As more dairy alternatives gain popularity, more brands are labeling their products with names like ‘almond milk’ or ‘vegan cheese,’ using dairy terms even if the item does not contain any dairy.
The dairy industry wants the non-dairy market to use words like ‘alternatives’ or ‘substitutes’ in its labeling as it says consumers are getting confused.
After committing to cracking down on labeling by reviewing and modernizing the standards of identity for dairy and non-dairy products, the FDA opened up a request for information period at the end of September.
It was originally supposed to close November 27 for the public to submit either electronic or written comments on the ‘Use of the Names of Dairy Foods in the Labeling of Plant-Based Products’ document.
But after people requested more time to provide their feedback, the FDA decided to extend the comment period by 60 days.
“FDA believes that the extension would allow adequate time for interested persons to provide input without significantly delaying any potential further action on these important issues,” the administration said.
Setting the standards
In the document the FDA details its reasoning for engaging with the public and outlines what it’s looking for in the responses.
“We are interested in learning how consumers use these plant-based products and how they understand terms such as, for example, ‘milk’ or ‘yogurt’ when included in the names of plant-based products,” it said.
“We also are interested in learning whether consumers are aware of and understand differences between the basic nature, characteristics, ingredients, and nutritional content of plant-based products and their dairy counterparts. We are taking this action to inform our development of an approach to the labeling of plant-based products that consumers may substitute for dairy foods.”<html><body>
The FDA provided a list of five categories with corresponding questions to guide responses and gather as much information about the dairy and non-dairy industries as possible.
“We invite comment, particularly data and other evidence, about:
(A) The current market conditions and labeling costs of plant-based products
(B) consumer understanding, perception, purchase, and consumption of plant-based products, particularly those manufactured to resemble dairy foods such as, for example, milk, cultured milk, yogurt, and cheese
(C) consumer understanding regarding the basic nature, characteristics, and properties of these plant-based products
(D) consumer understanding of the nutritional content of plant-based products and dairy foods and the effect, if any, on consumer purchases and use
(E) the role of plant-based products and dairy foods in meeting the recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines (Ref. 1).”
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Cowboys on horseback ran a herd of cattle around Ridgmar Mall to officially launch the The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign in Fort Worth.
“It’s very traditionally Fort Worth to have longhorn steers walking around a mall – but again it’s designed to bring attention,” said Salvation Army DFW branch commander Major Jon Rich. “We’ll have kettles all over the metroplex – about 600 sites – and we desperately need volunteers. Help us ring the bell at those sites! They can on register to ring.com, say what part of the metroplex you want to ring. Available spaces will pop up and you can sign up right there. We love for as many North Texans to help us out this year as possible.”
Wagons, a miniature train, costumed characters, and a Salvation Army brass band will blew western tunes while bell ringers on foot carried kettles and rang cowbells instead of traditional Salvation Army bells.
Several people jumped out of the way when a few cows broke from the herd.
A press release from the Salvation Army warned: These cattle are not professional actors and they are not on rope leashes. There is a risk that they will run astray in the mall parking lot. Some years one or more cows makes a a break for it and has to be chased down. One year a cowboy on horseback chased a cow nearly to I-30. Another year, a cow broke out and ran into a plate glass window at JCPenney. The cattle will be driven a mile around the exterior of the mall near the stores.
Without sacrificing good taste, area rugs are joining the list of vegan goods.
No animal products or byproducts used here.
“We’re capitalizing on cow-friendly hides,” said Blake Dennard, senior vice president of Kaleen Rugs. “Our new Chaps Collection answers to the growing population on the vegan side.”
Chaps, which Kaleen launched at the October High Point Market, is a collection of replica cowhides handmade in India of viscose and wool.
“No cowhides were used in the making of this product,” the company emphasized.
The same is true for Kas Rugs’ new indoor-outdoor selection of animal-inspired rugs. The Provo
Capel Rugs Safari Leopard
Collection encompasses textured machine-woven rugs made of UV-treated polypropylene in a variety of spotted skin patterns.
“Our new Provo Collection has some animal inspiration behind it,” said Brianne Coradini, Kas Rugs’ marketing associate. “Faux animal designs are still a hot trend that is not going away. We [weren’t] offering any animal patterned outdoor rugs, so Provo [now] rounds out our assortment perfectly.”
