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Ag Industry Brief: Food Waste Org ReFED Hires Walmart Exec, Tom Brady Partners with Purple Carrot, more

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ReFED Names Chris Cochran As First Executive Director

ReFED, a collaborative, cross-sector effort of 40 businesses, non-profits, foundations, investors and policymakers committed to reducing food waste in the United States, has named Chris Cochran, Walmart’s senior manager of Corporate Sustainability, as its first executive director, effective in April. Sarah Vared, who has served as ReFED’s interim director since its formation in early 2015, will continue to support ReFED strategically as needed in her role as a principal at MissionPoint Partners. Vared is credited for positioning ReFED as the country’s leader in providing actionable solutions to reduce food waste.

DuPont Pioneer and Origin Agritech to Jointly Develop New Seed Tech for China’s Farmers

DuPont Pioneer, the seed and genetics business of DuPont, and Origin Agritech, a technology-focused crop seed provider, have entered into a commercial licensing agreement to develop new seed technologies for Chinese farmers. This combined effort is designed to promote the modernization of China’s agriculture system and improved food security, which the government has set as priorities. Read more here.

New Crop Capital and BeyondBrands form Joint Venture 

Venture capital firm New Crop Capital and BeyondBrands have teamed up in a joint venture that will work to accelerate innovative product development and distribution with go-to-market funding and management support. New Crop Capital is a specialized private venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs whose products or services replace foods derived from conventional animal agriculture, which they view as an antiquated and inefficient food production system with serious vulnerabilities. BeyondBrands is a multidisciplinary collective of industry veterans and experts who work exclusively on better-for-you brands in six vertical industries, including food, beverage, lifestyle, beauty, nutraceutical and medicinal cannabis. 

NFL Champ Tom Brady is Partnering with Purple Carrot

New England Patriots quarterback and Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has teamed up with Purple Carrot to create TB12 Performance Meals, which target active individuals who want to cook the same things that Brady eats. They are gluten-free, protein-packed recipes free of dairy, seafood, eggs, meat, or processed meats. Read more here.

Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Innovative Seed & Consulting

Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness, a precision agriculture technology provider and plant protection, seed and nutritional products distributor, has acquired Innovative Seed and Consulting, a full-service agribusiness retailer located in Claremont, Minnesota. Read more here.

USDA Extends Comment Period on Donated Foods Processing

Food donations could help cut down food waste, but existing regulations place restrictions on when food can be donated and who can receive it. The USDA has extended the period for submitting a comment on its proposed rule to clarify the requirements for processing donated foods. Read more here.

WHO Publishes First-Ever List of Antibiotic-Resistant ‘Priority Pathogen

A catalogue of 12 families of bacteria comprises WHO’s list of antibiotic-resistant pathogens that pose the biggest danger to human health. The international agency is calling on the global community to promote research and development about new antibiotics and to take measures that stop these “priority pathogens” from becoming an increasing threat. Read more here.

Other News That’s Fit to Chew

  • USDA identifies bird flu on Tennessee chicken farm that contracts with Tyson Foods, reports CNBC.
  • A startup created a neon-blue wine that is causing some regulatory headaches in Spain, reports New York Times.
  • Grocery Headquarters reports that the plant-baed food market has exceeded $5 billion in annual sales, with the majority of receipts coming from plant-based milk products, reports FoodDIVE.
  • Dairy companies are battling with soy milk producers over who can use the term milk in food labeling, reports Business Insider UK.
  • Is there a gap between venture capital investment in food tech and the Midwest? New Food Economy investigates.
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