St. Benoit Creamery, Sonoma, Calif., said Mindful Awards — an independent recognition platform highlighting conscious companies and products that mindfully make waves in the ever-expanding world of consumer packaged goods — selected the company’s yogurt for the “Yogurt Product of the Year” award. The company’s minimally processed yogurt products are packaged in reusable glass jars, feature full-fat pasture-raised Jersey cow’s milk, contain gut-friendly live active cultures and do not have fillers and “excessive” sweeteners.


Boise, Idaho-based Killer Creamery, which offers the all-natural Killer Creamery ice cream, announced the closing of a round of Series Seed funding that cements the startup's upward trajectory in the growing billion-dollar keto and low-carb industry. With the latest support from consumer packaged goods investors and operators, Killer Creamery said it is poised to expand its product line and its distribution channels in 2021.


Bongards Creameries, a Chanhassen, Minn.-based cheese manufacturer, said it made a charitable contribution of more than 18,000 pounds of cheese to help local food banks in the Minnesota and Tennessee communities in which it operates. The donation represents enough cheese to serve more than 25,000 families.

“As a co-op built by a community of hard-working farmers, we understand the value of giving back to the communities in which we live and work,” said Daryl Larson, Bongards president and CEO. “Especially during this time of incredible need.”


Danone North America, headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., and Broomfield, Colo., said it is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 Danone North America Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics Fellowship Grant. In the program’s ninth year, Danone will award two $25,000 grants to graduate students interested in exploring the gut microbiome, probiotics and yogurt to better understand how they help support and maintain human health and wellness.

Danone North America said it will be accepting applications from graduate students until Feb. 14, 2021. The winner will be notified on April 1, 2021. For additional information, qualification requirements and to complete the online application, visit


Major food industry leaders are joining forces alongside Vanguard Renewables to launch the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance (FPSA), which is aimed at accelerating long-term commitments to avoid or eliminate food waste first and repurpose what can’t be eliminated into renewable energy. FPSA first movers include Unilever, Starbucks and Dairy Farmers of America, said Vanguard Renewables, Wellesley, Mass.

FPSA commits to reducing food waste from manufacturing and the supply chain and repurposing any unavoidable waste that cannot be eliminated into renewable energy via Vanguard Renewables’ farm-based anaerobic digesters. FPSA members also commit to begin exploring the process of decarbonizing their thermal energy usage by converting to farm-derived renewable natural gas, Vanguard Renewables said.


The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), the marketing order representing California dairy producers, announced the addition of Veronique Lagrange as the director of the California Dairy Innovation Center (CDIC). The CDIC was recently created to further product-oriented innovation and enhance productivity for the California dairy industry. Working closely with the Tracy, Calif.-based CMAB and the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF), Lagrange will act as a liaison for researchers, educators, business development representatives and processors interested in innovation efforts.

Most recently, Lagrange held the position of director of business development for the American Dairy Products Institute, Elmhurst, Ill., where she chaired the Center of Excellence and several industry taskforces. She also spearheaded The Strong Inside campaign and served as a subject-matter expert for business strategies, nutrition and scientific matters, CMAB said.


The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) praised President-elect Biden’s selection of Katherine Tai for nomination as the next United States Trade Representative.

“With the growing importance of agricultural exports to the financial well-being of America’s dairy farmers, the U.S. Dairy Export Council is excited to welcome President-elect Biden’s nomination of Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative,” said Krysta Harden, chief operating officer of Arlington, Va.-based USDEC. “As a central member of the president-elect’s economic team, Ms. Tai will be able to ensure that agricultural exports remain strong and continue to grow, including through strong enforcement of trade agreements.”

The Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association — as well as the National Milk Producers Federation and the Consortium for Common Food Names, both headquartered in Arlington, Va. — also applauded the selection of Tai.


The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) announced the appointment of Jeff Rumachik as president and CEO of the organization, effective Jan. 1, 2021. Rumachik will take over the position following the retirement of H.V. “Skip” Shaw Jr. after 36 years of service to the Harrisburg, Pa.-headquartered association.


The National Dairy Promotion and Research Board (NDB), Rosemont, Ill., said it honored Mike Kruger as the 2020 recipient of the Richard E. Lyng Award for his contributions and distinguished service to dairy promotion. Kruger, former CEO of Midwest Dairy — which represents 5,800 farmers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma — was honored at a recent meeting of the NDB.

NBD said the award is named for former Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng, who played a critical role in implementing policies that led to the establishment of NDB more than 35 years ago. The Lyng Award honors leaders who have made a significant contribution to dairy promotion that benefits the entire community.


The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), an advocate and voice for the growing U.S. flexible packaging industry, said the Flexible Packaging Market Tracker was updated with the most recent market data from Euromonitor International. The update also includes information on COVID-19 impacts on the industry.

In the COVID-19 section, members may view an overview of COVID-19 conditions, the impact of COVID-19 on the gross domestic product, the impact on sector growth and the impact on the flexible packaging market, Annapolis, Md.-based FPA said. The COVID-19 section will be updated quarterly, while the main market tracker data is updated annually. For more information about the Flexible Packaging Market Tracker, visit


The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, Rosemont, Ill., announced Starbucks’ intent to support the Net Zero Initiative (NZI), a partnership of the U.S. dairy community seeking to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, optimize water usage and improve water quality on farms. Starbucks’ intended commitment will advance effective environmental and economically viable practices and technologies in feed production, manure handling, cow care and on-farm energy-efficiency for farms in their supply chain and beyond.


Chicago-based market research firm IRI and the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA), Madison, Wis., announced the launch of IRI Integrated Fresh, a new solution that tracks sales of random-weight items, as well as traditional UPC items, that can be shared across the industry with retailers and manufacturers to give a more holistic view of the store. IRI co-developed the solution with IDDBA.


Motion Industries Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based distributor of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts and a wholly owned subsidiary of Genuine Parts Co., said its president, Randy Breaux, is a 2020 recipient of CEO of the Year honors from the Birmingham Business Journal. Winners and finalists were honored during a virtual event on Dec. 3.


Dr. David Acheson, former chief medical officer at the FDA Center for Food Safety, is joining PathogenDx, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-headquartered DNA-based pathogen-testing platform, as a strategic advisor. In that role, he will form a food safety committee to inform the company’s development of rapid detection testing tech for the food industry, PathogenDx said. Acheson brings more than 30 years of medical and food safety research and experience to PathogenDx.


Avery Dennison Corp., Glendale, Calif., announced a series of recent actions that further acknowledge its accelerated sustainability efforts — ending the year with continued progress against its 2025 sustainability goals and re-committing to its role as a sustainability leader within the global value chain. The company received markedly improved scores on its transparency and actions on climate change, water and forests by the Carbon Disclosure Project, the gold standard in environmental reporting. CDP operates a global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Avery Dennison earned an A- on forests and scored a B for climate change and for water security.