Capel Rugs’ Luxe Shag collection of animal looks presents “a new take on shags” with its longer acrylic/polyester fibers. Plus, they “can even be cut into a pelt shape,” according to Cameron Capel, president of sales and marketing.
The company has several other species of animal-friendly rugs, like the machine-made Leopard that is based on a textile design by Kevin O’Brien, a licensee of Capel Rugs for the past eight years.
Animal prints, O’Brien said, “connect with us on several levels. Even though they have a practical purpose for the animal, they are naturally elegant and by definition perfect.”
He continued: “In our DNA, there is a connection to the wild origins of our own species and the wildness still very much present in these animals. We revere the primal nature of these beautiful animals and know that we are not really that far removed from them.”
For her latest introduction with Loloi Rugs, designer Justina Blakeney of “Jungalow” fame dreamed up a contemporary faux-tiger series in both native and exotic colorways. Ironically named Feroz, which means fierce in Spanish, this tame version of animal skin is hand-loomed by artisans in India and then feline formed.
Feroz by Justina Blakeney x Loloi
Blakeney said the idea for Feroz came from an antique Tibetan prayer rug found at a flea market.
“I researched the history of these prayer rugs and learned that they tell a rich story of Tibetan culture and are full of Buddhist symbolism. They are traditionally on the smaller side and can be prohibitively expensive,” she said. “I wanted to put my own spin on them while paying homage to their Tibetan roots. My reinterpretation is a larger scale rug made of 100% wool and is a fanciful depiction of a tiger — an animal I love.”
Domada is a newcomer to the upscale rug industry, paving its path with a niche business: cowhide-shaped vintage rugs.
Launched earlier this year as an e-commerce business and now expanding into wholesale, Domada sources its products from Morocco, India and Turkey, with more countries currently being explored. Most of its rugs average about 70 years old and feature a range of classic and traditional Oriental designs, and many are one-of-a-kind.
“I want my pieces to be unusual. I look through thousands and thousands of rugs looking for special pieces,” founder Katherine Stevens said. “Hides bring an organic sense to spaces, but many responsive to this aesthetic shy away from them out of respect for the natural world,” Stevens said. “Conscious consumers are driving design away from doing harm, and our fusion of traditional, ethnic rugs with hide and skin shapes speaks perfectly to this market. Domada is proud to offer its cruelty-free collection. I love that we can make something special that feels organic but doesn’t harm any animals.”
This story originally appeared in the 6-9-1996 issue of Forbes. This republished web version accompanies a 2018 profile of Joe Liemandt, who has returned to the ranks of the world’s richest people with a new tech empire. ___________________________________________________________
IN JANUARY 1990, 21-year-old Joseph Liemandt telephoned his parents from Palo Alto, Calif. Joe, an economics major, was dropping out of Stanford University just a few months before graduation. He wanted to start his own software company. “You’re a moron,” growled his father, Gregory Liemandt, a highly successful businessman. Gregory pleaded with his son to finish his degree, but Joe wouldn’t yield. He had a hot idea and the idea couldn’t wait until graduation.
“My market window’s closing!” he told his father, and the next day he threw himself completely into running the software business he had started six months earlier with a handful of schoolmates.
Six years have elapsed and Joe’s now 27. Dad died in the meantime, but not before becoming both proud and supportive of his rebellious son, whose Trilogy Development Group of Austin, Tex. has 200 employees, and is in the process of hiring another 100. Still private, Trilogy Development — FORBES estimates — had revenues of $ 70 million last year, and earned about $ 20 million before taxes. This year revenues will probably top $ 120 million. Based on Wall Street’s valuations of publicly owned software companies with similar profiles, Trilogy could be worth $ 1 billion, given or take a couple hundred million, if Liemandt wanted to cash out or raise capital — which he doesn’t.
What was the “market window” that led Joe Liemandt to drop out of college?
“I knew when I got to college I was going to start a software company,” Liemandt says. “I started doing tons of research. I’d sit in the library going through lists of the top 50 software companies.” He did part-time consulting jobs for Palo Alto computer companies during the academic year and the intervening summers. On these jobs he began to notice that when he ordered computer equipment, the shipments often arrived late, or with parts that were missing or incompatible with his computers. Smart technology companies were dumb when it came to selling and delivering their products. So he began to study what is called sales configuration — how orders are processed. He was surprised at how primitive the process was. Much of it was handwritten, using cumbersome inventory manuuals and often requiring lengthy consultations between a company’s salespeople and its engineers.
