Fresh and organic vegetables at farmers market
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Fresh and organic vegetables at farmers market
March 2021 Newsletter

March 2021 Newsletter

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Spring has finally sprung in Colorado but I’ve been here just long enough to bank on one or two major snowstorms before summer. Besides the improving weather, here are a few things I’m currently excited about:

  • Kroger just announced that they will provide $2.5M in grants to upcycled food producers as part of their Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation. I continue to be impressed with both the scale of funding they are putting forward and the willingness to support burgeoning and experimental solutions to tackle food waste.
  • Lots of food waste and sustainability reports have come out over the past few weeks. There’s now a dedicated section for them in this edition of the newsletter including UNEP’s Food Waste Index Report, and a little something from the ocean – a user manual for Queen Conch Aquaculture in Florida and the Caribbean.
  • The One Earth Film Festival is this week, for some entertainment and a break from Zoom calls.

As always, please keep the updates, announcements, reports (and even the corrections!) coming. I know so many of you have exciting things brewing for the Spring and Summer and I can’t wait to feature them in the coming months.

Thank you,

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In the Headlines

Kroger to Invest in Upcycled Food StartupsFood Business News

A New Searchable Directory Focuses on Women Innovators in AgrifoodtechAgFunder Network Partners

Seebo Scores $24M for AI-Powered Food Waste Reduction TechFood Dive

What We Are Reading

Systems Level

The Activists Working to Remake the Food System – The New York Times Style Magazine

Pacific Coast Collaborative Joins Businesses and Governments to Attack Food Waste – Waste 360

Winter Storm Slams Texas Food Supply Chains, Logistics Networks – Supply Chain Dive

How Women Are Changing the Philanthropy Game – The New York Times

Manufacturer & Consumer-facing Level

Sweetgreen to Go Carbon Neutral by 2027 – The Spoon

Meijer and Flashflood Expand Food Waste Program Across Grocery Stores – The Spoon

Skal Gotland Spirits Launches Vodka Made From Food Waste – The Spoon

Nestle CEO: We Don’t Have to Sacrifice Shareholders to Fight Climate Change – Fortune 

The AI-Driven Platform Powering the Future of Fresh Food – Forbes

The Plastic Bag is Doomed. Here Are Better Alternatives Backed by Walmart and Target – Fast Company

Coke’s Newest Bottle is Made From Paper – Fast Company

Zero Grocery Is the Sustainable Online Supermarket That Aims to Make Your Life Less Plastic – Vogue

Farm Level

Here’s How We Can Repurpose Food Waste to Grow Healthier Crops – Anthropocene Magazine 

The Environmental Upside of Modern Farming – The Wall Street Journal

5 Cool Measurement Tools Attempting to Quantify Regenerative Agriculture – GreenBiz


**Correction from the last edition**: Rhode Island does have an existing state-wide organics ban. You can learn more about it and helpful resources from the Center for Ecotechnology.

Massachusetts continues to make food donations easier, allowing foodservice entities and retailers to donate or sell food at cost directly to individuals without fear of liability. Getting these types of bills passed and into law is an effective way to get pre-made and smaller batches of food to those in need quickly and safely. This is especially valuable for local restaurants and grocery stores that may not have the bandwidth to establish formal relationships with food recovery organizations.

Montana, already notorious for stringent limits on the sale and donation of milk, has introduced another bill requiring milk producers to provide a “code date indicating the number of days after pasteurization that the unit of grade A milk should be fresh, healthful, and safe when purchased by a consumer.” The phrasing for this bill is problematic because it bundles both “quality” and “safety” into a single label, two messages that should have separate phrasing as not to confuse consumers. It’s unclear how new or different this bill is from existing legislation so I will keep an eye on this and provide updates as I hear them.

Reports & Resources Spotlight

Food Waste Index Report 2021UN Environment Programme

Everything You Need to Know About M&A in the Food IndustryTrendline by Food Dive

2021 AgFunder AgriFoodTech Investment Report  AgFunder

Winter Report 2021: Preparing for the World to ReopenInternational Food Waste Coalition

Queen Conch Aquaculture: Hatchery and Nursery Phases  Megan Davis & Victoria Cassar, Florida Atlantic University