9 LaPorte schools pitched in and collected 1,206 shoes to add to our total of 1,607 pairs of shoes donated to Soles4Souls. Steve Walters, Ashley Wittman, Jenny Breinig, Rhonda Farias, and Dan Brady, at American Licorice’s La Porte facility all pitched in and picked up shoes from the schools and shipping the shoes to Soles4Souls to donate to people in developing countries. Each location chipped in, making their own contribution and shipping out the shoes. Chandra Hanson tapped into the Touchmark retirement home in Bend for donations.
“Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you” reads their website. The charity distributes these shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has delivered over 19 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes. The shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.
You can read more about Soles4Souls at: http://www.soles4souls.org/about/
It was a cold day in April, but several La Porte associates bundled up and did the tough (and good) work to clean up La Porte’s Stone Lake, in honor of Earth Day. Ashley Wittman of our La Porte plant and a member of our companywide Sustainability Committee, organized the event. American Licorice teamed up with Howmet, another local manufacturer. In total, the group collected about 8 or 9 bags of garbage.
You can read American Licorice’s Social Responsibility Manager’s profile on 2degrees, a sustainability professionals network, where we discuss sustainability value drivers and employee engagement. You can join the network to interact with peers regarding issues in sustainability such as water risk, the supply chain, waste, managing energy and carbon, and more. 2Degrees Network is an insightful and valuable source of information for the sustainability professional.
You can vote for American Licorice’s zero waste to landfill project in 2Degrees Network’s Sustainability Champion Awards by here:
How to sell an energy project to a Finance Manager? Read about the group’s March 8th discussion at the Cascade Culinary Institute at our new blog on Tumblr at http://lshaas.tumblr.com/.
If you are in Central Oregon and are interested in sustainable business, please join us for our next meeting on April 12th. For more information, follow the blog or join our linkedin group, the Sustainable Business Leaders of Central Oregon.
In Union City, Joaquin Almaguer set up a creative system for recycling the cardboard cores of tape. Associates simply place the cores on a wire stand, after the tape is used. Making recycling as easy as possible is one of the key components to success in a zero waste effort–what could be easier and more visual than this system?
Also in Union City, Paul Silvey, the Plant Director suggested creating signs with actual samples of materials to help associates correctly sort their recycling. Signs explain the recycling process for the material and show both pictures and actual samples of commonly recycled materials.
In Bend, we recently took advantage of one of Terracycle’s recycling “brigade” collection program. We collect used cheese packaging from employees in our break areas. The packages are shipped to Terracycle using a postage paid label. We are then able to donate points from packages we collected to charity. Terracycle offers a number of brigades, sponsored by consumer products manufacturers. You can get more information by visiting their website at www.terracycle.com.
In Union City, Joaquin has been organizing used clothing collection for several years. This year, Union City broke a record in used clothing collection, donating over 23,000 pounds ore more than 11 tons of clothes per year. The clothing is collected by 7th Generation recycling, an organization that provides second hand clothing to third world nations. Textiles represent about 8 percent of materials in U.S. landfills, according to this organization. Recycling clothing saves landfill space, reduces the use of resources needed to make new clothing, and provides necessary assistance to these nations.
By placing two large bins, right in our parking lot, we make it easier for our associates to be able to recycle their clothing. 7th Generation Recycling provides the bins and picks up the clothing. Some of the clothing ends up in local thrift shops and the rest is sent to exporters who ship the clothes to third world nations.
According to 7th Generation Recycling, 53 percent of clothes recovered are recycled as secondhand, 20 percent are converted to wiping and polishing clothes, and 26 percent are converted into fiber to be made into recycled textile products.
Last week Scott Sanders, from our IT Group, worked with ClifBar and several other companies to restore wetlands in the Gulf Coast. This is the second year we’ve partnered with ClifBar on the In Good Company program. By bringing groups of companies together in service, we create a “powerful force for positive change”.
By Scott Sanders
That area where we were working is amazing. One side was fresh water and the other was salt water (The gulf). If you can picture it we were living in the middle of 2 levees, and we were below sea level. The large ships were actually passing by on higher ground. You could literally walk from one side to the other in 10-15 minutes.