As he tells the story, Liemandt’s initially calm demeanor changes. He begins rapidly clicking the pen he is holding, then suddenly pushes his chair back from a conference table and springs to a whiteboard. “I focused my research,” he says. Grabbing a red marker, he begins to sketch a rectangular diagram representing the cost structure of the typical U.S. manufacturing company. About half of the average manufacturer’s noncapital spending budget, Liemandt says, is made up of general and administrative costs, R&D expense and manufacturing costs. All of those areas, he adds, have been automated and computerized for years.
Now the punch line: “The rest of their budgets — more than 40% — the manufacturers spend on sales and marketing,” he exclaims, circling half of the diagram. “I thought, ‘Holy cow, no one’s done this [computerizing the sales process]!’ And this,” he says, circling the “sales” part of his cost-structure rectangle with the red marker while still rapidly clicking the pen in his left hand, “is [potentially] a $ 10 billion market.”
By his junior year at Stanford, Liemandt had done enough research to know that others were sniffing around the same problem. In his programming classes he learned that Digital Equipment Corp. was using expert systems, an offshoot of artificial intelligence written in something called rule-based programming, in an effort to computerize its own sales configuration. Rule-based programming consists of a series of if/then constructions — if the Hewlett-Packard salesperson changes the printer in the package she’s selling, then the system needs a different kind of cable. If the package uses a different kind of cable, then the price of the entire system changes.
Liemandt could see that rule-based programming was a promising approach. But building a useful mathematical model of a complex product line required so many thousands of if/then equations that the rule-based programming solution, by itself, was unwieldy. In his classes Liemandt learned there was another approach to the configuration problem. A Xerox programmer, Sanjay Mittal, was trying to build inventory and product-line models using what’s called constraint-based equation systems. This kind of math is used in everything from optimizing airlines’ passenger yields to interpreting military satellite photographs. But as it turned out, constraint-based programming wasn’t capable of efficiently handling the large volumes of data required for a workable sales configuration model. The problem remained unsolved.
Joe Liemandt knew that others were working on the problem, and he began to worry that his window was closing. Hewlett-Packard and IBM were pursuing internal projects. These were aimed at creating programs powerful enough to catalog their huge inventories and smart enough to constantly reconfigure product offerings as product lines and prices changed. Joe decided to risk his dad’s ire, abandon his diploma and work full time on sales configuration software. Liemandt convinced four fellow Stanford students to throw in with him. John Lynch dropped out with Liemandt. Christina Jones, Chris Porch and Seth Stratton thought about it, but juggled schoolwork with Trilogy until they graduated. “Their parents hated me,” chuckles Liemandt. “You spend a hundred grand to send your kid to school, and he wants to drop out to work for another kid.” Diploma in hand, Stratton left Trilogy and was replaced in the lineup by Thomas Carter in 1990.
So young Joe Liemandt and his team got to work applying algebraic algorithms similar to ones used by mathematical economists to build general equilibrium models of the economy to create patterns that enable manufacturers to build synthetic models of their product lines. He and his crew spent thousands of hours “writing code” — programming that is — late into the night, sucking down Jolt cola for its caffeine content. Corporate strategy meetings were held across the street at the Old Pro, a Stanford bar, and were fueled by “a lot more beer than Jolt,” Liemandt remembers.
Much of this programming was trial-and-error, but by the time he quit school Liemandt had figured out how to handle thousands of if/them equations in a system that was easy enough to be used by the average salesperson. He would combine the two programming approaches then being experimented with. He would use constraint-based equations to impose some order on the rule-based programming approach DEC was pursuing. Later Liemandt and his team would blend in a third approach, object-oriented programming. Very simply put, this approach enables programmers to organize pieces of software into independent “objects,” or modules. This allows programmers to easily add new information, such as when a product line changes, or to fix errors in the software without shutting down the entire program.
In early 1991 Trilogy’s programming was beginning to jell, but Liemandt received bad news. His father was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the esophagus, and given a year or two to live. Partly to be closer to his parents, Liemandt moved Trilogy, now a 13-person enterprise, to Austin, Tex. Trilogy had by this time created an early version of the software is now sells, and had applied for patents covering its algorithms (two have been granted; three more are on application). But the company still had not sold its product to a single customer.
