Teamsters Union leaders, elected officials and representatives of Safeway announced an agreement to stop the closure of the Safeway Collington Distribution Center in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The agreement will save more than 700 Teamster warehouse jobs and add an additional 25 jobs at the center.
The agreement also paves the way for possible expansion in the future as Safeway’s parent company, Albertsons, continues to grow its footprint on the East Coast.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., the firm that operates the Safeway distribution center and employs its workers, originally planned to move its warehouse operations to Pennsylvania, which would have displaced more than 700 workers, most of whom live in Prince George’s County. Under the terms of the agreement, Safeway will take over operation of the Collington Distribution Center and current C&S employees—represented by Teamsters Locals 730 and 639 in Washington, D.C.—will become Safeway employees.
In two separate votes, Teamsters members voted overwhelmingly in favor of an agreement that preserves their jobs. Local 730 members voted 205-18 and Local 639 members voted 135-4 to approve the agreement. The new collective bargaining agreement with Safeway guarantees no outsourcing of jobs during the term of the contract which expires in May of 2022.
“We are very pleased to know that, through unity, anything is possible,” said Robert Washington, a Local 730 shop steward who works at Safeway.
In an October letter, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called upon Robert Miller, the CEO of Albertsons Companies, Inc., which recently acquired Safeway, to enact a moratorium on the closures.
Maryland State Senator C. Anthony Muse and former State Delegate Aisha N. Braveboy, Esq., also urged C&S and Safeway to recall the notices sent to employees stating that layoffs would begin the week before Christmas. The layoff notices were delayed until mid-February, allowing time for all parties to work together to find an alternative to the closure.
“This agreement allows skilled employees to continue to work for a company that they loved and sacrificed for, some for more than 30 years,” said Ritchie Brooks, President of Local 730. “The key to this is that everyone banded together. Labor, political leaders and the community all came together to show Safeway our solidarity.”
Local and state officials have pledged nearly $1.5 million in financial incentives to keep the warehouse in the county through the term of the collective bargaining agreement.
Alter Eco™, pioneer of globally-crafted organic foods with full-circle sustainability, has named Diana Torres as the company’s new Eastern Sales Manager. Torres brings more than 10 years of industry experience in the northeast region to her new role at Alter Eco, where she’ll be responsible for growing the brand’s presence and multi-channel retail footprint throughout the eastern region.
“Diana is the ideal complement to grow our Alter Eco family on the East Coast – she’s self-motivated, passionate, and brings a values-based approach to her work – which fits perfectly with our brand mission and ethos,” said Kate Tierney, President of Alter Eco Americas, PBC. “Her natural industry expertise, knack for brand building and leadership will be huge assets as we lay deeper retail roots across the East in 2016.”
Prior to joining Alter Eco, Torres served as the NE natural team leader for Alliance Sales & Marketing, where she achieved documented success in increasing brands sales by 400 percent. During her tenure, she played a key role in developing sales and marketing strategies, business reviews and promotional planning for numerous brands across the Dairy, Frozen and Grocery Categories with retailers throughout the Northeast.
“I’ve been lucky to work with some of the leading natural brands in the space, and I can truly say Alter Eco is unlike any company I’ve encountered because of its unique full-circle approach to sustainability and dedication to making a positive impact across the globe,” said Torres. “I admire the brand’s mission and feel blessed to join such a passionate and savvy group of people working to make the world a better place one bite at a time.”
Alter Eco produces high-quality, farmer-grown organic foods that are USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified, Carbon Neutral Certified, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Gluten-Free.
Jarlsberg® Cheese Crisps™ are savory, crunchy baked crackers handcrafted in small batches and made with freshly shredded Jarlsberg Cheese sprinkled on top of the crunchy crackers just prior to being baked. New Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps takes the mild, mellow and nutty flavor of Jarlsberg Cheese and bakes it into a delicious crunchy snack. Each Crisp is topped with Jarlsberg Cheese, using the original Norwegian recipe, perfectly balanced with invigorating seasoning and spices for a savory, scrumptious and delectable bite.
Perfect for dipping, snacking, as part of a cheese board or as a crispy companion to a bowl of hot soup, Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps offer a variety of perfectly balanced flavors.
Jarlsberg Cheese Crisp flavors include: Rosemary & Olive Oil — perfectly balanced with invigorating rosemary and the subtle fruitiness of olive oil; Chipotle — thoughtfully paired with the natural smokiness of authentic chipotle and just the right amount of spiciness; Garlic & Herb — blended with the robust flavor of garlic and aromatic herbs, with Mediterranean Sea salt adding a burst of flavor. With only 120 calories or less per serving, only 3.5 or less grams of fat and 5 grams of protein and low cholesterol, these Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps are sure to fly off shelves in the deli section.
Jarlsberg Cheese Crisps have a suggested retail price of $3.99 – $4. 99 and are packed 12 bags per display ready case.
After a remarkably successful first year with 52 entries, The Big Fresno Fair is now accepting entries for the 2nd Annual San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC). The competition is open to all olive oil producers in the state of California with olive oil made from the most recent olive harvest. Entries are now being accepted; deadline to enter is February 26, 2016.
