Distribution & Transport

Floods layer sediment on floor of Mississippi River, slowing traffic and adding costs to imports, exports of corn, soybeans, coffee, oil and coal, but dredging funds are dry

By Cameron McWhirter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-07-05

To reach those in need of food aid, UN turns to cell phones; more than 379 million in Africa, world's poorest continent, were cell-phone users as of 2009

By Joshua E. Keating

Foreign Policy 2011-05-01

Wal-Mart tests online grocery delivery service in California; perishability of fresh food, industry's small profit margins have been obstacles to success in business

By Matthew Lewis

Reuters 2011-04-23

Atlanta residents demand answers about hundreds, even thousands of dollars in monthly spikes in their water bills; problems arose with installation of new, automated water meters

By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips

CNN 2011-03-01

U.S., Mexico unveil deal on dispute over cross-border trucking; requirements for Mexican trucks are tougher than those established in NAFTA and those for American truckers

By Elizabeth Williamson

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-03-04

As lower Mississippi fills with silt from upstream, Louisiana lawmakers press for more federal dredging funds; 60 percent of agricultural products exported go through river's mouth

By Cameron McWhirter

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2011-02-12

U.S. map of altered continental divide, carbon and water footprint studies help green-leaning shoppers decide on whiskey, beer, French or California wine

By Kiera Butler

Mother Jones 2010-11-01

Opinion: With concerns about rising food prices and rumors of hoarding, UN group could help protect food security by brokering agreement not to impose export controls

The editors

The New York Times 2010-09-12

11 people, 6 corporations indicted in conspiracy to smuggle $40 million of Chinese honey into US; officials say documents were altered and labels changed

By Jeff Coen

Chicago Tribune 2010-09-01

Senate's refusal to pass food-safety bill has hampered recall of 600 million eggs linked to salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 2,000, experts and lawmakers say

By Meredith Shiner

Politico 2010-08-24

Entrepreneur sees need to link farmers and their products to the chefs, grocers who want them, with tasty results served amongst the rows and on clothed tables

By Tammy La Gorce

The New York Times 2010-08-01

Lack of availability and fragmented distribution network of small producers, farmers slows schools, hospitals looking to include local food sources

By Jay Field

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2010-05-03

In Haiti, internal market system once moved all agricultural produce of countryside and much else destined for local use to consumers

By Sidney W. Mintz

Boston Review 2010-03-01

Opinion: Measure environmental impact per gallon of milk, rather than per cow, and miles per dozen eggs when calculating sustainability

By Karen Langhauser

Food Manufacturing 2010-03-29

Imported goods bring rising number of invasive, destructive plants and insects

By Kris Maher

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2010-01-15

For tomatoes, UK supermarket Sainsbury's switching from cans to recyclable cartons to save 1.1 million tons of packaging a year

By Rory Harrington

nutraingredients.com/Decision News Media 2010-01-20

Michigan sues to protect lake from invasive species, Chicago's water diversion

By Kari Lydersen

The Washington Post 2009-12-27

Wholesalers say new bomb-searching rule will create bottleneck of spoiling food at airports

By Thomas Frank

USA Today 2009-12-02

Produce shippers told to tout efficiencies to counter buy-local trend

Though buy-local movement commands only 1 percent of market share, movement is significant trend that could shift suppliers' market share, says produce economist in report (click 'See also'). Commercial fruit and vegetable shippers must be ready to make case for efficiencies and 'green-friendly' attributes - even if suppliers are far away. Movement tends to overlook economic benefits in trade between regions. Trade between states allows them to specialize; global trade has been driver of world economic growth for 60 years, has aided in transmission of technology, innovation.

By Tom Karst

The Packer 2009-11-05

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Linking local farmers to local schools, institutions

Linking local farmers to local schools, institutions

New website hopes to provide schools, restaurants, institutions one-stop shopping for fresh produce from many nearby farms at once. That means more local food on more plates - and expanded marketplace for farmers. Founders launched site (click 'See also') in San Francisco area last spring; owners plan to expand to seven other regions around country.

By Beth Hoffman

National Public Radio/Morning Edition 2009-09-28

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Shipping industry reels from global recession

Recession rocks shipping industry as ports fill with fleets of empty freighters and Asian shipyards resist order cancellations for new ships. Shipping was beneficiary of China's status as world's factory. Shipping costs are so low today that it's worthwhile to ship Spanish tomatoes to China for processing into tomato paste, which is then shipped back to Europe. And: Steel containers are building blocks of global economy; when goods are shipped in such vast quantities, transport costs become negligible (click 'See also').

