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  • 10/10/2022

    California 1st State to Discontinue Plastic Produce Grocery Bags

    Plastic Produce Bags Teaser

    Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill, SB 1046, that will require supermarkets to phase out single-use plastic produce bags, which the legislation refers to as “pre-checkout bags,” by Jan. 1, 2025, according to published reports. Stores will have to use recycled paper bags or compostable bags instead. 

    The bill originally required that all plastic bags be replaced by 2023, but the California Grocers Association (CGA) sent a letter this past April to the bill’s author, State Sen. Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, asking that the timeline be changed to 2025 to give stores time to adapt. 

    “Now that the governor has signed SB 1046, the grocery community is focused on preparing to comply with the new law by 2025,” Nate Rose, senior director of communications for the Sacramento-based CGA, told news outlet SFGATE. “There are many moving pieces to navigate, mostly concerning how to source and scale compostable and recyclable pre-checkout bags for our shoppers in a supply chain environment that has not been without its challenges in the past few years.” 

    Six years ago, California voters approved Proposition 67, which banned plastic bags from checkout lines at grocery stores. Such bans, of course, extend way beyond the Golden State.

    According to Farzan Dehmoubed, CEO of Carlsbad, Calif.-based Lotus Sustainables, whose top-selling product is the reusable fabric Lotus produce bag, a washable and durable mesh bag that can be reused hundreds of times for transport and storage of produce: “Seventy-five percent of the states currently have a plastic bag ban in place or on the books. This will quickly start to include plastic produce bags.” 

  • 10/11/2022

    National Co+op Grocers Adds 3 Members

    South Philly Food Co-Op Sign Teaser

    The board of National Co+op Grocers (NCG), the business services cooperative for retail food co-ops nationwide, has approved three new members. These additions expand NCG to 151 member co-ops operating more than 200 storefronts in 38 states, with combined annual sales of nearly $2.4 billion.

    The three co-ops are as follows:

    SHARE Cooperative - Harvest Market, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., began in the spring of 2015 as a faith-based response to boost access to healthy food for low-income residents. The co-op’s principal goal is to provide service and assistance to its entire community while promoting inclusivity. Incorporated in 2018, SHARE Co-Op plans to open a grocery store, Harvest Market, in October 2022.

    Potsdam Consumer Co-op, based in Potsdam, N.Y., began as a buying club in 1972. After opening its first retail store in 1973, the co-op offers local foods from more than 75 vendors and is currently working on a campaign to expand and continue to meet the needs of its 1,100-plus member-owners.

    South Philly Food Co-op, based in Philadelphia, first began organizing in April 2010 and opened its store in December 2020. The food co-op offers fresh, local foods at fair prices and serves as a hub for the South Philly community. 

    “We’re excited to have these three co-ops join NCG, as they proudly represent key moments in the retail food co-op movement in the United States,” said C.E. Pugh, CEO of Saint Paul, Minn.-based NCG. “Potsdam Consumer Co-op has endeavored for half a century, born out of desire to access natural and organic foods, while SHARE Co-op and South Philly Food Co-op are more recent, created by community-minded residents to support their cherished neighborhoods. We welcome these co-ops to NCG and look forward to continued collaboration.”

  • 10/11/2022

    Gimme Gets New Head of Strategy

    Dan O'Brien Gimme

    Gimme announced that it has brought on an industry veteran as its new chief strategy officer. Dan O’Brien, with several years’ experience in the vending, warehouse distribution and unattended retail sectors, is joining the company to drive strategic alignment between products and the company’s partners.

    O’Brien comes to Gimme from Burch Food Services, where he served as director of sales for the past 16 years and led his team through the transition of vending markets. He is a member of the Canteen Franchise Markets and Technology Advisory Council and earned a bachelor of business administration degree in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.

    "Dan is a proven leader in our industry," said Cory Hewett, Gimme's co-founder. "His in-depth knowledge and experience will strengthen Gimme's strategic goals that, in turn, will guide future development. He also brings a great deal of industry respect and operating expertise to the table, that complements our passion and energy for developing innovative products and technology."

    Added co-founder Evan Jarecki: "We have established Gimme's culture based upon empathy, determination and problem-solving. Dan is a perfect addition to enhance the understanding of our customers and users based upon his first-hand experience. Dan will play a pivotal role in Gimme's next evolution of growth and expansion in the coming years."

    Based in Atlanta, Gimme offers hardware and software for grocery and foodservice operators to automate merchandising. In addition to AI, computer vision and machine learning technologies that power automation, the company offers the Gimme Key, a wireless DEX adapter for direct store delivery.

