Local Food News — World

The Local Food Summit 2017, August 6 -16

Through a combination of online interviews and presentations, plus live webinars, hear from and interact with more than 60 of the most significant on-the-ground leaders, activists, practitioners, authors and elders who are at the front lines of the local food movement—all for free. Join us in catalyzing a revolutionary acceleration and expansion of the local food movement’s impact, effectiveness, and scale! Website.

 

Sustainable Food Trust

The Sustainable Food Trust was founded by Patrick Holden in 2011 in response to the worsening human and environmental crises that are associated with the vast majority of today’s food and farming systems. His observation was that, for all of the hard work of food and environmental organisations over the last half century or so, there were still a number of major barriers preventing large scale uptake of sustainable food production and healthy diets. These include the lack of an enabling policy and economic environment for sustainable food production and consumption; a tendency towards reductionist and siloed thinking amongst scientists and some campaigning organisations; and a myriad of conflicting messages, often perpetuated by those with vested interests, leading to considerable confusion amongst consumers and policymakers alike about what to eat to be healthy whilst at the same time supporting just and sustainable food systems. Website.

 

Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone

The Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone (UAIZ) is a new state program (AB 551) adopted by the California State Legislature in 2013. This program aims to incentivize urban agriculture in urbanized areas in California by offering reduced property tax assessments in exchange for converting vacant or unimproved property to an agricultural use through a contract agreement for an initial period of five years. On September 12, 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion directing that a local UAIZ program be implemented Countywide in accordance with AB 551. Los Angeles County post. Ordinance.

 

Could tax breaks turn empty lots into urban farms? Long Beach hopes so

Long Beach is crafting two new programs that would encourage more urban farms to crop up in vacant lots across the city.  The first step in the process involves laying out a local framework for an Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones program, which would grant tax breaks to property owners who lease vacant lots for small-scale agricultural uses. The second deals with creating a vacant lot registry that would track how property owners care for empty lots. Some 618 properties have been determined eligible for the registry. The goal is to maintenance standards and routine inspections as part of a larger effort to curb negative impacts tied to empty and often blighted lots. Long Beach Press Telegram story.

 

Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice

The food truck on the corner could be a brightly painted old-style lonchera offering tacos or an upscale mobile vendor serving lobster rolls. Customers range from gastro-tourists to construction workers, all eager for food that is delicious, authentic, and relatively inexpensive. Although some cities that host food trucks encourage their proliferation, others throw up regulatory roadblocks. This book examines the food truck phenomenon in North American cities from Los Angeles to Montreal, taking a novel perspective: social justice. It considers the motivating factors behind a city’s promotion or restriction of mobile food vending, and how these motivations might connect to or impede broad goals of social justice. Book overview

 

Nutrition Information Abounds, But Many Doubt Food Choices

Americans are consuming food information from more sources than ever before, yet our nutritional literacy is sorely lacking—and our health may be suffering as a result. Those are among the findings of the International Food Information Council Foundation’s 12th Annual Food and Health Survey. “As in previous years, the Food and Health Survey has shown that Americans feel overwhelmed by conflicting food and nutrition information,” said IFIC Foundation CEO Joseph Clayton. “But this year, we’re finding troubling signs that the information glut is translating into faulty decisions about our diets and health.” International Food Information Council Foundation release.

 

The Ag Tech Market Map: 80+ Startups Powering The Future Of Farming And Agribusiness

We used CB Insights data to identify more than 80 private companies in agriculture tech and categorized them into eight main categories. We define ag tech as technology that increases the efficiency of farms (in the form of software), sensors, aerial-based data, internet-based distribution channels (marketplaces), and tools for technology-enabled farming. We only include companies that primarily target the agricultural sector. CB Insights post. Ag Tech map.

