By Sam Eathington, Monsanto Vice President, Global Plant Breeding
Anyone who has a backyard garden knows that growing food can be challenging. Some years, it’s really dry, and even when you water in the morning and in the evening, your garden still looks thirsty. Other years, an unknown disease or insect sets in—your plants look feeble, and they produce fewer harvestable fruits and vegetables. After all the day-in and day-out work, this outcome is quite discouraging – knowing for all your effort, you’ll probably harvest less, and it likely won’t taste as good.
Farms and ranches are valuable enterprises, both for the food they provide and for the equity accrued over time in their assets: land, equipment, facilities and livestock. With 87 percent of America’s farms and ranches family-owned, these assets are often passed to the next generation. This transition process is rife with operational, financial and interpersonal considerations; a comprehensive succession plan is essential to managing the issues effectively.
Bob and Christine Stiller Award Unprecedented Challenge Grant to Nonprofit Fair Trade USA
Oakland, CA, November 20, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Today Bob Stiller, long-time Fair Trade enthusiast and founder of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (now Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.), and wife Christine Stiller, awarded a monumental $10 million challenge grant to nonprofit organization and leading Fair Trade certifier Fair Trade USA. This investment will help fund three critical work streams aimed at increasing the reach and impact of Fair Trade certification for farmers and workers worldwide.
In recent years, there has been considerable debate about the social, environmental and economic impact of tobacco growing, especially in developing countries and some orgnaisations are calling for tobacco farmers to be encouraged to switch to alternative crops.
As we actively engage with regulators and governments on this issue, we have developed five core principles which we believe can help guide their future policy decision making.
Evidence-based: Driven by market dynamics and based on sound research and scientific evidence
Because of their rural location, many of BAT's upland farmers in Bangladesh haven’t had an electricity supply. Access to clean water for drinking and sanitation can also be a major challenge for them.
Since 2011, BAT Bangladesh has provided over 1,300 solar energy panels that generate electricity for 15 remote villages in tobacco growing areas. The company also runs a project which has, so far, installed 53 water filtration plants that purify up to 270,000 litres a day, providing much needed clean drinking water in 14 districts.
This should be a prosperous time for Justice Obini, a cocoa farmer in West Africa. With appetite for chocolate at an all-time high – the global demand has risen 13 percent in five years – his cocoa beans are sought after. Yet Obini struggles daily to take care of his farm -- and his family of ten.