The global launch started in January in the U.S. and will roll out worldwide this year, with text being translated into 18 different languages.
United Nations’ Global Campaign Targets Food Waste
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and partners have launched a new global campaign targeting food waste. Called “Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint,” the campaign hopes to educate consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry with simple steps that can help reduce the 1.3 billion tons of food lost or wasted every year.
“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense—economically, environmentally and ethically,” says Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP executive director. “Aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilizers and labor needed to grow that food is wasted—not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away.”
A UNEP press release states that: “Worldwide, about one-third of all food produced, worth around $1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages—harvesting, processing and distribution—while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food supply chain.”
Russian Ban on U.S. Meat Stirs Controversy
Russia’s ban on U.S. meat imports, which has grown in recent weeks to include beef, pork and turkey, is being called ‘protectionist’ by western food producers, even though Russian officials claim the ban is an attempt to prevent a feed additive called ractopamine from entering the Russian food supply.
The ban affects over $500 million in annual U.S. meat exports to Russia.
“These actions threaten to undermine our bilateral trade relationship,” said Andrea Mead, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. “They are not consistent with international standards and appear to be inconsistent with Russia’s WTO commitments.”
According to Russia’s Veterinary and Phyto-Sanitary Surveillance Service (VPSS), U.S. meat producers have had adequate time to comply with the restrictions on ractopamine, a growth stimulant used to produce leaner meat, considering the notification was issued early last year.
In the meantime, both Brazilian and Canadian meat producers say they intend to comply with Russia’s restrictions on the feed additive.
Hain Celestial Sees Opportunity in Mature Markets
Although many food companies are whetting their appetite on emerging markets like China and India, the Hain Celestial Group is taking a different approach and going after developed markets like the UK, Canada and Europe.
“Before a few years ago, 80 percent, 90 percent of our sales were sold within the U.S.,” said Irwin Simon, president and CEO, during a presentation at the ICR XChange Conference in January. “If you look at it today, close to 60 percent is still in the U.S., and 40 percent outside the U.S., with the UK being the biggest part. And I like that breakdown.”
In the meantime, Hain Celestial is busy with acquisitions and introducing new products. Last year, the company introduced 80 products, said Simon.
Hain Celestial also introduced 80 products last year, Simon said. “Innovation is key,” he explained. “And being out there in front with chia seed, being out there in front with flaxseed products, being out in front with a lot more Greek yogurt products, being out in front with extruded snacks. And that’s key with Hain, is how we’re out there and ahead of trends and what consumers want.”
USTR and DOT’s LaHood Resign
The U.S. Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, is resigning from his position at the end of February. During his tenure, USTR Kirk implemented trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama, and made significant progress on negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact.