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•  Kroger this week announced that it is working with indoor farm company Gotham Greens to bring "greenhouse-grown produce and fresh, plant-based foods to more customers across the country. Kroger customers can find Gotham Greens' produce in more than 300 stores today, with plans to expand to nearly 1,000 stores by the end of 2023, helping bring Kroger's commitment to fresh food for everyone to life. In addition to produce, the expansion of Gotham Greens' plant-based dips, cooking sauces and dressings will put the supplier in nearly 2,000 Kroger locations across the country."

The announcement notes that "Kroger is focused on reducing climate impact by reducing food waste and is committed to achieving zero food waste to landfill company-wide by 2025. Since 2017, the company has embedded retail best practices to extend freshness and reduce waste in its operations, and Gotham Greens' planet-forward agricultural production methods support the grocer's mission to create a sustainable food system.

"Gotham Greens' farming practices allow the brand to grow, harvest and deliver non-GMO, pesticide-free salad greens and herbs 365 days of the year. By using hydroponic growing systems in sunlight-powered greenhouses, Gotham Greens' farms use up to 95% less water and 97% less land compared to field-grown farming."

•  Ahold Delhaize-owned The GIANT Company of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, said yesterday that "four electric vehicles will join its fleet serving the greater Philadelphia community. The electric vans will fulfill GIANT Direct customer deliveries while reducing the company’s environmental footprint, safeguarding nearly 9,000 gallons of gas each year … The electric vehicles are the first of its kind to join The GIANT Company’s 164 vehicle fleet and can travel 108 miles per charge. Their zero-tailpipe emission design combined with their avoidance of gasoline will prevent 171,963 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Over the next few years, The GIANT Company plans to introduce more all-electric vehicles to its fleet."

•  The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is out with its January jobs report, saying that "57% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January, up two points. Of those hiring or trying to hire, 91% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill. Twenty-seven percent of owners reported few qualified applicants for their open positions and 25% reported none."

The report goes on:  "Small business owners’ plans to fill open positions remain elevated, with a seasonally adjusted net 19% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up two points from December but 13 points below its record-high reading of 32 reached in August 2021.

"The percent of owners reporting labor quality as their top business operating problem remains elevated at 24%. Labor costs reported as the single most important problem to business owners increased two points to 10%, historically among the highest readings in over 49 years."