News Briefs

  • 8/11/2022

    NGA Names ReposiTrak Its Exclusive Traceability and Compliance Partner

    Produce Section Teaser

    To address the Food Safety Modernization Act and other compliance issues, the National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry, has entered into a multiyear agreement with ReposiTrak to serve as NGA’s traceability and supplier compliance partner, in an effort to provide guidance, education and support for the independent wholesale and retail grocery community.

    “Food safety is of paramount importance to independent grocers and their supplier partners,” noted Greg Ferrara, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NGA, adding that the organization’s “partnership with ReposiTrak is the latest in a series of ongoing initiatives to enhance value for our members by sharing best practices in an area that’s crucial to safeguarding the hard-earned trust that retailers and manufacturers have with consumers.”

    [Read more: "Southeastern Grocers Expands its Diverse Supplier Program with ReposiTrak"]

    Under the partnership, NGA will host online thought leadership content and share it across various platforms, including website, newsletters and email blasts, as well as through a webinar series. Additionally, ReposiTrak will take part in NGA events and offer a special rate for its services to NGA member companies.

    The organization has committed to offering resources as indies adopt new technology and change processes to fully implement end-to-end traceability.

    “NGA’s strategic partnership and support of the ReposiTrak Traceability Network is the first step toward industry-wide adoption of our easy and inexpensive solution that will improve food safety, enable faster and more precise recalls, and even usher in the potential for food waste reduction and better transparency for consumers,” said Randy Fields, chairman and CEO of Murray, Utah-based ReposiTrak, which is part of the Park City Group. “Through our more than two decades of work in the grocery supply chain, we’ve come to understand that traceability will be inherently good for the industry.”

    NGA members interested in the ReposiTrak program can contact Derek Hannum at [email protected] or Jonathan Downey at [email protected].

  • 8/12/2022

    Hy-Vee Will Showcase Local Minority- and Women-Owned Brands

    Hy-Vee Rolls Out Seafood Supplier Code of Conduct

    Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee will hold a product and services showcase next month in an effort to help advance local minority- and women-owned companies. The Hy-Vee OpportUNITY Inclusive Business Summit, set to take place Sept. 27 in Kansas City, Mo., will offer resources, learning opportunities and networking for small-business owners.

    Local minority- and women-owned businesses are invited to apply for the opportunity to showcase their products or services during a pitch competition at the summit. Selected applicants will present to a panel of judges for the chance to win up to $30,000. 

    Submissions for local products or services are being accepted on Hy-Vee’s website through Sept. 1 in the following categories: food and beverage, product innovation and technology, and health, wellness and beauty.

    Employee-owned Hy-Vee operates more than 285 retail stores across eight Midwestern states and has a team of more than 93,000 employees. The West Des Moines, Iowa-based company is No. 30 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 8/11/2022

    Stop & Shop Steps Up Fresh Food Donations

    Stop & Shop to Hire 5,000 Employees, Ratifies Pension Benefit Agreement

    In an effort to stem hunger in its communities, Stop & Shop is introducing a new seasonal program that provides locally grown fresh vegetables to families in need. This month, the retailer will hold distribution events in stores across its multistate footprint.

    Consumers facing food insecurity in these areas can access locally grown produce such as corn, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant and peppers. Stop & Shop is working with regional and local food banks to coordinate donations in New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York.

    The first event took place Aug. 12 at the Neptune City, N.J., Stop & Shop. Hundreds of clients of the Fulfill book bank could drive up and receive produce and other grocery essentials from the retailer’s team of associate volunteers.

    At the same time, Stop & Shop is supporting local growers and farmers by sourcing fresh produce from their businesses. Shoppers can learn more about those products and suppliers via signage at Stop & Shop stores.

    Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC is an Ahold Delhaize USA company that employs 58,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Its other brands are Food Lion, FreshDirect, The Giant Co., Giant Food, Hannaford, Peapod, and Retail Business Services.


