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5@5: Food workers go hungry | Oatly faces consumer backlash

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.

Workers keeping America fed are going hungry in the heartland

The current surge in food insecurity belies the fact that U.S. farmers are experiencing a period of historic abundance. A large percentage of this food has been destroyed rather than redirected because of logistics and infrastructure restrictions. This is especially ironic for America's food workers, who are experiencing disproportionate levels of food insecurity while spending their often grueling workdays surrounded by an abundance of food. Read more at Bloomberg

 

The Oatly controversy, explained

Oatly consumers feel betrayed after the sustainability-touting oatmilk company received a $200 million investment from Blackstone Growth. Blackstone's strong ties to deforestation in the Amazon have led influencers in the health and wellness space to call for a boycott of the popular brand. Although Oatly responded in defense of its using the capital to obtain more opportunities to further sustainability, the move highlights the challenges many ethical brands face when trying to enter the mainstream. Read more at Vice

 

The dirty secret behind the West's coconut fad

The coconut is a huge part of the booming alternative meat and dairy categories, but cultivators at the very beginning of the long and complex coconut supply chain are receiving mere pennies on the dollar. This means many former coconut farmers in the Phillipines and elsewhere are now seeking out other avenues of employment, which could lead to major disruption in the global coconut supply chain. Read more at OZY

 

Walmart unveils long-awaited Walmart+ membership program

Consumers can enroll in Walmart+, Walmart's intended Amazon Prime competitor, starting Sept. 15. The membership program includes unlimited free grocery delivery, Scan and Go touch-free payment while shopping in store and fuel discounts of up to 5 cents per gallon at almost 2,000 Walmart, Murphy USA and Murphy Express fuel stations. Read more at Supermarket News

 

NRF chief economist says coronavirus 'continues as a shock' for small businesses

America's small businesses increasingly pessimistic about being able to ride out the pandemic, leading experts to underscore the need for continued economic stimulus measures. Leading economists have stated that small business assistance is the second best way to support widespread economic recovery right behind a renewal of the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits that expired in July. Read more at National Retail Federation

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