Tag Archives: agriculture

6 Easy Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day the Fair Trade Way

motherWith Mother’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably looking for a way to show mom how much you really care. What if the products you give (or enjoy) this Mother’s Day could also celebrate moms around the world?

This year World Fair Trade Day falls on the same weekend as Mother’s Day (May 12th), highlighting a natural connection between the two holidays and the opportunity to focus on the positive impact that Fair Trade has on the lives of so many mothers around the world. When you buy Fair Trade products, you are helping ensure that women can build a brighter future for their families and become leaders in their communities. That’s why our theme for Mother’s Day this year is Moms Make a World of Difference. Continue reading

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Ag Energy Coalition Thanks 8 Co-sponsors for Introducing Farm Bill Energy Title Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON–()–The Agriculture Energy Coalition today expressed support for legislation introduced by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to reauthorize Farm Bill Energy Title programs and provide robust mandatory funding. The Coalition also thanked Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), William Cowan (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and other original co-sponsors of the legislation, which would provide more than $1 billion in mandatory funding for renewable energy programs.

Last week, the Agriculture Energy Coalition joined more than 100 national, state and regional organizations in a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, urging them to adopt a new Farm Bill with robust mandatory funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. The letter noted, “Continued growth in new agriculture, manufacturing, and high tech jobs are at great risk without continued Federal investment.” Continue reading

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Black Earth Project helps Equip Farmers to Combat Climate Change

RWANDA–()–Radio Lifeline, a non-profit based in the US, announces the launch of the Black Earth Project, a new initiative designed to help farmers mitigate the growing effects of climate change. Radio Lifeline’s partner in this project is re:char, a leading developer of small-scale biochar technologies, based in Kenya. Major funding for the Black Earth Project is being provided by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), headquartered in Waterbury, VT.

The Black Earth Project is a two-year research project designed to evaluate the effectiveness of biochar when used as a soil amendment by smallholder coffee and pyrethrum farmers in Rwanda. Biochar is produced through a process called pyrolysis, or the burning of dried biomass in a low or zero oxygen environment. The process prevents combustion and the usual release of carbon dioxide, black carbon and other greenhouse gases associated with traditional charcoal production methods. Continue reading

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REC Solar Slashes Energy Costs for Two California Farms

solar_wallpaperSAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.–()–REC Solar, a leader in solar system design and installation, today announced the completion of solar energy systems for two California farms totaling one megawatt of electricity. Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella and Amaral Ranches in the Imperial Valley have joined the ranks of growers, cold storage and food processing facilities that are “harvesting the sun” to hedge against rising electricity costs and save money.

With the completion of these systems, Peter Rabbit Farms and Amaral Ranches align with more than 300 California farmers and ranchers now utilizing solar energy to reduce utility bills. Agriculture represents nearly 30% of California’s commercial solar capacity, according to PV Solar Report, and experts anticipate the sector will continue to gain strength. Continue reading

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The Principal Solar Institute Documents Role of Solar To Power Organic, Local Food Production

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Principal Solar, Inc., a publicly traded solar energy holding company executing a unique roll-up strategy to create the world’s first distributed solar utility, today announced the release of “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Organic Food Supply.” Authored by James W. Keyes, chairman, Key Development LLC, R. Michael Martin, executive vice president, Business Development, PSI, and Brett T. Gage, research assistant, the paper examines how alternative energy resources, such as photovoltaic (PV), can enhance organic and local food production.

“In recent years, solar has become increasingly cost effective,” says Keyes, advisor to Principal Solar. “Organic certification requires that foods be produced without genetic modification, synthetic hormones, unsustainable practices, or use of certain substances.”

He adds that, of the various renewable energy alternatives available to fuel organic agriculture, PV solar systems are the most economical on the farm. Continue reading

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September Book Review: Brewing Change, Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Written by Rick Peyser and Bill Mares, with foreword by Bob Stiller

Authors’ and publisher donations benefit Food 4 Farmers

SHELBURNE, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rick Peyser, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters’ (GMCR) Director of Social Advocacy and Community Outreach, was swayed by running partner and co-author Bill Mares to tell the story of Peyser’s personal journey and quiet crusade to help change the world of coffee.

Their book, Brewing Change: Behind the Bean at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
, is the inspiring result of those frequent runs and steady conversations. Brewing Change chronicles Peyser’s 24-year career with an insider’s view of GMCR, one of the largest specialty coffee companies and purchasers of certified Fair Trade coffee in the world. Brewing Change is part travelogue, part social commentary, and part motivating business model for building corporate social responsibility. Continue reading

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Nike, Levi’s & REI Measure Impact – Hormel Environmental Goals – Simpact on SROI

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which includes Nike, REI, Target, and Levi’s, has released its Higg Index, a new, online tool to help footwear and apparel developers measure the social impacts of their products. The trade group represents more than one third of the world’s footwear and apparel market.

Hormel Foods has announced its second set of five-year environmental goals to reduce water use, packaging, and waste. The company surpassed the goals on key metrics in its first five-year plan, reducing packaging by 22 million pounds and reducing water consumption by 15 percent.

Simpact Strategy Group has reported on its Social Return on Investment methodology as a way to value social outcomes. The Group’s report examines Social Impact Bonds, a new tool to finance social innovation, and how the company’s SROI methodology evaluates its multiple forms of value.

For more information on these and other stories, go to http://www.csrminute.com.

The CSR Minute is produced for 3BL Media by Video4Good: http://www.video4good.com

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Access to Feedstocks Remains a Key Barrier to the Growth of Biofuel

As a renewable and ubiquitous resource distributed throughout the world, biopower – the generation of electricity and heat from biomass resources, whether derived from forest resources or waste streams – offers considerable benefits over traditional fossil fuels and, in some cases, emerging clean energy technologies.  When combusted in place of traditional fossil fuels or “co-fired” with coal, for example, biomass can, in most cases, mitigate GHG emissions while delivering a base load generation source with high capacity ratings.  Despite these advantages, however, a recent report from Pike Research finds that the cost and logistics associated with sourcing, aggregating, and transporting these resources are likely to continue to inhibit growth in the biopower industry.

“Biopower market growth is tied to the ability of facilities to access a continuous and consistent supply of feedstock,” says senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence.  “While most estimates conclude that sufficient biomass resources are available to support robust biopower growth over the next decade – especially with the potential for dedicated energy crops to expand the feedstock supply – a number of obstacles still remain.” Continue reading

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