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Agri-Pulse reports:

Some of the nation's biggest food brands are joining forces to push for changes to nutrition labels and to put more emphasis on addressing environmental concerns, including climate change.

Danone North America, Mars Inc., Nestlé USA, and Unilever United States have formed the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance. The alliance plans to advocate for "progress in public policies that shape what people eat and how it impacts their health, communities, and the planet," according to a release.

Two current priority issues for the alliance are nutrition labeling and carbon emissions. The groups plan to tackle those priorities by pushing for updating of the regulations on using terms like "healthy" on food packaging.

The push for climate priorities will also include urging Congress to fund the farm bill's Regional Conservation Partnership Program, encouraging a look at financial incentives for emissions reduction. The alliance also supports the Paris Climate Agreement.

In a joint statement, the leaders of all four companies say the alliance was formed based on the belief that "food companies can and should be doing more to lead and drive positive policy action for the people who buy and enjoy the foods and beverages we make, the people who supply them, and the planet on which we all rely."

Mars, Nestlé and Unilever are among the companies that have pulled out of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Why this matters. These companies are big, and they're influential, and their actions reflect in part the pressure they are getting. Also, having this alliance behind RCPP can only help ensure it gets increased funding in the new farm bill.

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