Produce company takes coronavirus safety steps | Kenya's farmers face new competition amid the pandemic | Beyond Meat bringing its sausage patties to 5K stores
September 23, 2020
Produce Industry SmartBrief
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Global Connections
Bridges Organic Produce partner Rico Farms has put improved safety measures in place to protect its employees from COVID-19. The company provides onsite testing, adjusted cafeteria and work schedules that promote social distancing, vehicle sanitizers and educational outreach.
Full Story: AndNowUKnow (9/18) 
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Kenyans laid off from jobs during the pandemic have turned to farming, and that trend along with good weather has led to bumper harvests of crops including tomatoes and bananas. The bounty of produce has driven down prices and some farmers say they don't expect to make ends meet this year.
Full Story: Reuters (9/21) 
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Beyond Meat bringing its sausage patties to 5K stores
(Beyond Meat)
Beyond Meat will begin selling its frozen breakfast sausage patties at 5,000 additional stores by the end of the month, more than doubling availability of the product amid increasing demand for plant-based meat alternatives. The patties, made to taste like pork, will be sold at grocers including Kroger, Walmart and Publix.
Full Story: Reuters (9/21),  Fox Business (9/21) 
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Farmers in Beijing have been learning to grow "BM380" fruit corn, a sweet, thin-skinned variety of corn that can be eaten raw like fruit. The crop is in high demand and has become much more profitable than field corn.
Full Story: Xinhua News Agency (China) (9/22) 
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Kwik Lok: The Global Leader In Bag Closures
Eco-Lok is a new product from Kwik Lok, the global leader in bag closures. Eco-Lok is a sustainable bag closure formulated with a plant-based biopolymer called NuPlastiQ® that requires up to 20% fewer greenhouse gas emissions to produce than standard plastic bag closures. Learn more now.
SmartBrief Originals
Specialty food sales were on the rise in both restaurant and retail channels between 2017 and 2019, before the pandemic changed the way consumers shopped for food, according to a report by Mintel for the Specialty Food Association. When restaurants were forced to shutter dining rooms, spending trends shifted to retail channels as shoppers stocked up on center-store staples, plant-based meats and snacks.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (9/22) 
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Improve and accelerate your testing program
Now more than ever, retailers must improve their customers' experiences and drive better relationships with their audience across points of contact. In this on-demand webinar, testing experts discuss best practices for unlocking the full potential of automation, as well as how to use crowdtesting to optimize user feedback and how to apply AI for identifying and preventing defects. Watch now
Science & Technology
Projects underway at the Clemson University Edisto Research and Education Center are aimed at helping farmers in South Carolina cut their water use. In one project, researchers are creating software that will use GPS technology for precision irrigation.
Full Story: SCNow (South Carolina) (9/21) 
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SmartBrief Originals
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Public Affairs
A second round of federal funding for farmers hurt by the pandemic will total $14 billion and include almost 100 more specialty crops than were covered by the first round, according to the USDA. Signups for the program started Monday and will run through Dec. 11.
Full Story: Fresh Fruit Portal (Chile) (9/21) 
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FDA rule would require electronic traceability records
The FDA will start taking comments Wednesday on proposed new rules that would increase traceability on leafy greens, tomatoes and fresh-cut produce. According to a draft of the proposed rule, all parties along the supply chain would need to be able to submit traceability data electronically.
Full Story: The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (9/21) 
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Industry Talent
Companies such as Amazon and Google have focused on customers and created alternatives to vertical hierarchy, or what Steve Denning calls "21st century management" in this detailed analysis. "It is seeing the organization not as a machine, and more like a garden, an interactive ecology in which things were happening like a garden," he writes.
Full Story: Forbes (9/20) 
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Emotions are a natural part of your life, so try to rely on empathy and respect in decision-making rather than anger, fear or panic, writes Kate Nasser. "As you develop your skill of balancing emotion and critical thinking, you will be the model for your employees to do the same," she writes.
Full Story: Kate Nasser (9/20) 
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Jane Goodall,
primatologist, anthropologist, conservationist
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