An innovative tool presented online by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows businesses including grocers in the Pacific Southwest region to assess their options for reducing organic waste. By providing an interactive means to identify companies and services that specialize in waste management, the EPA’s Waste to Biogas Mapping Tool creates a path to eco-friendliness that is intuitive and straightforward.

Washington, D.C.—The Senate reached a deal on June 21 to pass the Farm Bill after much back and forth debate on several key issues. The vote tally was 64 to 35.

Washington, D.C.— NASFT’s 58th Summer Fancy Foods Show was held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from June 17-19, hosting over 2400 exhibitors from all over the world, in what was its final appearance in the nation’s capital before returning to New York’s Javits Center for 2013.

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) was informed last night (June 19) that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans to disseminate a revised draft guidance on new dietary ingredients (NDIs) used in dietary supplements.

The guidance, originally issued July 5, 2011, was widely criticized by the industry, which claimed that it was a flawed attempt by the agency to reinterpret the NDI section of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).

Lakewood, CO—Natural and organic retail chain Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage will try to raise $115 million through the sale of common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company filed as Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Inc., and would like to trade on the NYSE under the symbol “NGVC.”

Las Vegas, NV—The Natural Products Association (NPA) hosted its NPA MarketPlace tradeshow June 14–16 in Las Vegas, NV. The retailer education portion of the tradeshow offered several interesting and informative sessions, many of which entertained a packed crowd. The following are highlights from sessions attended by WholeFoods Magazine.

Washington, D.C.—As America continues to face its worst economic situation since the Great Depression, the Obama Administration acknowledges that the organic agriculture and trade industry lends a generous hand in improving our nation.

Salem, OR—At the end of July 2012, natural and organic potato chip manufacturer Kettle Brand will have crunched its way to 30 years in business. “Kettle Brand started out in the natural products channel and we plan to honor the brand’s heritage in that channel by offering two of our four limited-edition flavors as exclusive products for natural food retailers. Our loyal customers in the natural channel have been with us since the beginning and know that they can find us there,” says brand manager Marc McCullagh.

Research shows that 90% of businesses do not know what their customers want. In a world burdened with financial difficulties, American stores need to shape up. According to a four-year study conducted by the market intelligence firm, BIGresearch, most customers will put value and service ahead of price. That’s right. Even though your store may be just a tad more expensive than the one next door, if yours provides quality assistance for consumers, they will choose you over the lower-priced competition.