  • 8/11/2022

    Trader Joe’s Abruptly Shutters NYC Wine Shop

    Trader Joe's Liquor Teaser

    Trader Joe’s Wine Shop in New York City’s Union Square has permanently closed. The unexpected move came on Thursday, Aug. 11, when shoppers encountered a letter posted on the door of the East 14th Street location.

    “We have been operating our small Wine Shop in the Union Square neighborhood for over 15 years, and we thank you for your business and support throughout the years,” the letter noted. “It is now time for us to explore another location that will allow us to optimize the potential of our one and only license to sell wine in the state of New York.”

    Wine shop associates will be paid for their scheduled shifts through Aug. 28 and have the opportunity to transfer to another New York City Trader Joe’s location, the letter added.

    The Union Square wine shop opened in 2006 shortly after the East 14th Street grocery store location, which was the first Trader Joe’s in the Big Apple and remains open.

    “We look forward to sharing with you our plans to offer an even better wine shop experience to our New York customers as soon as they are finalized,” the posted letter concluded, followed by the sign-off “All of us at Trader Joe’s.”

    A company representative has confirmed the wine shop’s permanent closure to a local press outlet

    The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, meatpacking plants and other industries across North America, has accused Trader Joes of engaging in an illegal union-busting technique that has been utilized by other national corporations facing organizing campaigns of their own, like Starbucks and Amazon.” The wine shop closing was allegedly in response to employees’ organizing efforts and intention to file for a union election, according to Washington, D.C.-based UFCW. Last month, workers at a Trader Joes store in Hadley, Mass., voted to form an independent union.

    With more than 500 stores in 40-plus states, Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s is No. 27 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

  • 8/11/2022

    New Culture Boosts R&D Capability with New VP

    Binita_New Culture

    Alternative-dairy company New Culture has appointed Binita Bhattacharjee, Ph.D., VP of process development and engineering. In her new role, she will lead the organization’s fermentation and downstream processing teams and work with external co-manufacturing and research partners to enhance production capacity and launch the company’s animal-free mozzarella designed to stretch, melt and bubble like traditional cheese.

    Most recently, Bhattacharjee was senior director of process development at biotech company Amyris. Her 15-year industry experience spans functions such as technology evaluation, process development, techno-economic modeling, logistics and engineering for sustainable products. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and her bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

    "Binita is a world-class engineer, scientist and leader with deep experience harnessing bioprocess to produce innovative, sustainable products," said Inja Radman, Ph.D., co-founder and chief science officer of San Leandro, Calif.-based New Culture. "By adding her to the helm of our impressive fermentation and downstream process development teams, we are one step closer to bringing New Culture mozzarella to market."

    New Culture is working on producing the dairy protein casein without any animal inputs to make its alternative mozzarella cheese, which will be rolled out in 2023. The business is backed by such investors as Kraft Heinz's Evolv Ventures, ADM Ventures, S2G Ventures, Mayfield, CPT Capital, Ahren Innovation Capital and Future Ventures.

  • 8/11/2022

    BP Brings Ampm Banner to the East Coast


    BP’s Ampm c-store chain is now bicoastal with the opening of a location in New York City. The store, at 824 Allerton Avenue in the borough of The Bronx, is the first of its kind on the East Coast and represents the company’s ambitious expansion plans: It aims to increase the number of strategic convenience sites from around 2,000 to 3,000 by the end of the decade.

    The Bronx Ampm is based on the store model of Thorntons, the fuel and c-store banner acquired by BP last year. The space includes fresh fruit, groceries, nonfood items and a hot prepared food area.

    "As BP transitions toward becoming a net-zero company, convenience will play a huge role in delivering our integrated strategy. The experience customers feel at our retail sites will be key to attracting them in and ensuring they return. Because New Yorkers are always on the go, the Empire State is a perfect fit for this expansion," said Dave Lawler, chairman and president of Houston-based BP America.

    Added Greg Franks, SVP mobility and convenience, Americas: "This store sets the stage for us to maximize the large BP footprint along the East Coast.”

    Currently, BP operates several retail models across the United States, spanning company-owned retail stores, strategic partnerships, brand licensing, wholesale, business-to-business, dealer-owned and franchise-owned locations.  

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