Sunday, June 25, 2017


(WASHINGTON) – Today, Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) along with 24 other Members of Congress introduced the “Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2017.” The legislation requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action to prevent mass bee die-offs and protect the health of honey bees and other critical pollinators by suspending the use of certain bee-toxic insecticides, known as neonicotinoids. It also requires the Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Administrator of the EPA, to monitor the health of native bee populations and to identify and publicly report the likely causes of bee kills. Recent research provides evidence of a link between neonicotinoids and poor bee health. Bee populations have declined steadily since 2006, and the continued decline will have serious implications to our food supply. Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich) said, “We must act now to preserve America’s food system. One of every three bites of food we eat is from a crop pollinated by honey bees. We depend on them as key suppliers to our food and crop selection. Unfortunately, the current administration is looking to reduce the funding to programs that protect our nation’s pollinators. As a result of the massive, widespread decline of honey bee populations throughout the country, our nation’s crops such as apples, soybeans, and sugar beets will soon disappear. The ‘Saving America’s Pollinators Act’ will address this threat to honey bee populations by suspending the use of certain neonicotinoids and by requiring the EPA to conduct a full review of the scientific evidence before allowing the entry of other neonicotinoids into the market.” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said, “Bees and other pollinators play a critical role in our food supply. With their populations declining at an alarming rate, we need to take a step back and resolve the questions surrounding the safe use of these pesticides. The long-term viability of our farms and food system depends on it.” With the introduction of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, Congress will follow the example states like Maryland, Connecticut, and Minnesota and local communities like Eugene, OR; Spokane, WA; and Seattle, WA that have already adopted measures to protect pollinators from neonicotinoids. The federal government has also taken action to discontinue the use of neonicotinoids on national wildlife refuge system lands. This bill is supported by: American Bird Conservancy, Avaaz, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, Bat World Sanctuary, Inc., Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, Earthjustice, Ecological Farming Association, Environment America, Equal Exchange, Fair World Project, Family Farm Defenders, Friends of the Earth, Food Democracy Now!, Food and Water Watch, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, National Co+op Grocers, National Organic Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, Northeast Organic Farming Association - Interstate Council, Northeast Organic Farming Association – Massachusetts, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maryland Pesticide Education Network, Midwest Organic Sustainable Education Service, Organic Consumers Association, Organic Farmers' Agency for Relationship Marketing, Inc., Organization for Bat Conservation, Oregon Tilth, People and Pollinators Action Network, Pesticide Action Network North America, Pollinate Minnesota, Sierra Club, Regeneration International, United Natural Foods Inc., The Cornucopia Institute, Toxics Action Center, Toxic Free North Carolina, and International Association for Human Values.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Applications Now Open for 2017 Precision Impact Award

Lenexa, Kan. (May 31, 2017)—Each year, the Precision Impact Award (PIA) recognizes a retailer or management individual on a national level for excellence in incorporating precision agriculture into their retail operation and their farmer-customers’ operations. Entries for the 2017 award are now being accepted for consideration. “Ag retailers are on the front line of helping farmers implement sustainable and profitable practices with precision ag. They play a valuable role in providing cutting-edge and practical technologies that improve farmers’ yields,” said Rhonda Brooks, AgPro Editor. “AgPro is proud to help recognize leaders in the industry with the Precision Impact Award.” The award recipient will be announced during the annual ARA Conference and Expo, which is slated for Nov. 28–30, 2017, at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. During the conference, the winner will be presented the Precision Impact Award and will have their business highlighted for exceptional achievement. The award recipient will also be featured in AgPro magazine. SST Software is sponsoring the PIA for a second consecutive year in conjunction with AgPro magazine and the Ag Retailers Association. “This award represents the best innovation in precision agriculture, and SST strives to create and provide this innovation to the retail market,” said Joe Akin, SST Software Chief Operating Officer. All submissions for the award are due no later than Aug. 31, 2017.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mars, Incorporated Launches THE COCOA EXCHANGE

An Experiential Platform in Chocolate MT. ARLINGTON, NJ (May 3, 2017)–Mars, Incorporated announced today the launch of THE COCOA EXHANGE™, a direct to consumer platform that provides a rewarding way to turn a passion for cocoa into a worthwhile profession. THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ products are designed to be experienced, not to sit on a store shelf, which is why the brand brings them to consumers directly through specially curated in-home experiences. Cocoa has been a passion of the Mars family for more than 100 years. Launched in the family kitchen in Tacoma, Washington, today Mars, Inc. is the world’s largest chocolate company. This exceptional pedigree, combined with the contribution of three in-house culinary chefs, brings chocolate to life in unexpected formats that are 100% exclusive to the THE COCOA EXCHANGE™. Committed to providing a truly wide-ranging experience, THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ offers three curated, proprietary brands: • DOVE® SIGNATURE™ - Dive into the silky smooth world of DOVE® SIGNATURE™ chocolate • PURE DARK™ - Explore chocolate beyond the candy bar, for serious chocolate adventurers • POD & BEAN™ - Discover your new secret ingredient in the kitchen with POD & BEAN™ products. Offering limitless savory options all made with chocolate, from White Chocolate Raspberry Honey Mustard to Chipotle Hot Sauce, you’ll find that cocoa goes with just about everything. The direct to consumer format of THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ provides a simple and rewarding opportunity for anyone looking for a “side hustle.” As a Curator, any cocoa-obsessed individual can take their love of chocolate and turn it into their own business by hosting an in-home tasting experience for friends and family. With the culinary expertise of Mars and a broad range of chocolate offerings, individuals can customize their approach based on their preferences and the tastes of their Hosts and customers. THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ Curator opportunities include: • Hosting an in-home experience, which is simple and rewarding - their friends will have a blast and hosts earn credits which they can use to shop for free! • Creating custom experiences for their tasting experiences using 100% exclusive products. • Selling through online retail – Curators have their own personal online storefront that is always open, collecting orders and is maintained by THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ • Earning flexible income and perks, including o 25-40% commissions on personal sales o Product Discounts o Flexible schedule and an opportunity to have their own business THE COCOA EXCHANGE™ is also committed to giving back. Mars, Inc. mapped the Cocoa Genome and with a bean-to-bar process, they lead the world’s chocolate producer’s Cocoa Sustainability efforts. DOVE® and THE COCOA EXHANGE™ have also partnered with CARE®, a premier humanitarian organization, to provide women in the Cote d’Ivoire, a cocoa producing country in West Africa, with Village Savings & Loan Associations where they can learn business skills and build their own businesses.