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Why the Organic Industry Needs to Have a Regenerative Expo West in its Sights

In case you missed it, Coldplay, one of the world’s biggest rock bands, has decided not to go on tour again.

But it has nothing to do with the group breaking up. Rather, the reason is more altruistic.

“We’re taking time over the next year or two to work out how our tour cannot only be sustainable but how can it be actively beneficial,” Chris Martin, the lead singer of the band, told BBC.

Yes, Coldplay wants its concerts to be of benefit to the planet, or regenerative.

For the past few years, regenerative agriculture has been a major area of focus in the organic industry, and the eagerly awaited Regenerative Organic Certification is expected to launch into the marketplace in early 2020. Jeremiah McElwee, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Product Development at Thrive Market, even discussed the idea of regenerative packaging in Organic Insider’s recent report on sustainable packaging.

So, this begs the question — shouldn’t we, as an industry, start thinking about making Natural Products Expo West regenerative as well?

New Hope Network, the organizer of the show, has put forth a very significant effort to make Expo West as environmentally-friendly as possible.

Formally known as the New Hope Network Sustainability Program, its areas of focus are waste management, energy and water conservation, sustainable procurement and community engagement. Resource guides are available for attendees and exhibitors, as well as for specific areas such as water, waste diversion, venue, transportation, travel, procurement/materials, hotel, exhibitor engagement, community and carbon/energy.

Additionally, for the last three years, New Hope has released annual Expo West sustainability reports, and the organization is continually analyzing its impact and how to reduce it.

Yet, for our industry to achieve this aspirational goal of having a regenerative Expo West, the responsibility should not fall entirely on New Hope. It will require the active participation and collaboration of all 90,000 attendees, and much of the idea-generating and tracking can be done on a company-level well before the trade show takes place.

Given that Expo West is only three months away and brands are already knee-deep in their preparations about new products to be launched and booths to be built, what if they — and other attendees — started asking themselves the following:

– What does our carbon footprint look like and what could we be doing to reduce or offset it?

– How could we be using no paper or less paper at the show?

– How could we reduce our trade show swag or make it from regenerative/organic materials?

– How could the trade show booths and accompanying materials be made in a regenerative way?

– What are the big ideas that we aren’t thinking about that could actually get us to a regenerative Expo West?

There is no doubt that this last question represents something very ambitious, but if there is any industry that should have this as its goal, it is ours.

And if we really want to consider ourselves true champions of the planet, a regenerative Expo West is a concept that must be in our sights.

With gratitude,

Max Goldberg, Founder

New Organic Products

New Organic Products

Tropical Charge Energy Drink from Suja

Suja's new Tropical Charge has become my new favorite energy drink. This is a fantastic tasting tea blend of organic tropical fruits and yerba mate, and it also contains 100mg of caffeine. Exclusively available at Whole Foods Market.

Cotton Bath Towel Set by Farm to Home

Organic textile and clothing pioneer Marci Zaroff has introduced a 100% organic cotton bath towel set from her new collection Farm to Home. It includes two bath towels, two hand towels and two wash cloths, and everything is certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard. Available in four colors. Super soft!

Epic Protein : Real Sport by Sprout Living

Epic Protein : Real Sport by Sprout Living is a multi-source plant protein powder made with fruits, herbs, spices and mushrooms that aims to speed up recovery time and promote strength. It contains 24 grams of complete plant protein and is grain-free.
This Week's News Items

Weekly News Summaries

First Course
The Guardian

MUST-READ: How Millions of French Shoppers are Rejecting Cut-Price Capitalism

By Jon Henley

This gives credence to the idea that organic products certified through Regenerative Organic Certification and The Real Organic Project can charge slightly more for their products -- an argument that I have been making for quite a while.

FoodBev Media

Plant-Based Yogurt Company Hälsa Secures Investment from Danone

By Jules Scully

Hälsa has taken an investment from Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of Danone, as well as former Stonyfield Organic CEO Gary Hirshberg and Orgain CEO Andrew Abraham.


Private-Equity Firm Permira Considers Sale of John Masters Organics

By Manuel Baigorri and Vinicy Chan

Private-equity firm Permira Holdings is considering the sale of its organic personal care business, which could fetch as much as $200 million.

Second Course
Organic Farmers Association

Major Organic Groups Unite to Pressure USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue over the Origin of Livestock Rule

Many organic farming and trade groups have signed a joint letter urging Secretary Sonny Perdue to support the proposed Origin of Livestock rule and to end the delay in issuing a final rule.

Dairy Reporter

Organic Dairy in Finland Uses an AI App for Animal Welfare

By Jim Cornall

Consumers of some Arla dairy products in Finland can now view varied and up-to-date information on the welfare of cows.

Slow Food

South Africa’s Agriculture Minister Rejects Monsanto's GMO Corn

By Damini Eralleigh

In a landmark decision, South Africa has rejected the commercial cultivation of Monsanto's GMO corn, citing doubts about its claims of drought tolerance and yield.

Aberdeen News

USDA to Gather New Data on Organic Agriculture Production

This December, the USDA will begin conducting the 2019 Organic Survey to gather up-to-date data on organic crops and livestock in the United States.

Third Course
Fast Company

Patagonia is Matching up to $10M in Donations to Grassroots Environmental Organizations

By Jeff Beer

Until December 31st, Patagonia is matching donations to grassroots environmental organizations, including numerous organic ones, through its Action Works platform.

The New York Times

Turning Farm Workers Into Farmers

By Johnny Magdaleno

In California, near immense industrial farms, small plots are rented out to field laborers so they can try to create their own organic farm businesses.


Growing Concerns Prompt Senators to Urge the USDA to Adopt New Hemp Rules

By Danielle Masterson

Sparked by proposed USDA regulations that would drastically alter the certification process for industrial hemp, two lawmakers from Oregon want the agency to make changes before it finalizes rules for domestic hemp production.

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This Week's Quick Hits

Quick Hits

* Fascinating read. The Source, LA’s cult-favorite vegetarian restaurant, returns — for one night only on December 5th.

* Organic baby skincare startup Boep won Forbes’ Under 30 Europe Summit pitch competition.

* In partnership with the Minnesota Farmers Union, beloved organic restaurant Birchwood Cafe is opening a second location in Minneapolis.

* These prefab homes on stilts include solar panels, water collection systems and organic gardens.

* A CBD oil cocktail bar will soon be opening in Glasgow.

* The Jay-Z backed cookie company Partake Foods has become Glyphosate Residue Free certified.

* Danone Institute North America announced the four winning teams for its One Planet. One Health. Initiative, which promotes sustainable food systems.

* How multi-cropping lets this farmer in India grow 180+ varieties of organic food on 5 acres of land.

* CBD company Charlotte’s Web has been hit with a class action lawsuit.

* NYC’s Clean Market will be opening at the Wynn Las Vegas.

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