Natural Foods Merchandiser

Natural Products Industry News Beat

PCC helps members go carless
PCC Natural Markets is helping people travel more sustainably—a natural extension of the co-op's mission. To achieve that, Seattle-based PCC has partnered with King County Metro Transit to help fight pollution, traffic congestion and global warming by encouraging its shoppers to take alternative transportation twice a week instead of driving.

"Sustainability is a key part of PCC's mission and we welcome partnerships that reflect our triple bottom line business approach [economics-environment-social responsibility]," said Diana Crane, PCC's community and public relations manager. "The Partners In Transit initiative is a perfect fit for us and we are pleased to be part of a county-wide effort that encourages the public—and our shoppers—to think responsibly about their transportation choices."

King County Metro hoped that 2,000 people would pledge to forgo cars for two trips a week. The program began Sept. 1, and by Sept. 13 almost 1,800 people had signed up to participate. "We're confident Metro's goal of 2,000 pledges will be met or exceeded," Crane said.

Participating members in the greater Seattle area will be given 10 free Metro tickets to use during the fall campaign, and, at the end of the project, participants who fill out a survey will get a $5 PCC gift card.


Stonyfield says 'oui' to France
Stonyfield Europe launched a new line of organic yogurts under its new division, Stonyfield France. The brand, called Les 2 Vaches des Fermiers du Bio ("the two cows of organic farmers"), is geared to French tastes, with flavors such as rhubarb and lime. There is also a line for infants.

"Because French consumers eat four times as much yogurt as Americans, we see this as an enormous opportunity to encourage and expand consumer demand for dairy from organic farms across the French countryside," said Gary Hirshberg, president and chief executive of Stonyfield Farm and managing director of Stonyfield Europe. "The European organic food market is growing rapidly from $12.8 billion last year to an anticipated $31.9 billion annually by 2010."

In June, Stonyfield Europe acquired 37 percent of Irish organic dairy producer Glenisk. France-based Group Danone owns a majority stake in Stonyfield.

Stonyfield Farm is the top-selling U.S. organic yogurt, according to the company.


Ginseng aids breast cancer
New research supports an old remedy for use against breast cancer. Ginseng, used in Asian medicine to renew and restore vital energy, may improve survival rates and quality of life for breast cancer patients, according to a Chinese study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in February.

The study tracked 1,455 patients in Shanghai as they battled the disease. It analyzed how their ginseng use affected their survival and quality of life as they reported it in a follow-up survey.

Compared with patients who never used ginseng, the patients who were regular ginseng users before being diagnosed with breast cancer had a significantly reduced risk of death. Patients surveyed who had used ginseng after being diagnosed with breast cancer reported a higher quality of life, especially in the psychological and social well-being domains. As individual ginseng use increased, personal quality of life ratings increased.

A smaller study, published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics in August, also showed ginseng to be helpful in improving some mental and physical functions in cancer patients.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 10/p. 17

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