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5@5: Just 2 fines follow the deaths of 200 meat plant workers | Small farmers rely on co-ops

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.

After 200 meat plant workers die of COVID-19, OSHA issues 2 fines

While America's meat plant workers continue to work in close quarters with one another, oftentimes with inadequate personal protective equipment, the corporations themselves appear to be dodging responsibility for the subsequent illnesses and deaths resulting from these unsafe workspaces. Over 200 meat plant employees have died from a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis thus far, and the financial penalities for this doled out by OSHA amount to less than $30,000. Read more at The Washington Post

 

For small farmers surviving the pandemic, co-ops are a lifeline

Disrupted agriculture supply chains have forced many of America's small farmers to pool their fresh produce and resources in order to get it to paying customers as community supported agriculture (CSA) operations. Because food hubs, which are typically responsible for the aggregation of local food, have been underfunded and lacked guidance throughout the pandemic, these new co-ops are prompting farmers to own the entire process and lean on each other for support. Read more at Civil Eats

 

Breeders release 3 new apples for American farmers

Three unique varieties of apples out of America's oldest breeding program are now ready for farmers to use after two decades of development. The apples are called Pink Luster, Firecracker and Cordera; smaller farmers introducing these new varieties say that the novelty helps give them some leverage against larger retailers that "tend to monopolize the industry." Read more at Modern Farmer

 

PepsiCo wants to help the caffeinated masses get better sleep with its new relaxation drink

Meet the Driftwell relaxation beverage, a calorie- and sugar-free noncarbonated water that contains L-theanine and magnesium formulated to support sound sleep. Functional beverages are especially hot because they can provide the taste and health benefits consumers want in a convenient format. Read more at Fast Company

 

Plastic food packaging now outpaces cigarette butts as most abundant beach trash

Packaging is a huge problem for all CPG manufacturers—especially those in the food industry—and so it's no surprise that food wrappers have officially surpassed cigarette butts as the No. 1 form of beach trash. The top offenders? Bottles and caps, straws and stirrers, cups, lids, takeaway containers and plastic bags. Read more at National Geographic

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