Taking the pulse on sustainability

09/10/2013 05:13:00 PM
Tom Karst

Tom Karst Checking in at near the end of the day today. Visited with Joel Nelsen today about sustainability issues. More to come on that point; look for a guest column from Joel in the next edition of The Packer. Also, I visited with David Gombas on his recollections on the origins of food safety audits in the produce industry; again stay tuned.

Just a few quick hitting headlines tonight:

 Check out activity on The Packer Market  and the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group. It’s been a very active day.

 Other notable headlines today:

NYT: Nudged to the produce aisle

Excerpt:

With those same guinea-pig customers, the scientists tinkered again with the cart, creating a glossy placard that hung inside the baskets like the mirrors. In English and Spanish, the signs told shoppers how much produce the average customer was buying (five items a visit), and which fruits and vegetables were the biggest sellers (bananas, limes and avocados) — information that, in scientific parlance, conveys social norms, or acceptable behavior.

By the second week, produce sales had jumped 10 percent, with a whopping 91 percent rise for those participating in the government nutrition program called Women, Infants and Children. Lowe’s was so excited that it now plans to put the placards in every cart at its 22 stores in El Paso and nearby Las Cruces, N.M., and perhaps later at all 146 of its stores.

Comment by Scott Rafferty on FDA’s third party certification of food imports, from www.regulations.gov.

From the comment:

The FDA faced a daunting challenge in designing the first large-scale use of third-party certification by a government regulator. These initial comments of Scott J. Rafferty1 focus on four issues that the FDA has not yet resolved.

(1) The FDA is long overdue2 in meeting the Congressional directive to use private inspections3 in the regulation of imported foods. The proposal still omits many terms that are essential to permit the public to comment meaningfully. The FDA has not stated what qualifications inspectors must have or what the scope and nature of their inspection will be. The proposal fails to strengthen existing substantive international standards for food products and does not require laboratory testing nor specify other means to verify that specific products are reasonably safe.


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