Earthoil Partners with NY Remedies for Argan Oil
Earthoil, a subsidiary of Treatt PLC, has partnered with the organic
personal care company Neal's Yard Remedies to supply argan seed oil from
the Souss Valley area of Morocco. The argan seed oil is certified
organic and fairtrade.
According to Earthoil, argan oil is a popular treatment for skin
conditions and a well-known cosmetic oil for skin and hair because of
its nourishing properties. Rich in unsaturated and essential fatty
acids, argan oil contains in excess of 70% oleic and linoleic acids,
making it ideal for use as a skin moisturiser and revitaliser. It also
boasts strengthening properties making it beneficial for shampoos,
conditioners and nail care products.
The argan oil is produced by over 60 women in a Moroccon co-operative.
Established in 2007, the co-operative members extract the argan oil
using traditional skills and processes. The women handle every aspect of
the business, from fruit collection and transportation by donkey to
hand-cracking and pressing the hard nuts into oil. Earthoil states the
co-operative is the only Fairtrade certified argan oil producer in the
Susan Curtis, Director of Natural Health at Neal's Yard Remedies,
comments: "Neal's Yard Remedies is a proud partner of Earthoil; we use
argan oil in a variety of our products, including our new, pure Organic
Argan Oil. Our ethos centres are using as many organic, natural
ingredients that are fair trade or ethically sourced as possible, making
the collaboration with Earthoil a logical fit."
Ethical sourcing of cosmetic ingredients are regularly featured in the
Summit. The Latin American edition will be
hosted in Sao Paulo on 10-12 September, Asia-Pacific edition in Hong
Kong on 10-11th November, whilst the European edition will be in Paris
on 24-26th November.
More details are
High Pesticide Residues in Bread
Almost two thirds of bread products in
the UK now contain pesticide residues, according to a report based on
The figure has more than doubled from 28% of bread products in 2001 to
63% last year, the study by Pesticide Action Network (Pan) UK and
the Organic Naturally Different campaign found.
Between 2000 and 2013, the Defra Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues
in Food (PRiF) tested 2,951 bread samples, finding that 61.5% of the
non-organic samples over the entire timeframe contained pesticide
residues and 17% contained more than one residue.
Some 7% of the organic samples - three out of 42 products tested -
contained a single residue, while none contained multiple residues. Pan
UK said the most likely explanation for this was cross-contamination
from non-organic crops, either during production or storage.
The average overall figure for pesticide residues in non-organic bread
of 61.5% was "much higher" than the overall figure for pesticides
residues in all produce combined, which was approximately 40%, Pan UK
The report said studies had shown that even very low doses of certain
pesticides ingested regularly and in combination with other chemicals
could have "unforeseen effects", but added that much uncertainty
remained and more research was needed.
It said: "Given the situation, it seems like common sense to avoid or at
least limit consumption where possible. At the very least, we believe
consumers should have the right to make informed choices about their
Pan UK spokesman Nick Mole said: "The presence of pesticide residues in
our food and our subsequent ingestion of them is not something that
anybody should welcome. We are in effect being poisoned against our will
with the full knowledge of the growers, retailers and regulatory bodies
that provide our food or are tasked with making sure it is safe."
The Federation of Bakers said it wanted to reassure consumers that any
pesticides on cereals used by UK bakers were approved, regulated and
legal. A spokesman said: "The official Defra expert report, on which the
Pan UK report is based, concludes quite clearly that there are no
negative impacts on health from any of the residues detected on bread.
It is also crucial to acknowledge that all the levels of residue found
on bread are considerably lower than the maximum residue limit (MRL),
which is an internationally agreed level."
Source: Belfast Telegraph
Sustainable Foods Summit Highlights Key Industry Challenges
Some of the key challenges faced by the sustainable food industry were
discussed in the European edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit.
Hosted in Amsterdam in June, the summit focused on protein alternatives,
future of clean labels, and impact of new technologies.
