In centuries past, two-dimensional, hand-drawn maps were indispensable to global exploration and travel. Today our technologically-produced maps are our visual keys to understanding the world’s greatest societal challenges: The world’s growing water risk, the geography of modern-day slavery and the visual impact of poverty all are a bit easier to visualize.
Food & Agriculture
Big chocolate is jumping in the fair trade movement — thanks to mass balance. Commodities are difficult to track and mass balance makes it easier. But critics argue to pushes the chocolate bar past the point of fair trade recognition. Two industry experts share their perspectives on whether mass balance helps or hinders the fair trade movement.
The capacity to deliver continuous electricity for refrigeration is one of the central planks of the modern-day food distribution system. Enter Berkeley, California-based Axiom Energy and its Refrigeration Battery: a water- and ice-based backup cooling system designed for use in large supermarkets and food distribution facilities.
Fair trade isn’t just for coffee and cocoa! Check out these products coming to you from rainforest communities in Guatemala. Sustainably produced and harvested by rural communities, these products are making their way into your gum, furniture and maybe even your flour.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear plaintiffs’ appeal in Cardona v. Chiquita Brands International, a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorism and crimes against humanity in Colombia. The Court may also have, once and for all, shut the door to the American courts for individuals harmed by American corporations abroad.
Food waste is a staggering global problem: Roughly a third of the food produced for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — is lost or wasted. But a select few companies are taking innovative approaches to cut those figures down to size. From small startups to major multinationals, this week we tip our hats to 10 companies that are rethinking food waste.
This week, McDonald’s announced a commitment to remove deforestation from its supply chain. The global fast food company’s commitment includes its entire supply chain but places a priority on certain products, including beef, fiber-based packaging, coffee, palm oil and poultry.
In recognition of Earth Day 2015, Nestlé USA has announced its latest accomplishment: All of its U.S.-based manufacturing centers are now landfill-free. The news is the latest stage in the U.S. company’s efforts to retool the way it does business. But changing consumer behavior when it comes to packaging disposal can be a lot harder: More than 80 percent of the water bottles manufactured by today’s water companies still end up in the landfill.
Frank Kutka, the maker of Organic Ready, is out to save organic corn. Oddly enough, he is doing it by an old-fashioned, home-grown method that has been around for at least a couple of centuries: meticulous genetic breeding that takes advantage of Mother Nature’s best traits of self-preservation and doesn’t artificially modify the plant’s genes. Can he succeed? Farmers in Argentina, Poland, Chile and a growing list of U.S. states think so.
The historic drought in California is making headlines across the United States, but any farmer, anywhere in the world, knows firsthand that this isn’t an isolated event. The issue before us today isn’t whether climate change is real, but how we adapt and respond to increasingly volatile weather, Kerry Preete, executive vice president of global strategy at Monsanto, argues in this exclusive op-ed. Nobody is more vulnerable than farmers to the effects of climate change, she says, and doing nothing is not an option.
Municipal-scale food waste composting is available in only a handful of cities. So, why isn’t composting mandatory in cities and towns? At least four barriers need to be overcome.
Chipotle stopped serving pork at hundreds of its restaurants back in January due to a shortage of naturally-raised pork. The fast food chain’s shortage highlights the problem with the U.S. supply of sustainably produced meat.
“[The government] wants to prevent illegal, unregulated [and] unreported fishing — they have an acronym for it, and when the government gets acronyms for things, watch out! Here it comes,” trade lawyer Robert Becerra said at 2015 Seafood Expo North America. He’s not the only one who’s wondering how the government plans to enforce its new regulations to curb IUU fishing.
Farming fish makes sense, but it is not to the exclusion of robust, sustainable wild fisheries. As various case studies have shown, the two can co-exist and even compliment one another, and we need to advocate for better management in both.
Ocean Executive aims to create an electronic trading platform to centralize the seafood marketplace — and bring e-commerce to an old-fashioned industry. The basic idea is to take the current process of seafood sale transactions and place it online — making it more efficient, quicker and better for record keeping. The new platform is a business-to-business marketplace that saves time for both buyer and seller.