Alice Waters – L’Art de la Cuisine Simple

West Coast USA’s culinary ambassador of slow food never went to a cooking school. Instead, Alice Waters taught herself by doing, by watching and by absorbing. Her sojourns in France, namely in Nantes and en Provence, were also great leaps … Continue reading

San Francisco Sustainable Foods Summit Calls For Greater Transparency

Sustainable Foods Summit San Francisco, click HERE for FULL Story and Pictures

Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco

(London) January 28, 2011 – The North American edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit (www.sustainablefoodssummit.com) drew to a successful close last week, with many participants calling for greater transparency and accountability from the food industry.

Organized by Organic Monitor, the summit brought together about 200 executives at theRitz-Carlton in San Francisco on 18-19th January 2011. New horizons for eco-labels and sustainability were the focal theme of the 2-day summit.The summit explored the evolution of eco-labels – such as Organic, Fair Trade andRainforest Alliance – in an increasingly global food industry.

The advent of international supply chains is leading many consumers to become disconnected from agriculture andfood production methods. Scott Exo, executive director of Food Alliance, echoed the general sentiment at the summit, calling for the ‘de-commoditization’ of food products byproviding greater traceability to consumers. Seth Goldman, co-founder and president of Honest Tea, opened the summit with his keynote on the triple bottom line. By using the example of tea plantations in China, he showed how modernization does not always contribute to sustainability. Since its launchin 1999, Honest Tea has become one of the fastest growing ethical beverage brands in the US.

The first session explored sustainability initiatives in the food industry, with many speakers raising the question, ‘how do you measure sustainability?’ The use of metrics in sustainability performance was explored by Joseph McIntyre from AG InnovationNetwork. Albert Straus, founder of the Straus Family Creamery, shared his company’sapproaches to measuring the carbon footprint of its dairy operations. The importance of offsetting carbon emission was also highlighted by Theresa Marquez from OrganicValley who showed the role of organic agriculture in carbon sequestering. Sustainability in foodservice was covered by Bon Appetit Management Company, which is sourcing locally from small farmers.

Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco

Also in the morning session, Kenneth Ross from Global ID discussed future trends in eco-labels. His paper stressed the importance of IT in combating food fraud and providing traceability to consumers. Convergence of mobile and internet technologies is expected to allow consumers to get ecological and social footprints of their food products. The session ended with a lively debate on sustainability indicators and measurement.The second session honed in on ethical sourcing and sustainable ingredients. The opening papers examined the role of Rainforest Alliance and Fair Trade standards in lowering social and ecological impacts of food products.

Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco
Sustainable Foods Summit, San Francisco

Nasser Abufara from Canaan Fairtrade explained how social enterprise can improve lives of marginalized growers.Using case studies of three of the most traded food commodities, sustainable sourcing was discussed by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Theo Chocolate and Givaudan.

Marketing & distribution innovations were the subject of the third summit session. Leading retailers – Fresh & Easy and Safeway – shared some of their ethical trading and marketing initiatives. Alex Petrov from Safeway showed how its O Organics label had transcended the boundaries of a private label without cannibalizing manufacturer brands.Fresh & Easy, a subsidiary of the global retailer Tesco, explained how it was raising the bar by implementing new ethical codes of conduct. Ellen W. Feeney from Whitewave Foods shared her experiences in developing brands to meet consumers’ needs for healthy and ecological products with the ‘planetary health’ initiative.

The last session of the summit – organic plus strategies – began with an update on theglobal organic products market. Amarjit Sahota, President of Organic Monitor, showed how pioneering organic food companies were integrating sustainability into their corporate ethos and how some eco-labels were converging. Proceeding papers gave case studies of such developments. Equal Exchange stated how companies could intertwine organic and fair trade practices, whilst the Brazilian company Native Organic Products shared its raft of sustainability actions.

