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Heifer Awarded $750,000 From Starbucks Foundation to Support Coffee Farmers in Tanzania

Heifer International was awarded a Starbucks Foundation grant of$750,000 to help fund the Mbozi Farmer Livelihood Improvement Project in Tanzania, which will help improve livelihoods and quality of life for smallholder coffee growing communities in the East African country.

This grant is part of Starbucks comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing.  To date, Starbucks has contributed $15 million in social projects to support farming communities around the world. The project will be part of our East Africa Dairy Development Project in Tanzania and will assist at least 5,000 smallholder coffee farmers and their families.

Heifer and Starbucks have collaborated in the past. In 2009, after CEO Howard Schultz visited smallholder coffee farmers in Rwanda, he heard the heartfelt requests from farmers that, if they had cows, they would have milk, better nutrition and income for their families. Starbucks employees rallied together to provide the cows these farmers wanted so desperately. Watch the inspiring video here.

As much as 90 percent of the population in the Mbozi District is engaged in coffee farming. As global coffee prices fluctuate, farmers often experience a significant need for income throughout the year that coffee production alone cannot meet.

This project will provide some families with dairy heifers and bulls so that farmers can engage in dairy farming as a complementary activity that provides a diversified source of income for coffee farmers and evens out their year-round cash needs. Other families who already own cows will receive training on proper dairy management and cattle husbandry techniques to better position them for profitable enterprises, and the creation of a milk collection center will give larger dairy processors easier access to farmers’ milk.

“Adding dairy farming will ensure coffee farmers have a steady flow of income to reinvest into their coffee farms,” said Heifer’s President and Chief Executive Pierre Ferrari. “By introducing higher and steadier income levels from dairy, coffee farmers will actually have increased capital to invest in physical inputs and new technology to increase coffee production.”

The project also will increase access to water and improve sanitation, as well as increase use of alternative sources of renewable energy.

In 2014, the Starbucks Foundation granted more than $3.7 million to multiple organizations who help address relevant needs in specific communities. Each investment is targeted to create a sustained impact in a local community developing the necessary infrastructure to help support systemic, long term change.

Over the past 40 years, Starbucks has been dedicated to helping improve the lives of farmers and their families around the world who grow their coffee. Through a comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing Starbucks is paying equitable prices, providing access to farmer loans and technical assistance in order to help farmers to navigate the complexities of agriculture – a long-term process.  In total, Starbucks has invested more than $70 million in collaborative farmer programs and activities over the past 40 years. In 2015, Starbucks achieved the goal of 99 percent of its coffee being verified as ethically sourced. Additional details about Starbucks initiatives in coffee and tea communities are available at Starbucks.com/Responsibility/sourcing

Earthbound Farm To Buy 1,000 Shoppers’ “Green” Grocery Carts Nationwide In April

In honor of Earth Month, Earthbound Farm, a grower of organic produce, is launching its third annual “Every Cart Counts” campaign. From April 1-30, Earthbound’s Cart Searchers will be on the lookout for shoppers across America with earth-friendly products in their grocery carts, and rewarding 1,000 people by paying their entire grocery bill.

“Earthbound’s Every Cart Counts campaign is unique in that it focuses on the small choices we make every time we enter a grocery store that have the potential to add up to real, positive change,” said Stacy Baas, Earth Month advocate for Earthbound Farm. “For instance, we calculated that if every person used a reusable shopping bag just once a week, we’d keep 16 billion bags out of landfills each year. It’s not a sacrifice, it doesn’t require getting your hands dirty and it has the potential for a big, tangible impact.”

Earthbound is inviting shoppers to take the online quiz, “How Green is Your Cart?” Participants will receive a free product coupon and can enter for the chance to win a reusable grocery bag. Throughout the month, “Wisdom Tips” from Earthbound and its partners will be released to inspire easy Earth-friendly changes.

“From our very beginning as a backyard garden 30 years ago, Earthbound’s mission has always been to make the organic choice accessible to as many people as possible,” continued Baas. “Our organic produce is grown without toxic synthetic chemicals, GMOs and irradiation. In 2015 alone, we will keep 16.1 million pounds of synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides out of the environment.”

