Chicken processor Fieldale Farms has proposed to pay $2.25 million to settle its part in a lawsuit involving 14 chicken processors, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois. Attorneys from law firms representing Maplevale Farms of Falconer, N.Y., said at the time that companies including Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue Farms, Sanderson Farms and several others worked together to artificially reduce broiler chicken supplies in the U.S. marketplace knowing that supply reductions would boost prices. The 14 processors named in the suit were accused of sharing confidential information, including news on plant closings, hatching egg export levels and destroying breeder hens, according to the suit. The $2.25 million settlement implies a lower than expected litigation exposure for Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms.
Younger generations want to know where their food comes from, but communicating that information might be harder than it seems. Younger generations are leading the charge on demanding locally sourced food. They’re starting farm-to-table restaurants, making farmers markets trendy and paying a premium for locally sourced food. But getting the most accurate message out to consumers about where their food comes from and how it is grown is easier said than done.As part of Colorado Proud month – as proclaimed by Gov. John Hickenlooper and celebrated with a campaign theme each year – partners in Colorado’s agricultural industry will tour the state this month to show the faces of agriculture. The Colorado Proud program provides a guarantee to consumers that their food was grown, raised or processed in the state. The program started in 1999, but its purple-and-yellow mountain symbol is becoming more powerful. This year’s Colorado Proud survey results suggested that consumers want to “feel more connected” to farmers and food sources.
On November 9, 2012, Mayor Jim Cahill led a ribbon-cutting at the Fresh Grocer, a 50,000 square foot supermarket in downtown New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was the city’s first new full-service supermarket in a generation, the latest nine-figure project spearheaded by the New Brunswick Development Corporation.“We’re not just a supermarket. It’s some ways, we’re a community center,” explained the Fresh Grocer CEO Pat Burns, taking pride in his company’s ability to work with low-income residents in urban communities to help create a supermarket that best serves their needs. To that end, the New Brunswick location would provide ethnic foods that cater to the city’s minority communities, partner with a local non-profit to sell food created by New Brunswick residents, offer a free shuttle service for those who shopped there, and provide job training and nutrition programs for employees.With the cut of a ribbon, New Brunswick was no longer a food desert.A year and a half later, the Fresh Grocer abruptly closed.
Two of the nation’s sugar companies will launch a $4 million online campaign this fall aimed at educating consumers about GMO crops and changing their perceptions of the technology.
The protests were intense: People dripping with fake blood, tightly bound in plastic wrap as if they were cuts of meat. Singing, shouting, lecturing customers. It’s what Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group, would do every time the Local Butcher Shop would host its butchering classes in its Berkeley, Calif., store. But after four months, the protests have finally slowed down, and for an unlikely reason: After receiving a list of demands from the group, which also goes by DXE, the butcher shop capitulated. Although the Local Butcher Shop touts its farms’ humane practices on its website, owners agreed to hang a sign in their window that reads “Attention: Animals lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust, no matter how it’s done.”
Now, there’s a new app that helps food-related small businesses improve their cash flow and nurture customers at the same time, “Credibles.” The San Francisco-based start-up aims to help small food businesses by letting customers pre-pay from a growing number of small food companies, essentially setting up a prepaid tab. The businesses then have that money to use without having to take out loans.“It’s easier to put money into Monsanto and McDonald’s than invest in the bakery down the street,” said Credibles’ founder Arno Hesse.That’s because you can buy stock in large food companies. But how do avid fans help insure the survival of their favorite coffee shop or cheese maker? With Credibles, they exchange their money for food, not shares.
Silicon Valley is rallying around a startup that wants to disrupt the meat aisle. Impossible Foods sells burgers made from plants that sizzle on the grill and "bleed" juices like real beef. The company aims to make meat derived from animals the exception, not the rule.On August 1, the startup announced it had raised a $75 million investment from Singapore-based venture fund Temasek, Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, and others. The new round brings the company's total funding to over $250 million and will likely serve its plans for expansion.
Wayne County, New York, is the biggest producer of apples in the Empire State. Yet, in 2013 public school children in the county were being served apples from Washington on their lunch trays. At the end of the lunch period, the lovely, whole Washington apples ended up mostly uneaten in the garbage. Tom Ferraro, founder of the Rochester, NY, food bank Foodlink, set about solving the problem. Ferraro was familiar with a recent study showing that children were more likely to eat sliced fruit than whole. Since Foodlink had the facilities to wash, slice and package apples into portions, Ferraro decided topurchase apples from local farmers, process them, and sell them back to local schools. The program has been a success. Since July 2014, Foodlink has purchased 3.8 million pounds of local apples, investing $600,000 into the local agricultural economy. Children are eating the apple slices. And Foodlink uses revenue from apple sales in its own kitchen to prepare scratch-cooked meals for local school lunches, after-school and summer programs.
The U.S. dairy sector is fighting harder than ever on several fronts to halt the European Union’s global efforts to block cheese producers in other countries from using names like Roquefort, Asiago and Gorgonzola on the products they export. The EU has been making progress in countries including Japan, China and Mexico, but U.S.-based groups like the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) are fighting back.
The link between the use of antibiotics in humans and food-producing animals and subsequent antibiotic resistance has been confirmed, according to a new study by three European food and medical agencies.The European Food Safety Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said the results of the study reflect improved surveillance across Europe when it comes to antibiotics consumption.The study indicates that overall antibiotic use is higher in food-producing animals than in humans, but the situation varies across countries and according to the antibiotics. Specifically, the study cites a class of antibiotics called polymyxins used widely in the veterinary sector and increasingly used in hospitals to treat multidrug-resistant infections.