“Showcasing the quality and variety of top-notch olive oil producers found throughout California has been an incredible addition to our competitive exhibits at The Big Fresno Fair,” said Stacy Rianda, Deputy Manager at The Big Fresno Fair. “We were very happy with last year’s participation and feedback on the competition. This year we look forward to even more entries and the opportunity to, yet again, showcase the olive oil industry to our more than 600,000 fair-goers in October.”
There are two classes for entries: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Flavored Olive Oil. Competition categories in the Extra Virgin Olive Oil class include: Spanish Blends (arbequina, arbosana, etc.); Spanish Singles; Italian Blends (ascolano, etc.); Italian Singles; Other Blends (picholine, barouni, etc.); Other Singles. Competition categories in the Flavored Olive Oil Class include: Citrus; Herbal (rosemary; basil, etc.); and Other Flavors (chile, jalapeno, garlic, etc.).
Awards will be given out for gold and silver medals in each category, as well as one overall “Best of Show” in both the EVOO category and the Flavored Oil category. Judging will be evaluated and scored as follows:
Producers may submit multiple entries under one category but may not submit a particular entry to more than one category. All entries must be available for commercial sale at the time of submittal. Entries are due by February 26, 2016 by 4:30 p.m. Judging will be held on March 8, 2016. Judges are all members of the California Olive Oil Council Taste Panel, including internationally-trained panelists some with 15+ years of experience. Winners will be announced on March 17, 2016 by 5:00 p.m.
Gold Medal and Best of Show winners will have the opportunity to have a booth in the Wells Fargo Agricultural Building on both Saturdays and Sundays during the 2016 Big Fresno Fair where they can taste, display and sell their award-winning product. Additionally, educational information will be set up so that fair-goers can learn more about the art of making olive oil, its health benefits, recipes and more.
Each submission must include an entry form, at least two 250 ml bottles of the olive oil with retail labels attached and a $60 non-refundable fee per entry. Entries can be dropped off at The Big Fresno Fair Administration Office or can be shipped to SJVOOC – The Big Fresno Fair, 1121 S. Chance Ave. Fresno, CA 93702 no later than 4:30 p.m. on February 26, 2016. Any entry delivered by mail, freight or express must be prepaid. The Administration Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for drop-offs.
The Inaugural San Joaquin Olive Oil Competition last year yielded 52 entries from throughout California. Below is a list of the Gold Medal Winners and Best of Show. For a complete 2015 winners list, go to: http://www.fresnofair.com/sjv-olive-oil-competition
Extra Virgin Olive Oils
o Italian Blends: Bozzano Olive Ranch’s A2 Italian Blend (Stockton)
o Spanish Singles: The Olive Press’ Picual (Sonoma)
o Tuscan Blends: Winter Creek Olive Oil’s Ruscello D’Inverno (Winter Creek)
Flavored Olive Oils
o Other Flavors:
Best Of Show
For more information about the new San Joaquin Valley Olive Oil Competition (SJVOOC), including downloadable entry forms and deadlines, visit www.fresnofair.com/sjv-olive-oil-competition, email questions to email@example.com or call The Big Fresno Fair office at 559.650.FAIR.
For The United Family®, 2016 marks a historic year, as United Supermarkets celebrates the chain’s 100th anniversary. What began as United Cash Store in Sayre, Oklahoma in 1916 has grown into a multi-banner, Texas-based grocery chain with 66 stores in 36 communities. Today, The United Family operates United Supermarkets, Market Street, Albertsons Market and Amigos grocery locations, as well as United Express fuel and convenience stores, throughout West Texas, Dallas-Fort Worth and eastern New Mexico.
“Reaching our 100th anniversary is a remarkable accomplishment, and a true testament to the hard work and dedication of all our team members through the years, as well as our loyal guests in each of our communities,” said Robert Taylor, who was appointed CEO of The United Family in 2010. “Most importantly, this celebration is a tribute to the Snell family, because without their vision and leadership, United wouldn’t be the beloved supermarket it is today.”
To commemorate a century of service, The United Family designed an entire year of initiatives to benefit and improve the communities it serves, a core value of the company since it was founded by Henry Dewitt Snell. The company kicked off the yearlong celebration with a birthday party at all 66 stores on January 16 with a give-away of a total of 100,000 free cupcakes.
Also in January, The United Family will launch Shop to Support Schools, a school donation program, which will challenge community members to get involved and help improve the future of local children. In addition, the company will take a bite out of hunger, donating 100,000 pounds of apples to local food banks across the company’s service areas in April.
“The company has been very fortunate for an entire century to have owners as well as leaders who believe in the core value of supporting communities and doing the right thing,” said Taylor. “In honor of that legacy and to kick off our next 100 years, the 100th anniversary of United Supermarkets will be acknowledged and celebrated in each of our 36 communities in Texas and New Mexico.”
