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5@5: Niman Ranch founder joins Blue Apron | Retailers rethink canned tuna standards

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.

A pioneer of humanely raised meat is betting the farm on Blue Apron

It's been over a decade since Bill Niman has had any involvement with the meat brand that bears his name (it's now owned by Perdue), but he's still been running a boutique cattle and heritage turkey operation called BN Ranch that he's just sold to meal kit company Blue Apron. Niman, 72, will join Blue Apron to help build a supply chain for grass-fed, grass-finished beef and pasture-raised poultry that is used in its meal kits. He says it's an opportunity to scale more sustainable meat and bring down prices. Plus, he says, Blue Apron can buy whole animals and write recipes that incorporate every piece. Read more at The Washington Post...


Love canned tuna? More grocers want to make sure it was caught responsibly

Canned tuna, somewhat surprisingly, remains among the top three seafood items that Americans consume. Yet of all the issues surrounding seafood sustainability, the conversation around canned tuna has largely remained focused on contaminants like mercury. But retailers including Whole Foods Market, Giant Eagle and Hy-Vee are rolling out new tuna policies that address some of those other issues. Last week, Whole Foods, for example, announced that all tuna told in its stores—canned or otherwise—would be sourced only from Marine Stewardship Council certified fisheries that use certain methods that eliminate bycatch. Read more at NPR...


Vitamin Shoppe, Oregon AG reach 'groundbreaking' settlement

Although it admitted no wrongdoing, the supplement retailer agreed to pay $545,000 and suspend sales of any product if FDA issues a written notice that it is unsafe or not legal. The agreement is a settlement with Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum, who alleged that Vitamin Shoppe continued to sell DMAA after FDA said it was unsafe. The move surprised some industry lawyers. Read more at Natural Products Insider...


Menlo Park startup raises $35 million to develop better baby food

Before Brands launched in 2015 with a goal to help children develop defenses against common food allergens by introducing them to those allergens in small amounts through baby food. Its products aren't commercially available yet, but the company has just raised $35 million in a round led by Gurnet Point Capital. Read more at Silicon Valley Business Journal...


The female farmer whose multimillion-dollar success was built on saying no to Walmart

Kari Warberg Block has mastered the art of growing her small business with caution. The founder of EarthKind, which makes non-poison pest control products, says she goes into negotiations with each retailer with a sliding price that she's willing to sell her product for, based on the value that that retailer could offer her company. Read more at CNBC...

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