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5@5: Whole Foods launches sourcing-focused certification program | CPG food companies use data to sell better

TAGS: General 5at5
Whole Foods Market sourced for good whole foods seal
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.

Whole Foods Market launches program to help shoppers identify responsibly sourced products

One of the biggest projected natural products trends for 2021 is transparency, and Whole Foods Market has formulated a unique responsible sourcing certification program to that end. The seal aims to help customers make product choices that provide tangible improvements in farmworkers’ lives, both by strengthening worker communities where products are sourced and promoting environmental stewardship for croplands and fisheries. Forbes has the story.

Packaged food makers embrace Big Data

Big food companies' data collection toolkits have become formidable allies in the quest to take advantage of consumers' changing values and preferences (a feat at which small, nimble brands are typically more successful). Some of them are even snatching up cellphone tracking information, scouring customers’ grocery receipts and keeping tabs on how long it takes to clean up dinner. Investors are realizing that these old-timer pantry staple makers simply have to invest in analytics to stand a chance at hanging onto the pandemic-fueled boom in sales. Head to Bloomberg for details.

Are floating gardens a sustainable solution to climate change?

For nearly 400 years, farmers in the southern floodplains of Bangladesh have used a method of cultivation called dhap to create soil-free gardens with water hyacinth, an invasive aquatic weed prevalent in parts of Bangladesh, and plant vegetable seedlings as well as sometimes rice; the gardens’ buoyancy allows them to rise and fall with the water levels. And not only is this just a super cool concept, new scientific findings suggest that the use of floating gardens is a sustainable farming method that might not only reduce food insecurity but also provide income for rural households in coastal, flood-prone areas. Modern Farmer reports.

Target to spend $2B with Black-owned businesses by 2025

Target announced on Wednesday a commitment to spend more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by the end of 2025, including adding products across its multi-category assortment from more than 500 Black-owned businesses and engage more Black-owned companies to enhance its retail operations and shopping experience. The company is also introducing new resources to help its Black-owned vendors grow and successfully scale their businesses in mass retail. Learn more at Supermarket News.

We now know Trump’s EPA interfered with science on the destructive herbicide dicamba. It’s time for Biden’s EPA to act

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just conceded that its 2018 approval of dicamba was politically motivated, but it's not too late for the Biden administration to change course. As Scientific Director at the Center for Food Safety Bill Freese writes on The Counter, rejecting the propaganda of Monsanto and its Big Ag allies "would offer relief for those with repeatedly damaged crops [and] those many farmers who have purchased Monsanto’s pricey dicamba-resistant seeds simply to avoid crop injury, for self-protection (pp. 56-58)—compared by one farmer to extortion—will regain the “freedom to farm” the seeds of their choice, and save money to boot."

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