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Forager Secures Funding from Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in Maine

Forager™, a company focused on making locally sourced food widely available to all, announced that it has secured a new round of funding from Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) in Maine.

“Our goal is to grow good jobs, environmentally-sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity in Maine and across the country,” said Gray Harris, Senior Program Director, Natural Resource Sectors, CEI. “We are thrilled to invest in Forager whose mission and focus on accelerating our local food system aligns so well with our goals.”

Forager’s new online and mobile procurement-to-payment platform radically simplifies the sourcing process for local food, saving time and significant costs, and enabling grocers, food co-ops, farmers and producers to offer more local products to consumers. Forager launched its platform after completing a successful regional pilot involving 100 farmers and 10 grocers, food co-ops and wholesalers from Maine. The company is rolling it out throughout New England and New York state, and additional grocers and farmers are now participating.

Kroger Announces Retirement of Paul Bowen, President of Jay C and Ruler

The Kroger Company has announced that Jay C and Ruler division President Paul Bowen is retiring after 46 years of dedicated service, effective June 21. His successor will be named at a later date.

Bowen began his career with Jay C in 1971 as a produce department manager before taking a military leave of absence to serve in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1976. He returned to Jay C in 1976 and advanced to hold a number of leadership positions. In 1988, he was promoted to director of training and development for the division. He was instrumental in leading Jay C’s merger with Kroger in 1999, spending two years as the transition project leader. In 2001, Bowen was named vice president of operations before being promoted to senior vice president in 2002. Bowen has held his current role since 2003, where he oversees 71 Jay C and Ruler stores operating in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.

“For more than four decades, Paul’s leadership, vision and passion has helped Jay C and Ruler create customer-first shopping environments that have shaped the way we do business across our business,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s Chairman and CEO. “I salute Paul for his years of service to our associates and customers as both a leader and veteran. The entire Kroger family wishes Paul and his family all the best in retirement.”

Bowen and his wife, Margaret, look forward to traveling to new places and spending time with their two grandchildren.

 

USDA Delays Organic Livestock Rule

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is delaying the effective date of the rule published on January 19, 2017, for an additional six months to November 14, 2017, to allow time for further consideration by USDA. The effective date for this rule was initially March 20, 2017, and was subsequently delayed to May 19, 2017, by a document published in the Federal Register on February 9, 2017.

The final rule amends the organic livestock and poultry production requirements by adding new provisions for livestock handling and transport for slaughter and avian living conditions; and expands and clarifies existing requirements covering livestock care and production practices and mammalian living conditions.

The delay is opposed by the Organic Trade Association along with more than 350 organic livestock producers representing $1.95 billion in annual sales, the federal Advisory Committee on organic and accredited organic certifiers. The National Pork Producers Council has called for the rule’s repeal.

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