Time is running out to comment on the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety and Preventive Control rules and advocates for farmers markets and sustainable agriculture are urging the public to weigh in on what they say are regulations that could make it more difficult and more expensive for small farmers to do business.
“The rules are based on assumptions of farming that are not necessarily accurate,” Jen O’Brien of the Farmers Market Coalition said during a webcast held to explain grower issues and generate public comments before the Nov. 15 deadline.
O’Brien said some definitions in the rules are unclear and parts conflict with mandates of the FSMA, which covers standards of production and food safety issues.
A big issue is how the FDA determines what constitutes a farm and what makes up a facility, definitions that govern which regulations that must be followed. Farm advocates also are concerned whether the regulations are scaled to appropriate risk for small farmers and larger growers and facilities. (read more…)
The Beef Checkoff sponsored this blog post. Visit http://factsaboutbeef.com to learn more. Dr. Kim Stackhouse-Lawson is the Director of Sustainability Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and is currently leading the Beef Checkoff sustainability effort, which marks the first and largest sustainability project that has ever been attempted in the beef community. She received her PhD in Animal Science from the University of California, Davis, and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University.
SB: What was the impetus for the Beef Checkoff’s sustainability project? Farmers and ranchers recognized the need to benchmark the sustainability of beef production and better understand sustainability improvements from the past in order to produce more sustainable beef in the future. So in 2010, they chose to invest their own dollars, through the Beef Checkoff, in research to benchmark the environmental, economic and social sustainability of beef. (read more…)
Sales of single-serve coffee pods continue to rise as consumers turn to one-cup brewers for their convenience and wide array of flavor options. But as more people choose single-serve pods as their preferred coffee method, concerns about the environmental impact of the non-recyclable, non-biodegradable pods have become harder to ignore. For a time, the only choice for consumers who wanted to reduce the waste produced by their single-cup brewer was to use a refillable insert. But now, a recent breakthrough by Canada’s Canterbury Coffee has brought a 90% biodegradable single-serve coffee pod to market. I interviewed Derek Perkins, senior marketing manager with Canterbury Coffee about how OneCoffee was created.
Why did it take so long for a biodegradable, organic single-serve coffee cup to hit the market? What are the challenges of creating a biodegradable single-serve cup?
It’s taken two years of intense R&D to develop this product. There are numerous challenges. (read more…)
As a little girl, Jenny Brown lost her leg to cancer and her heart to a kitten named Boogie, the feline companion who shared the heartaches and triumphs that came with learning to get on with life after the disease. The relationship marked the start of a passion for the welfare of all living things that grew during her life and eventually led to the creation of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. At the sanctuary in New York’s Catskills Mountains, her days are shared with about 200 cows, pigs, goats, chickens and other farm animals rescued from abuse, neglect and impending slaughter.
In her book, The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals, Brown details her path from fast-food eating teen to vegan animal welfare activist who, before starting the sanctuary, worked as a filmmaker who sometimes took her camera under cover to document farm animal abuse. I spoke with her Friday to learn more about life as an ethical vegetarian and activist. (read more…)
When it comes to the world of sustainability and consumer aspirations and purchasing behaviors, the stars don’t always align to make everyone successful and happy. Within that “world of sustainability” though — as The Hartman Group has labeled it — Laurie Demeritt told the group at last week’s FMI and GMA Global Sustainability Summit in Seattle, Wash., that there are various levels of consumers, grouped by their involvement and interests in making sustainable purchases — something CPG companies and retailers can benefit from understanding.
Segmenting the sustainable consumer
About 16% of people basically say that they don’t think about social and environmental concerns when they make a purchase, and moreover, that they don’t really believe there’s any social or environmental problems in the world, Demeritt explained.
The remaining 84% is segmented into two groups; the core being the traditional, “stereotypical sustainability consumer who cuts their own hair, puts it in the compost and goes out of their way to buy sustainable products,” Demeritt said. (read more…)