Category Archives: Farm

Raw Milk Bill Scheduled for Vote in the Texas House

Austin, TX, May 05, 2015 — /EPR FOOD & BEVERAGE NEWS/ — Texas lawmakers will have the opportunity to make it easier for consumers to buy raw milk on Thursday, when House Bill 91 is scheduled to come up for a vote on the floor of the House.

The bill, which was approved by the Public Health Committee, will loosen the current regulations that only allow raw milk to be sold on the farm by allowing dairy farmers to sell raw milk at farmers’ markets and to make delivery arrangements with their customers.

“Currently, Texans have to travel to a licensed dairy to buy raw milk,” explained Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Executive Director Judith McGeary. “This bill reduces costs and hassle for consumers, while allowing farmers a fair opportunity to market their products,” she continued.

Kris Errickson, whose 13-year old daughter testified to the Public Health Committee in favor of the bill, explained the impact raw milk had on her daughter’s health. “My daughter suffered from food allergies and eczema for much of her life. Her condition changed for the better after implementing a strict diet including raw milk. However, for the past two years my husband battled terminal brain cancer. Driving hours for raw milk was too burdensome, so she had no milk during this time, and her eczema recently returned.”

Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn(R-Canton), the bill’s sponsor, has called it a “free-enterprise” bill. “If you have a legal product, it seems like you should be able to sell it at a farmer’s market,” Flynn told committee members at a hearing on April 21.

Mark Hutchins, a second generation raw milk dairy farmer from Greenville who also testified at the hearing, encouraged the full House to pass the legislation. “The House should affirm that licensed, regulated and legal raw milk is a safe product that ought to be more readily available to interested consumers.

“As a raw milk producer myself, I know how hard raw milk farmers work to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of their loyal customers, and how much it means to customers to be able to access this product. I urge the Texas House to quickly pass HB 91 and support the freedom of farmers and consumers to choose what is best for their families’ health and safety.”

A fact sheet on HB 91 is available at: http://farmandranchfreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Fact-sheet-HB91-floor-vote.pdf

About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers. FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.

Contact-Details: Judith McGeary, 512-484-8821, Judith@FarmAndRanchFreedom.org

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The National Trust joins fight to save the great British pud

The National Trust has announced it is backing a Government Minister’s call to save the great British pudding.

After being appointed in a recent cabinet reshuffle, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson urged people to be patriotic with their puddings, choosing traditional British recipes over foreign imports. In an interview with Farmers Weekly, Paterson said: “There is a huge dessert deficit in this country. We have a huge opportunity to replace imported desserts with desserts made here.”

He encouraged diners to swap desserts such as crème brulee and panna cotta, which use imported dairy products, for traditional favourites like apple crumble, treacle tart and spotted dick.

The news comes as the National Trust prepares to launch its autumn pudding campaign, with free puddings throughout the month of October with every lunchtime meal purchased in its selected cafes and restaurants.

The flavour of the month will be great British puddings, all made from seasonal ingredients – a reminder to visitors at National Trust places just how good a British pud can be.

A recent National Trust online poll of people’s favourite autumn puddings found that dishes using seasonal ingredients remained the popular first choice, despite the modern trend of year-round food availability using foreign imports*.

Clive Goudercourt, Development Chef for the National Trust, said: “We pride ourselves on baking our own food using the best of British ingredients, many grown on National Trust estates and farms.

“We hope our delicious, home-cooked puddings will inspire people to choose traditional recipes and celebrate Britain’s best food across the seasons.”

Clive added: “British, seasonal food is tastier, fresher and more nutritious. It is better value, better for the environment and better for your wallet.”

Delicious examples of fresh autumn food can be enjoyed for free when customers spend over £5.75 on a main lunchtime meal at over 100 National Trust locations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To find out more about this offer, and to download free recipes to help save the Great British pud, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/pudding and download a voucher (offer is valid from Monday 1st October until Wednesday 31st October 2012).

There’s also the chance to walk off those autumn puddings on a Great British Walk with the National Trust. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk for more information and to download hundreds of free walking routes.