 

Revisiting the third grocery sector: the rise of the grocerant trend

A recent Wall Street Journal article connected food retailers’ increasing emphasis of store perimeters with flatlining sales of iconic center store CPG brands and underscored that the emerging concept of supermarkets as “grocerants” is maturing into the mainstream. This is hardly a startling new revelation to us or to many across the food and beverage industry. For more than a decade now, here at The Hartman Group, we’ve been telling the tale of the fresh revolution and the redefinition of quality away from packaged and processed food products that led to the center store migration. For the past twenty years we’ve observed a single, overarching theme encompassing the vast cultural shift in the food world: namely, the pursuit of all things real — expressed here primarily though cultural distinctions of “fresh.” Hartman Group post.

 

Barilla puts sustainability centre stage

Barilla believes it has a good story to tell on these issues and has chosen to make sustainability a very public and very prominent part of its identity, under the banner “Good for you, Good for the Planet”. That Barilla considers its sustainability mission so core to its business that it can be the primary emphasis of the company’s annual public statement on its performance provides further proof of how critical sustainability has become to companies whether public or privately held. Just-Food blog.

 

Linking Environment And Farming (UK) Global Impacts Report 2017

We are delighted to be publishing LEAF’s fifth Global Impacts Report, reflecting on our collective achievements in 2016. Over the last five years we have strengthened our reporting significantly and are immensely proud of the progress we are making in monitoring, measuring and communicating the impacts our members are making to the environment, economy and society. LEAF report.

 

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The Grocery Store Of The Future Is Mobile, Self-Driving, And Run By AI

In Shanghai, a prototype of a new 24-hour convenience store has no staff, no registers, and the whole thing is on wheels, designed to eventually drive itself to a warehouse to restock, or to a customer to make a delivery. The startup behind it believes that it’s the model for the grocery store of the future–and because it’s both mobile and far cheaper to build and operate than a typical store, it could also help bring better access to groceries to food deserts and rural areas. Fast Company story.

Local Food News — World

Pigtown events to celebrate local food culture in Limerick

The series features events such as the Culture Night Pig Parade; ‘Beyond the Pig – veganism in a meat eaters world’ panel discussion; ‘Ancient Irish food – what did our ancestors grow, pick and catch’ lecture and discussion and Urban Foraging Walks by local author and ethnobotanist Theresa Storey; Valerie O’Connor’s ‘Pig in the City’ food trail; Pigtown Tasting Menu produced by students of LIT’s Food and Tourism Department; and ‘The Apprentice – Pigtown Style’ hosted by Garretts Butchers where Limerick Butcher Apprentices will compete against visiting international craft butcher apprentices to be crowned the Pigtown Champion. Limerick Leader story.

 

Better Food Traders

We all know the food system isn’t working – but isn’t hard to know what to do about it? Well, Hackney-based Growing Communities did do something about fixing the food system. And twenty years on, their ground breaking organic veg scheme, farmers’ market and growers apprenticeships are feeding the inner city with local, delicious, organic fruit and veg. By paying a fair price direct to organic farmers, they’ve created a vibrant local food economy that’s good for growers, good for consumers and great for the planet. Since 2009 they’ve been helping other social entrepreneurs and community groups across the UK to set up community-led veg schemes based on Growing Communities’ successful model. Website.

 

Scots suppliers vie for space on Morrisons shelves

Fifty food and drink firms from across Scotland have been selected to pitch their produce to Morrisons. The supermarket chain said 140 firms had applied to have their products stocked on its shelves as part of its efforts to boost the home-grown industry, with the most promising suppliers getting the chance to pitch to the group’s buyers, local store staff and customers at two events in Perth and Musselburgh. Angus Bell, local category manager at Morrisons, said: “Scotland has a long history of great, local food and the producers we’ve seen have been no exception. After seeing the quality of the food here in Scotland this week, we’re keen to put even more food made in the country on our customers’ plates.” The Scotsman story.

 

Local food ambassadors shine at international festival

A Galway food syndication has further strengthened economic and tourism links with France following their attendance at the Fête des vins de l’Anjou recently. Foods of Athenry, Gran Grans and Tribal Foods who travelled along with Sheena Dignam of Galway Food Tours and Merveilles D’Irlande to attend Fête des vins de l’Anjou in the Pays de la Loire region last week wowed the French festival with a supreme West of Ireland food showcase. The trip showcased the diverse and unique range of locally sourced produce in the West of Ireland whilst also highlighting key SME’s and start-ups in the food industry to the French market. Galway Independent story.

