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Food News

Judge orders JBS execs to step away from corporate roles

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted on September 7, 2016

JBS's CEO Wesley Batista and chairman Joesley Batista were ordered by a Brazilian judge to step away from executive positions in their companies. Federal Judge Vallisney De Souza Oliveira also ordered 38 executives from a number of companies to forfeit their passports, request prior authorization before traveling domestically and refrain from any activity in capital markets.  The order is part of the Federal Police's probe, called “Operation Greenfield”, an investigation into pension fund investments in Brazilian companies, including Eldorado Brasil, a pulp producer owned by J&F Investimentos, which also controls JBS.

Blue Apron’s “Farm Egg” makes me question everything

Tech Crunch | Posted on September 5, 2016

Or, more pointedly, is Blue Apron creating a shitload of waste in their quest to save the Convenience Generation from fully industrialized agriculture and obesity?   Enter, “Farm Egg.” At first glance, “Farm Egg” appears to represent an extreme level of waste out of Blue Apron.  Compared to buying eggs by the half-dozen at the grocery store, the packaging of a single “Farm Egg” in excessive cardboard (most of which is likely for insulation against bumps and bruises during transportation) doesn’t appear to be all that “Eco-friendly.”  You can dive deeper into this thesis, and uncover the difficulty of recycling Blue Apron’s markedly (as in, it’s on the box) “Eco-Friendly” packaging.

Parties in Vermont GMO labeling lawsuit agree to dismissal

Reformer | Posted on September 5, 2016

In documents filed with the United States District Court for the District Of Vermont, the Vermont Attorney General has agreed to dismiss with prejudice the proceedings related to the Green Mountain State's GMO labeling law.  The state reached the agreement with the Grocery Manufactures Association, Snak International, International Dairy Foods Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, Syngenta, Du Pont, Dow, Bayer, Monsanto, and Conagra.

Campbell Learns Health Food's No Picnic

Bloomberg | Posted on September 5, 2016

It turns out trying to remake yourself into a "healthy" snack-food company is harder than it looks. Shares in Campbell Soup dropped 6 percent on Thursday after the company reported quarterly earnings that missed expectations and warned next year's results would disappoint, too.  It's well-known by now that sales of Campbell's salty soups have slowed. But what's unnerving is that its so-called "fresh business" -- its supposed saving grace -- is shaky, too. The results are a warning for a packaged-food industry struggling to meet growing consumer demand for healthier fare. As Big Food pays up to buy companies that promise outsize growth, some find the deals don't taste as good as they look. Or as Hedgeye analyst Howard Penney simply put it, "things are not good when your growth business can't grow and the rest of your business is soup."

Consumer-driven claim on cage-free eggs outdated

Watt Ag Net | Posted on September 5, 2016

During the first four months of 2016, there was a barrage of corporate announcements where the companies were revealing their plans to transition into selling and serving only cage-free eggs. However, in early April when Walmart and Sams Club – which sells more than one quarter of the groceries purchased in the U.S. -- announced a move to selling only cage-free eggs, the animal rights groups responsible for the push to end the use of cage-raised eggs seemingly considered it a victory, and determined the entire egg industry would have to remove all of its cages. And while the cage-free egg transition announcements have slowed down, they have not yet stopped. One of the most commonly used reasons companies have given to date is that consumers are increasingly requesting eggs raised from cage-free operations. That reasoning may have been believable in the spring, but statements like that are quickly losing credibility. Reports continue to surface about how grocers are struggling to sell cage-free eggs in their stores, as consumers are apparently opposed to pay more for them than they are for cage-produced eggs. So how could this really be in response to consumer preferences?

Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart collaborating to improve farm soil, water quality

Star Tribune | Posted on September 1, 2016

Cargill, General Mills, Wal-Mart and several other giant food, agricultural and environmental groups will announce a partnership on Wednesday to accelerate programs and research to improve soil health and water quality on farms. The idea evolved from a meeting of CEOs that Wal-Mart held two years ago at its Arkansas headquarters. The topic: how the companies could help support agriculture in the Midwest. Among other things, it was clear that companies were increasingly making commitments to customers that their products would come from fields or barns where farming is done susta

The Evolution of Cottage Food Regulation in Illinois

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on September 1, 2016

Cottage food laws are state-by-state regulations intended to facilitate the development of local food and economies by reducing the obstacles small food producers face in market entry. [1] The laws are designed to exempt the sale of certain non-hazardous foods by small scale-producers from food safety regulations so that these individuals are able to market food directly to consumers.[2] For example, many of the food safety laws that regulate food production were designed for large processors, whereby food is prepared in a certified commercial kitchen that has met certain requirements to ensure food safety.[3]However, these requirements also serve as significant economic hurdles for small food producers seeking to make low risk (non-potentially hazardous) foods--products which do not present the same safety risks as other processed items.[4]  Cottage food laws are a relatively new regulatory development. States first explored regulatory relief through legislation in the early 2010's. Several variables to consider when constructing this legislation included: who will be exempt, what specific foods qualify for the exemption, where and how food may be sold, and what labeling is required to inform the consumer that the food was not produced in an inspected commercial kitchen.[5]Because cottage food laws and the food industries that utilize them are so new, law makers in Illinois have had to amend the statute more than once to adapt the requirements to best serve the communities they were enacted to help and maintain the growth in this sector of the food economy.

Here’s How to Sort Through the Milk Aisle’s Plant Explosion

Fortune | Posted on August 25, 2016

The popularity of soy milk, long the creamer of choice for those unwilling to consume an animal product, has soured in recent years. That’s led to the rise of refrigerator full of plant-based alternatives. But not all non-milk is created equal. If you’re steering clear of heifers, here’s the breakdown on what you should be drinking instead.

Is it time to change the guidelines recommending low fat milk? | Posted on August 25, 2016

WHEN it comes to dairy, you have the choice of skim or full fat and a plethora of options in the middle. But the question still lingers — which is best for your health and your waistline? For more than a decade health authorities have insisted adults go lean and ditch the cream. Even the latest dietary guidelines for Australians still make this message clear. But recent research, based on a large population study shows that full-fat dairy isn’t so bad for you after all — that is, full fat drinkers tend to weigh less and have a reduced risk of diabetes.  Before we criticise national dietary recommendations it’s important to understand why low fat dairy is still advised. Full cream dairy foods are a significant source of saturated fat and over the last few decades the focus has been on reducing this type of fat in our diets to stave off heart attacks — this meant all sources of saturated fat were evil, including full cream milk. However, it is now well known that not all fats are equal, and certain types of saturated fats don’t raise LDL cholesterol (as previously thought) — and if it comes from dairy, studies are now showing it may have a protective role.

Amazon gives food retailers another reason to worry

Supermarket Guru | Posted on August 25, 2016

Amazon’s secret Project X, along with supporting photos and site blueprints, appears to no longer be a secret. Last week Geekwire reported on the construction in Seattle of what it believes to be a new grocery concept where shoppers can pre-order online, or from a tablet in-store, and pick up their groceries at this brick and mortar store. This follows reports of simialr facilities being built in the Bay Area. Few food retailers admit they are not carefully watching Amazon’s foray into grocery, whose total annual e-commerce sales have reached $99 billion (eMarketer says e-commerce in the U.S. will hit $396.72 billion in 2016, or 8.2% of total retail sales). Published reports indicate that Amazon’s current share of U.S. grocery sales is less than 1%, and while some may doubt the company can break through, a new surveyfrom Cowen reports that the number of people who participated in their survey who shop for groceries and other consumable goods via Amazon increased 18% in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2015. Can Project X be the added service that becomes Amazon’s tipping point to give it a stronghold in this industry?