All Earthbound Farm produce is grown in accordance with the company’s industry-leading food safety and organic integrity programs packaged in sustainable packaging made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. For more information, visit www.ebfarm.com/our-story/.

Terlato Wines to Add Burgundy’s Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay to Luxury Wine Portfolio

Terlato Wines will become the exclusive U.S. importer for the renowned and historic Burgundy Domaines of Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay. The long-term agreement with owner Olivier Halley represents an expansion of Terlato’s Estate portfolio with some of the most respected wines of the Cote de Beaune and Cote de Nuits regions.

Each property produces hand-crafted wines made from 100 percent estate-grown fruit and reflects the distinctive vineyards and appellations from which they are made. Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay were purchased by Olivier Halley in 2012 from the Boisseaux family, and today both Domaines are enjoying a renaissance under his thoughtful care and guidance.

“We are very pleased to have forged this partnership with Olivier Halley and to represent these two extraordinary and historic Domaines, said Terlato Wines Vice Chairman John Terlato. “The wines from Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay are exceptional — hand-crafted with great attention to detail and quality.  We always look for long and lasting partnerships with families who share our values, and this is a fitting addition to the partnerships we have already established with other important Burgundian families.”

Terlato will import a collection of wines from each Domaine including Le Clos du Chateau and Meursault, Le Clos des Grands Charrons (Monopole) from Chateau de Meursault, and Marsannay and Marsannay Longeroies – Clos de Roy from Chateau de Marsannay, as well as Villages, Premiers and Grand Crus from their respective appellations.  These wines have been recognized as some of Burgundy’s best by key wine journalists and influencers, such as Revue des Vins de France, Bourgogne Aujourd’hui, Decanter and Allen Meadows of Burghound.

“We are very happy to be working with the Terlato family, because we share a passion for making the best, most important wines of the world available to people around the world,” said Stephane Follin-Arbelet, General Manager of Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay.  “Terlato Wines has an international reputation as the top luxury wine importer in the U.S.  Their portfolio of wines is known as one of the best in the world, and they are an ideal partner for us.”

Chateau de Meursault and Chateau de Marsannay stand out for more than their exceptional wines, truly offering the Burgundian experience by welcoming visitors seven days week in their historic and beautiful cellars, in one of the world’s most iconic wine regions.  In addition, Chateau de Meursault has proudly hosted the almost century-old Burgundy event, “La Paulee de Meursault” since the early 1980s.  Each year hundreds of the world’s most avid Burgundy aficionados receive coveted invitations to this legendary lunch at Chateau de Meursault, which unites the top Burgundy producers of the region.

Terlato Wines has a global portfolio of more than 70 brands from world class wine producers in more than a dozen countries and controls a 20 percent market share of wines $20 and up in the U.S. Terlato Wines garners more 90+ ratings than any wine company in the world and is a division of the Terlato Wine Group, the parent company comprising several small businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. Owned and operated by the Terlato family for four generations, the Group also includes the family’s winery investments and partnerships in some of the world’s most esteemed wine regions including: Napa Valley;Sonoma County; Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara CountyVictoria, Australia; the Rhone Valley in France and; Montalcino, Italy.

