Target includes supplier emissions in new climate goals

Target released new climate goals Wednesday that not only reduce its own carbon emissions targets but also require 80% of the retailer’s suppliers set science-based reduction targets by 2023. 

The retailer committed to reducing emissions by 30% by 2030 (based on 2017 levels) — a goal approved by the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi), according to the company’s announcement.

This marks the first time Target has taken its entire supply chain into account when calculating greenhouse gas emissions, a spokesperson told Supply Chain Dive in an email, adding the supply chain represents 96% of Target’s total emissions. 

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Can Technology Get Slavery Out of Food Supply Chains?

Modern slavery is back at the top of concerned consumers’ minds again after slave auctions in Libya were caught on camera and widely shared last month. Just after the video went viral, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) issued a report revealing that Brazil’s rapid agricultural and economic growth has lead to an increase in forced labor or slavery in the country’s meat industry.

According to the Global Slavery Index that tracks modern slavery around the world, 161,100 Brazilians were trapped in modern slavery in 2016.

The Brazilian government attempted to be transparent about these activities and previously released a list of Brazilian companies known to engage in slave labor, but the Brazil Supreme Court ordered it to stop publishing the list in 2014, with suspicions that corruption influencing this decision. A group of journalists in the country have taken the list on themselves and contributed to the IATP report, which says that Brazil’s cattle ranching sector was responsible for nearly 60% of all slave labor cases recorded from 2003 to 2010 in the country.

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Blue Apron: Why IPO and What Does it Mean for Meal Kit Competitors?

When the news broke that meal-kit company Blue Apron was going to launch a $100 million IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (APRN), headlines emphasized the challenges the startup faces. Every news story mentioned the high-cost of customer acquisition and a recent uptick in losses for the five-year-old food tech company, which could make the decision to list look precarious.

The New York-based company ships boxes with pre-portioned ingredients and recipes directly to consumers at the start of the week at around $60 a box depending on the number of meals. It’s a common model now, and intense competition between the more than 15 actors in the space has led to expansive and expensive marketing efforts.

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Are We Nearing the End of Preventative Antibiotics in Livestock?

Consumers are getting impatient with restaurants and retailers for dragging their feet on ridding their meat of antibiotics used in humans. In the past four years, a steady stream of well-known restaurant and grocery chains have pledged to get antibiotics out of their meat.

Last month, a group of 30 consumer and environmental groups sent a letter to In-N-Out Burger, a California quick-serve burger chain, requesting that they stop serving beef raised with routine antibiotics. This comes after a similar letter sent last year prompted In-N-Out to state that they are “committed to beef that is not raised with antibiotics important to human medicine.” The chain further pledged to work with their suppliers to find new solutions. But a year later, consumers and environmentalists are still unsatisfied.

The reasoning is clear and urgent for those who believe in the growing problem of antibiotic resistance. “Some 700,000 people per year die of drug-resistant infections,” said Mary McKenna, author of the forthcoming book “Big Chicken; The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats,” and speaker at the recent Reducetarian Summit in New York City. MacKenna was at the event advocating that less meat consumption would decrease demand pressure and potentially decrease the “need for speed” in antibiotic use reduction.

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Hungry and Homebound

In the photo, an overweight, grey-haired African American woman in a wheelchair eats from a styrofoam container. It isn’t particularly artful or compelling, but the Beth Hark Christian Counseling Center chose to feature this woman on their brochure because her story encompasses nearly everything they do.

The woman in the picture is Miss Mae – as Joan Williams, Executive Director of the Beth Hark Christian Counseling Center calls her. In her 80s, Miss Mae could not long ago be seen daily outside of a Harlem grocery store. Her son, now in prison, would deposit her there everyday so that she could beg for food.

Today, Ms. Mae is under much better care – she has a full time attendant and apartment to herself. This hard-to-digest case is just one explanation for the many forces working against one of the communities most vulnerable to food insecurity – the elderly, disabled or otherwise homebound. So much of New York City’s food assistance options require mobility, the capability to keep track of records and mail documents, or some kind of community or family assistance.

Through Medicare and other services Ms. Mae was able to get the medical and physical care she needed, but even after all the paperwork, recent changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program made it more difficult for her to eat for health at all times. And she still required food to be delivered since it is difficult for her to get around. That’s where Beth Hark comes in.

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