The produce section can be a profitable department in any natural products business. While customers may come in to purchase supplements on a monthly basis, a well thought out produce department can keep them coming back multiple times throughout the week. In 2012, perishable goods averaged over $1.5 million of sales per natural products store, with over one-third from fresh produce alone (1). However, there are several key items to focus on to run a successful produce section.

Here are a few important events going on in the world of Green…

Santa Barbara, CA—Vitamin Angels has launched a new campaign to help deliver micronutrients to 30 million children lacking the resources to receive proper nutrition.

Ithaca, NY—Learning that a product is certified organic may leave many consumers feeling a bit conflicted. New research, conducted by researchers from Cornell University and University of Michigan and published in the journal Appetite, shows that some groups of consumers acknowledge the “good” that organics provide while simultaneously holding a bias against them when it comes to taste and other qualities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced a new requirement for certifying agencies under the National Organic Program (NOP). Agencies must now annually test for non-organic residue in samples from at least 5% of the organic farms and processors they certify. The requirement went into effect on January 1, 2013.

Sherbrooke, QC, Canada—A horrible disaster struck a production plant owned by Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc. (maker of Neptune Krill Oil [NKO]) on the afternoon of November 8. An explosion and fire reduced the production facility to rubble, killing three workers. At least 18 others were injured, some with severe burns. Investigators are searching for the cause of the explosion and the massive blaze that ensued.

News and notes from industry suppliers.

Aimes, IA—Adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP) is key for cellular energy storage, so key that when cells don’t have enough ATP inside them, extracellular ATP can cross into cells to boost energy. Can athletes take advantage of this system? Yes, according to new research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition by researchers from Iowa State University and Metabolic Technologies, Inc.

In recent weeks, the controversy over the possible health risks of energy drinks and supplements has come into the limelight. Here, we dissect the latest issues surrounding their safety, and what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is doing about it.