The Terlato Wines portfolio of brands includes:Napa Valley: Chimney Rock, EPISODE, Galaxy, Jack Nicklaus WinesLuke Donald Collection, Markham Vineyards,  Rutherford HillTangley Oaks, Terlato Family Vineyards; Sonoma County: Giarrusso, Hanna, Rochioli, The Federalist, Terlato Family Vineyards; Santa Barbara County: Flor de Campo, Sanford; California Appellation: Glass Mountain, Greystone Cellars, Mike Ditka Wines, Seven Daughters;  Washington StateGrace LaneArgentina: Cuarto Dominio, Tamari; Australia: Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, the Lucky Country, Twelftree, Two Hands; Austria: Kracher, Sohm & Kracher; Canada: Peller Estates; ChileLapostolle; France: Belleruche by M. Chapoutier, Champagne Bollinger, Champagne Duval-Leroy, Chapoutier, Chateau de Sancerre, Chateau Timberlay, Domaine Ramonet, Chateau de Meursault, Chateau de Marsannay, Langlois-Chateau, MARIUS, Mischief & Mayhem; Greece: Boutari, Elios; ItalyAnselmi, Berlucchi, Ca’Marcanda (GAJA Toscana), Cecchi, Colavita, Cusumano, Epsilon, Fizz 56, GAJA, Goretti, Il Poggione, Mazzoni (Toscana), Nino FrancoSanta MargheritaJapan: Shimizu-no-mai Sake; Mediterranean: Elios; New Zealand: Loveblock, Turning Heads, Wairau River; Portugal: M. Chapoutier; South Africa: Anthonij Rupert, Ernie Els, Guardian Peak, Protea, Rust en Vrede; SpainBodegas ValdemarMarco Abella.  Artisan Spirits: Adelphi Selections Scotch, Distillatorio Nonino (Amaro and Grappa), Don Pancho Origenes Rum, Heartland Gin, Langley’s No. 8 Gin; Marnier XO Cognac, Riazul Tequila, Tigre Blanc Vodka and Tiramisu Liqueur.

McCormick Rolls Out Spring Product Introductions

McCormick & Company  is introducing 21 new products inspired by the McCormick® Flavor Forecast® trend reports, which predict the future of flavor. Among the new product innovations are flavored sea salts, chili peppers and burger sauce mix-ins just in time for grilling season.

“Our new products enable consumers to explore bold, more intense flavors at home that they may have seen in restaurants, foods trucks and online,” said McCormick Executive Chef, Kevan Vetter. “Spicy, smoky and alcohol-infused offerings – from Grill Mates Smoky Ranchero Marinade to Gourmet Sriracha Seasoning – make it easy to add interesting flavors to favorite dishes, whether you’re grilling a burger or making a stir fry.”

Burger Sauce Mix-Ins

New sauce packets give grillmasters everything they need to make steakhouse burgers in the backyard. Offered in four bold varieties, Grill Mates Steakhouse Burgers Sauce Mix-Ins contain enough seasoning for four to six tastier, juicier patties – no measuring needed:

More Bold Flavors for the Grill

Flavored Sea Salt Grinders

Easy to use at the table or during cooking, McCormick’s new sea salt grinders wake up dishes with fresh, new flavors:

Gourmet Chili Peppers

From hot and tangy Sriracha seasoning to smoky crushed chipotle pepper, McCormick Gourmet’s three new chili pepper varieties offer a range of heat options:

Additional Products

Other new products from McCormick brands include:

Cocoa & Chocolate Industry and Ivorian Government Announce Agreement on Improved Cocoa Planting Material

The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and Cote d’Ivoire’s Conseil du Café-Cacao have announced an agreement to improve cocoa planting material. The agreement is closely aligned with the Ivorian government’s 2QC national cocoa strategy and comes less than a year after WCF announced CocoaAction, the chocolate and cocoa industry’s strategy for sustainability in the cocoa sector.

As part of its efforts to improve planting material, WCF also announced its focus on new methods of propagation and addressing cocoa swollen shoot virus. These components are championed by WCF member companies Mars, Incorporated and Nestlé.

“WCF is pleased to be working with le Conseil du Café-Cacao to provide improved planting material to cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire,” said WCF President, Bill Guyton. “CocoaAction supports the rehabilitation of cocoa farms to improve farmer livelihoods, and this partnership is a key step toward making that possible.”

“This agreement on access to planting material and the fight against cocoa swollen shoot virus is an important step toward carrying out concrete actions at the farm level,” said Massandjé Touré-Litse, Director-General, le Conseil du Café-Cacao.

To support the execution of the planting material strategy, WCF recently employed an Abidjan-based Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus expert, Dr. Mfegue Crescence Virginie. Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus is a disease that causes insufficient production of chlorophyll in cocoa trees, eventually resulting in death. Working in close coordination with le Conseil du Café-Cacao, Interprofessional Fund for Agricultural Research and Advisory Services (FIRCA) and the National Center for Agronomic Research (CNRA), Mfegue will support the identification and propagation of virus-resistant trees and developing in-field tests that allow for early detection of the disease.

