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Chuao Chocolatier Expands Fair Trade Offering

Chuao Chocolatier is expanding its fair trade-certified product offering across the brand’s entire chocolate portfolio. Since the brand’s foundation in 2002, Chuao Chocolatier has consciously partnered with purveyors who share the brand’s interest in sustainable practices. By supporting fair trade cocoa farmers through all of its chocolate confections, Chuao Chocolatier fortifies its brand promise to spread joy, not only among its consumers, but also for the individuals who help produce it.

According to Fair Trade USA reports, there have been over 1,200 companies committed to fair trade selling as of 2015. This movement is a reflection of consumers’ growing awareness of where and how their food is sourced. Through development premiums, brands that support fair trade certification, such as Chuao Chocolatier, empower farmers and their communities via educational stipends, environmental training, healthcare services and productivity investments.

“We have had a long-standing commitment to produce our chocolates with the utmost respect to our planet and have implemented various sustainability practices at our factory. From reduced packaging and organic certified cleaning solutions, to upgrading our facility to be energy efficient, we are doing our part to protect the environment,” said Chef Michael Antonorsi, Chuao’s co-Founder and Master Chocolatier. “By becoming fair trade-certified across our entire portfolio, we are also ensuring that our farmers, communities, women and children are receiving the support they need to lead happier and healthier lives.”

“Chuao has made an extensive commitment to fair trade cocoa farmers,” adds Ken Redding, Chief Commercial Officer at Fair Trade USA. “We’re proud to work with them to deliver life-changing impact to cocoa-farming communities.”

Chuao’s signature line of ultra-premium chocolate bars and mini bars, bonbons and truffles, drinking chocolates and seasonal confections are crafted with a proprietary blend of chocolate. Additionally, the Enamored Collection is crafted with a decadent blend of organic, 72 percent dark chocolate, while the recently launched California Collective is comprised of a premium blend of chocolate. Shoppers’ purchase of these products empowers fair trade cocoa farmers to invest in building healthier, more sustainable communities.

The brand’s entire line of chocolate bars can be found online at www.chuaochocolatier.com, and in Chuao Chocolatier’ southern California boutique. A curated selection of the brand’s signature line of bars can also be found at fine grocery and specialty retailers nationwide. To find out more information about the brand’s fair trade certification, visit https://chuaochocolatier.com/fair-trade-certified-chocolate.

IGOR Gorgonzola Signs with Norseland

IGOR®, the leader and one of the most modern, efficient producers of Italian Gorgonzola cheese together with Norseland, Inc., the exclusive importer of Jarlsberg® cheese and a leading marketer of specialty food products in the US, announced the two companies have entered a partnership effective January 2018.

This unique partnership will cultivate growth opportunities for exact weight Gorgonzola across all channels.

“We are proud to represent the leader in Italian Gorgonzola cheese production. IGOR has superior quality control standards that ensure we are selling the best and safest Gorgonzola product on the market,” says John J. Sullivan, CEO and President of Norseland, Inc. “Additionally, IGOR has an unparalleled commitment to family and it is a pleasure to work directly with the third-generation owners.”

“With great satisfaction we have signed this alliance for an important market like the United States of America where blue cheeses are highly appreciated and consumed. With Norseland, as a leader in cheese distribution, we have found the same motivations as IGOR for quality, professionalism and passion,” says Fabio Leonardi, CEO IGOR Gorgonzola.

For information on Igor, visit www.igorgorgonzola.com. For information on Norseland, visit www.norseland.com.

Albertsons Companies Invests in Texas-Based El Rancho Supermercado

Albertsons Companies is investing in El Rancho Supermercado, a Texas-based retailer which focuses on stores for Latino customers. El Rancho will continue to operate as an independent company headquartered in Garland, Texas.

“El Rancho has built a great business with its 16 Texas stores, and we’re confident that we’ll be able to leverage our combined expertise to better serve customers across the existing Albertsons Companies’ and El Rancho store bases,” said Bob Miller, Chairman and CEO of Albertsons Companies. “With El Rancho’s own distribution and manufacturing facilities serving their Texas stores, we can share best practices that will reduce costs and benefit our customers.”

The agreement with El Rancho provides Albertsons Companies an opportunity to invest in the fast-growing Latino grocery sector. The company already successfully operates a variety of store banners in predominantly Latino areas, and together, Albertsons Companies and El Rancho plan to leverage their complementary strengths in this growing sector.

“The transaction announced today will allow El Rancho to accelerate growth and expand into new markets throughout Texas while finding operational efficiencies in all aspects of our business. We are aligned with Albertsons Companies’ vision for the future, strategic initiatives and culture of innovation. We are excited to work together with the Albertsons Companies management team to continue to serve families in the rapidly-growing Latino market,” said Salah Nafal, President of El Rancho.

Peter J. Solomon Company served as financial advisor, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal advisor to El Rancho, respectively, and Schulte Roth & Zabel served as legal advisor to Albertsons.

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