Cocoa purchasers will improve the sustainability of the cocoa supply chain by partnering with Fairtrade America, writes Stephanie Westhelle, the group's business development manager. Fairtrade has established standards that promote a living wage and better working conditions for workers in the supply chain, as well as protection of its natural resources, she writes.
The coronavirus is expediting the pre-pandemic trend of consumers seeking brands that promote a healthy lifestyle, said Eric Ryan, co-founder of first-aid brand Welly. He said the key to messaging is to reflect how consumers are feeling and offer solutions without exploiting the current crisis.
Mars is pledging $20 million to coronavirus relief organizations worldwide including CARE and the United Nation's World Food Program. "We will only get through this pandemic by thinking mutually -- by supporting one another, and that's what this commitment to our communities is all about," says Frank Mars, board chairman.
Snapchat is urging brands that use its platform to adapt communications to current consumer sensitivities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including shifting from product benefits, hard-selling, calls to action and broad messaging to consumer benefits, offering assistance, brand equity and empathetic verbiage, according to a post. More specifically, marketers should communicate with users by spreading positivity, "gamifying your brand messaging" and lifting individuals "by spreading awareness of local causes."
A report commissioned by agricultural industry stakeholders highlights the industry's significant direct and indirect economic impact in the US, writes Sara Wyant. The report also indicates how producers who rely heavily on the foodservice and restaurant channels are trying to find other markets during the coronavirus pandemic.
The USDA is extending the crop insurance production report deadline for farmers by 30 days and premium due dates during March and April by 60 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. Farmers may submit production and acreage reports and sales agreements electronically while policyholder election may be conducted remotely up until July 15.
The US Small Business Administration should reverse its exemption of most agricultural businesses from the congressional stimulus package's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program that applies to businesses with 500 or fewer employees, according to a letter sent by 31 industry stakeholders. The CARES Act does not mandate this exclusion, the letter argues.
The USDA's most recent acreage and stock prices reports reflect a bearish market for corn and may result in some producers planting more soybeans which are expected to increase in price, writes Duane Lowry, senior risk manager and market research director at Silver Creek Commodities. It appears selling pressures are lifting overall, however, as China prepares to increase corn and soybean orders, he adds.
The 44,655,000 projected wheat acreage for this year is the lowest on record, according to the USDA. Spring wheat acreage for North Dakota, the country's largest producer, is expected to decrease 9% compared to last year.
Farmers will improve yields with crops planted on last year's prevent-plant fields with extra weed control as herbicide-resistant weeds may have gone to seed, according to agronomists and soil scientists with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and South Dakota State University Extension. Other measures include testing and treating for nutrient deficiency.