Selected to participate in the Norman E. Borlaug Cocoa Fellowship program in cooperation with United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service and WCF, Kacou M’Bo of Cote d’Ivoire’s National Center for Agronomic Research is expected to provide research support on drought resistant varieties of cocoa trees. The fellowship provides fellows with skills and knowledge to help their countries become more competitive producers and exporters of cocoa and cocoa products.

In support of CocoaAction’s productivity component, WCF also announced the completion of a good agriculture practices guide that includes information on fertilizer use and soil fertility practices in Cote d’Ivoire. The guide, developed in partnership with the national agency supporting rural development (ANADER), Conseil du Café-Cacao, the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) and WCF’s African Cocoa Initiative, will be used by public and private sector partners for training activities with cocoa farmers. The African Cocoa Initiative is a program supported by WCF member companies and the United States Agency for International Development.

David Sugarman Named CEO of The Manischewitz Company

 

The Manischewitz(R)Company, the world’s largest matzo manufacturer, has named specialty food industry veteran David Sugarman as President and Chief Executive Officer. Sugarman, who most recently served as President and CEO of The Allan Candy Company, a division of The Hershey Company, has already assumed his new responsibilities.

Sugarman will direct Manischewitz Company’s business strategy, develop and foster customer relationships, and oversee all daily operations. He brings over 20 years of experience with businesses in North America, including Sabra Dipping Company, where he served as Country Manager for Canada, and at Billy Bee Honey Products and Succession Capital Corporation. Sugarman led the sale of Allan Candy to Hershey Canada in 2014, and earlier in his career he was responsible for launching Sabra’s line of fresh foods items in Canada.

“We are delighted to have David on board as his experience as a food industry executive makes him a valuable leader to help execute the company’s growth plans,” said Brett L’Esperance, a member of Manischewitz’s board of directors. “David’s dynamic leadership and vision are great assets which will substantially benefit the company.”

“I am honored to be selected as the next leader of Manischewitz, a company with such strong brands and a rich history,” said Sugarman. “I look forward to working with the team and our customer partners to continue to produce the highest quality kosher products possible.”

Sugarman succeeds interim CEO Mark Weinsten, who served in the role until a successor was identified, as previously announced.

Sugarman holds an M.B.A. from The Schulich School of Business at York University (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), and a BS from The University of Toronto. He was awarded Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, is a member of Young Presidents Organization, and has served as a Board Member of Covenant House Toronto.

 

 

 

Newport Avenue Market Introduces Apple Pay

Newport Avenue Market, a single store independent grocer located in Bend, Oregon, has recently introduced Apple Pay to serve as a new, secure payment option for shoppers. The addition of Apple Pay is just the next step the market has taken in continuing to keep up with the latest technology trends in the grocery industry.

Apple Pay allows shoppers to pay for their purchases using breakthrough contactless payment technology and unique security features built right into Apple devices most people use daily. With a single touch, shoppers may now pay for their groceries at Newport Avenue Market using their iPhone 6, Apple Watch, or iPad to pay in a simple, secure, and private way. Newport Avenue Market is one of the only single independent stores in the country to offer this service.
“We’re always trying to keep up with the latest technology trends, think of innovative ways to keep our customers happy, and maintain that great shopping experience that Newport Avenue Market offers,” said Lauren G.R. Johnson, Leader of the Pack (vrrrooom!) & COO of Newport Avenue Market. “With the constant hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, Apple Pay offers shoppers a quick and easy way to pay, with peace of mind.”

Over the last few years, Newport Avenue Market has invested more than $2.5 million on new technologies, lessening the store’s carbon footprint and creating a carefree shopping experience for guests. In an effort to provide price confidence for customers and create ease at the check stands, the market introduced electronic shelf tags that sleep at night to conserve energy, making their batteries last just short of a decade. In addition to electronic shelf tags, the market has added new, state-of-the-art refrigeration cases that utilize 70 percent less energy, as well as self-checkout units. These moves not only follow suit with Newport Avenue Market’s intention of always looking towards cutting edge technology and keeping up to date with the latest trends, but also help to reduce waste and enhance the Oregon store’s shopping experience.