By Alexander Jung, Thomas Schulz and Wieland Wagner/Translated by Christopher Sultan

Der Spiegel 2009-08-11

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Nonprofit groups link local produce supply with local demand

New nonprofits that aggregate and deliver local produce are popping up across U.S., could be missing link between supply of and demand for products grown nearby. Farmers appreciate delivery consolidation, ease of building relationships with bigger buyers. Among customers are elementary schools, independent grocers, restaurants. In Charlottesville, VA, negotiations are under way to sell to University of Virginia dining services, run by Aramark.

By Jane Black

The Washington Post 2009-08-26

Recession slices into jobs for freight workers

As shoppers cut back, demand shrinks for those in business of moving goods. In Philadelphia, recession's effects became more obvious when port's huge seasonal business of Chilean grapes, pears, peaches, and apples ended in May. A year ago, companies had 4.5 million jobs nationally for people moving products that contribute to economy. Now more than 303,000 of those jobs are gone.

By Jane M. Von Bergen

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2009-07-26

Coffee for humans, and grounds for fuel

Researchers transform old coffee grounds into biofuel. Spent coffee grounds contain oil similar to other biofuel crops - rapeseed, palm, soybean oil - but high anti-oxidant levels make them more stable. Grounds could add 340 million gallons of biodiesel (which smells like coffee) to global fuel supply, make $8 million-plus a year in U.S.

By Michael Bernstein

American Chemical Society 2008-12-10

License dispute results in charge against food business

Ohio organic food business accused of selling meat products without a license; owners maintain they're exempt from requirement, official says. Boxes of beef, lamb, turkey reportedly confiscated. Officials deny owner's account of SWAT officers accompanying state agriculture officials, sheriff's deputies to the family's home for search warrant.

By Steve Fogarty

The Chronicle-Telegram 2008-12-09

Opinion: Next president must fix infrastructure

Modern-day Works Progress Administration that restores America's crumbling infrastructure - drinking water, schools, roads, bridges, transit systems - would generate jobs and help support flagging economy. Presidential candidate Barack Obama wants infrastructure investment (click 'See also', section V); John McCain has not presented plan.

By Dave Demerjian

Wired Blog Network 2008-10-19

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Eating, buying local to avoid shipping costs

Cost of moving goods could transform some foods into luxuries and further promote the local food movement. 'Avocado salad in Minneapolis in January is just not going to work in this new world, because flying it in is going to make it cost as much as a rib eye,' says researcher.

By Larry Rohter

The New York Times 2008-08-02

Mississippi River oil spill delays grain exports

Coast Guard opens Mississippi River to limited traffic two days after oil spill; some nearby suburbs find another source for drinking water; fate of fish unknown. And: Between 55 percent and 65 percent of all U.S. corn, soybean and wheat exports leave from the Gulf of Mexico (click 'See also').

By Adam Nossiter

The New York Times 2008-07-25

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Exports bottleneck at US ports

As shipping lines shift fleets to Asia, shortage of containers and space on cargo ships leave American food - corn, soybeans, frozen pork, lentils, peas - sitting in ports. Refrigerated containers, once locally available, sometimes must be sent hundreds of miles before being loaded. Shipping rates and fuel surcharges are increasing.

By Ilan Brat and Timothy Aeppel

The Wall Street Journal. (may require subscription) 2008-05-09

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Paying for food system pollution

Our movable feast, made possible by efficient global transport networks, cheap labor elsewhere and megamarkets including Wal-Mart, comes at a cost: pollution, from transportation, packaging and refrigeration. Many say shippers and shoppers should pay costs. European Commission considers toll to change perception that transporting freight is cheaper than local goods.

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

International Herald Tribune 2008-04-25

Against the grains?

As fuel costs, global trade rise, railroads roar back, moving coal, consumer goods and grain. Railroads enjoy about a 3-to-1 fuel efficiency advantage over 18-wheelers. Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland sues major railroads over fuel surcharges, alleging price-fixing conspiracy (click 'See also'); lawmakers plan exam of freight-hauling rates.