By moving to Austin, however, Liemandt was able to hire Dave Franke away from research consortium MCC. A heavyweight in computer science, with years of programming experience, Franke, then 38, gave Trilogy some much-needed credibility among the corporate customers Liemandt hoped to reach. One month after Franke came aboard, Hewlett-Packard signed its first contract with Trilogy; a $ 3.5 million deal for sales-configuration software and support services. HP was in effect abandoning its own pursuit and giving the business to Trilogy. “It was the greatest feeling in the world,” Liemandt says of getting HP’s business.
With the nod from HP, other big customers began ordering from Trilogy — Boeing, Silicon Graphics, Alcatel and scores of other high-technology and telecommunications firms. In 1994 erstwhile competitor DEC paid Trilogy’s programmers a high compliment when it began to buy their software.
Lacking this kind of software, the salesperson must serve as a kind of middleman between the client and the company’s engineers, with constant consultations between the sales call and the final order. Further complicating things, different pieces of a manufacturer’s equipment might not work well when hooked up to a customer’s existing equipment, an unpleasantness often discovered only after the order had been delivered. Trilogy software, tying together all the relevant information, greatly shortens and simplifies the process. According to Trilogy, the typical U.S. manufacturing company spends 2% of its gross revenuers to rectify human errors and miscalculations in the configuration process. Saving even half of that would be worth billions of dollars to businesses.
Using Trilogy’s Selling Chain software, a manufacturer loads into the program all the options and product specifications he offers. In effect, he’s turning all his product catalogs into electronic files. Once all this information has been turned into bits and bytes, the salesman can huddle with his customer and ask the company what/if questions. What if my customer links his new Sun workstations to an HP OfficeJet printer-fax-copier, rather than to an HP LaserJet printer? Would that work with the customer’s IBM server? What would it do to the price I can quote him? Does the customer need new connecting cables? Special plugs?
In 1994 Beaverton, Ore.-based Sequent Computer Systems was meeting its sales targets, but was regularly exceeding its cost-of-sales budgets. Robert DeBakker, Sequent’s director of order fulfillment, found the company ($ 540 million revenues) was spending lots of money correcting mistakes that originated in sales configuration. “Come quote time, we’d have a conference room full of catalogs and price books,” says DeBakker, explaining that Sequent customers sometimes received servers without room for the required disk drives, or without connecting cables, or with the wrong kind of preinstalled software. Fixing these mistakes cost Sequent money, time and customer loyalty.
In 1994 DeBakker shelled out about $ 700,000 for Trilogy’s software and services. He says the investment saved Sequent $ 3 million in its first year, and would have saved more had it been implemented sooner. “It made me a hero,” says DeBakker of Trilogy’s software.
Boeing is counting on Trilogy’s software to help it cut costs. A 747 is made up of over 6 million parts, and a customer can choose among hundreds of options. How many seats? What kind of avionics? How many bathrooms? Do you want carbon composite landing gear or steel? Every option the customer chooses affects the availability of other options, and changes the plane’s price. It takes the sales agent days or weeks working with company engineers to make sure all the chosen pieces fit together, renegotiating the price at every step. “It can take 22 trips,” says Doug Frederick, head of information systems for Boeing’s redesign effort. Trilogy’s software sharply cuts that waste of time and resources. The software knows which parts go together and how much they cost. So the salesperson can sit down next to the customer, turn on his laptop and configure the 747, complete with a price quote, in one trip.
Who’s the kid who beat the technology giants to this giant market? Says Wade Monroe, Trilogy’s chief financial officer, and at 54, one of Trilogy’s elder statesmen: “You know how some parents clone their kids to become sports stars? That’s sort of what happened with Joe in business.”
From earliest youth, Joe Liemandt was steeped in business lore. When Joe was a boy in the 1970s, his father, Gregory Liemandt, was the head of planning at General Electric’s components and materials group in Pittsfield, Mass. His boss was an up-and-comer named Jack Welch. Young Joe played hockey with Welch’s son, Mark, spent weekends at the Welches’ and often went on ski trips to Lake Placid with the Welches. Over the years the Welches and Liemandts have remained friends. Joe Liemandt didn’t lack for suitable role models.