For more information about Newport Avenue Market and its efforts at being environmentally responsible, call 541.382.3940 or visit www.NewportAveMarket.com.

Call for Submissions for June’s Gourmet News

The June issue of Gourmet News will feature a preview of the Summer Fancy Food Show. If you’re introducing a new product at the show that you’re ready to talk about between now and May 1, tell us about it so we can consider it for our coverage.

In addition, we’ll be talking about products that are designed to appeal to home cooks who want to produce a quality meal without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. If you have a product that you’d like to have considered for inclusion in the story, let us know.

In either case, drop us a line to lorrie_b@oser.com with either “Fancy Food Show Preview” or “Good Food Fast” in the subject line. Please include the product name, a short description (no more than 50 words), the suggested retail price for the item and contact information for inquiries from retailers in the body of the email and attach a print-quality product shot to the email if you have one available.

Niederegger Debuts Three New Marzipan Products

Niederegger of Lubeck Germany is launching three new products with dramatically different flavors: The bitter sweet Chocolate Covered Marzipan Loaf Cranberry (2.6 ounce) gives a fruity berry accent, packed 20/case. Rich milk Chocolate Covered Marzipan Loaf with Salted Cashews is a stand-out in a generous 4.4 ounce size. Cheesecake Marzipan Classics feature 10 bite-size, satisfying pieces in a window box gift -set (3.5 ounces). These delicious sweet confections, in stunning multi-colored packaging, please the eye and the palate.

Carl Brandt., Inc., a key U.S. specialty food importer,  represents Niederegger as well as many other European brands.

Meet Viris the Cow and Francine Bearbottom at Newport Avenue Market

 

By Lorrie Baumann

The Newport Avenue Market family accepts the 2015 Retail Visionary Award from Unified Grocers.

The Newport Avenue Market family accepts the 2015 Retail Visionary Award from Unified Grocers.

This year’s Ben Schwartz Retail Grocery Visionary Award from Unified Grocers went to the Newport Avenue Market in Bend, Oregon, just the latest in a long string of awards recognizing the achievements of Rudy and Debbie Dory and Lauren Johnson, who have transformed a traditional grocery store into a specialty market that appeals to the hippest of the foodies as well as a loyal following of hometown regulars.

The store that’s now the Newport Avenue Market was founded by Rudy and Debbie Dory, who have made their whole career in the grocery business, in 1991. The building had been a 22,000 square-foot Piggly Wiggly store built in the 1960s when the Dorys and a partner who is no longer part of the business bought it in 1983. Over the years, they’ve added a deli and bakery and seafood counters, changed the refrigeration twice, installed new shelving, improved the lighting and installed a spectacular wall of produce. The partner left the business in 1991, and Rudy and Debbie renamed the Bend store to make it the Newport Avenue Market and continued on their own. “The store has evolved. Every year we make major changes,” Debbie says. “It’s a never-ending story, but we try and focus very specifically on a shopping experience – that every time our customers come in, it’s very visual with wonderful produce and wonderful meat. We focus on gourmet, such as beautiful seafood, gourmet cheese. Our produce is not only very visual but excellent quality. We have everyday groceries, of course, but we also have organic, natural and specialty throughout the store. Customers today are well-traveled, so we really try to bring in foods from around the world, so that we are the go-to source for people who love to cook.”

“We originally thought we would be more like Whole Foods, but over the years, we morphed into specialty foods because that’s what our customers wanted. An awful lot of our products are by customer request,” Rudy adds. “Customers traveled and then came back and requested foods that they had tasted during their travels.”

