• Reuters reports that "the Teamsters union, representing more than 18,000 workers, said it had ratified on Friday a national contract with Costco Wholesale Corp.
"The first-ever national agreement provides members with significant wage improvements over the next three years and a substantial increase in pension contributions by Costco, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said in a statement … The contract, which was ratified by a vote of 72% of the membership, also provides for higher semi-annual bonuses and a more flexible attendance policy, alongside other workplace benefits."
• FMI-The Food Industry Association and the North American Meat Institute said that they have redesigned this year's conference - scheduled for March 6-8 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas - to evoke what they called "a modern, personalized protein experience."
This includes, they said: "Creating a forum and re-establishing connections with potential partners, contacts and opportunities – both within and throughout the industry … Delivering data, trends and insights to give brands and products a distinctive point of view to differentiate and position attendees’ businesses … providing an extensive range of food and sensory experiences, product demonstrations and exciting presentations that can only be experienced in-person at AMC." And, as usual, there will be the release of "the Power of Meat, a key industry analysis of shoppers’ attitudes and purchasing decisions for meat."
• The Wall Street Journal reports that "the backup of container ships off Southern California’s coast that was at the heart of U.S. supply chain congestion during the Covid-19 pandemic has effectively disappeared.
"The queue of ships waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fell from a peak of 109 ships in January to four vessels this week, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Shipping specialists say fewer ships than normal are heading to the main U.S. gateway complex for imports from Asia in coming days and that cargo volumes that had long swamped the ports now are receding.
"Bottlenecks continue to delay cargo at other major U.S. seaports and at inland freight hubs, but the end of the backup at the big ports in California signals broader supply-chain tangles that have been troubling retailers and manufacturers are unwinding."
• Delish reports that pasta company Barilla is being sued for its use of the slogan, "Italy's No. 1 brand of pasta."
The lawsuit argues that the slogan "leads reasonable consumers to believe that Barilla's products are made and/or manufactured in Italy using ingredients from Italy," when in fact "Barilla's products are primarily made in the company's plants in Ames, Iowa and Avon, New York."
The manufacturer has responded: " "Barilla remains committed to vigorously defend against these unfounded claims, as the wording on the box clearly states: ‘Made in the U.S.A. with U.S.A. and imported ingredients.' We're very proud of the brand's Italian heritage, the company’s Italian know-how, and the quality of our pasta in the U.S. and globally."
• From the Financial Times:
"Executives at some of America’s publicly listed companies will earn millions of dollars in equity-based bonuses this year because sympathetic boards have reworked their incentive plans — even though stock market declines have wiped trillions of dollars off corporate valuations.
"Companies adjusted bonus plans in 2020 to account for the coronavirus pandemic and have since revisited pay and eased performance assessments in response to inflation, energy crises and other macroeconomic problems, said Matteo Tonello, a managing director at the Conference Board, an economic research organisation."