Food Producers Need To Focus On Technology, Health And Sustainability


It is becoming more difficult to be a successful food company. Despite industry-wide revenue growth, major players are seeing their sales shrink, their production costs rise and competition from small brands intensify.

The global pandemic has exacerbated the impacts of changing consumption trends and made it more urgent to tackle some of these issues.

Once, it was beneficial to be big, to have an integrated supply chain and costly capital equipment as a defensive barrier against smaller competitors, those small competitors are now using digital tools, novel routes to market, and other innovations to undermine those defensive barriers, respond to consumer demands and take market share from established incumbents.

There are six key megatrends that will shape the industry for the next 30 years, new research by Lux Research claims. Companies must recognise and adapt to these trends to survive and thrive, the group says. These are:

·        Food for health – beyond satiety and nutrition, foods need to satisfy an expanding list of expectations

·        Increasing sustainability – corporate statements will not suffice; truly doing more with less must be the aim from packaging to production and distribution

·        Incorporating ubiquitous sensing – as sensors get smaller, cheaper, and more powerful, their inclusion in all processes becomes imperative

·        Mastering the role of the microbiome – from production methods to diagnostics, mastering this realm will be make-or-break for food companies

·        Adapting to new industry structures – growth will come from uncomfortable places like new channels and markets; meanwhile, competitive landscapes get more complex

·        Understanding the future of consumption habits – COVID-19 has accelerated some changes, but others were already set to fundamentally alter consumption patterns.

“Food companies will need to adjust and adapt to the six

Four ways sustainability can increase resilience – Sponsor Content


On the latest episode of #BLKBottomLine, Debbie McCoy, BlackRock Systematic Head of Sustainable Investing, highlights why sustainability can accelerate economic recovery.

There are four key areas for increased resilience: systems, policies, companies and innovation.

First, there is heightened focus around climate change. But the broader societal system has come into question as well, particularly around inequality. Climate change and inequality remain salient conversations as we think about how to strengthen for the future.

In this very unusual moment of COVID-19, there is unprecedented policy action taking place. There is opportunity in Europe as new policies are formed, particularly around energy, and in the U.S. and all over the world, there is increased public-private partnership.

Another key area is the resilience of companies through this period of change. Companies are no longer responsible just to themselves, but also to the communities in which they operate.

Lastly, despite processes being upended over the last several months, there is an increased focus on innovation. We have a focus on transition, both in the environment and also how the global economy will shift and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Learn more about how BlackRock is integrating sustainability into the investment process

This material is prepared by The Atlantic in partnership with BlackRock. It is for informational purposes and is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. The opinions expressed are subject to change. The information and opinions contained in this material are derived from proprietary and nonproprietary sources deemed to be reliable and are not guaranteed as to accuracy or completeness This material may contain ’forward looking’ information that is not purely historical in nature. There is

ASU master’s degree student earns AAAS fellowship researching sustainability in emerging technology


October 1, 2020

The Arizona State University Child Study Lab shifted its fall and winter curriculum to be an entirely online experience to help children learn the important skills that support a successful launch into elementary school and beyond, even during a pandemic.

“Parents are starting to see how challenging it is to engage their children and immerse them in learning materials at home without the interaction with other kids their age,” said Anne Kupfer, director of the Child Study Lab. “It is difficult to replicate the preschool experience while trying to juggle the normal stress of working from home.”
The Child Study Lab is Online this FallThe Arizona State University Child Study Lab shifted its fall and winter curriculum to be an entirely online experience to help children learn the important skills that support a successful launch into elementary school and beyond, even during a pandemic.
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According to a longitudinal study from the Perry Preschool Project, preschool improves lifelong earnings, achievement in school, and reduces negative life outcomes like crime and teenage pregnancies.

“Preschool provides a foundation for how children learn to interact with others. It’s very easy for children to interact with adults, but it is very difficult for them to interact with children their own age. That’s what we do best at the Child Study Lab,” Kupfer said. “We emphasize self-regulation because based on research over the last 40 years that is what will determine a child’s later academic and social success.”

