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Associated Wholesale Grocers names EVP of division operations

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that David Smith will be promoted to executive vice president of division operations effective Jan. 4. Smith will report to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer. In this new role he will have responsibility for AWG operations, corporate distribution, corporate services and IT.

Smith has been in the grocery industry for many years, starting as a teen in a family-owned business and working in various retail roles, including store owner and operator. Prior to joining AWG, David spent 17 years in various wholesale positions with Malone & Hyde and later Fleming, ranging from retail development manager to general manager of the Nashville, TN, division.

Having joined AWG in 2003 as director of real estate, Smith was promoted to director of member services for the Nashville division in 2007. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Memphis, TN, division. In conjunction with his contributions in Memphis, Smith was soon promoted to senior vice president and division manager and led the team in the successful start-up of the new Gulf Coast division.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated Wholesale Grocers names EVP of division operations

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that David Smith will be promoted to executive vice president of division operations effective Jan. 4. Smith will report to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer. In this new role he will have responsibility for AWG operations, corporate distribution, corporate services and IT.

Smith has been in the grocery industry for many years, starting as a teen in a family-owned business and working in various retail roles, including store owner and operator. Prior to joining AWG, David spent 17 years in various wholesale positions with Malone & Hyde and later Fleming, ranging from retail development manager to general manager of the Nashville, TN, division.

Having joined AWG in 2003 as director of real estate, Smith was promoted to director of member services for the Nashville division in 2007. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Memphis, TN, division. In conjunction with his contributions in Memphis, Smith was soon promoted to senior vice president and division manager and led the team in the successful start-up of the new Gulf Coast division.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated Wholesale Grocers names EVP of division operations

Associated Wholesale Grocers announced that David Smith will be promoted to executive vice president of division operations effective Jan. 4. Smith will report to Jerry Garland, president and chief executive officer. In this new role he will have responsibility for AWG operations, corporate distribution, corporate services and IT.

Smith has been in the grocery industry for many years, starting as a teen in a family-owned business and working in various retail roles, including store owner and operator. Prior to joining AWG, David spent 17 years in various wholesale positions with Malone & Hyde and later Fleming, ranging from retail development manager to general manager of the Nashville, TN, division.

Having joined AWG in 2003 as director of real estate, Smith was promoted to director of member services for the Nashville division in 2007. In 2009 he was promoted to vice president of merchandising for the Memphis, TN, division. In conjunction with his contributions in Memphis, Smith was soon promoted to senior vice president and division manager and led the team in the successful start-up of the new Gulf Coast division.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Bi-Lo, Associated Food Stores accept Apple Pay

Bi-Lo Holdings, parent company of Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie stores, will support Apple Pay mobile payments across its eight-state operating area.

Apple Pay is available to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users, who hold their phones to a contactless reader and place their finger on a Touch ID screen to pay.

“Customers want a shopping experience that is convenient, easy and secure, which is why we’re so pleased to announce support for Apple Pay,” said Bert DuMars, VP, digital marketing at Bi-Lo Holdings, in a press release. “Bi-Lo Holdings is prioritizing digital mobile solutions for our customers, and Apple Pay is an exciting first step in our journey.”

Associated Food Stores has also announced that it’s offering Apple Pay at 135 of its local and independent grocers.


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“We want to make grocery shopping as easy as possible for our guests,” said Jason Sokol, director of marketing for AFS, in a press release. “That includes offering a variety of options when it comes to payment, from traditional choices like cash and cards to mobile purchases.”

When a credit or debit card is added to Apple Pay, the card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple services. Instead, a unique device account number is assigned, encrypted and stored in the secure element on one’s device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time security code, according to the release.

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C&S Wholesale Grocers acquires Associated Wholesalers

C&S Wholesale Grocer’s bid to purchase Associated Wholesalers Inc. and its subsidiaries has been approved. AWI, a regional cooperative food distributor based in Robesonia, PA, operates two distribution centers in Pennsylvania and also provides retail services to its customers and members. Its subsidiaries include White Rose, which operates three distribution centers in New Jersey, and Nell’s Shurfine Markets, which operates four retail stores. The acquisition, expected to be finalized before Thanksgiving, would include substantially all of AWI/White Rose’s assets as well as their 2,200 employees.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Associated Wholesalers’ and White Rose’s strong team and customer base of independent grocers,” Rick Cohen, C&S chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “My grandfather founded C&S to supply independent retailers, and while we now proudly service grocers of all sizes, this transaction will give us an even greater capacity to provide the unique services required by independents and regional chains.”