In 1983 Greg Liemandt quit GE to run UCCEL in Dallas, a maker of software for mainframe computers, and Joe’s course was set. His mother, Diane, remembers her adolescent son rifling through his father’s briefcase in ssearch of business plans to read. When he was 16, Liemandt spent the summer of 1984 as a programmer in UCCEL’s research and development division, where he learned a lesson he would remember when he started his own company. “They had huge teams of programmers — 50 to 100 people — working on a single project,” Liemandt recalls. “It was a fiasco.” Coordinating the efforts of so many programmers left little time for the actual programming, and projects soon fell apart.
Quick to learn, Joe applied that lesson in his own business. “You need one or two programmers on a project at a time. Any more, and it becomes a nightmare,” he says. Liemandt entered Stanford (chosen, he says, for its proximity to Silicon Valley) in the fall of 1986. He later signed up as an economic major, but spent much of his time taking computer programming calsses and hacking around the computer lab. He knew already that software would be his career, but it wouldn’t be entertainment software. “The product,” he says, “had to be something my dad or Jack Welch would buy.” The something, as it turned out, was sales-configuration software.
An obvious question: Did the example of Harvard’s most famous dropout, Bill Gates, inspire Liemandt’sdecision to leave Stanford early? No, he says, dropping out was “a side effect of, of . . .” he searches for the right word “. . . of a feeling that you’re in a race, and school is something that’s in the way. Nine months is an eternity in software [a reference to the senior year in college he blew off]. Ask Netscape if they’d give up nine months. Nine months out of their browser work, and Netscape isn’t in business today. Somebody else would have done it.”
Starting Trilogy was the easy part. Keeping it going in the early years wasn’t. Liemandt’s father had made about $ 30 million when Computer Associates bought UCCEL in 1987, but Gregory made it clear that he would not finance the vision that lured his son from school. “Outside of me slipping him $ 100 bills in the airport so he would eat,” recalls Diane Liemandt, Joe’s mother, “there was no [family] seed money.” Joe Liemandttried to get Kleiner Perkins and other venture capital firms interested in Trilogy, but even in Silicon Valley the idea of backing a crew of 21-year-olds is a bit hard to swallow. No go. So Liemandt took consulting jobs and began leveraging one credit card against another. “At one point, I had 22 credit cards out there,” he says. “Luckily, I never missed a payment.”
Liemandt and his sidekicks realize that the configuration software business is too good to be ignored by competitors. Trilogy does not have the field to itself. A few smaller competitors have sprung up, but the real threat now comes from larger outfits. European software powers — SAP of Germany ($ 1.9 billion sales) and Baan of the Netherlands ($ 216 million) — have established themselves in automating back-office operations, as had Oracle Corp. Now all three companies have started to make forays into sales automation.
But the astounding successes of Microsoft and Intel have proven that in the computer world the spoils go to the company that grabs the market share early on and keeps it, leaving competitors in the position of always trying to catch up. So it’s ful speed ahead for Trilogy to keep its early high market share as the market grows. “It’s a land grab,” Liemandt says. “Whoever gets the market share and partners first, wins. We’ve got two years until it [the land grab] is over.”
Liemandt says old family friend Jack Welch encouraged him to pull out the growth stops, when Liemandt and his mother recently visited Welch for a weekend in Connecticut. “After talking to Jack, I feel like I’m going half speed,” Liemandt reports. “He tells me, ‘Don’t be such a wuss, Joe.'”
Trilogy draws most of its new hires from the computer science departments of Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Carnegie-Mellon and Rice. While Liemandt can’t match Bill Gates in salary, stock options and name recognition for getting top recruits, he makes up for it by giving the youngsters big projects to run right away. “Here’s more responsibility than you think you can possibly handle — go!” is how Samer Dholakia, 22, a recent Stanford graduate, describes the attractions of working for Trilogy.
Liemandt knows most of the kids he’s hiring are too smart to work for him — or anyone else — for long. “There are a lot of people here to learn how to start a software company,” he says. “That’s great.” He says he’d rather get a few years of boundless entrepreneurial energy from his employees than get many years of mediocre performance.
An inevitable question: When are you going public, Joe? He answers that he’s had 20 calls in the last year from investment bankers drooling to take Trilogy public. “The market’s way overpriced, absolutely,” he says, agreeing that an IPO would probably value Trilogy somewhere around the $ 1 billion mark. But he didn’t spend all those youthful years dreaming about being a businessman for nothing. The earlier he goes public, the more equity he will have to give up. “You’ve got to starve before you give up 51%,” he says. Bill Gates waited 11 years to take Microsoft public, and staying private allowed Gates to weather radical changes in the early software industry without having to worry about quarterly earnings dips.
