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Packaging: Marketing's New Frontier | Quad

Surely, I thought, there must be healthful, sustainable, yet scalable and profitable alternatives to our unsustainable food and agriculture sectors. Like energy, food and agriculture are big, slow, and highly regulated sectors. Organic food has enjoyed double-digit growth in the U. Yet, organic agriculture still represents only one percent of U.

That leaves plenty of room for growth and opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors, especially given the increasingly apparent ties between food and global warming. Agriculture emits greenhouse gases with an order of magnitude worse global-warming potency than CO2, such as methane from intensive livestock operations and rice fields and nitrous oxide from fertilizers and factory farm waste lagoons.

Another agricultural emission, nitric oxide, is the main driver of the new acid rain that is killing forests and fish. Run-off of excess fertilizer from cropland and excess manure from factory farms is the primary cause of enormous aquatic dead zones in coastal waters globally, devastating marine life and ironically, threatening human seafood supply.

Agriculture is overwhelmingly the biggest cause of global deforestation image, below , driven by livestock and growing Western demand for food commodities like palm oil. There is hope of mitigating these issues.

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More importantly, it should be possible to make money and improve the environment — because the current system is inefficient and wasteful, leaving enormous room to move the needle by eliminating waste. One way to reduce the carbon footprint of our food is by eating locally grown food, reducing the fuel spent on transportation. However, the practicality of this varies regionally. Here are some companies making local food more widely available.

A CSA is a subscription that delivers weekly food from a local farm. Although this offers advantages to both consumer and farmer, such programs are less prevalent in other regions and represent a negligible fraction of the food sector.

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If you live in the East Coast or Midwest, your lettuce and tomatoes have likely spent an expensive week riding thousands of miles in a refrigerated truck from Mexico or the West Coast. BrightFarms is an excellent example of aligning environmental goals with profit by eliminating waste, because photosynthesis is very efficient, whereas trucking a tomato 3, miles in a fuel-guzzling fridge is not.

A startup named Solum hopes to help on both sides, by enabling farmers to reduce fertilizer usage via more accurate, real-time measurement of soil chemistry. For millions of years, atmospheric carbon was trapped by photosynthesis and stored in the ground. Human agricultural practices have upset this balance.


For example, much of North America, once covered by carbon-trapping grass, has been transformed to grow corn, using fuel-intensive inputs and releasing greenhouse gases into the air from tilling and over-fertilization, largely to feed animals that eat grass in the first place. Cornfields require annual tilling, which releases soil carbon to the atmosphere. They conduct photosynthesis only part of the year, and most of the carbon and calories they capture stay in the kernels, soon to return into the air via digestion.

Grass, on the other hand, is a carbon sink, burying most of its carbon and calories in the soil, where it remains.

Bioinspired and Biointegrated Materials as New Frontiers Nanomaterials IX

About seven times more corn than what we eat is used to feed livestock like cattle which can digest grass more easily than corn. If more sustainable techniques are scalable, they might be among the most leveraged ways available to combat global warming. The Union of Concerned Scientists has recently stated that raising cattle on grass can be a net carbon sink whereas feedlot cattle operations are a net carbon emitter.

Studies suggest that grassland sequesters more carbon than a forest. There is also evidence that grass traps more carbon when grazed , provided that the livestock be moved periodically moderate grazing causes grass to grow back healthier, whereas clear-grazing kills the grass. This sounds great for the environment, but is it economically feasible? The premise of MRG is to mimic the behavior of roaming ruminants that evolved over millions of years: a herd chews the grass, stimulating plant and root growth and letting sunlight reach the growth points.

Then the herd moves on to greener pastures, leaving behind manure fertilizer and hoofprints that soften the soil and help water retention and seed germination.

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MRG mimics this by moving cattle from one plot of grass to another daily. A new breed of farms mimics this by raising chickens in mobile cages and coops that are moved into a plot of land once the cattle have left it. Essentially, MRG uses livestock to do the job of fuel-intensive tractors, fertilizers, and pesticides. A growing sustainable food movement, the culinary equivalent of renewable energy, is enabling Bay Area meat and poultry producer Marin Sun Farms image, right to enjoy an enviable combination of high-margin sales and exponential growth. Packaging helps boost the perceived value of high-end items, worth the extra cost even for fewer ounces.

Packaging: Marketing’s New Frontier

Trends in dietary health and wellness demands packaging that reflects a more thoughtful attitude toward the body, and the planet. For an evolving e-commerce supply chain, packaging has to protect products through more shipping and handling. Space limitations for both trucking and storage are additional considerations. Consumers want more from CPG brands, and brand managers are scrambling to keep up. Taking advantage of innovations like personalized packaging can help, but only if approached right.

What matters most is creating an experience that engages customers. No question, packaging needs to be efficient and effective.

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Speed to market, shelf-life and cost matter, as do visual appeal. With advanced technologies in digital print, marketers are expanding personal touches beyond traditional methods and onto the packages consumers hold in their hands and walk into their homes. We welcome all feedback and inquiries. Call us at Start Here. Search Quad: Clear.