Amazon

Amazon, Starbucks make workers’ rights group’s ‘Dirty Dozen’

By disregarding the health and safety of their employees, some of the most prominent companies in the food industry have created situations that led to workers being injured or killed on the job, according to a new report by the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH), an advocacy group.(No paywall)

FTC probes grocery and meat supply chain and spiking prices

The two largest U.S. supermarket chains, the leading grocery wholesaler and the No. 1 chicken processor are among nine companies ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to turn over detailed information for its study of "empty shelves and sky-high prices." The commission said it would investigate the causes of supply chain disruptions and the hardships imposed on consumers. No paywall

Brazil’s Amazon beef plan will ‘legalize deforestation’

For many, the overriding image of agriculture in the Amazon is one of environmental destruction. About 80 percent of deforestation in the region has been attributed to cattle ranching, tainting beef exports. But Brazil’s beef industry hopes to tempt buyers back to the Amazon region, which …

A bio-economy in the Amazon to prevent deforestation

In the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, a nascent but significant movement is underway to protect the rainforest by connecting small-scale producers tapping rubber trees with multinational brands, report Brian Barth and Flávia Milhorance in FERN's latest story, produced with The New Republic.(No paywall)

Amazon agroforestry co-op shows how to farm sustainably in the rainforest

In remote northwestern Brazil, a group of farmers has set up a co-op that plants native fruit trees on exhausted former ranchland. In the process, the farmers are not only reforesting the area in a way that mimics the natural habitat, they’re earning about five times more per acre from their agroforestry plots annually than local ranchers are earning by clearing the forest to graze their cattle, says FERN's latest story, produced with National Geographic. (No paywall)

New states in SNAP online pilot program going live this month and next

The newest states added to the Department of Agriculture’s SNAP online purchasing pilot program are planning to roll out the service by the end of April or mid-May, according to internal documents and news reports. Meanwhile, more states are eager to join the program as the coronavirus pandemic highlights disparities in food access. (No paywall)

Most SNAP recipients can’t buy groceries online. Now, some states push for change.

With millions of Americans sheltering in place, many are opting to buy groceries online for home delivery to reduce risk of exposure to the coronavirus. But that isn't an option for most people who receive federal food assistance from the USDA. Now, states are asking the department to address the issue, but the agency hasn't said whether it will update the policy. (No paywall)

Whole Foods workers begin unionization drive

Some Whole Foods employees are instigating a union drive, according to a letter leaked to the press Thursday. Citing layoffs and falling morale since the company’s 2017 acquisition by Amazon, the workers plan to push for higher wages and better benefits.

Consolidation continues to reshape grocery retail

Mergers, tech companies, and private equity ownership are reshaping the grocery retail sector, as a continued wave of consolidation threatens smaller chains and their employees.

Post-Amazon, Whole Foods suppliers wait and worry

Since its acquisition by Amazon in August, Whole Foods has implemented some changes that are causing its suppliers to worry. Among them are centralized buying, higher charges for placement in certain sections of the store, and a new inventory system.

Amazon begins delivery from Whole Foods

Amazon announced last week that it would begin two-hour delivery of Whole Foods products for Prime members in select markets. The announcement came just before the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is preparing to introduce an in-house delivery service, which would compete with FedEx and UPS.

Amazon food store doesn’t accept food stamps

The no-checkout-line brick-and-mortar grocery store opened by Amazon in Seattle “is supposed to represent the pinnacle of convenience,” says Future Tense. “But the convenience isn’t for everyone: The Amazon Go store doesn’t accept food stamps.”

Whole Foods’ prices have hardly budged since Amazon takeover

Despite rumors of cheaper groceries, prices at Whole Foods have only decreased by 1.2 percent overall after Amazon bought the company for $13.7 billion five weeks ago, says a study by the research firm Gordon Haskett.

Amazon’s Whole Foods buyout won’t necessarily lower your grocery bill

Amazon is lowering prices on a few items at its newly acquired Whole Food’s stores, but that doesn’t mean the grocery retailer will become the best bargain in town quite yet or that other companies will feel pushed to lower their prices too. “Shoppers shouldn’t expect a price war to break out,” …

U.S. decides Amazon purchase of Whole Foods won’t hurt competition

Amazon can proceed with its purchase of Whole Foods after getting the green light from the Federal Trade Commission, which determined that the deal will not reduce competition in the grocery sector. The FTC announced its decision hours after Whole Foods’ stockholders approved the $13.7 billion transaction, said CNBC.

Who buys groceries online? Nine percent of adults in a month.

When Amazon announced its deal to buy Whole Foods, the instant analysis was that groceries would be the next big thing in online shopping. If so, there is a lot of room for growth since a sliver of Americans – 9 percent, according to Gallup – say they order groceries by Internet at least once a month. The number of regular shoppers is smaller still: 4 percent of adults order groceries online once a week or more often. By comparison, 83 percent said someone in the family goes to the store at least once a week, according to a Gallup survey conducted by phone in early July.

Amazon confabs with ranchers over distribution deal

After buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, Amazon will meet this week with organic ranchers to discuss how the company might distribute their meat, says Reuters. One of the ranches, White Oak Pastures from Blufton, Georgia, sells $2 million annually online of frozen beef, duck and lamb, but is hopeful that teaming up with Amazon will improve its reach.

Amazon’s free fruit upsets local banana market

The 8,000 free bananas that Amazon hands out every day are disrupting the banana business for local vendors. “The brainchild of CEO Jeff Bezos, there are now two stands on its corporate campus staffed with ‘banistas’ led by ‘bananagers’ who give out bananas to anyone and everyone nearby, whether that’s one banana for breakfast or a dozen,” says Consumerist.com.

Deforestation gathers speed in Amazon basin

Nearly 2 million acres — 3,100 square miles — of forested land were cleared for agriculture in the Brazilian Amazon in the year ending July 2016, while Bolivia has cut down 865,000 acres, equal to 1,351 square miles, annually, says The New York Times. "A decade after the 'Save the Rainforest' movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world," said the newspaper.

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