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The Co-operative Backs British Farming

The Co-operative Group is championing British farming with a major in-store push featuring British growers on its fresh produce packaging. Four Co-operative Group farmers: Lucy Mason, from Kent; Russell Armstrong, from Cambridgeshire; William Barnett, from Herefordshire; and Jack Parsons, from East Yorkshire, will be pictured on the packaging alongside other British growers who supply produce to almost 3,000 Co-operative food stores.

The new packaging, featuring a large Union Jack and photographs and comments from the British farmers who grow the fruit and vegetables for The Co-operative, will be rolled out over the next 12 months in line with the British season for each crop.

As the UK’s only supermarket to also run a major farming business, The Co-operative is backing British growers and emphasising the quality and freshness of its fruit and veg, and the care taken to get the best British products and seasonal food to its stores.

The Co-operative Farms, one of Britain’s largest farmers, which has farmed the land for more than 100 years, will play a key role in the rebrand of all its British primary produce packaging.

Christine Tacon, Managing Director of The Co-operative Farms, said: “The Co-operative has a long heritage in farming and we supply significant volumes of produce from our own farms to our food stores. Research told us that our customers trust British farmers to deliver great quality produce and they value our support of UK farming.

“This bold new packaging will highlight key British produce lines when they are available in store and demonstrate our continued commitment to British farming. It will also enable our customers to support these growers and also get the freshest and highest-quality products, when they are at their best – during the traditional British seasons.”

The launch will feature promotional lines of Cox’s apples, Conference pears, Maris Piper potatoes and onions, which are also grown on The Co-operative Farms’ estates in Tillington in Herefordshire, Highland Court in Kent, Coldham in Cambridgeshire and Goole in East Yorkshire.

A new QR (Quick Response) code will also appear on packs of pears, potatoes, apples and onions that will link to a website with more details on the product, the growers and recipes.

The new packaging will replace the “Grown By Us” range.

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The Co-operative Magazine Poll Reveals 50/50 Split On Growing Veg

The Co-operative Magazine poll reveals 50/50 split on growing veg October 18 2011.

This month The Co-operative Magazine asked its readers: “Have you ever tried growing your own vegetables?” And the results are in. More than half (55.4 per cent) of respondents answered yes, 18.9 per cent answered no, and 25.7 per cent said no but they would like to.

The results of The Co-operative Magazine’s latest poll show that more than half of those asked have tried to grow their own vegetables and therefore are aiming at becoming increasingly self-sufficient. It also showed that while a significant percentage of people have never tried to grow their own vegetables, of these more than half would like to in the future.

With delicious autumn recipes, ideas for cooking seasonal food and bags of nutrition advice available online as part of the Magazine, readers can get lots of help with how to use any vegetables they do grow.

Jeanette Franks, editor of The Co-operative Magazine, said: “Our aim is to help people make small changes to the way they live day-to-day, and to help our readers live a more sustainable lifestyle.

“We’re not here to lecture, we’re here to offer fun features, facts and healthy recipes online to encourage everyone to do their bit without drastically changing their lifestyle in the process.”

The current issue of the online Magazine – Happy Autumn – features 10 top tips on how to stay happy and healthy throughout autumn, and an in-depth article on how different colours can affect your mood. Readers can also keep up with the latest fashions and find the best places to shop by visiting the shopping and culture section.

Read this month’s issue and sign up to the eNewsletter to be in with a chance of winning a pair of colourful Aigle wellies, a copy of Jules Standish’s book ‘How Not to Wear Black’, or a top of the range Samsung laptop.

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Customers Willing To Wait For Their Orders While Gourmet Food Company Struggles To Find Working Capital

Eight years ago Susan Knapp began making Cinnamon Pear Jelly in her kitchen as a holiday treat. When she realized there was a demand for her healthy and delicious pear creations, she left her lucrative executive position to focus on building her own gourmet food company.

Knapp launched Aunt Sue’s in 1998 with four products, each one winning top awards at the Lake County and California State Fairs. As the company gained momentum, Knapp changed the name to A Perfect Pear from Napa Valley and introduced 15 new products. Now, major wholesale customers include Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Disney, Luxor Hotel & Casino, and the United States Navy, in addition to hundreds of boutique retailers, wineries, restaurants, and caterers across the nation.

Knapp’s commitment to make healthy products that taste delicious, look beautiful, and are friendly to the environment has propelled her company to the brink of the big leagues. And yet, the business is struggling. “Our problem has never been sales,” Knapp says. “Our biggest challenge is undercapitalization.”

