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5@5: Alcohol bans are back | Farmers Business Network faces supplier pressure

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.

Drinking bans are back in fashion during the COVID-19 pandemic

Drinking bans in certain countries have lessened the pressure on overwhelmed hospitals, in addition to giving consumers a pause to become more conscious of their alcohol use. But experts agree that extended bans will backfire on well-meaning governments. Read more at CNN

 

Tech startup, trying to be Amazon for farms, runs into ag giants

Farmers Business Network is a Silicon Valley startup attempting to build and Amazon-like online marketplace for agricultural supplies, because big agriculture companies often sell their seeds and herbicides at inflated prices. In response some major farm retailers and wholesalers are urging farmers to avoid the platform on the basis that its secret goal is to gather and sell data on crops and farms, and seed and pesticide makers are largely refusing to directly supply the platform. Read more at The Wall Street Journal...

 

USDA seeks to permanently speed up poultry plant line speeds

An upcoming proposed rule from USDA would permanently increase poultry line speed limits from 140 birds per minute to 175. Faster line speeds, worker advocates say, will make social distancing at these facilities even less feasible and increase the risk of injury. Read more at Civil Eats

 

Instacart shoppers say they face unforgiving metrics: ‘It’s a very easy job to lose’

Metrics play a huge role in the experience of Instacart's gig workers; in fact, former and current employees have said that 5% to 20% of shoppers in a store can be fired weekly. And it's more than just speed—the company's director of shopper engagement and communications reported that the role is evaluated based on "flexibility, efficiency, innovation and customer service." Read more at The L.A. Times

 

The pandemic economy is changing the way Americans buy groceries

Unemployment benefits are running out as food prices continue to rise, meaning pandemic grocery store spending habits are likely to take a new turn. For starters, in July a million SNAP households were confirmed to be buying groceries online through the program. Read more at Marketplace

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What has the pandemic done to natural retail?

That's the answer we seek to share. And we need retailers' help to do so.

This short survey will help us tell the story of the state of retail in 2020 so that retailers can benchmark their performance and have data to work with as they look ahead to 2021.

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