United moved to the company’s now headquarter city of Lubbock, Texas in 1956 when Jack Snell, son of H. D. Snell, purchased three Taylor Safeways. The company continued its expansion over the next four decades under the leadership of Jack and his son, Robert, and by 1991, United stores were in 20 communities throughout Texas.
The company’s continued growth into the grocery-chain it is today was spurred by a strategic growth plan adopted in 1998, which called for new stores, innovative concepts, diverse market expansion and self-distribution.
Also in 1998, Market Street, a new concept focused on healthy meal solutions for busy guests, was introduced in Wichita Falls. The company now operates 15 Market Street locations, including seven in Dallas-Fort Worth. United Supermercado, which is now known as Amigos, was the next concept offered by The United Family, opening in Plainview in 2000. Today, four locations provide a blend of traditional and cultural favorites for Hispanic shoppers in the Lubbock and Amarillo areas.
To express appreciation for the many communities that have support the company, beginning May 31, The United Family will celebrate 100 Days of Giving, presenting $1,000 to a different local non-profit for 100 consecutive days, totaling a donation of $100,000. Also during that time, the company will donate 100,000 additional pounds of food to local food banks in June in preparation for fall and winter when donations are needed most. Lastly, before Thanksgiving, The United Family will spread joy to area children’s hospitals in 12 markets by distributing 1,200 special 100th Anniversary stuffed animals.
“With these programs, in addition to dozens of ongoing initiatives, this year will truly be worthy of our 100th anniversary,” said Shelby Crews, Senior Community Relations Manager for The United Family. “Giving back to our guests has always been a cornerstone of United Supermarkets, and that emphasis will continue as The United Family enters its next century.”
The United Family remained a family-owned supermarket chain for 98 years until becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertson’s LLC on Dec. 27, 2013. In order to take advantage of operational and distribution opportunities, Albertsons realigned 12 locations under The United Family. These stores now operate as Albertsons Market stores in Midland-Odessa, San Angelo and eastern New Mexico.
Red Duck Foods has just launched its cocktail sauce at all East Coast Wegmans. The cocktail sauce stays true to its roots with an epicurean edge and the recipe honors the purity of the bounty of the ocean. Crafted with fresh horseradish and a unique spice blend, the cocktail sauce is balanced with a splash of lemon juice that brings out the best flavors in your favorite seafood.
Oregon condiment maker Red Duck Foods was founded in Eugene, Oregon, though now located in Portland, Oregon, by three University of Oregon students on the belief that regular condiments didn’t cut the mustard. Red Duck Ketchup, the company’s first product line, dares to elevate the popular condiment by using high-quality, organic ingredients. With five inventive flavors including, Original, Smoky, Spicy, Curry and a rotating seasonal flavor, Red Duck Ketchup complements dishes from burgers and fries to grilled lamb and baked oysters. In 2015, Red Duck expanded its product list and introduced cocktail sauce to the condiments line. Red Duck’s products focus on using honest ingredients while providing a unique twist on familiar flavors.
Walkers showcased its new gluten-free offerings at the Winter Fancy Food Show. The gluten-free line includes Walkers’ conveniently sized, all-natural Pure Butter and Chocolate Chip Shortbread portion packs and Holiday Shortbread Assortment.
Gluten Free aficionados will enjoy the new offerings that feature Walkers Pure Butter and Chocolate Chip Shortbread Rounds. Each portion pack conveniently hosts two shortbread cookies making it a satisfying snack to enjoy while on-the-go. The new Gluten Free holiday assortment brings Walkers back to the festivities for those that have had to give up gluten.
Walkers Gluten Free Shortbread debuted to critical acclaim, the first adaption to the Walkers traditional shortbread recipe in 118 years. The line replaces wheat flour with a blend of rice flour, maize flour, and potato starch, while retaining the same butter and sugar content as the traditional shortbreads. With less than 20 parts per million of gluten, Walkers Gluten Free Shortbread meets the FDA standard for gluten free food, with every batch tested to ensure compliance before its release. The line contains no genetically modified ingredients or hydrogenated fats, and is vegetarian and Kosher OUD. Walkers promises the pure butter taste and texture you love, just without the gluten.
Pernicious Pickling Co. was named a 2016 Good Food Award winner in the Pickles division. The winners of the Good Food Award represent the forefront of American craft food, making products that are “delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.” This is a national award with winners from 33 states that were amongst almost 2,000 entries. Winners were processed in a blind tasting with 203 judges held in September 2015.
Winners were announced Thursday evening, January 15, at a star-studded ceremony and gala at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, featuring luminaries Alice Waters, Nell Newman and Slow Food Founder, Carlo Petrini.
“It is an incredible honor to be recognized and win such a prestigious award,” said Kendra Coggin & Baron Conway, co-founders of Pernicious Pickling Co. “The award represents everything we stand for in our desire to create great tasting and memorable pickles that use the best possible ingredients.”
Pernicious Pickling Co.’s winning entry, Fashionably Dill Pickled Red Beets, are a nod to Eastern European flavors with dill in a sweet and salty brine, enhancing the rich, earthy tones of the beet.