Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News February 2017

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GOURMET NEWS FEBRUARY 2017 www.gourmetnews.com News & Notes NEWS & NOTES 3 BRIEFS Organic Valley Ends Year Standing Strong with 2,000 Farm Families Organic Valley, America's largest coopera- tive of organic farmers and one of the na- tion's leading organic brands, will reach a meaningful milestone in the new year: the co-op will grow to 2,000 farmer-owners by the first week of January, representing 12 percent of the organic farmers in the United States. In 2016, Organic Valley welcomed more than 300 family farms to the cooper- ative for 16 percent growth, and added more than 40,000 acres of organic agricul- tural land. "Now, more than ever, it's time to come together and cooperate," said George Siemon, a founding farmer and CEO of Or- ganic Valley. "Our strength has always been in our unity and belief in the collective good. In a world of divisiveness, coopera- tion continues to be the key to success." Founded in 1988 by seven struggling farm families in southwest Wisconsin, Organic Valley's mission today is still to save family farming through an organic, cooperative business model that ensures a fair pay price to farmers. That mis- sion continues to be an urgent one; in 2015, conventional American farmers faced some of the toughest conditions they've seen since the '80s. In the cooperative's democratic busi- ness model, each farmer-member has a voice in pay price, growth, profit shar- ing, best practices and other coopera- tive fundamentals. Because the co-op is not beholden to shareholders or out- side investors, the business can priori- tize paying farmers a stable price each month, as well as providing other valu- able shared services, such as world- class veterinary care, and soil and pasture improvement programs. Organic Valley is made up of farmers such as Amy Raboine of Reedsburg, Wisconsin. Raboine took over her fam- ily's dairy after her father died following a long jour- ney with stomach cancer. She finished school and chose to become a dairy farmer. Today, Raboine raises her family and her herd inspired by nature and her dad's legacy. When Chandler and Aziza Benson of Lansing, New York, decided to start a fam- ily, Chandler left his high-powered finan- cial services job in bustling Chicago, and Aziza left the National Guard for a slower paced quality of life. There, the Bensons took over Chandler's parents' organic dairy, which was too big for the older Bensons but just right for the next generation and their three sets of twins. The cooperative's growth is apparent at its headquarters in La Farge, Wisconsin, as well. In 2016, Organic Valley hired 110 new employees for a total of 903 staff, maintaining Organic Valley's role as the largest employer in Vernon County, Wis- consin. In 2015, Organic Valley was named one of Outside magazine's "100 Best Places to Work in the USA." "Our cooperative success means we can provide a lifeline to more than 2,000 family farms and meaningful employment to over 900 staff members," concluded Siemon. "We are past and present leaders in the or- ganic and cooperative movements and will continue to lead into the future, no matter what short-term challenges we face—be- cause we face them together." GN Albertsons Companies Holiday Giving Campaign Provides Millions of Meals As 2016 drew to a close, Albertsons Com- panies thanked its employees and cus- tomers across the many communities it serves for helping donate millions of nutri- tious meals and thousands of toys through the company's 2016 Holiday Giving Cam- paign. In all, Albert- sons Companies' 2,300-plus stores and 275,000 team members are responsible for helping orchestrate major food drives and giving campaigns, donating more than 12,000 turkeys and hams, and collecting tens of thousands of toys to make the holidays memorable. In addition, the Albertsons Companies Foun- dation contributed $240,000 to fund char- ities at the forefront of hunger relief, juvenile diabetes research, veteran's serv- ices and grassroots c o m m u - nity out- reach. " H e l p - ing indi- v i d u a l s and fami- lies during the holidays and throughout the year is not only the foundation of our com- munity outreach, it's a key part of our busi- ness," said Chairman and CEO Bob Miller. "We are in the unique position to touch the lives of countless people throughout Amer- ica each day. We're proud of how our stores, customers and employees have come together to have a positive impact on people in need, both during the holidays and every day of the year." Albertsons Companies operates super- markets in 35 states and Washington D.C. under 19 banners, including Albert- sons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, ACME Markets, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs. Each regional operating division chooses and manages its own giving programs, tailoring the outreach to the needs of the neighbor- hoods it serves. GN Mark S. Sutton Named to Kroger's Board Mark S. Sutton has been elected to The Kroger Company's board of directors. Sutton is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Paper, a global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products. Sutton joined International Paper in 1984 as an electrical engineer. He held roles of increasing responsibility throughout his career, including mill manager, vice president of corrugated packaging operations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, vice president of corporate strategic planning, and senior vice president of several business units, including global supply chain, before being named CEO in 2014. Partnership to Offer Food Safety Training SGS Canada Inc. and The Canadian Food & Wine Institute at Niagara College have entered into a partnership to offer a risk-focused, tool kit based approach to train in the how-to of food safety management. The Food Safety Program Optimization (FSPO) is designed to target risk reduction and provide the tools to students to demonstrate true risk-based diligence. This new partnership is a part of the Canadian Food & Wine Institute's new continuing education program called Expert Edge. "This new program focuses on delivering hands-on training led by true industry professionals," said Jeffrey Steen, Manager of Corporate Training at Niagara College. "We have a unique proposition to those seeking to take their careers to the next level in the fields of risk management, auditing and supply chains dealing with food, wine and beer." SPINS Welcomes Kelly Marion as SVP of Customer Experience SPINS ® , a provider of retail consumer insights, analytics, and consulting for the natural, organic, and specialty products industries, has added Kelly Marion to its team as Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. Marion's leadership at TABS Analytics, Playtex Inc., and CPG Sales Network factor into the exceptional expertise he brings to SPINS clients. In addition to extensive experience in business development, marketing, and sales, Marion has a long history of delivering actionable insights and solutions from data, including working with brands and retailers to launch unique products ahead of their peers across a variety of channels and segments of the market. Joan M. Lewis Appointed to the Oneida Group Board of Directors The Oneida Group, one of the world's leading marketers of dining and food preparation products, has announced the appointment of Joan M. Lewis to the company's board of directors. Lewis graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She spent nearly three decades with Procter & Gamble, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Consumer & Market Knowledge, Media Transformation, and Brand Building Reinvention. Lewis also serves on the board of directors for LRW, Vitamix, and EYC. Her previous board experience includes comScore, Inc. and Advertising Research Foundation.

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