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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.