  • 10/11/2022

    Leadership Changes at Dawn Foods

    Dawn Foods

    Dawn Foods is mixing up its leadership functions. The Jackson, Mich.-based bakery manufacturer and ingredient distributor announced the hiring of Jennifer Cloherty as its new CFO and expanded responsibilities for Bob Howland, chief digital officer.

    Cloherty is stepping into the position held by Karl Brown, who will take on an advisory role with the company. Most recently, Cloherty served as CFO for Kellogg North America, where she was also the executive sponsor of the Kellogg African American Resource Group and the Kellogg Veterans Group. Her 27-year career also includes financial leadership jobs at Aptiv, Owens Corning and GE, where she spent 19 years.

    “Jennifer is an exceptional financial leader with great long-term vision, and I am proud to have her join the Dawn Leadership Team,” said CEO Carrie Jones-Barber. “I am confident she will continue to build and develop the wonderful talent we have within our financial organization and partner with our leaders to drive the strategic, operational, and financial performance of our global business.” 

    Brown’s two-decade career at Dawn Foods included several financial and commercial leadership roles. He led the financial function and the global IT team for the last several years and will work closely with Cloherty during the transition.

    Meanwhile, Howland has been tapped to lead the development and implementation of Dawn’s long-term digital and information technology strategy in a broader capacity. 

    “Bob has done a tremendous job transforming our business through best-in-class digital solutions that benefit both our team members and our customers,” added Jones-Barber. “Our digital and IT teams already work closely together on technology infrastructure and cyber security projects, which are critical to help protect our systems and data. Bringing together these two organizations under Bob’s leadership further strengthens our team and aligns with our strategic ambitions for the business.” 

  • 10/10/2022

    Sprouts Farmers Market Opens New Store in Hurricane-Hit Zone

    Sprouts interior

    As consumers in Cape Coral, Fla., clean up from the impact of Hurricane Ian, they have a new grocery store to meet their needs. On Oct. 4, Sprouts Farmers Market quietly but effectively opened its location in that community, providing much-needed groceries to area residents.

    “Shoutout to the guacstar Sprouts team at our new Cape Coral store! They worked hard to open doors early at our brand new Sprouts to serve our Cape Coral neighbors with the healthy groceries they need most to restock their fridge and pantries post Hurricane Ian,” the company declared in a Facebook post.

    The store at Pine Island Road and Pondella Road was originally slated to open on Oct. 6. The grocer moved up the date to accommodate shoppers who needed essentials in the wake of the storm, especially as they were trying to feed themselves and their families while waiting for their power and other utilities to be restored.

    The health-oriented grocer has reached out to its new community in other ways, donating funds for Red Cross relief efforts and foods for local distribution.  

    “We have a distribution center in Orlando that was able to get quite a bit of product down to us. We had to work around floodwaters and traffic issues,” Lucas Larson, VP of operations, told Ft. Myers television new station WINK.

    He continued: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted. We’re trying to help the customers get what they need. That’s why we made the effort to open early. We wanted to get out and serve the community as quick as we could.”

    Sprouts now operates 35 stores in Florida, including other locations hit hard by Hurricane Ian in Estero and Naples and Ft. Myers. The Cape Coral store has temporary hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. 

    Phoenix-based Sprouts Farmers Market employs approximately 31,000 associates and is No. 53 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

  • 10/10/2022

    Tillamook Launches Campaign to Support Farmers in Need

    Tillamook bus

    Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) is supporting farmers through its third annual “All for Farmers” campaign. Among other goals, the fundraising initiative will help preserve farmland, assist farmers in financial need and support the overall future of farming.  

    At the  center of this year’s effort is a virtual auction through which people can bid on a variety of items, from a Tillamook-branded 1962 Volkswagen bus to a weekend summer stay at a farm in Maine to an overnight at the Tillamook Creamery. All proceeds from the campaign will be donated to the nonprofit American Farmland Trust and that organization’s Brighter Future Fund grant program. 

    Giant Food is taking part in the All for Farmers auction, too. One of the items up for bid is a year’s worth of groceries, with a package of 52 $100 gift cards redeemable at any Giant Food location in Delaware, Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia.

    "As a farmer-owned co-op and a Certified B Corporation, TCCA is dedicated to being a force for good in the world," said Jocelyn Bridson, director of environment and community impact at the Tillamook, Ore.-based TCCA. "Doing right by the cows and farms, people and products, and for the community and the environment is not just about staying true to our core values, it's about supporting farms and underrepresented farmers across the country to do the same, for generations to come."

    Ryan Lauer, director of corporate partnerships at American Farmland Trust, said the group is grateful for the support. "The proceeds from these fantastic auction items will enable marginalized farmers across the US to build resiliency, access land, and improve farm viability,” Lauer noted.

    The auction opens on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. and closes on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Items will be posted on a special eBay page.

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