AWI entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sept. 9, with C&S named as the “stalking horse” bidder, although SuperValu Inc. was also a bidder for AWI. Now that C&S’s bid has been approved, the transaction is expected to close on or about Nov. 11.

“Our first priority is to provide exceptional service to the customers, especially as we approach the holiday season,” Christopher Brown, C&S senior vice president of independent sales, said in the release. “We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the services provided to the numerous retailers who have relied on AWI and White Rose for their grocery supply needs.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

C&S Wholesale Grocers acquires Associated Wholesalers

C&S Wholesale Grocer’s bid to purchase Associated Wholesalers Inc. and its subsidiaries has been approved. AWI, a regional cooperative food distributor based in Robesonia, PA, operates two distribution centers in Pennsylvania and also provides retail services to its customers and members. Its subsidiaries include White Rose, which operates three distribution centers in New Jersey, and Nell’s Shurfine Markets, which operates four retail stores. The acquisition, expected to be finalized before Thanksgiving, would include substantially all of AWI/White Rose’s assets as well as their 2,200 employees.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Associated Wholesalers’ and White Rose’s strong team and customer base of independent grocers,” Rick Cohen, C&S chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “My grandfather founded C&S to supply independent retailers, and while we now proudly service grocers of all sizes, this transaction will give us an even greater capacity to provide the unique services required by independents and regional chains.”

AWI entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sept. 9, with C&S named as the “stalking horse” bidder, although SuperValu Inc. was also a bidder for AWI. Now that C&S’s bid has been approved, the transaction is expected to close on or about Nov. 11.

“Our first priority is to provide exceptional service to the customers, especially as we approach the holiday season,” Christopher Brown, C&S senior vice president of independent sales, said in the release. “We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the services provided to the numerous retailers who have relied on AWI and White Rose for their grocery supply needs.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

C&S Wholesale Grocers acquires Associated Wholesalers

C&S Wholesale Grocer’s bid to purchase Associated Wholesalers Inc. and its subsidiaries has been approved. AWI, a regional cooperative food distributor based in Robesonia, PA, operates two distribution centers in Pennsylvania and also provides retail services to its customers and members. Its subsidiaries include White Rose, which operates three distribution centers in New Jersey, and Nell’s Shurfine Markets, which operates four retail stores. The acquisition, expected to be finalized before Thanksgiving, would include substantially all of AWI/White Rose’s assets as well as their 2,200 employees.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Associated Wholesalers’ and White Rose’s strong team and customer base of independent grocers,” Rick Cohen, C&S chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “My grandfather founded C&S to supply independent retailers, and while we now proudly service grocers of all sizes, this transaction will give us an even greater capacity to provide the unique services required by independents and regional chains.”

AWI entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sept. 9, with C&S named as the “stalking horse” bidder, although SuperValu Inc. was also a bidder for AWI. Now that C&S’s bid has been approved, the transaction is expected to close on or about Nov. 11.

“Our first priority is to provide exceptional service to the customers, especially as we approach the holiday season,” Christopher Brown, C&S senior vice president of independent sales, said in the release. “We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the services provided to the numerous retailers who have relied on AWI and White Rose for their grocery supply needs.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

C&S Wholesale Grocers acquires Associated Wholesalers

C&S Wholesale Grocer’s bid to purchase Associated Wholesalers Inc. and its subsidiaries has been approved. AWI, a regional cooperative food distributor based in Robesonia, PA, operates two distribution centers in Pennsylvania and also provides retail services to its customers and members. Its subsidiaries include White Rose, which operates three distribution centers in New Jersey, and Nell’s Shurfine Markets, which operates four retail stores. The acquisition, expected to be finalized before Thanksgiving, would include substantially all of AWI/White Rose’s assets as well as their 2,200 employees.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Associated Wholesalers’ and White Rose’s strong team and customer base of independent grocers,” Rick Cohen, C&S chairman and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “My grandfather founded C&S to supply independent retailers, and while we now proudly service grocers of all sizes, this transaction will give us an even greater capacity to provide the unique services required by independents and regional chains.”

AWI entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy Sept. 9, with C&S named as the “stalking horse” bidder, although SuperValu Inc. was also a bidder for AWI. Now that C&S’s bid has been approved, the transaction is expected to close on or about Nov. 11.

“Our first priority is to provide exceptional service to the customers, especially as we approach the holiday season,” Christopher Brown, C&S senior vice president of independent sales, said in the release. “We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the services provided to the numerous retailers who have relied on AWI and White Rose for their grocery supply needs.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated Food Stores founder to retire

Harry Laufer, who founded Associated Food Stores, Hewlett, N.Y., in 1954, said he plans to retire at the end of the month. 

