UPDATED JANUARY 12, 2006

    Food firm favors antiobiotic-free poultry, cage-free eggs, rBST-free milk.

    National Farmers Union persists to launch $4 million project featuring family farm life, an experienced chef and food with a story.

    Consumer Reports cites organic produce benefits by crop, type of food and marketplace venue.

    Short US organic food supply, strong demand creates incentives for increasing imports.

 

Food firm favors antiobiotic-free poultry,
cage-free eggs, rBST-free milk

Food-service innovator Bon Appetit Management Company has made commitments to purchase cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free turkey and significant amounts of local and regional foods for its 190 cafes in 26 states. Cage-free eggs will be phased in to the sites in the next 12 months, with the eventual goal of having all eggs from uncaged birds.

Bon Appetit, which serves 55 million meals a year, made its move on antibiotic-free turkey meat based on its existing policy for chicken, with the goal of reducing antibiotic use in poultry. All of its cafes served 100 percent locally grown foods from within 150 miles of the serving point on an Eat Local Challenge day last fall.

To secure rBST-free milk in the upper Midwest, the company revived a plant in Bismark, North Dakota, that had been closed for two years. Great Plains Dairy Partners, LLC, took over the dairy and revived its Deja Moo brand, thanks to Bon Appetit’s contract to buy its milk for its regional school and corporate food service accounts.

www.bamco.com/PressRoom/press-pre-101005.htm


National Farmers Union persists to launch $4 million project
featuring family farm life, an experienced chef and food with a story.

There were set-backs along the way and there are logistical hurdles to work out, but sometime this spring groups of farmers across the country will begin marketing their crops, livestock and value-added products directly to an upscale eatery in the nation’s capitol.

The business’s buyers are starting with Farmers Union members to source their pantry. Larry Breech, president of the Pennsylvania Farmers Union, told NewFarm.org that he is optimistic that his members will have excellent marketing opportunities at Agraria, being the easternmost NFU state chapter. He says demand is strong for farmer-food themed restaurants that deliver on top quality with style.

www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2005/12/19/story2.html


Consumer Reports cites organic produce benefits
by crop, type of food and marketplace venue

In its February 2006 issue, Consumer Reports® magazine outlines the best bargains in organic food. It says new studies show that by eating organic food, “you can greatly reduce your exposure to chemicals found in conventionally produced foods.” The coverage considers the “dirty dozen” crops where USDA figures show the highest levels of pesticide residue as clearly worth the average 50 percent premium.

The magazine says benefits in meat and dairy are clear, but premiums are higher, while buying organic seafood and health care products are not recommended because organic standards are vague. Shoppers are given a list of ways to cut costs, including “go local” and in season at farmers’ markets, join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm operation and use internet guides for price comparisons. Full story by subscription.

www.consumerreports.org/cro/food/organic-products-206/overview.htm


Short US organic food supply, strong demand
creates incentives for increasing imports

A London-based food industry source cites short supply in the US dairy and orange juice markets as major contributors to a huge organic food trade gap: $1.5 billion in imports to the US, and only $150 million in exports. Unless more US farmers begin the organic conversion process and work at securing markets at home, processors and marketers will turn overseas, according to the Dec. 19, 2005 story by Organic Monitor.

/www.organicmonitor.com/r1512.htm

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