Anyhow, Liemandt says, “Making 8 zillion dollars is not the win. If that was it, we’d go public tomorrow and cash out. But if we don’t change the way people buy and sell things, then we blew it.” Besides Liemandt, who owns about 60% of Trilogy, otherprincipal shareholders are the Stanford schoolmates remaining from the early days — John Lynch, Chris Porch and Tom Carter. Christina Jones traded her Trilogy holding for a chunk of a Trilogy subisidary that she hopes soon to take public.
Joe Liemandt and his partners are, in a way, the prototype of the new entrepreneur. He is now around the age Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell were when they acquired early success. Liemandt cites a few factors that give youth such an advantage in today’s business. “Young people are in a much better position to take risks, because they don’t have families, mortgages and house payments to take care of. You’ve got to be willing to jump off a cliff for your idea.
Risk is almost an obsession with Joe Liemandt. He likes to visit Las Vegas and the crap tables with associates. He thinks it’s good for morale. “Nothing,” he says, “brings a group of people together like risk.” In 1994 Liemandt bet a Trilogy programmer his blue Lexus that the programmer couldn’t finish a projectg in time for a client proposal. The programmer upped the ante: If Liemandt lost, he would have to fork over his Lexus and drive an Aspire, Ford’s smallest subcompact car. Lexus-less, Liemandt crammed into the Aspire for over a year.
Along with an appetite for risk, Liemandt cites a generational change that makes the computer industry so hospitable to the very young. Computers aren’t something they learned. Computers are what they were brought up with. “Many people graduating from college today have been using computers since their early teens. Kids who have been using the Internet since they were 15 — they’re 25 now, and they’re ten-year Internet experts. [Technology] is changing so fast, there is nobody who has ‘expertise’ in the area. What matters is the ability to learn, adapt and figure out what the answer is. You’ve got to be willing to get in over your head and struggle to make things happen.
“Six months from now, whatever you’re doing, you will have to do something different.” that short sentence could well serve as a credit for today’s aspiring entrepreneur.
A 1,500-pound cow was stolen and butchered on the side of the road in western Pennsylvania.
State police are now searching for the suspect or suspects, and there is a possible reward for an arrest and conviction.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police at Somerset, the Holstein cow was stolen sometime between 2 and 5 a.m. Saturday from the Pennwood Farms on Sugar Grove School Road outside of Berlin, Somerset County.
Police say the thief or thieves somehow got the cow to the side of the road and sliced its throat. They then butchered the cow, taking its hind quarters, front shoulders and ear tags and left the rest.
Anyone with information should call the police, 814-445-4104.
Unfortunately, our website is currently unavailable in most European countries. We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market. We continue to identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.
Dutch designer Tjeerd Veenhoven’s rugs made from a palm leaf material, called palm leather, are a sustainable and vegan alternative to traditional leather made from animal skin.
For the range of rugs, thin strips of the material are laid end to end by hand and attached to a woven base, before being cut to size. Any inconsistencies or folds in the strips are left to give a patterned appearance to the finished rug.
Dutch designer Veenhoven first started experimenting with leather made from palm leaves eight years ago after he became interested in the natural fibres of the tree’s leaves, and asked someone he knew in India to send him some so that he could research them.
“In my material research I found out that the material was super brittle and not very useful, but if you soften it with a special material of glycerin and water, and some other materials you can make it nice and soft,” explained Veenhoven.
The designer and his studio then developed and refined the “leather” further, testing it out by making products with various companies. Initially he experimented with making the rugs in Holland, before testing out production at a factory in India.
The rugs are now made at a factory in the Dominican Republic where “they’re experienced with green initiatives, so they have the necessary quality controls in place,” and shipped directly to consumers.
As well as the rugs, the studio is hoping to sell the palm leather material as a product in its own right. There has been a lot of recent interest from the “extremely demanding” automotive companies who have recently become increasingly interested in vegan alternatives to leather car interiors.
Veenhoven explained that how palm leather has been perceived has changed over the years, from an initial interest in its potential use as an alternative to man-made leather substitutes, to the current spike in interest as a vegan material.
“It first was seen much more as a potential replacement of leather-like materials, or neoprenes or plastics – that was the first hook for people,” he told Dezeen.