The wholesaler services independent operators in New York City, Upstate New York and several surrounding states. Laufer is 82.

Robert A. Sigel will succeed him as president. Most recently Sigel has been operating executive at AUA Private Equity Partners, of which Associated is a portfolio company. He started his career at Millbrook Distribution Services, a value-added distributor of health, beauty care, general merchandise and specialty food products founded by his father in Worcester, Mass. After Millbrook was sold to McKesson, he became president and CEO of McKesson’s Service Merchandising Division.


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“Associated Food Stores has a long history of providing value added services enabling independent supermarket owners to successfully grow their businesses,” said Sigel in a statement. “I look forward to working with our store owners, suppliers, and associates as we embark on our mission of expanding our services and our store concentration in the New York Metro area and beyond.”

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Associated Food Stores founder to retire

Harry Laufer, who founded Associated Food Stores, Hewlett, N.Y., in 1954, said he plans to retire at the end of the month. 

The wholesaler services independent operators in New York City, Upstate New York and several surrounding states. Laufer is 82.

Robert A. Sigel will succeed him as president. Most recently Sigel has been operating executive at AUA Private Equity Partners, of which Associated is a portfolio company. He started his career at Millbrook Distribution Services, a value-added distributor of health, beauty care, general merchandise and specialty food products founded by his father in Worcester, Mass. After Millbrook was sold to McKesson, he became president and CEO of McKesson’s Service Merchandising Division.


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“Associated Food Stores has a long history of providing value added services enabling independent supermarket owners to successfully grow their businesses,” said Sigel in a statement. “I look forward to working with our store owners, suppliers, and associates as we embark on our mission of expanding our services and our store concentration in the New York Metro area and beyond.”

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C&S looking to acquire Associated Wholesalers, White Rose

C&S Wholesale Grocers has entered into an agreement in which it will acquire substantially all of Associated Wholesalers Inc.’s assets, including its White Rose distribution business. Under terms of the agreement, C&S will serve as the “stalking horse bidder” in a court-supervised auction process. Accordingly, the agreement is subject to higher and otherwise better offers, among other conditions.

To facilitate the transaction process and provide for an orderly sale, AWI and its subsidiaries, including White Rose, filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

AWI and White Rose are expected to continue operating in the normal course during the sale process.

“We believe that the asset purchase agreement with C&S is in the best interest of AWI and its stakeholders,” Joyce Fasula and Mike Rothwell, chairman and vice-chairman of the AWI board of directors, respectively, said in a press release. “After conducting a thorough process, which included the exploration of a range of alternatives and reaching out to multiple interested parties, we determined the best course of action for AWI was to enter this agreement with C&S and to undertake the court-supervised sale process.”

“As we move through this transaction process, we will continue to focus on serving our customers,” Matt Saunders, president and chief executive officer of AWI, said in the release. “We also intend to work closely with our suppliers and the winning bidder to help ensure that our customers continue to receive the level of service they expect.”

“The addition of AWI and White Rose would expand C&S’s footprint and enhance our significant capabilities in servicing independent grocers,” Rick Cohen, chairman and CEO of C&S, said in the release. “AWI and White Rose have a terrific customer base, and their distribution capabilities are a natural complement to our existing portfolio. We believe we are strongly positioned to provide all of their customers with the goods and services they need to successfully run and even grow their businesses.”

In conjunction with the proposed transaction, AWI has received a commitment for “debtor in possession” financing to support its continued operations during the pendency of the sale process. C&S has also made a commitment to participate in the “debtor in possession” financing package. AWI has filed a number of customary motions seeking court authorization to continue to support its business operations during the transaction process, including the continued payment of employee wages, salaries and health benefits without interruption. AWI has also asked for authority to continue existing customer programs and intends to pay suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided after the filing date of Sept. 9.

The proposed transaction is subject to, among other things, higher and otherwise better offers to purchase any or substantially all of AWI’s assets, court approval, antitrust approval, any other such approvals as may be required by law, and other customary conditions. Given these conditions, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be consummated.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

C&S looking to acquire Associated Wholesalers, White Rose

C&S Wholesale Grocers has entered into an agreement in which it will acquire substantially all of Associated Wholesalers Inc.’s assets, including its White Rose distribution business. Under terms of the agreement, C&S will serve as the “stalking horse bidder” in a court-supervised auction process. Accordingly, the agreement is subject to higher and otherwise better offers, among other conditions.

To facilitate the transaction process and provide for an orderly sale, AWI and its subsidiaries, including White Rose, filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

AWI and White Rose are expected to continue operating in the normal course during the sale process.

