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5@5: Fair trade comes to U.S. farms | Startups build a market for upcycled food

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.

Not just for foreign foods: Fair-trade label comes to U.S. farms

We've seen fair trade labels on coffee sourced from Ethiopia, for example, or cocoa from West African countries, and even clothing and seafood. But Fair Trade USA isn't done expanding its label just yet. When the organization started in 1998, it focused on working conditions for farmers in countries with the fewest legal protections; the feeling at the time was that farms in the U.S. didn't need a label certifying that they met standards for ethical and environmental standards. But that sentiment has changed. Fair Trade USA has certified its first farm in the U.S.—Wholesum Harvest in Arizona—and says it expects to certify a dozen more this year. Read more at NPR...


The hot new trend in food is literal garbage

By the the nonprofit ReFED's count, there are 64 companies that sell products made from would-be food waste—that's up from 11 just five years ago. This upcycling trend is part of a larger movement gaining steam among multinational food companies, retailers and consumers to understand where they're wasting food and make efforts to prevent it. Startups like ReGrained and SecondsFirst are helping build a consumer market for products made from ugly or unused food. "We’re at this phase where there are now proven models, and a lot of interest and excitement," says Jonathan Deutsch, a professor of culinary arts and food science at Drexel University. Read more at The Washington Post...


Target is weighing options for Food + Future lab in Cambridge, Mass.

As the retailer reportedly pares back some of its innovation initiatives to focus on core business, the Food + Future lab it opened in Cambridge with MIT Media Labs and Ideo was on the chopping block. But an outside investor may have stepped in just in time. Read more at StarTribune...


USDA to weigh in on whether organic farming means using soil

Today, the USDA's National Organic Standard Board is set to decide whether products grown with hydroponic or aquaponic methods can be labeled organic. The NOSB spring 2017 meeting is taking place in Denver today through Friday. Read more at Forbes...


Kroger sustainability 'lives here'

Sustainability Lives Here is Kroger's program designed to highlight sustainable living practices and help it reach goals like becoming zero waste by 2020. The retailer will offer more than $60 in digital coupons for eco-friendly products, a look at its supply chain initiatives and more. Read more at Environmental Leader...

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