With product rapidly flying off the shelves, Knapp finds herself in a unique position: over $100,000 in pending holiday backorders and not enough cash in reserves to manufacture. The rising costs of raw goods and the current credit crunch had brought a rapid halt to production, and yet, the customers are willing to wait.

“Everyday I get calls from customers who tell me they can no longer find our products,” says customer service rep Kat Patterson. “I have to tell them that we are sold out and unfortunately, we don’t know when we will be able to make more. They always tell me they’ll wait. They love our products and don’t care how long it takes. But I know people are anxious to place their holiday orders.”

“Each time I go to production I am making more product, which is great!” Knapp says. “But that also means I always need more money to keep up with growing demand.”

With SBA and bank loans halted, Knapp is now seeking funding from private parties. In this economic crisis, we’re thinking outside of the box and we’re getting pretty creative.”

Knapp currently needs $200,000 to fill backorders and put inventory on the shelves for the busy holiday season. She could save money by using less expensive ingredients and materials, but refuses to cut corners on quality. “Our commitment is to make healthy, delicious products with all-natural, mostly organic and mostly local ingredients. Our customers expect that and are willing to wait. They know we’ll be back.”

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Venulum Reports That Its Venture Capital Lobster Farm Project Has Successfully Managed To Breed Caribbean Spiny Lobsters

Venulum, private wealth management firm based in the British Virgin Islands, has successfully managed to breed Caribbean Spiny Lobsters in commercial quantities in controlled conditions in the British Virgin Islands.

Significant recent catches of juvenile lobsters have been heartening. It is too early to say whether these numbers reflect the early season peak in numbers or the average settlement rate. When compared with previous research, the highly regular settlement rate matches that of the average settlement during a small-scale investigation between 2001-2003.

Giles Cadman, chairman of Venulum said: “It has taken us nearly two years of careful evolution of the collection process but we should now be capable of replicating it throughout the Caribbean, Australia and Asia to provide numerous business opportunities to fishers and young entrepreneurs.

“The numbers are very impressive, indicating that settlement is spatially uniform and that collection systems perform equally well at depth as on the surface and so the entire harvest can remain subsurface away from boat traffic.”

The lobster farm has been built at the Pockwood Pond site on Tortola, the largest island in the British Virgin Islands, and should be fully operational once hurricane protection has been completed on-site early next year.

The farm site is progressing with general finishing and fabrication work moving to completion. The Venulum management team has approved the construction of a mould for large-scale fabrication of tanks according to precise requirements. Experimental storage systems have been deployed in favourable deep water locations in the hope that these will be useful as holding accommodation for ‘post larvae’ while farm infrastructure is completed. If effective, Venulum hope these devices will prove vital in reducing the cost and time commitment of early culture operations.

The collection and breeding programme is based on knowledge gained from research undertaken by Rob Power, Director of Caribbean Sustainable Fisheries, who undertook his research in conjunction with the World Fish Centre. “I have been working on the principle of a sustainable business model for over ten years,” explains Rob “and we are continuing our ongoing research and development programme to finesse the process, with the emphasis on sustainability.”

He adds “Caribbean Sustainable Fisheries also intends working with local communities to build small scale lobster farming operations offering business opportunities to fishermen whose wild resource has been depleted to the point that it is no longer viable to continue fishing.

“Our aim is to produce consistent, high quality lobster that seafood purchasers can recognise as both sustainable and consistently good” explains Cadman. “Venulum has a large wine business and by working with many small wine producers, we have the experience and understanding to support them. The same principles apply to the fishing industry and we are using our experience to create a business model that can be easily replicated without the need for significant capital cost.”

With the steady progress to date, we can look forward to the first market sized lobsters in around 18 months from now.

About Venulum:
The Venulum Group is a multinational private wealth management firm headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. The Group manages the wealth of high net worth individuals, and specialises in alternative investments often not available to the general public. Venulum helps high net worth individuals balance their portfolios.

The Venulum Group was formed in 2002, and has expanded to include offices in four countries, with service offices in a further two. Since 2002 Venulum’s client base has expanded rapidly, and now has a substantial number of United States based clients.

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EPR Food & Beverage News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the food & beverage news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

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