Oakland, CA-based Numi Organic Tea introduced a new version of its Fair Labor Practices (FLP) program. It is a proprietary product and supply chain verification program that uses a continuous improvement model to improve labor and work-place conditions. The FLP program can be applied to any agricultural supply chain, and includes annual third-party audits conducted by SCS Global Services (SCS) or another authorized verification body.

The FLP program was created by Numi and SCS in 2007, and is now under Numi’s direction. In addition to instituting the expanded program in its own supply chain, Numi intends to extend the opportunity to other brands across multiple categories later this year through the Numi Foundation. The aim is to help brands communicate their commitment to the fair and equitable treatment of all workers, along with helping to improve supply-chain relationships.

The “Raise the Bar, Hershey!” coalition praised the recent announcement from Hershey Co. that it has set itself deadlines to transition to 100% certified cocoa. The company will be working with several independent, third-party certification firms to verify its cocoa, from West African farms and elsewhere, is sourced responsibly, including the use of fair labor practices and efforts to end child labor.

Japan’s largest manufacturer of rice crackers, Kameda Seika Co. Ltd., acquired 77.8% of Mary’s Gone Crackers, through its subsidiary Kameda USA, Inc. Mary’s Gone Crackers of Gridley, CA will continue to be led in its strategy and day-to-day operations by cofounders Mary Waldner and Dale Rodrigues.

A new documentary film titled GMO OMG counts Nature’s Path Organic Foods, Richmond, BC among its sponsors. Jeremy Seifert’s new documentary “traces the journey of a young father as he discovers the realities of genetically modified food.” The film, which premiered in February, is also sponsored by Silk, Horizon Organic, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, Hestia Gaea Foundation, StopGlobalWarming.org, Horton Foundation Fund, Richard W. Hotes Foundation, Sambazon, Earth Balance, Ciranda, So Delicious, Amy’s Kitchen, Straus Family Creamery and Patagonia.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2013