5@5: Big Meat's pandemic profit margins spark investigation | Whole Foods sickout strike begins

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

March 31, 2020

2 Min Read
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US senators scrutinize meat packers' big profits during pandemic

U.S. cattle ranchers have noted that the surging meat prices brought on by hoarding consumers aren't being translated into higher cattle prices. This has led senators to call for U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice and Commodity Futures Trading Commission probes to determine why ranchers aren't benefiting from the skyrocketing demand for meat.  Read more at Reuters


Organizer of Amazon warehouse walkout fired, Whole Foods sickout strike begins

While Whole Foods employees had originally planned their sickout strike for May 1, International Workers' Day, concerns over the spread of COVID-19 moved the date up to Tuesday, March 31. Additionally, former Amazon warehouse worker and organizer of the warehouse walkout Christian Smalls revealed that he had been terminated by the company and is considering taking legal action against it. Read more at USA Today...


The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, otherwise known as the "Paid Leave Act," requires companies with under 500 employees to give workers affected by the pandemic two weeks of paid sick leave at either the worker's regular rate of pay or two-thirds of it. The law goes into effect April 1, 2020. Read more at KNWA


Regulatory challenges in sourcing organic herbs and botanicals from China

While some of the most efficacious ingredients in the world are sourced from China, farmers there are attempting to grow their plants in "a healthy, sustainable manner in an increasingly contaminated environment." Meeting organic requirements, then, is far harder from a U.S. standpoint, and buyers are encouraged to work with suppliers that are thoroughly testing Chinese herbs specificall for both identity and purity on a consistent basis. Read more at Natural Products Insider


Companies that stock and deliver food are on a hiring spree

Millions have lost their jobs amid the COVID-19 crisis, but grocery stores and food delivery services have swung the opposite way entirely and will launch thousands of job positions as the weeks go on. Post-pandemic, it is expected that many nations will report never-before-seen unemployment rates as a part of the global economy collapse; the U.S. could see unemployment rise to 31.2% according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. Read more at Quartz

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