In Italy, sustainability is synonymous with organic, as consumer demand for separate “sustainable” food certification is very low. Unlike other EU countries, Italy does not have any legal requirements when it comes to sustainability, while it does encourage businesses and farmers to improve environmental standards and act responsibly, providing financial incentives for local businesses and Regions who wish to apply sustainable farming practices. However, uniform sustainability criteria have not yet been defined.
2:04 p.m. British retailers continue to get pounded on the horsemeat scandal, with the latest commentary pointing to the fact that the all-too-smug larger retailers have only just started to have their comeuppance. Is the “horsemeat” scandal a symptom of retailer bullying of farmers/suppliers? That is how some are judging it. The British Retail Consortium begs to differ, stressing there is no need for panic and that self-regulation will win the day. From the BRC release:
"Our top priority is to continue to engage with our customers and reassure them that we have effective solutions to the issues that have come to light. Retailers are using every available channel for direct dialogue with their customers, from social and traditional media to answering questions in-store.
"It's clear that there will be things that need to change for the future as a result of these incidents. Retailers are scrutinising their systems and processes, alongside intelligence gathering and sharing to identify practical improvements that will turn the lessons learned into action."
TK: Ah, yes, the familiar "lessons learned" fallback position. It's the best they can do right now, in any case.
2:16 p.m. Follow me on twitter @tckarst. Almost to 2,000 followers!
2:17 p.m. Again, with the long delay between posts; Perishable Pundit hasn’t published since Jan. 22. Just sayin..
2:22 p.m. Local smocal? Look for Packer coverage of the USDA recent report on long term agricultural projections. One tidbit from that report, on the increase profile of imports for the U.S. market:
Imports increasingly supplement domestic production of horticultural crops and products. By 2022, imports are projected to supply 52 percent of domestic fruit and nut use and 24 percent of vegetable use, in terms of farm weight. In 2012, these shares were 44 percent and 19 percent, respectively.