 

Isle of Bute fisherman opens UK’s first-ever seaweed shop

Iain McKellar, 52, has been harvesting seaweed for over 10 years and selling it online to companies and restaurants from all over the globe. He realised that the abundance of seaweed on the Isle of Bute wasn’t being taken advantage of, and saw an opportunity to sell local produce with a difference. Herald Scotland story.

 

The new Nottingham shop that’s selling surplus supermarket food at a tiny price

Surplus supermarket food destined for the bin will be sold for ‘as little as possible’ at a new city store. Foodprint, a ‘social supermarket,’ will open in a Sneinton warehouse this summer – selling “perfectly edible food” that would otherwise be thrown away because it is past its best before date or has a packaging error. The store, in Sneinton Road, is the brainchild of a group of University of Nottingham students who are passionate about ending food waste and food poverty simultaneously. Nottingham Post story.

 

Cork Airport unveils new food offerings for travellers

Suppliers for the new food offerings at Cork Airport include Fingal Ferguson with Gubbeen chorizo, Jane Murphy with Ardsallagh goat’s cheese, Bandon Vale cheddar, Flahavan’s Oat porridge, G’s Jam from Co Laois, Ballycotton smoked salmon, Glenilen yoghurts, Glenown Ice cream and Pallas Green with locally grown fruit and vegetables. Frank Gleeson, MD of Aramark Food Services, said. “Aramark is delighted to be able to offer great products and a great experience, while supporting local food producers and developing a menu that reflects what makes Cork the gourmet capital of Ireland.” Irish Examiner story.

 

Nourish Scotland’s Making a Living from Local Food programme 2017

Are you passionate about tasty, nutritious, locally and sustainably produced food? Are you in the process of setting up a local food enterprise or have just started one? For the second year running, Nourish Scotland’s Making a Living from Local Food programme is offering mentoring and peer-to-peer-support to 15-20 aspiring and recently established local food entrepreneurs from across Scotland. The programme is funded by the Prince’s Countryside Fund. Scottish Rural Network post.

 

AmazonFresh expands grocery deliveries across South East

AmazonFresh is being extended to postcodes just outside of London in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire as the online retail giant begins to roll out the grocery delivery service one year after first coming to the UK. The service is now available in selected postcodes from Luton to Watford, Berkhamsted to Hampshire. Approximately 180,000 products are on offer for same day delivery, including fresh produce items. These also include some of Britain’s most popular brands and a selection of groceries from London’s shops and markets as well as local food producers. Produce Business UK story.

 

Holmewood Edible Community Association

Where all residents will have the opportunity to get involved with environmental projects at a local level.These projects will include; Knowleswood Community Farm. Grow your own. Greenside project. Gardening and Cleaning Teams.These projects will be the tap root of initiatives to follow, we encourage local peoples paticipation through Education plus Volunteering opportunities. Facebook page.

 

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New routes to better markets for farmers and growers

Whilst Brexit is forcing a rethink of a crucial portion of most UK farm incomes – the farm subsidies – when we leave the European Common Agriculture Policy, it would be a mistake to ignore the market side of the calculation. How will farmers secure a decent return from the market place for decent food production, with (or even scarier, without) subsidies? With the single market possibly gone, and new trade deals and huge regulatory changes ahead it seems crucial to ensure farmers have access to a diverse and fairly trading marketplace. Sustain UK post.

Local Food News — World

Kiwis one step closer to knowing where their food is from

Support for Green MP Steffan Browning’s member’s bill is a win for the vast majority of New Zealanders who want to know where the food they buy is produced, the Green Party said today. The Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill will make it mandatory for food producers to label their fresh or single-ingredient food products with the country of origin. The Bill was passed to select committee stage this evening. “A recent poll showed that more than 70 percent of New Zealanders support mandatory labelling, and it’s good for local food producers too. Scoop.co.nz press release.

