Laura Gutierrez Becerra shares the findings of "The Voice of Women in Food Safety" survey, which aimed to pull back the curtain on the experience and challenges of female professionals in the industry. Career advancement, factors that led to success and the importance of diversity were among the topics covered in the questionnaire.
A group of animal welfare and public health organizations are asking both Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to grant the FDA authority over genetically engineered food animals, a reversal of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the former administration giving those powers to the USDA. "Despite concerns that FDA still needs to develop final regulations on genetically engineered animals, FDA possesses the scientific and administrative capacities to regulate these animals better than USDA," said Center for Food Safety policy director Jaydee Hanson.
The President Joe Biden administration's priorities for the USDA include allocating $6 billion in unused Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funding to ag sectors the program did not address in previous rounds and expanding CFAP outreach to farmers from under-represented groups. Increasing rural access to broadband and creating a carbon market or carbon bank for the ag industry are also said to be under consideration.
Fairtrade International has named Divine Chocolate as the 2020 Fairtrader of the Year due, in part, to the $133,977 premium Divine paid to Fairtrade's cocoa farmers. The company's 2019/2020 Impact Report also noted the company's progress with lifting up cocoa communities via adult literacy programs, brokering farm tenancy agreements and its Forest Friendly training program.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have both benefited from an increase in consumers who consider carbonated soft drinks worth the cost, according to Kantar's BrandZ Insights 2021 US Retail report. The report also found new products such as Coca-Cola Energy helped boost consumer perception of CSDs last year.
Woke Up! is a new energy shot company that has rolled out a plant-based, berry-flavored shot by the same name which sources its caffeine from guarana and yerba mate. The brand positions itself as a clean energy shot with other ingredients including mushrooms, adaptogens, vitamins and amino acids that aim to improve cognitive, immunity and nerve function.
Moolec Science is working to improve the affordability of animal-free food solutions across all segments of the food industry through molecular farming. In the alternative dairy space, Moolec is working to functionalize oat concentrates with whey protein and is also engineering an egg replacement with ovum protein.
Women play a vital role in the crop insurance industry. They serve as adjusters and agents in the field and take on leadership roles within the industry. Kendall Jones, chair of the National Crop Insurance Services, recently spoke at a USDA event about the importance of women in crop insurance. "This industry is led by so many female agents in the field, so many female adjusters, people who do so much hard work," said Jones. "[N]ot only are they running their agencies, they're helping run farms or running the farms themselves, they have other businesses, they support the industry, their communities. ... They're an inspiration to us all."
The USDA's global ending stocks report for April finds corn and wheat stocks lower and soybean stocks higher than analyst expectations and last month's report, driving July corn futures up 3/4¢ to $5.62 1/4, soybean's July futures down 11 1/2¢ to $13.98 1/4 and wheat's May futures up 10¢ to $6.38 3/4. "Farmers who've not yet sold their crops will likely continue to enjoy the benefits of elevated price levels in grains until a better picture of South American harvests and the US planting season emerges," said Sal Gilbertie of Teucrium Trading.
The USDA's first crop progress report for 2021 finds 2% of the corn crop is in the ground, which is on par with last year. It also states the sorghum and cotton crop plantings are 14% and 6% complete, respectively, and the rice, spring wheat, barley, sugar beet and oats plantings are also underway.