Video of CSLOnline

Video courtesy ASU Department of Psychology

Established by the ASU Department of Psychology in 1972, the Child Study Lab is a preschool where children and families explore, create, learn and grow. Typically, classes are in-person where children begin to navigate the complexities of life and learn to manage their emotions. Since the

Conagra Brands Taps into Footprint’s Materials Science to Continue Progress Towards Meeting Sustainability Goals | News


CHICAGO and GILBERT, Ariz., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Conagra Brands (NYSE: CAG) announced new products featuring bowls made from plant-based fibers for Healthy Choice Power Bowls, new Hungry-Man Double Meat Bowls and P.F. Chang’s Ramen single-serve meals. By using plant-based fibers instead of plastic, the carbon footprint of manufacturing the bowls is reduced by 50 to 70 percent1 across select product lines. The expansion will help to decrease Conagra’s carbon footprint by 34,117 metric tons, equivalent to avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions of driving around the planet 3,399 times or 84 million miles2. This progress aligns with Conagra’s January 2020 announcement that the company is striving to make 100 percent of its plastic packaging renewable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The plant-based fiber bowl is designed by Footprint, a sustainable materials science technology firm that designs alternative solutions to single-use plastic. Conagra initially partnered with Footprint in 2017 to develop packaging for its Healthy Choice Power Bowls product line, which included a first-of-its-kind bowl made from plant-based fibers that could replace plastic alternatives. The versatile material is microwave safe, non-stick and cooler to the touch than traditional plastic packaging. Since introducing the packaging in 2017, Conagra has avoided the use of more than 3.5 million pounds of plastic packaging.

“Plant-based fiber packaging is critical to helping Conagra Brands progress toward making 100 percent of our current plastic packaging renewable, recyclable or compostable by 2025,” said Katya Hantel, senior director of sustainable development at Conagra Brands. “Innovative partners like Footprint have been invaluable in producing packaging that supports sustainable outcomes.”

These packaging solutions are driven by highly collaborative, customized inventions from the Footprint team of materials scientists, who worked closely with Conagra to meet the needs of the three distinct product lines. The team is

SSI SCHAEFER Announces Clear Stream Program for Reusable Containers, Part of Ongoing 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders Initiative


Reusable Containers from SSI SCHAEFER

Sustainable, reusable straight wall containers from SSI SCHAEFER
Sustainable, reusable straight wall containers from SSI SCHAEFER
Sustainable, reusable straight wall containers from SSI SCHAEFER

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Schaefer Systems International, Inc., a leader in reusable packaging, automation and material handling systems, announced today that the company is rolling out Clear Stream for its reusable container product line to help rid the oceans of rigid plastic waste. The Clear Stream program is launching as part of the 50 Sustainability and Climate Leaders initiative, which SSI SCHAEFER has been selected as the only global material handling company to participate. The Clear Stream program provides a sustainable vision put forth from SSI SCHAEFER and its clients—preserving the world’s oceans.

As our clients implement sustainability measures into their process, the Clear Stream option meets or exceeds specific criteria. This program enables a more sustainable supply chain throughout the manufacturing process. While reusable packaging from SSI SCHAEFER already provides a sustainable closed loop transport supply chain, this type of program adds additional sustainability efforts. At its core, this program helps preserve our oceans by transforming consumer plastic waste into reusable, viable products for material handling.

“We’re committed to sustainability and our Clear Stream program, which enables our clients to meet or succeed their sustainability goals,” stated Andy Schumacher, Vice President of Packaging Systems Division of Schaefer Systems International, Inc. “Clear Stream falls within the SSI Sustainable Initiatives, and when combined with our other sustainability programs like our recycling buyback program, it’s a win-win combination for our clients and our planet,” continued Schumacher.

The SSI SCHAEFER Clear Stream program incorporates ocean-bound plastic that is found in traditional post-consumer resin, which is taken often from at-risk areas to keep plastics from reaching our beaches and waterways. In turn, this versatile program continues to provide a