Helicopter business ready for take off with five-star dining tours

“Over the past ten years I’ve focused on the highest standard in worldwide jet charter, I thought this would be the perfect bolt-on for inbound clients showcasing the dramatic [Scottish] scenery and local food as a whole experience,” she said. The Heli-Dining combination has been requested so frequently over recent months that Ms Torres decided to launch it as a separate offer to her whole client base. Herald Scotland story.

UFU’s schools competition set to boost farm awareness across NI

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has launched its 2017 schools competition, in association with Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend and ASDA. This year’s competition, which is open to all nursery, primary and special schools around Northern Ireland, is based on the theme ‘Eating Healthy, Local Food’. ASDA, which sponsors the competition, has a range of prizes on offer for the winners. “This competition will give pupils a greater knowledge of the seasonality of our produce and how it is produced. It will also underline the importance of supporting local producers to benefit the rural and wider economy in Northern Ireland. Agriland story.

BMW Ireland to Power Irish Online Start Up’s Quest to Discover Local Food Heroes

As life is nothing without taste, BMW Ireland is partnering with TheTaste to allow one lucky food lover to dine free for a year by nominating their local culinary gem. In association with BMW Ireland, TheTaste Team will expand and embark on an all-Ireland voyage of discovery to unearth the hidden treasures around the country in TheTaste BMW 1 Series M Sport. With the Irish food scene going from strength to strength, TheTaste is on a mission to travel the length and breadth of the country, putting as many delicious experiences as possible on the map. TheTaste.ie post.

Honey Month– a month long celebration of honey!

Apiarists around Australia will showcase beekeeping, honey products and of course, wonderful food during Honey Month this May. Honey Month is a national bee and honey awareness campaign that promotes Australian beekeepers and their products to a broader public. NewsMaker press release.

Calling all food producers: Sell at Morrisons

If you are a local food producer then Morrisons want to hear from you. They have launched ‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ campaign which aims to get local produce into each Morrisons store and sell more British food. Morrisons want to recruit more than 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales in the first year and are inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets. Tamebay blog.

A different kind of fizz: community drinks company challenges Glasgow juice culture

Using this knowledge as her starting point, Natalia created Bottle of Ginger, a soft drinks producer and social enterprise where all profits go straight back into local food and drink initiatives. The aim of Bottle of Ginger is to raise money through sales that will be put back into the local community to help alter consumption habits and improve understanding of how quality drinks are made, in comparison to mass-produced fizzy drinks. It’s certainly necessary given some of the statistics Natalia quotes: “The consumption rate of soft drinks can be used nowadays as a sort of geographical indicator of inequality. Positively Scottish story.

WA consumers asked to make a ‘good choice’ and buy local food

Western Australian consumers will be asked to make a ‘good choice’ and support local food businesses, as part of a dynamic new marketing campaign which rolls out across the State in July. The Good Choice campaign has been developed in collaboration with industry, and is set to reenergise the Department of Agriculture and Food’s long serving Buy West Eat Best program. FOOD Magazine – Australia story.

Demand for higher quality and British food grows by up to 100 per cent

Caterers are increasingly turning to quality British produce instead of engaging in a ‘race for the bottom’ on price, according to the Soil Association. £49.7 million is spent on British food through the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Mark (raw ingredients from the UK, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, oil, sugar and flour) – an increase of 40% over 2015. £38 million of this food meets Red Tractor standards. The scheme has encouraged ‘positive changes’ in the catering sector to local, sustainable and ethical products with points given for spending on different schemes such as LEAF, RSPCA, Fairtrade and Organic. FarmingUK story.

BlueCart Mission

We love restaurants, their suppliers, and the food they provide. We believe that everyone in this industry — regardless of the size of their farm, warehouse, dining room, or bank account — should have access to the latest tools and technology. The food industry operates on razor thin margins. We believe technology should increase those margins, not add costs. We believe better communication means better business relationships. Clear communication means fewer returned orders, less time spent staring at spreadsheets, and quicker order response times. It’s good for everyone. Website.