Using wine as a case study, the potential of biodynamic foods was explored by Demeter USA and Fetzer-Bonterra Vineyards. Chad Smith from Earthbound Farms closed the session with an interactive discussion onecological packaging for sustainable food products.The third edition of the executive summit raised many questions about sustainability inthe food industry: Will an eco-label ever fully represent sustainability? What ecological and social parameters are most important in such a standard? What are the most efficient methods to measure sustainability? Where is the line between green marketing and greenwashing? How can companies become more sustainable in distribution andpackaging?

The next editions of the Sustainable Foods Summit aim to address such questions. About the Sustainable Foods Summit Organized by Organic Monitor, the aim of the Sustainable Foods Summit is to discussand debate the major issues the food industry faces concerning concerning sustainability and eco-labels. The proceedings of the North American summit (San Francisco, 18-19th January 2011) are available for a small professional fee. More information is available at: www.sustainablefoodssummit.com

Organic Monitor has announced the dates of the next editions of the Sustainable FoodsSummit as…European edition Amsterdam (23-24 June 2011) North American edition San Francisco (17-18 January 2012)

In 2011, Organic Monitor is celebrating 10 years ofencouraging sustainable development. Since 2001, we have been providing a range of business services to operators in high-growth ethical & sustainable industries.www.organicmonitor.com

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Butter And Egg Days Parade

Everyone loves the Petaluma Butter & Egg Days Parade!

Petaluma’s Butter & Egg Days Parade and Celebration, now in its 29th year, has become a tradition in Downtown Petaluma, celebrating the region’s rich agricultural history as one of the premier dairy regions in the country.  The event typically draws over 25,000 attendees.

Together with The Petaluma River, eggs and dairy products created an economy that turned Petaluma into one of the most prosperous communities in the state in the early 1900’s.

The community parade showcases the best of Petaluma and Petaluma’s history. The parade features over 3,000 participants, more than a hundred volunteers and supports every aspect of community life.

Activities before, during and after the parade include four blocks of arts and crafts exhibitors, food vendors offering a wide variety of festival foods, sponsor booths, community and non-profit booths and a large area to entertain youngsters with inflatables, rides, and hands-on activities.  This is one of the North Bay’s largest events and one not to miss for young and old alike. After all, everyone loves a parade!

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Pebble Beach Food And Wine

It’s Here Again! April 8-11. 2010

Four days.    60 Celebrity Chefs.    250 Wineries.

Thousands of foodies…

It's that Pebble Beach Food & Wine time of year again!

In just a couple of weeks, thousands of kindred- foodies like you will descend on the exquisite Pebble Beach, California, a peninsula enclaved between Carmel-by-the-Sea and Monterey Bay, for an event that has been described in past years as an “epicurean delight.”

Pebble Beach Food and Wine at Pebble Beach is set to bring you a culinary experience of a lifetime. Enjoy lunches, dinners and wine tastings. Educate yourself with cooking demonstrations. Experience the most legendary grand tasting the California coast has ever seen. And it’s all surrounded by the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The Kick-Off

Pebble Beach Food and Wine kicks off on Thursday with two fabulous events that marry the theme of the weekend with its spectacular setting.

The first event of the weekend is the Celebrity Chef/Winemaker Golf Tournament at the famed Pebble Beach Golf Links, pitting gastronomy’s stars against one another, and against Pebble Beach Food and Wine attendees. Tee-time is at 8:30 am and the morning starts with a Krug champagne toast.

Thursday evening, the famous Inn at Spanish Bay becomes a beautiful backdrop for an exploration of outstanding food and wine. The Lexus Opening Night Reception features food from 20 top chefs. Over 200 wines are available for tasting.

The weekend continues with event spectaculars that include Naked Chardonnay, To Oak or Not To Oak; Icons of Washington; Chef Thomas Keller – Ad hoc at home; Chef Wolfgang Puck – Make It Easy; Sommelier Blind Tasting and on and

on. The unspoken theme of the weekend is “It’s always a great time for bubbly!” so be sure not to miss out on Brut and Rose – 30 years of vintage at Veuve Clicquot.  Read More HERE >>>>>>>

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