The real story about the area is the deltas (land made by silt flowing down the river) are disappearing and are not being rebuilt like they should. This causes land to disappear, which changes the animal habitat and also decreases a buffer zone for hurricanes. This was caused by the levees being put in on the Mississippi river for shipping years and years ago. There seems to be no simple fix and there is a lot of political fighting constantly going on. The Mississippi is such a huge resource for its shipping channel (requires dredging and levees), recreational fishing, commercial fishing, and oil that they need to find a solution that can work for all groups. These resources affect all areas of the United States in a big way.
- The cloth bag was made from a group of disabled adults. We filled them and placed them on the delta.
- We filled 1,000 bags but placed 4,000 on the delta. Each bag was staked in, and several plants placed in the bag.
- The idea is that the tide comes in and deposits silt around each bag causing this land to build and stopping the fresh water from turning in to salt water. This seems to be working.
- The group that does this is called Restore the Earth and In Good Company partnered with them to help.
- We worked every day with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
- We talked to many of the local people, and they had some amazing stories to tell–about what they have gone through with Katrina and also about the local area.
In Good Company (ClifBar) is very organized, and everything was well planned out. There is very little down time…they run a tight schedule.
Dear Red Vines® Consumers,
We are happy to share that Red Vines® Family Mix and Red Vines® Black Licorice Twist items began shipping to retailers on October 22nd and will be available on the shelves of your favorite stores in mid- to-late November. We are planning for Snaps® to be back on shelves later this year.
Since initiating the recall in August we’ve worked closely with the FDA, significantly increasing the depth and frequency of our internal quality testing, tightening our standards with ingredient suppliers and launching an extensive internal investigation of ingredients, equipment, and finished products.
As a result of the investigation, the FDA has classified the recall as a Class II, meaning that the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote, and initial health hazard evaluations for Red Vines® Black Licorice and Snaps® found that health risks from consuming black licorice with slightly elevated levels of lead are negligible.
You can learn about the FDA’s recall classification system at the link below:
We greatly appreciate your support for our company and products over the years and deeply value your loyalty. We will continue our dedication to making delicious candy with a goal of always being better tomorrow than we are today.
American Licorice Company
To our Natural Vines® Consumers,
Today we are announcing a voluntary recall of our Natural Vines® Black Licorice product due to the potential of elevated levels of lead. Only Natural Vines® Black Licorice with date codes of 010413 through 041913 are affected by this recall. The date code is located on the back of the package on a white sticker.
After testing lots of Natural Vines Black Licorice made in the last year for lead, some batches showed slightly elevated levels of lead above the recommend maximum levels for young children. We are working closely with the FDA and our retail partners to retrieve as much of the affected product as possible.
If you wish to learn more about lead in food products, please visit the informational sites from the FDA and the California Department of Public health below:
We sincerely apologize to any consumers affected by this recall. Safety is our top priority at American Licorice and we appreciate your patience and support as we work to make this situation right. We will continue to update this site as we learn more.
Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the recall. If you have questions or concerns, please call our Consumer Response line at 866-442-2783.
–American Licorice Co.
FAQ – Expanded Recall of Black Licorice Products and Snaps®
Consumer Response Hotline Number – 866-442-2783
1. What are you recalling?
a. We are issuing a voluntary national recall of all Natural Vines® Black Licorice products with date codes ranging from 010413 through 041913.
2. Is the Natural Vines® Strawberry flavor also affected?
a. No. The Strawberry flavor is not affected and is not being recalled.
3. How do I know if my package was among those being recalled?
a. Every bag of Natural Vines® has a small white sticker on the back of the package with a “best before date.” If your package has a date code from 010413 (January 4, 2013) through 041913 (April 19, 2013) it is included in the recall. If the date code does not fall into that range, it is NOT included in the recall.
4. Where can I find the date code on my package?
a. The date code is located on the back of the package on a white sticker (see above image for reference).
5. Why are these products being recalled?
a. These products are being recalled because test results for samples of Natural Vines® Black Licorice, within a specific date range, indicated elevated levels of lead that are slightly above the FDA recommended maximum level for candy that is likely to be consumed frequently by young children.
6. What is the allowable limit for lead in candy?
a. According to the FDA, the recommended maximum level of lead in candies that are likely to be frequently consumed by young children is 0.1 parts per million (ppm, “ppm” is the same as micrograms per gram (μg /g)). The FDA’s recommended total daily tolerance level for lead consumption, from all sources, is 6 micrograms per day (μg/day) for children under 6 years of age. This level is referred to as the FDA’s daily Provisional Total Tolerable Intake Level (PTTIL).
