A Greener World (AGW) announced that Hart Dairy, a Waynesboro, Ga.-based processor of grass-fed whole, reduced-fat and chocolate milk, is now Certified Animal Welfare Approved. This certification and food label lets consumers know the company’s animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range in accordance with the highest animal welfare standards in the United States and Canada, using sustainable agriculture methods on an independent farm. Consumer Reports rated Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW as the only “highly meaningful” label for farm animal welfare, outdoor access and sustainability — and the only animal welfare certification in which they have confidence.


Irvine, Calif.-based Good Culture, a clean-label cultured dairy brand, announced the completion of $64 million in Series C funding led by Manna Tree, with participation from SEMCAP Food & Nutrition and celebrity investor Kristen Bell, a superfan of the brand. This capital will help Good Culture, a Certified B-Corporation, continue to scale the business and innovate beyond its current product line to build a cultured foods platform.


Sandpoint, Idaho-headquartered Litehouse Inc., a 100% employee-owned company offering refrigerated salad dressings, dips, sauces, cheese and other consumer packaged goods, announced the appointment of Paul Hemingway as vice president of marketing and the promotion of Brad Horn to senior vice president of sales and marketing. The duo will collaborate with executives across the company to build on the leadership position of the Litehouse brand and drive retail growth for the company’s growing portfolio of emerging brands.

Hemingway brings more than 20 years of brand marketing experience at leading consumer food companies, including J.M. Smucker Company, Coca-Cola and Wendy’s, as well as eegee’s, Abbott Laboratories and Kimberly-Clark, Litehouse said. Horn joined Litehouse in 2020 as vice president of retail sales, leading and overseeing the retail sales team.


Wakefern Food Corp., the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative — with member companies that own and operate supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway banners — announced its Own Brands Supplier Innovation Summit. The announcement is an open call to private label manufacturers in an effort to source exciting new and trending food and beverage products for potential addition to its Wakefern’s Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry store brands.

Private label manufacturers and vendors interested in participating in Wakefern’s Own Brands Supplier Innovation Summit are encouraged to submit their application through RangeMe March 7 through March 28. Once submitted, own brand category managers will review submissions and invite suppliers first to a virtual pitch meeting, the Keasbey, N.J.-based company said. Finalists selected after the virtual pitch meeting will be invited to a one-day summit in June at Wakefern headquarters. During the one-day summit, suppliers will present their innovative products to a panel of Wakefern executives for potential addition to the Bowl & Basket or Wholesome Pantry brands.

At this time, Wakefern said it will not be accepting submissions for non-food items, supplemental and nutritional items, or baby food. All other food items will be considered. Applicants must provide a complete and accurate description of the product and product line, including a brand profile, to be considered. For more information and to complete an application, visit www.rangeme.com/WakefernOwnBrands2022.


On March 3, the government of Canada published its plans for complying with U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) tariff-rate quota (TRQ) commitments after a USMCA dispute panel found them noncompliant in January. Dairy industry groups were swift to react.

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), said the Canadian plan is a nonstarter.

“The plan makes true access to the Canadian market unattainable through a series of gimmicks. It comes as no surprise that Canada is unwilling to reform their trade-distorting practices on dairy,” he said.

The plan makes minimal changes and continues to fall well short of Canada’s USMCA commitments, IDFA said, adding distributors as eligible applicants and allocating based on market share. IDFA said it remains deeply concerned that these proposed changes will continue to have the same outcome as the previous policy and market access will not be obtained.

From the onset of USMCA implementation, IDFA has sought the reform of Canada's TRQ administration by seeking an administration that does not have layers of overly prescriptive rules that distort the market and prevents U.S. dairy exporters from having full access to the quotas Canada agreed to in the USMCA. Canada's announced consultations fall well short of true reform, IDFA said.

IDFA said it will continue advocating for Canadian TRQ administration reform that facilitates the market access commitments in the USMCA agreement.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation, both based in Arlington, Va., also slammed the Canadian proposal.

“U.S. dairy farmers and manufacturers have only limited access to the Canadian market under USMCA. That makes it essential that Canada abide by its original commitments under that agreement,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Canada’s recent dairy TRQ proposal will not lead to that result. While it’s not surprising that Canada is trying to see just how little will be demanded of them, it’s essential that the U.S. government insist on real reforms.”


CARE, in collaboration with The Starbucks Foundation and Cargill, is launching a new effort that will help transform cocoa growing communities in Côte d’Ivoire and builds on decades of CARE’s experience in developing Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLAs). VSLAs increase the impact and sustainability of project activities, as members become self-reliant, and help establish other VSLAs for people in their communities, according to Minneapolis-based Cargill.

The partnership aims to establish 120 VSLAs linked to 10 farmer organizations in Cargill’s supply chain, using the VSLA platform for integration of broader gender, nutrition and water sanitation and hygiene interventions. Cargill said it will help establish and support 100 VSLAs, and The Starbucks Foundation, Seattle, will support the creation of an additional 20 VSLAs, enabling women to advance, diversify and expand their income-generating activities. In total, this initiative aims to directly impact the lives of 2,500 participants (2,000 women) and indirectly reach 15,000 community members by September 2023.  


Motion Industries Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based distributor of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts and a provider of industrial technology solutions, announced the promotion of Jon Tart to vice president of the company’s Southeast Group. Tart was promoted from his position of Baltimore Division vice president.


Chicago-based Varcode, a developer of affordable digital collection, recording, tracing and reporting for supply chain compliance and logistics monitoring, said it finalized a new strategic partnership with Cincinnati, Ohio-based General Data Company Inc., a manufacturer and provider of labeling, packaging, barcode identification, data management and equipment service products and solutions. General Data is now authorized to sell and support Varcode’s complete Smart Data Solutions wireless time and temperature monitoring system, including the Smart Tags, software, hardware, integration and support.