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• The annual GS1 Connect 2012 conference - the event formerly known as “U Connect,” renamed to be more recognizable and relevant to potential attendees - has been scheduled for June 4-7, 2012, at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

In addition to sector-specific content, GS1 Connect will present sessions that provide best practices and innovations supporting key supply-chain processes for product and location identification; inventory efficiency; traceability and safety; business-to-consumer (B2C) communication; trading-partner collaboration; and data quality, data management, and data synchronization.

• The Lakeland Ledger reports that “Publix Super Markets Inc. and Houston-based Waste Management have “announced the opening of the Organics Recycling Facility in Okeechobee. The seven-acre facility, located next to a Waste Management landfill, uses a computer-controlled aeration system to process food waste from Publix stores into organic compost products.”

• The Boston Globe reports on a new food franchise that may be getting some traction - Energy Kitchen, which has “a menu that features no item with more than 500 calories - think the Bison Burger and steamed vegetables.” The company says that “menu options include the likes of grilled salmon and turkey meat loaf and such side dishes as baked fries, steamed vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes, and asparagus salad. The food is grilled, baked, or steamed, but never fried.”

According to the story, “the company believes that there is an appetite to open a thousand of its restaurants over the next decade ... Currently, 11 Energy Kitchens are up and running in New York, New Jersey, and Florida.”

• The Chicago Sun Times reports that a federal bankruptcy judge has ordered the public auction of Moo & Oink, described as a “revered African-American community meat-store operator” in the Windy City. The company was placed in Chapter 7 bankruptcy on September 30, the story notes, “after the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1546 and the union pension and health and welfare funds filed a claim alleging that Moo & Oink owes the pension and other funds $3 million. The union represented Moo & Oink employees.

“Moo & Oink disagrees that it owes $3 million to the pension fund, said attorney Rick Firfer, who represents Moo & Oink.”
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