7. How much lead was in the candy?
a. When taking into account average consumption of the product, we believe the levels of lead shown in the test results for samples of Natural Vines® Black Licorice were below the FDA’s (PTTIL) tolerance limit for children under the age of six. Nevertheless, due to the elevated levels indicated by the test results, we have voluntarily recalled all candy made in this date range out of an abundance of caution.
8. Why is there lead in the product at all?
a. Lead is a naturally occurring element on the planet, and as such, traces of the element are present in many foods and beverages. The amounts present in most food and beverages, including our candy, are so small they have to be measured in parts per million. The FDA and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have guidelines about the maximum level of lead that is recommended in specific food and for overall consumption from all food. Below are links from the FDA and CDPH with more information on lead in candy products.
9. How did lead come to be in the candy?
a. We are investigating all possible causes of the lead contamination, including continued testing of our finished products, testing of our ingredients, testing of our manufacturing equipment and water lines, as well as working with our ingredients suppliers and internal quality assurance teams to get to the root of the issue and will be updating as we learn more from our findings.
10. Have you ever had a product recall before?
a. No. Over nearly 100 years of making candy, this is our first product recall.
11. What retailers are involved in the recall?
a. All retailers who carry Natural Vines® Black Licorice with product on their shelves in the specific date range of 010413 through 041913.
12. Where are your Natural Vines® products produced?
a. All of our products are produced in US-based manufacturing facilities in La Porte, IN.
13. Where are the ingredients from?
a. All of our ingredients are either sourced or reprocessed in the US by suppliers who are subject to FDA food regulations and guidelines.
14. Do you get ingredients from China?
a. We do not source any ingredients from China
15. What does “reprocessed in the US” mean in regards to ingredients?
a. Our ingredient suppliers source some raw materials from other countries and then re-process them at their US-based plants to ensure that the end material being shipped to manufacturers like ourselves meet the stringent guidelines for product quality established by the FDA and other regulatory bodies.
16. Don’t you have a Quality Assurance team?
a. Yes…we have a quality assurance manager who oversees a team that performs regular testing of all raw ingredients and products being shipped out of our warehouses.
17. How often do they test the products and ingredients?
a. Our quality assurance team members perform daily quality tests while products are being produced and packaged.
18. If you have quality assurance teams and perform regular testing, how did American Licorice not know there were elevated levels of lead in the product?
a. While we require documentation from all ingredient suppliers at the time of delivery and perform regular quality checks on our products during production and before shipping, the majority of tests are focused on identifying microbiological issues.
19. When will your Natural Vines® Black Licorice be available for sale once again?
a. Our Natural Vines® Black Licorice products will again be available for purchase as soon as our investigation identifies the specific cause for the elevated levels of lead and we are able to confidently manufacture and deliver licorice that we know is safe.
20. How can you ensure that your future product will be safe?
a. In addition to identifying the specific source of the lead and working with our ingredient suppliers to ensure the integrity of the raw materials being shipped into our factory, our quality assurance teams will incorporate additional testing as necessary to ensure the continued safety of all of our products.
21. Who is most at risk for lead poisoning because of this contamination? Where can I learn more information about lead contamination?
a. According to the FDA, infants, children under the age of six, and pregnant women are the most at risk when it comes to consuming food with high levels of lead. Below are links to the CDPH and FDA websites for more information on lead in food products and where to be screened :
22. Why is lead not listed in the ingredients?
a. We would not list lead or other trace minerals/elements that are naturally found in our raw ingredients, as we don’t proactively put these into the product. Despite maintaining stringent guidelines around our ingredient suppliers and maintaining regular testing of our ingredients and products, in this instance amounts of lead were detected in some of our products that slightly exceeded FDA’s recommended maximum levels of lead in candies that are frequently consumed by young children, which is what prompted our voluntary recall of all Natural Vines® Black Licorice products made during this date range.
23. What should I do if I have some of the licorice that was recalled?
a. You should return any Natural Vines® Black Licorice products, with date codes ranging from 010413 through 041913, to your retailer for a full refund.
24. What should I do if I’ve already consumed the candy?
a. Here are links to the California Department of Public Health website with more information on lead in food products, including where you could potentially get screened by a healthcare professional, if you choose to do so:
For more information about lead, you can contact your local public health departments.