“Then it was a little bit connected to re-inventing craft, which has also been a topic of discussion, how can we make craftsmen more contemporary, and interestingly in the last two years it’s been about it being vegan,” he explained.
The move towards eating vegan and buying vegan products for the home, Veenhoven suggests, has been pushed by real problems that the world faces including the need to reduce the amount of meat that we eat.
“We have to focus more on plant-based systems and we have to encourage them more because they are essential to our livelihoods,” said Veenhoven, who experiments with many alternative materials and systems at his studio in Groningen, northern Holland.
These views echo Nicolas Roope who told Dezeen that avoiding global disaster will be the greatest design challenge in history, in response to the recent UN report on climate change.
Back in 2016, the Campana brothers Fernando and Humberto, covered a house in Sao Paolo with palm fibre that gave it a hairy texture. Last year, graduate Billie van Katwijk made an alternative leather from cows’ stomachs, rather than their hides.
“You think you’re special, don’t you?” I ask the diva.
She does not reply, but her eyes say she understands and agrees.
This is Abby, my sister’s sassy queen of a cow. At eight years old, which is getting up there for a cow, I suppose she thinks she is entitled.
And then there are the ribbons and trophies. You see, Abby is a very beautiful cow, and she usually does well at the fairs, so she has quite a collection of awards to her name.
I am pretty sure Abby knows it, too. Last summer, she was named Supreme Champion at a show, so they put a rosette ribbon around her neck. My sister started to lead her back out of the ring, but Abby was enjoying her moment and walked very slowly so everyone could appreciate her and her ribbon.
I took a picture afterwards of my sister smiling and holding the plaque and Abby wearing her ribbon and looking very pleased with herself, somewhat resenting my sister’s presence in the photo.
She likes to throw her weight around when she is walking to the show ring, just to prove she is definitely the one calling the shots. She chooses pace and direction, and that is that. She is not focused on being beautiful as she walks. She plods along and bobs her head in a homely manner. Once in the ring, however, the game changes. She walks elegantly with her head up, her roan hide glistening as she struts her stuff.
When she wins, it never surprises her. When she loses, it is a different story. At the last fair of the season, she was in the running for Supreme Champion again. The judge announced the winner, who was not her, but she was fine with that, because there was still Reserve Supreme. However, she did not get that either, and she tossed her head in disapproval.
This fall I was out taking pictures of the cows in the pasture. Abby seemed to notice me and started posing, as if to say, “OK I’m ready to model for your pictures.”
Lest you think winning and being beautiful is all she cares about, let me tell you another aspect of her personality. She will stand calmly while many little hands reach out to touch her sleek coat at the fairs as children meet a cow up close for the first time. When my fair chores are done for the moment, she makes a warm pillow to lay in the straw and rest with. She chews her cud and I relax at the comforting feeling of a docile cow.
At home, Abby is a nice cow to have around. For one thing, she is our dependable milk cow. When one of us walks out to the pasture to bring her home, she sees us and starts heading home without prompting. She walks into the milking parlor and contentedly gives us milk.
She will let you hug her neck and pet her face and talk to her. She just listens and never talks back (verbally). There is so much intelligence in those pretty dark eyes and so much personality in that small cow.
She knows she is special, but that is OK with me, because she is right.
MARTHA HOFFMAN, who farms in rural Earlville, is a journalism major at Northern Illinois University.
Macon County Emergency Services responded Friday morning to a plane crash on the east side of U.S. 441/Georgia Road, just south of the visitors’ center.
The plane went down around 10 a.m. and there were no serious injuries.
Pilot Doug Finner tells News 13 that he was able to get himself out of the cockpit after the plane flipped during the emergency landing, saying the seatbelt worked, and he was able to walk away with just a few minor injuries.
Finner says his single-engine rented Cessna Skycatcher, registered in Gainesville, Georgia, lost power to the engine, and he was forced to make an emergency landing in a cow pasture south of Franklin.
He was trying to land in the field across the street, he said, but had to swerve to avoid a tree and bounced before hitting the embankment, causing the plane to flip.
Finner left from Gainesville Georgia, destined for Macon County. He says he will soon head back to Georgia, and the plane will be towed.
Smash a pumpkin, feed a cow The Laconia Daily Sun I lifted the pumpkin over my head and threw it down to the concrete floor. The pumpkin split neatly down the center, exposing seeds and their attendant gooey stuff, while four cows watched. The cows waited while I picked up the halves and put them …