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Earthoil Partners with NY Remedies for Argan Oil


High Pesticide Residues in Bread


Sustainable Foods Summit Highlights Key Industry Challenges




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 world.

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 Sustainable Cosmetics 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 on the website

Related Report:  #1203-60 The UK Market for Natural & Organic PC Products

Source: News Release



High Pesticide Residues in Bread

Almost two thirds of bread products in the UK now contain pesticide residues, according to a report based on government figures.

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 said.

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 food."

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 discussed.

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 feed.

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 area.

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 private labels.

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 January 2015
Sustainable Foods Summit Europe                  Amsterdam, 4-5 June 2015
Sustainable Foods Summit Latin America         São Paulo, 25-26th June 2015

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 website

See the summit pictures here

Related Article: The Future Direction of Clean Labels

Source: News Release













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