Published on: May 23, 2012
• The Sacramento Bee
reports that Save Mart Supermarkets "has extended its labor contract again, while Raley's is entering a second week of bargaining under the guidance of a federal mediator. The two grocery chains continue to press for a quick resolution to labor negotiations that have dragged on since October.
"A third chain, Safeway, is also in negotiations but has been less aggressive about seeking a swift conclusion."
• In New Jersey,the new $138 million Highlands Bridge will today be dedicated to Joseph Azzolina, the food retailer and former State Senator and Assemblyman who passed away in 2010.
• The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Cornell University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) of China announced that they have signed a letter of intent to work toward establishment of a joint academic program to address food safety challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. Cornell, SJTU and GMA will work together to explore the feasibility of developing specific curriculum in supply chain food safety that will include academic certification programs and state of the art training.
• The Seattle Times
reports that Kroger-owned QFC is "enforcing contracts at some of its locations that prohibit private liquor stores from operating in the same shopping centers ... invoking a right that elbows out some slim small-store competition."
According to the story, "The liquor-privatization law, which (Washington State) voters passed in November ... allows only stores measuring 10,000 square feet or more (about the size of a Trader Joe's) to sell liquor — with the exception of some 300 existing state stores.
"About half of those are owned by entrepreneurs who sold liquor under contract with the state. The state has spent the past few months auctioning off rights to own and operate the others. Those rights came with no leases and no promise of a liquor license. The law also allows anyone who cannot negotiate a lease successfully or otherwise do business at those locations to find another store within one mile."
But where it has the legal right, QFC is blocking these small stores from moving into certain locations.
• In Minnesota, the Pioneer Press
reports that "General Mills will lay off 850 workers globally, with roughly half the cuts coming in the Twin Cities, as it faces higher costs for the ingredients it uses in its food products and sluggish consumer demand for brands such as Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Yoplait."