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Rethinking revolution on the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Both the launch and the book are outstanding illustrations of the fact that Marxian socialists have no understanding whatsoever about food or social movements related to food. I surprise myself that I’m still surprised by this, but then, I once shared the same heritage as most of the authors. I’m not sure what is that so ticks me off about their overlooking of food and agriculture. After all, they also ignore clothing, shelter, cities and the internet, all of which might be deemed important to radicals trying to be relevant to their era. Rabble book review.

Local Food News — World

Thirteen Things To Expect When Becoming a Market Farmer

I wanted to slow climate change by growing local food for my community. I wanted to grow an acre of beautiful vegetables and to sell fresh produce direct to customers, hear them exclaim how happy they were at such delicious produce. I wanted to get dirty and fit and be outside all day. But there was a catch, I had never farmed before. Women Who Farm blog.

 

Secondary schools invited to enter competition to find Ireland’s next food entrepreneurs

Irish soup and food company Cully & Sully and Grow It Yourself (GIY) have launched an inaugural competition titled ‘Give Peas a Chance’ and Offaly schools are invited to enter. This initiative aims to foster a spirit of food entrepreneurship in Irish secondary schools and discover Ireland’s next young food entrepreneurs. Through this initiative growing kits will be delivered to 7,500 students across the country. The kits include everything the students need to grow peas including seeds, pots, soil and growing tips from GIY. Students are asked to pair up in order to undertake the challenge. Offaly Express story.

 

The supermarket food gamble may be up

But why would supermarkets – which are said to have lost sales worth as much as £8m in January thanks to record-breaking, crop-wrecking snow and rainfall in the usually mild winter regions of Spain and Italy – be so keen to fly in substitutes from the US at exorbitant cost?

Why would they sell at a loss rather than let us go without, or put up prices to reflect the changing market? Why indeed would anyone air-freight watery lettuce across the whole of the American continent and the Atlantic when it takes 127 calories of fuel energy to fly just 1 food calorie of that lettuce to the UK from California? The Guardian opinion.

 

Kitchen Farm Wall

The obvious answer was to grow their own produce close to the pub itself so that it was never far and so that they could oversee the growing processes themselves. Then the Smiths got an even better idea – they would grow their own herbs and greens inside – and on – the pub itself. Normally this would take up space and cause a mess, but Ethan and Kerri found growing equipment that grows vertically and uses no soil. Ethan and Kerri bought several Farm Walls, which are now hanging in their kitchen and outside on the pub’s back patio. The Farm Walls give quality control to Ethan and Kerri. They decide where to put them, how to grow the plants, and when to harvest. Bright Agrotech post.

 

A small city in Iowa is devoting 1,000 acres of land to America’s vanishing bees

This spring, Cedar Rapids (population: 130,000) will seed 188 acres with native prairie grasses and wildflowers. The city’s plan is to eventually create 1,000 acres of bee paradise by planting these pollinator-friendly foodstuffs. Scientists think the pollinator crisis is caused by a variety of factors, including pesticides, pathogens, and climate change. Meanwhile, with farms, parking lots, mowed lawns, and other human developments replacing wildflower fields, bees have been losing habitat and their food supply. While many of the drivers behind bee population decline remain mysterious, the people of Cedar Rapids hope to at least give pollinators places to perch and plants to feed on. Popular Science story.

 

Fantastic turn out for the world’s first ever Food & Drink BID’ showcase at Scottish Parliament

Guests had the chance to sample the finest local produce from East Lothian and hear about how East Lothian producers are leading the way in collaboration and innovation as the world’s first ever food and drink Food & Drink Business Improvement District (BID). Scotland’s Food & Drink County’s product portfolio was available on the evening for potential buyers. Scotland Food and Drink post.

 

Buy West Eat Best

Buy West Eat Best is a food labelling program that proudly supports the local food industry in Western Australia. The program is managed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. When you see the Buy West Eat Best logo you can be assured that you are buying food that has been grown, farmed, fished and produced right here in Western Australia. More than 100 Western Australia food producers, manufacturers, retailers and restaurants support the Buy West Eat Best program. Buy West Eat Best website.

