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[email protected]: Danone’s venture arm outlines priorities | Investors push CPG companies on plastic

plastic bottles on beach
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.

French group Danone’s venture capital fund eyes 20-25 deals by 2020

Danone Manifesto Ventures is targeting six to seven investments per year in categories like healthy drinks, snacks, baby food and alternative proteins, Managing Director Laurent Marcel says. DMV is an investment fund set up by the French dairy company Danone, which acquired WhiteWave last year. The two-year-old, New York-based fund has spent nearly half of its initial $150 million budget investing in companies including Kona Deep, Harmless Harvest and Yooji, with the strategy of trying to meet changing consumer taste for healthy food produced in a responsible manner. Read more at Reuters…


Investors demand Nestle, Pepsi and others cut plastic use

The nonprofit As You Sow has organized a group of investors managing more than $1 trillion to write a letter urging large manufacturers to be more transparent about their plastic usage and set goals for reduction, citing plastic’s contribution to global warming and its impact on oceans as problems. In their letter to Nestle, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, they also asked the companies to redesign and innovate in recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging. Read more at Bloomberg…


Senate votes to take up bipartisan farm bills

Contrary to the hotly debated House version of the farm bill, the Senate has kicked off its debate in bipartisan fashion. The Senate Agriculture Committee approved the bill almost unanimously after Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement on protecting commodity and crop insurance programs and funding organic and local agriculture. The farm bill also contains provisions that would legalize hemp production at the federal level and make it eligible for crop insurance. Senators began filing amendments to the farm bill this week, but most of them are not expected to get voted through. Read more at Agri-Pulse…


Why this restaurant chain is in the farming business

East Coast fast casual chain Dig Inn works closely with local farms to source seasonal produce, but it also leases a 12-acre farm north of New York City that grows 45 crops—some of which are unusual varieties that it tests in experimental dishes at the restaurants. The farm also gives restaurant leaders an eye into the needs of the farms it works with. Read more at Fast Company…


World Food Prize goes to an economist and a doctor

British economist and food policy researcher Lawrence Haddad and global health professor Dr. David  Nabarro have been recognized for their work in improving childhood and maternal nutrition. They received the $250,000 World Food Prize, created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in the 1980s to recognize scientists who have improved the quality and availability of food. Read more at Seattle Times…

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