While meat processing facilities shut down and cause shortages in the beef and pork supply chains, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are seeing a spike in sales during the coronavirus pandemic, as The Hill reports.
Beyond Meat has seen its shares soar 134 percent since mid-March, as retailers request rushed deliveries to refill shelves across the country, a company spokesperson said, as Marketwatch reported. Beyond Meat shares shot up 26 percent in trading Wednesday.
A 141 percent jolt in first-quarter revenue and profit "exceeded our expectations despite an increasingly challenging operating environment due to the COVID-19 health crisis," said Ethan Brown, chief executive of Beyond Meat, in a statement announcing the results, as Marketwatch reported.
Similarly, Impossible Foods, which is not a publicly traded company, announced that demand for its Impossible Burger has "skyrocketed among home chefs," according to Vox. It will start selling its burgers at Kroger's 1,700 stores nationwide, a huge increase from the 150 stores that sold its burgers at the start of 2020. In total, its plant-based meat is available at 2,700 U.S. grocery stores, including Albertsons, according to Forbes.
"Our existing retail partners have achieved record sales of Impossible Burger in recent weeks," said the company's president, Dennis Woodside, in a statement, as Vox reported. "We expect our retail footprint to expand more than 50-fold in 2020 alone, and we are moving as quickly as possible to expand with additional outlets and in more retail channels."
According to Vox, the way Impossible Foods manufactures its products protects it from the worst of the pandemic. "Its supply chain is obviously unaffected by recent meat plant closures, and its workers are not contracting Covid-19 at high rates because they do not have to work shoulder to shoulder like their meatpacking counterparts."
"We've always planned on a dramatic surge in retail for 2020 — but with more and more Americans eating at home under 'shelter-in-place' orders, we've received requests from retailers and consumers alike," Impossible Foods President Dennis Woodside said in a statement, as The Hill reported.
Now that Costco and Kroger are limiting the amount of meat people can buy, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are looking to fill in the gaps by offering bulk products. In an earnings call on Tuesday, Brown said that Beyond Meat is introducing lower-priced bulk value packs to grocers as they struggle with supply shortages of animal protein, according to Forbes.
"Our biggest focus is to provide solutions for consumers as they have meat disruptions," Brown said on the call. "There is an opportunity for consumers to be aware of a different model. There are more opportunities to be relevant to customers."The move away from animal-protein, which is resource-intensive to grow and raise, making it a leading cause of the climate crisis, has helped Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods make headway into new markets. Starbucks in China has started to sell Beyond Meat.
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.