 

Morrisons launches search for 200 local foodmakers to supply stores

‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’ programme will see Morrisons aim to sign up 200 new suppliers from across England, Scotland and Wales in the first year. The supermarket is inviting foodmakers to pitch for their place in its supermarkets via a series of 12 regional events starting in Yorkshire on 14 March. The Retail Bulletin story.

 

The role of private sector in city region food systems

Private sector actors have the potential to contribute to more sustainable city region food systems (CRFS), but up-to-date information on their role and initiatives is scarce. Little is known about their drivers for engagement, the extent and type of impact of their interventions, their needs for support and enabling policy environments. This study sought to better analyse the role of the private sector in building more sustainable city region food systems. The aim of the study is to provide suggestions for private sector actors, policy support mechanisms, and to identify key lessons learned. The two overarching questions addressed in this study are:

1.How can the private sector help shape more sustainable city region food systems?

2.What business and policy environment is needed to better engage the private sector in building sustainable city region food systems? Rauf Partnership post.

 

Food justice and municipal government in the USA

This article examines the role of municipal food systems planning practice in the USA in advancing “food justice”. Specifically, two cases are investigated: the Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council (PSRFPC) and the City of Seattle in western Washington state. I assess how these two planning organizations address five major contours of food justice: trauma/inequity, exchange, land, labor, and democratic process. Drawing on document analysis, observations, and interviews, I point out where each institution has made strong or tentative progress on advancing food justice, and where progress has halted. The principal aim of the article is to understand the opportunities and constraints of municipal governments in the USA in fostering food justice. Journal of Planning theory and Practice abstract.

 

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American Farmers Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware

John Deere and other tractor manufacturers have made it nearly impossible to perform “unauthorized” repairs on farm equipment. Farmers across the U.S. are responding by hacking their equipment with Eastern European firmware that’s traded on invite-only online forums. Real Clear Investigations Today story.

Local Food News — World

This Robot Could Be the Future of Home Farming

Real Clear Future post.

 

At the VDNKh park in Moscow, Workhaus design an educational “Urban Farm”

Larger than the entirety of Monaco, the VDNKh is a trade show and amusement park in Moscow that houses, alongside other things, a slew of historical national pavilions and teaching spaces. Recently, an urban farm was added to the site, intended to serve as both a leisure space and an educational opportunity for children and adults. Designed by the Moscow-based studio Wowhaus, the project includes a completely new building and several pavilions set in a bucolic landscape. Archinect News story.

 

‘Speed Dating’ For Farmers And Chefs: ISO A Perfect Local-Food Match

Ashley Heaney and Mark Heaney, from Green Acres Family Farm in Gapland, Md., are sitting in a booth on one side of the room, looking expectant and a little tense. They have a cooler full of eggs from their pasture-raised chickens beside them. This is their chance to show off those eggs to a collection of big-city chefs. They’re here for matchmaking, though not of the romantic sort. It’s an annual “speed-dating” event where farmers get set up with chefs, in an effort to put more local food on restaurant tables. NPR story.

 

Sacramento County OKs birds, bees and farm stands with urban ag ordinance

Residents of urban and suburban Sacramento County will be able to legally grow and sell crops, keep bees, and raise chickens and ducks at home under an urban agriculture ordinance that county supervisors unanimously passed Tuesday. Proponents say the new legal framework will make life easier for small-scale farmers and provide fresh food in areas that lack full-service grocery stores. Sacramento Bee story.

 

KSG’s Farm to Fork Initiative Kicks off in University College Cork

For the first time in an university in Ireland, students and staff at University College Cork gathered at the Quadrangle as the first harvest of vegetables and herbs from the KSG UCC Farm to Fork programme arrived on campus by tractor and trailer on Tuesday, 27th September.

The Farm to Fork initiative, developed by KSG Catering in partnership with UCC, is the first of its kind in any university in Ireland with crops being grown on the university land and then harvested for use in the campus restaurants. Ireland’s Foodservice Platform  post.

