The nation’s largest grocery chain, operating 2,779 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, will phase out use of plastic bags in its stores by 2025. The grocer orders about 6 billion bags each year.The first area affected will is its Seattle chain QFC, where it expects to be plastic-bag free by next year. A growing number of corporations are looking at ways to reduce plastic waste from their products and store, but the trend has far to go. Source: cbsnews.com
Researchers at the University of Santa Clara conducted field survey measurements during 2016 and 2017 to determine how much produce is wasted before it leaves the fields. Estimates of food loss at the farm level are often usually upon grower surveys. A more comprehensive review of food loss at the farm level using field surveys is required to gain an adequate understanding of the depth of this issue. Their results detail 123 in-field surveys and 18 in-depth interviews of 20 different, hand-harvested field crops performed largely on midsize to large conventional farms in northern and central California along with estimates of fields that go unharvested. Food loss is highly variable and depends on a number of factors including the crop, variety, market price, labor costs, grower practices, buyer specifications, and environmental conditions. On average 11,299 kg/ha of food loss was found at the farm level, or 31.3% of the marketed yield or 33.7% including unharvested fields. Growers estimates of their field losses was 157% greater than they thought. Read the abstract on ScienceDirect. Source: FoodConnect.com
Rising up meet to consumer demand for more eco-friendly products, The biomass solutions company Genera Energy has secured an investment of $118 million+ to produce compostable food service items from locally grown grasses using their Genera’s earthable® fibers, made from sustainably grown ag-based pulp. It contains switchgrass, biomass sorghum and wheat straw. The sustainable alternatives to plastics and polystyrene, including plates, bowls, takeout containers and packaging materials, will be made at its new manufacturing plant in Vonore, Tennessee. The fibers are also used to make cup stock, towels, tissues and other paper products. Genera says the investment will help the rural economy’s local farmers and will provide 80 new jobs. Source: Forbes.com
Presidential candidates are addressing how they would change farm policy if they are elected. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal that would level the playing field between farmers and agribusinesses, in line with the Massachusetts senator’s populist-themed campaign proposals. Senate Ag members Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) put forth their own plans, too.
Warren’s ag proposal calls for breaking up big corporations including meatpackers and pesticide manufacturers, encouraging climate-friendly practices and controlling overproduction.
Instead of offering farm subsidies to farmers when commodity prices are low, Warren proposes a new supply management program that guarantees prices at the cost of production, known as “parity,” while relying on the government to stabilize the market by storing surpluses. She would also pour $15 billion per year into an Agriculture Department program that pays farmers to adopt conservation practices. Source: Politico.com
Subway is partnering with the maker of plant-based meat products, Beyond Meat, in an attempt to boost business. This Fall, a Beyond Meatball Marinara submarine sandwich will be tested in 685 U.S.and Canadian locations. It is expected to sell well.
Forecasts for the U.S. market of meat substitutes will grow to $2.5 billion by 2023, fueled by the growing number of Flexitarians — omnivores who are looking to reduce their meat intake — make up 98% of buyers of meat substitutes, according to Nielsen data. Beyond Meat stock was up 544% recently. aThe current price is $164.37 USD, quite a gain for investors since the IPO launch. Source: CNBC.com