By Frank Ahrens

The Washington Post 2008-04-21

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Betting on water

With water shortages likely to grow along with pollution, climate changes, middle class and population, investors begin buying water infrastructure components. Need, and vulnerability, are greatest in rural areas, but targets are cities, analysts say. Combination of unsafe water and poor sanitation kills about 1.8 million children annually, report says.

By Gerard Wynn

Reuters 2008-03-19

Dreams, sunk

Sailboat loaded with 4,000 pounds of Central American coffee sinks in stormy weather off the coast of Galveston after all aboard were rescued. The owners, a couple who had lived aboard for 10 years, had recently remodeled the RedCloud, to hold cargo. They planned to create a green business importing coffee to the United States.

By John Ira Petty

The Galveston County Daily News 2008-01-13

Going modern

In India, farmers leave low tech to learn new ways so their produce will command good prices in markets like Metro AG and Wal-Mart. Potential of the Indian market, about $300 billion and growing, is appealing, but companies first must set up supply chains and control waste; up to 40 percent of country's produce is ruined or lost.

By Eric Bellman and Cecilie Rohwedder

The Wall Street Journal 2007-11-28

Fruit push

Fruit push

Hawaii growers, like those in Thailand and other countries, would be allowed to import irradiated mangosteen, Korean melon, breadfruit and jack fruit to mainland U.S., under new USDA proposal. Still languishing: applications to approve shipping of Hawaii citrus and guava filed nearly a decade ago.

By Craig Gima

Honolulu Star Bulletin 2007-11-21

Water power

In confirming adage that politics is local, Senate lines up with House to override Bush veto of waterways bill that approves but doesn't fund $23 billion projects, including Florida Everglades restoration and dam work along the Mississippi River.

By David Stout

The New York Times 2007-11-08

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Safer imports?

Bush administration wants to grant the FDA and Consumer Product Safety Commission power to mandate recalls on tainted food and products, require safety testing, oversee safety standards of producers and importers, ban imports if necessary and penalize violators. But critics say success depends on Congress, and plan doesn't go far enough.

By Jane Zhang, John D. McKinnon and Christopher Conkey

Wall Street Journal 2007-11-06

Port reduction?

Latest proposal to safeguard safety of food would close hundreds of ports to entry, siphoning edibles through only 13 sites; grocery industry, importers and exporters predict trade disruption and soaring grocery prices.

By Andrew Bridges

The Associated Press; Washington Post 2007-09-26

Bridge out:

Bridge out:

Pending sugar beet harvest and resulting heavy traffic pushes Minnesota to close vital bridge between farms and processing plant after cracks found in span foundation; American Crystal Sugar Co.'s factory processes harvest from nearly 1,000 producers.

Stephen J. Lee

The Associated Press; West Central Tribune (MN) 2007-08-22

Seeking shelter:

Bumper crop of corn leaves farmers struggling for storage; existing facilities have more business than they can handle, and manufacturers of silos and storage equipment are stepping up production; some farmers may resort to old schoolhouses, airport hangars, caves, or even tarp-covered piles on the ground.

By Shelly Banjo

Wall Street Journal; Pantagraph.com (IL) 2007-08-18

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Opinion: Bottled tempest

Big water has Coke, Pepsi and Nestle behind all those bottles of all that water being marketed as preferable to the stuff that flows from the tap, with one spokesperson comparing it to French wines and iPods, both of which are shipped long distances.

By Alex Beam

The Boston Globe 2007-08-20

No, thank you

CARE turns down $45 million in food aid from U.S., citing practice of selling tons of often heavily subsidized American farm products in African countries that compete with the crops of local farmers; other charities disagree.

By Celia W. Dugger

The New York Times (may require subscription)

Wal-Mart's adventure:

When discount superstore partnership enters India through wholesale stores, obstacles will include supply chain made up of mostly small shopkeepers, long chains of middlemen, each of whom takes a cut, and up to 60 percent waste during food transport.

Wall Street Journal (may require subscription)

Food/Farm bill:

Bush administration's buy-local request for emergency food aid could help Kenyans, some of the world's poorest people, advocates say, but U.S. is mired in domestic farm subsidies and lobbies of shipping interests; aid for agricultural projects lags as well.

By Celia W. Dugger

The New York times (may require subscription)

Prize winner

Purdue scientist wins World Food Prize, which includes $250,000, for developing six-story, epoxy-coated steel tanks and commercially sterile storage that helps fruits, vegetables maintain nutritional integrity during long transport.

Forbes magazine 2007-06-18