The summit brought together about 140 senior executives from the food
industry, with representatives from sustainable & organic food firms,
large food & beverage companies, ingredient firms, certification
agencies and NGOs participating. There was a call for fresh ideas to
meet the sustainability challenges.
In his keynote, Professor Harry Aiking from VU University said food
security and prioritising environmental impacts were two crucial issues.
According to Aiking, the food industry needs to raise food production by
60% whilst reducing its environmental impacts by a quarter by 2050.
Sustainable alternatives to proteins are urgently needed since rising
meat production was having a high environmental toll. The prospects for
plant proteins, synthetic meats and other meat alternatives were
Consumer behaviour was cited as the major obstacle for insects to become
viable protein sources. Professor Dr. Arnold Van Huis from Wageningen
University believes insects can play an important role in preventing a
proteins crisis. There are also many sustainability benefits since
insect farming has a hundred times lower carbon footprint then livestock
production. Professor Van Huis says there are about 2,000 edible insect
species, giving a diverse range of food applications. In the interim, he
believes insects will play an important role in fishmeal and animal
The clean labels session covered the growing number of free-from labels
in the food industry. According to Michelle-Berriedale Johnson, the
market has grown out of its niche to mainstream because of the rise in
food sensitivity. Alex Smith of Alara Wholefoods cited intensive
agriculture as a major cause, with a possible link between hybridised
wheat and gluten sensitivity. With free-from food labels already
established in retailers, foodservice was highlighted as the next growth
MMR Research showed there was still a lot of consumer confusion about
such labels; its survey showed that 71% of UK consumers did not know
what clean label meant, whilst just 5% gave a correct response. The
research agency encouraged food companies to focus on ‘shorter labels’
on product packs to prevent confusion.
Panellists discussed the future direction of clean labels. With
eco-labels and free-from labels becoming ubiquitous on food products,
concerns were expressed about information overload on product packaging.
To avoid this, some food companies were focusing on brands, rather then
making free-from claims and brandishing symbols & logos. Innocence was
cited as an example of a beverage brand following this route.
The impact of new technologies on food production and marketing were
also covered. IRB (Croda) is using plant cell technology to harvest
natural actives from plant materials. According to the company,
sustainable processing of plant materials in biorefineries enables ‘soil
to be left for food production’. A number of speakers highlighted the
growing role of mobile technology; Noteo showed how mobile apps can be
used to rate food products by environmental, social, economic and health
indicators. Chainfood outlined the role of mobile communications to
build sustainable supply chains. Another paper by Selerant showed
advances in life-cycle analysis to measure environmental impacts.
Large food companies shared their experiences in meeting their
sustainability challenges. Heineken stated water scarcity, food security
and climate change were the key sustainability priorities of the global
brewery. It has reduced its water footprint by 20% since 2008. Nestle
shared its plans for its European plants to have zero-waste by 2020.
Dansk Supermarked highlighted one of the major decisions faced by
retailers: should it focus on responsible (sustainable) products or
discounted core products? The Nordic retailer decided to ‘sit on two
chairs’ by marketing sustainable foods at competitive prices under its
The Sustainable Foods Summit emphasised the growing complexity of
sustainability in the food industry. Food companies and retailers are
under pressure to address a growing range of environmental and social
issues. The food industry is becoming more accountable, however
consumers appear to be responding slowly; adoption rates of sustainable
foods (and ingredients) remain low. There are also concerns about the
growing number of eco-labels and related (free-from) labels in the
industry. Such sustainability issues will be tackled in 2015 editions...
Sustainable Foods Summit North America San Francisco, 21-22nd
Sustainable Foods Summit Europe Amsterdam, 4-5 June
Sustainable Foods Summit Latin America São Paulo, 25-26th June
Organised by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is
to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food
industry by discussing key industry issues in a high level forum. More
information is available from the
See the summit pictures here