 

Holy Cross Events to Focus on Forgotten Ethics in Food Movements

The “locavore” movement makes a moral argument that locally-sourced food is healthier, more environmentally sustainable, kinder to animals, and saving local farms. But whether you buy your food from a supermarket or the local farmer’s market, Gray argues, predominately low-wage and non-citizen workers grew it. These workers lack protection of labor laws, are discouraged from assimilating in their communities, and are often afraid to speak out about their conditions. Gray, an associate professor of political science at Adelphi University, asserts that by romanticizing agrarian values in local farming, food critics and local food advocates are ignoring the “institutional marginalization” of farmworkers. Her conclusions are based on 10 years of field research in the Hudson Valley, where the farms supply New York’s upscale restaurants and farmer’s markets. Holy Cross News blog.

 

Hawaii lawmakers say locavores want unpasteurized, raw milk

Citing increasing demand for local food, a group of state legislators in Hawaii is supporting a bill to allow the sale of raw milk in retail stores, but only if it has “a label that warns about the risks of consuming unpasteurized milk, especially to children and the elderly.” “The legislature finds that consumers’ food preferences have shifted toward locally-produced food in recent years,” the bill states. “Additionally, many small farms have the capability and desire to offer unpasteurized dairy products to consumers that seek locally-produced dairy products.” Food Safety News story.

 

Leading the ‘shop local’ revolution with cafe, bakery and market rolled into one

The Midlothian town has suffered various economic setbacks but the local community is determined to see the Storehouse play a vital part in revival of the town centre, with more that 700 people contributing a total of more than £100,000 in shares for the venture. The Storehouse will have a Breadshare Community Bakery, the Lost Garden Foodhall, a café and an indoor market with a community area. The National story.

 

Here’s thought for food

Shifting from industrial to sustainable food systems is the focus of conference in Whangarei next month, this would mean growing more produce locally, rather than importing it and it would promote a shift from eating processed “industrial” food to fresh local produce. Keynote speakers are Anne Palmer, programme director, food communities and public health at Johns Hopkins University who will share an overview of how local food initiatives are transforming food access in the US, and Professor Barbara Burlingame of Massey University, who will talk on her vision for public health in the 21st century which involves embracing the agenda of sustainable development. New Zealand Herald story.

 

No sunlight, no soil, no problem: Vertical farms take growing indoors

Inside a windowless warehouse once used for paintball, with planes heading to nearby Newark airport overhead, an industrial park in New Jersey seems an unlikely place to find fresh locally grown produce. With LED lights standing in for the sun, and cloth replacing soil, the plants grown at AeroFarms are not your typical greens. “This is fully controlled agriculture and allows us to understand plant biology in ways that, as humans, we’ve never achieved,” said AeroFarms CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg, standing in front of rows of kale, arugula, lettuce and other leafy greens. CBC News story.

 

Reuters Media Award to Boost Sustainable Ag Coverage

Through May 31, 2017, The Thomas Reuters Foundation and Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition are calling all journalists, bloggers, freelancers, and individuals covering a variety of food issues to enter for a chance to win nearly US$11,000, an all-expenses paid media training program, and access to an audience one billion strong. The Good Food Media award is striving to promote comprehensive coverage—judges will consider both published and unpublished written journalism, video, and photography. Submission guidelines and applications are available at www.goodfoodmediaaward.com until May 31, 2017.

 

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Hormel Finds a New Recipe for Success

Hormel’s best-known product is Spam. It’s easy to joke about a company built on meat that comes in a can, but it turns out that Hormel is having the last laugh. For the past 10 years, it has been on a tear. Revenue has increased from $5.4 billion to $9.3 billion, boosting its ranking in the Fortune 500 by nearly 100 spots, to No. 304 this year. Earnings have more than doubled, the dividend has almost quadrupled, and the stock has returned roughly 400%. The growth has been fueled by a flood of new products: everything from peanut-butter snacks to single-serve turkey sticks to a food-service burger made with chicken, quinoa, and, yes, kale. All were developed in Austin—proof that innovation is defined by people, not zip codes. Fortune story.