There will be no commentary this week, as Natural Products Expo East begins today in Baltimore. We will be back next week with a recap and analysis of the show.
If you are at Expo East and would like to say hello, please be sure to stop by the RE Botanicals booth (#8922). I will be there from 1 to 2:30pm tomorrow.
In lieu of my regular commentary, I wanted to share with you two organic-related events that I attended this past week — (1) the Organic Pioneer Awards dinner at Rodale Institute and (2) BeyondBrands’ NYC launch party for its new consumer accelerator program called BeyondSKU.
ORGANIC PIONEER AWARDS DINNER AT RODALE INSTITUTE
Rodale Institute, the birthplace of the organic food movement in the U.S., held its 9th annual Organic Pioneer Awards dinner in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Three outstanding contributors to the organic industry were recognized – Jennifer Taylor, PhD, owner of Lola’s Organic Farm and professor at Florida A&M University; Dr. Philip Landrigan, pediatrician and epidemiologist, specializing in the health of children and the effect of toxic chemicals on their brains and nervous systems; and Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, a tremendous advocate for organic in the state.
Rodale is a place unlike any other, and the awards dinner was, as usual, a magical night.
(Pre-dinner cocktail party)
(Jeff Moyer, Executive Director of Rodale Institute, giving everyone a progress update)
(The tractor ride, taking people from the cocktail party to the barn for dinner)
(Heading into the barn for dinner)
(Dr. Andrew Smith, Chief Scientist at Rodale, addressing the crowd at dinner)
(From l. to r., Dr. Jennifer Taylor receiving her award from Diana Martin, Director of Communications at Rodale)
BEYONDSKU LAUNCH PARTY IN NYC
Started by long-time organic industry veterans Eric Schnell and Marci Zaroff, BeyondBrands is a full-service consulting and brand incubation firm for organic and natural CPG companies, and on Monday night in New York, it had a launch party for BeyondSKU, its NYC-based conscious consumer products accelerator program.
At the event, BeyondSKU unveiled its first cohort of companies — True Moringa, Pilot Kombucha, Mud, Jalapa Jar and Hudson Green.
(From l. to r., Eric Schnell and Marci Zaroff, founders of BeyondBrands, and Michelle Thompson and Derick Thompson, co-founders of Startup Runner)
(From l. to r., Jeremiah McElwee, Senior Vice President of Merchandising + Product Development at Thrive Market; Marci Zaroff; Max Goldberg, founder of Organic Insider (me); Autumn Bree, Managing Director of AB Investments and co-founder/partner at BeyondBrands)
Max Goldberg, Founder
OFARM’s former executive director John Bobbe and Cornucopia’s Anne Ross have joined forces to again impress upon the USDA's National Organic Program that the import crisis is ongoing and that the agency has not done enough to stop it.
According to the Annual Acreage Report released by Mercaris, farmers will harvest 3.1 million acres of U.S. land certified for organic field crop production, an increase of 7 percent over 2018.
Germany will ban the use of the cancer-causing weedkiller glyphosate by the end of 2023 and will limit its use before then.
According to a report from Rabobank, organic apples, strawberries and bell peppers are among items seeing downward pressure on price, while cantaloupe, table grapes and oranges are holding their premiums better.
Led by organic chocolate company Alter Eco, this new Amazon Alliance has committed to protecting 3 million Amazonian trees.
According to a new Whole Foods Market survey, 80% of Millennials value quality when it comes to food shopping, and nearly 70% are willing to spend more money on high-quality foods.
Poor organic branding and a lack of policing are two of the major challenges facing the organic industry in the APAC region today.
Juice Beauty is being studied by UC-Davis for developing grapes and olives specifically for skin benefits.
A look at why some organic food brands and other companies are hiding their sustainability initiatives from consumers.
Amazon is currently testing a system called “Orville” that allows Prime users to scan their hands to ring up a purchase at Whole Foods.
With the cottage cheese industry experiencing a resurgence in popularity, Cornucopia rates more than 100 cottage cheese products from 24 brands.
As they leave their hives, the bees get coated with a beneficial fungus that they spread to plants, which has proven to protect fruit from mold.
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* Congrats to Columbia Gorge Organic for 30 years of growing organically.
* In the New York organic restaurant scene, there is plenty of activity.
* What’s it like to sell Dr. Bronner’s products? I asked the question.
* Rootwave, an Amazon Innovator award-winner, is using electricity to zap weeds, a method that can be used in organic farming.
* California-based restaurant chain Tocaya Organica has launched Tocaya Life Foundation, a charitable foundation that will invite non-profits to pitch partnership ideas for environmental and social causes.
* An organic farm in Illinois is not only growing produce, but it is also providing critical job training for low-income individuals and people who have criminal records. Since 2006, 85% of the trainees have secured and maintained full-time employment. Very cool!
* Rumiano Cheese Company had a big feature in the NYT.
* Another reason to eat organic — there are now GMO probiotics.