow operations by installing a closed-circuit desalination (CCD) reverse osmosis (RO) system. The system, which will produce up to 22,000 gallons of purified water per day, is being supplied by Desalitech, a provider of high-efficiency water production and wastewater treatment solutions.

Disruptive Conservation: A New Thread to Connect Multi-Sector Values
Disruptive Conservation: A New Thread to Connect Multi-Sector Values

SUPPLY CHAIN - A Minnesota watershed project is using an ecocommerce framework, a fundamentally different approach to bringing shared value to natural resource management.

Finalists for Unilever’s Young Entrepreneurs Awards Creating Groundbreaking Social Solutions
Finalists for Unilever’s Young Entrepreneurs Awards Creating Groundbreaking Social Solutions

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Unilever and the Cambridge Program for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL) have announced the seven finalists for the inaugural Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, an international awards program designed to inspire young people around the world to tackle environmental, social and health issues.The competition, open to anyone aged 30 years or under, looks for inspiring practical, tangible solutions to help make sustainable living commonplace.

After Years of Pressure, Wilmar International Commits to Ending Deforestation Practices
After Years of Pressure, Wilmar International Commits to Ending Deforestation Practices

SUPPLY CHAIN - Wilmar International, the world's largest palm oil trader, today announced a No Deforestation Policy in response to pressure from Greenpeace, NGOs and consumers around the world.

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Nestlé, Coke, Pepsi & Unilever Join Forces to Combat Waste in Chile
Nestlé, Coke, Pepsi & Unilever Join Forces to Combat Waste in Chile

COLLABORATION - Nestlé has announced a commitment to helping reduce waste and boost responsible disposal in Chile by supporting a new recycling network.The company has backed the “Collective Recycling Project,” which aims to recycle about 1,200 tons of waste per year through the installation of five recycling centers in the capital city of Santiago.The project is a joint collaboration with Walmart Chile, Coca-Cola Chile, PepsiCo and Unilever, with the goal of improving waste management in the country.

SAP Partners With Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to Support Rural Workers
SAP Partners With Colombian Coffee Growers Federation to Support Rural Workers

SUPPLY CHAIN - SAP has joined forces with the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) and the Manuel Mejía Foundation to provide coffee farmers with the technology and training they need to develop more sustainable business practices.Technology continues to be scarce among rural communities in Colombia, SAP says. To help change this reality, the company supplied technical training to more than 500 coffee growers, teaching them how to effectively use mobile tablets and computers to access the “coffee portal,” which provides useful information on coffee market news, geographical farm data, coffee purchasing conditions, incentives and support programs.

Greenpeace Linking Host of Household Brands to Destruction of Sumatran Tiger Habitat
Greenpeace Linking Host of Household Brands to Destruction of Sumatran Tiger Habitat

SUPPLY CHAIN - Greenpeace International tonight launched a report calling out a host of consumer products companies — including Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez International (formerly Kraft), Nestlé Oil, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and a host of other companies — as guilty by association for rainforest destruction in Indonesia, a crucial habitat region for the endangered Sumatran tiger.A License to Kill: How Deforestation for Palm Oil Is Driving Sumatran Tigers Toward Extinction links the companies to Singapore-based Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil processor, which accounts for over one-third of the global palm oil processing market and has a distribution network covering over 50 countries.

Fair Trade USA and Kiva Launch Microlending Program for Fair Trade Farmers
Fair Trade USA and Kiva Launch Microlending Program for Fair Trade Farmers

SUPPLY CHAIN - Fair Trade USA has partnered with nonprofit Kiva to help small-scale coffee farmers access financing, improve crop quality and invest in the future of their families and communities.The partnership resulted from a successful collaboration last year between Fair Trade USA, Kiva and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to pilot Kiva’s first agricultural lending program with a Fair Trade coffee cooperative in Mexico. Kiva says its lenders around the world fully funded nearly all of the loans, which benefited hundreds of small farmers working to prepare their fields for harvest.

Mondelez International Launches Cocoa Life Sustainability Program in Indonesia
Mondelez International Launches Cocoa Life Sustainability Program in Indonesia

COLLABORATION - Mondelez International has announced an agreement with the Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute (ICCRI) and suppliers Armajaro and Olam to promote sustainable Indonesian cocoa farming, improve cocoa bean quality and support the development of Indonesian cocoa communities.

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EcoDairy Harnessing the Hidden Power of Cow Manure
EcoDairy Harnessing the Hidden Power of Cow Manure

WASTE NOT - It takes two days to train a cow to milk itself. This may sound like a farmer’s utopia, but at Bakerview EcoDairy, a robotic milker is just one of many dairy farm innovations being put to use.Bill Vanderkooi, president and CEO of the farm, seeks out all of the latest technologies to help him run his operation, which hosts an onsite market and agricultural education center. Armed with a Master’s degree in animal science, Vanderkooi opened the 80-acre farm near Abbotsford, British Columbia, in June of 2010. He has since established himself as a pioneer among small-scale, sustainable farm owners.

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