IMG_1742While both Rudy and Debbie are still very active in the store – his official title is Ringmaster of the Flying Circus/President, while hers is Pundit of Perfection/Director of Detail, Newport Avenue Market is also presided over by Viris, a full size purple Jersey cow statue that dresses up for the holidays and moves around the store on occasion and Francine Bearbottom, a grizzly bear who wears holiday hats, with day-to-day management in the hands of El Hefe/General Store Manager Spike Bement and Leader of the Pack & COO Lauren G.R. Johnson, who is the Dorys’ daughter. Johnson joined the business recently after a 20-year career as a flight attendant and a few other jobs after that, including motherhood, in Portland, Oregon. “The stars all aligned. They asked, and the opportunity was perfect timing,” she says. She moved right back into her childhood neighborhood, buying a house near her parents’ home and only a couple of blocks from the store. “It’s my little ball of perfect,” she said. “Sunshine is terrific. I am so happy. My friends from Portland are more than happy to come here.”

Their customer-centered approach, along with deep involvement in the community and a strong touch of whimsy have earned them accolades from both the grocery industry and their community. In 1994, Newport Avenue Market was named International Retailer of the Year by IGA, and hardly a year has gone by since then that the store or its owners haven’t received some kind of special recognition on either the local, state or national level. In 1999, the Market was named the Bend Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year and received an Oregon Quality and Excellence Award. Rudy Dory won a United Way Volunteer Citizen’s Award in 2000; in 2008, the mural on the storefront, painted by local artist Kimberly Smallenberg, won the store Bend Art’s Beautification Award. In 2013, Newport Avenue Market became the first Boar’s Head Deli of Distinction west of the Mississippi River and Rudy and Debbie were honored as the Bend Chamber of Commerce’s Citizens of the Year. The list goes on, culminating in this year’s Visionary Award from Unified Grocers.

In Bend, the store competes with the country’s largest Safeway store as well as the largest-volume Safeway store in the country – those are two different stores – as well as two Walmart Supercenters, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, a Fred Meyer with more than 200,000 square feet of space and two Albertsons stores that are converting to Haggen stores as a consequence of Albertsons’ divestiture following the merger with Safeway. Altogether, Newport Avenue Market has 15 direct competitors in a city that had about 81,000 residents for the 2010 U.S. Census. In spite of that, the store is into its fourth consecutive year of double-digit sales growth. “We need to be on our toes. There are two or three more stores coming this summer that are breaking ground now – new stores with new banners,” Debbie says. “We don’t lack competition in Bend, Oregon. We very much stay focused on who we are and what we need to do to stay in business.”

Lauren and Rudy in front of their produce wall

Lauren and Rudy in front of their produce wall

Staying on their toes means keeping up with the latest food trends, connecting with their community, and working hard to make a visit to their store a visually appealing and entertaining experience. Besides the fun with Viris and Francine Bear-Bottom, the store also houses a 1953 Farm-All tractor in the produce department as well as carousel pieces around the store and a produce wall that’s regarded as a piece of art in its own right. “Visually, we have a lot of fun,” Debbie says.

“We keep using the term ‘experience,’ but it runs a little deeper than that,” Johnson adds. “We have European-style shoppers, so the relationships between staff and customers are very important. Connecting, not only with our staff, but with their neighbors and keeping up on what’s happening in their neighborhoods.” Fostering the connections between staff and customers requires the right employees, and Newport Avenue Market has several who’ve been with the store more than 30 years, including General Store Manager Bement, who’s been working with Rudy since 1983 and has been store manager of Newport Avenue Market since 1991. “We understand that our job as managers is to make good decisions so our people can count on their jobs,” Rudy says. “It is our job to make sure that we’re trying to do the right thing, and, knock on wood, that has filtered down.”

People often ask Rudy and Debbie how they get so many great employees, and Rudy says he asks himself that question sometimes too. “We try to pay them decently,” he says. “We understand with staff that they have to make a living.” The store still pays 100 percent of health insurance costs for its employees and has a 401(k) program with employer matching. The store also has a bonus program and offers grocery rebates that can return $2,000 to $3,000 to an employee at the end of the year. “We’ve always believed in happy employees who can be customers too,” Rudy says.

“It’s really important to know,” Johnson adds, “that while we’re the face of it, it’s really our staff who are pretty amazing and who work hard to make us who we are – and our customers who choose to shop with us.”

This story was originally published in the April, 2015 issue of Gourmet News, a publication of Oser Communications Group.

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