“We believe that the asset purchase agreement with C&S is in the best interest of AWI and its stakeholders,” Joyce Fasula and Mike Rothwell, chairman and vice-chairman of the AWI board of directors, respectively, said in a press release. “After conducting a thorough process, which included the exploration of a range of alternatives and reaching out to multiple interested parties, we determined the best course of action for AWI was to enter this agreement with C&S and to undertake the court-supervised sale process.”

“As we move through this transaction process, we will continue to focus on serving our customers,” Matt Saunders, president and chief executive officer of AWI, said in the release. “We also intend to work closely with our suppliers and the winning bidder to help ensure that our customers continue to receive the level of service they expect.”

“The addition of AWI and White Rose would expand C&S’s footprint and enhance our significant capabilities in servicing independent grocers,” Rick Cohen, chairman and CEO of C&S, said in the release. “AWI and White Rose have a terrific customer base, and their distribution capabilities are a natural complement to our existing portfolio. We believe we are strongly positioned to provide all of their customers with the goods and services they need to successfully run and even grow their businesses.”

In conjunction with the proposed transaction, AWI has received a commitment for “debtor in possession” financing to support its continued operations during the pendency of the sale process. C&S has also made a commitment to participate in the “debtor in possession” financing package. AWI has filed a number of customary motions seeking court authorization to continue to support its business operations during the transaction process, including the continued payment of employee wages, salaries and health benefits without interruption. AWI has also asked for authority to continue existing customer programs and intends to pay suppliers in full under normal terms for goods and services provided after the filing date of Sept. 9.

The proposed transaction is subject to, among other things, higher and otherwise better offers to purchase any or substantially all of AWI’s assets, court approval, antitrust approval, any other such approvals as may be required by law, and other customary conditions. Given these conditions, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be consummated.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Associated of NYC forms new division

Associated Food Holdings said it has created a new division and hired Mike Turner and John Borzumato as VPs to lead business development and sales.

The new division, Metropolitan City Foods, was formed to develop new stores under the Met Food Markets, Pioneer Supermarkets, Met Fresh Supermarkets and Metropolitan Citymarkets of NYC banners. Associated, based in New York, is a specialty distributor of grocery products to independent — predominately Hispanic-owned — supermarkets in the New York area under several banners.


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Turner, who was named VP of Metropolitan City Foods with responsibility for sales and business development. He most recently had been director of corporate sales at White Rose Foods, a division of Associated Wholesalers Inc., Robesonia, Pa.

Borzumato was named VP at Metropolitan with repsonsibility for working with existing Associated retailers and developing new opportunities for the division throughout the Northeast. He joins the division from C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H.

“As part of our vision in acquiring Associated Foods, we saw the opportunity to become more integrated with our retailers and provide them better service,” said Andy Unanue, managing partner of AUA Private Equity Partners, parent of Associated. “By establishing Metropolitan City Foods and building out our sales and business development efforts we can better serve the needs of our store owners while simultaneously growing our store count. I look forward to expanding our presence in the NYC market and contiguous areas.”

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Exposure to pig farms and manure fertilizers associated with MRSA infections

Sep. 16, 2013 — Researchers from Geisinger’s Henry Hood Center for Health Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have for the first time found an association between living in proximity to high-density livestock production and community-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA.

Their analysis concluded that approximately 11 percent of community-acquired MRSA and soft tissue infections in the study population could be attributed to crop fields fertilized with swine manure. The study is the first to examine the association between high-density livestock operations and manure-applied crop fields and MRSA infections in the community. The results were published online Sept. 16 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nearly 80 percent of antibiotics in the United States are sold for use in livestock feeds. The manure produced by these livestock and applied to crop fields contains antibiotic-resistant bacteria, resistance genes, and about 75 percent of the antibiotics consumed by the animals.

For the study, researchers utilized Geisinger’s sophisticated electronic health record system to identify patients with MRSA infections and skin and soft tissue infections. The two groups were compared to patients who never had a MRSA infection. Patients received an exposure score based on their distance from the production, the number of animals at livestock operations, the amount of manure spread on crop fields, and the size of the field. The researchers noted that between 2005 and 2010 there were about 3,000 patients with MRSA and 50,000 with skin and soft tissue infections who were diagnosed and treated in the Geisinger Health System.

Of these cases, 1,539 cases of community-associated MRSA and 1,335 cases of health-care-associated MRSA met the study requirements. The researchers found a significant association between community-associated MRSA and application of swine manure to crop fields. A similar but weaker association was found between swine operations and community-associated MRSA. No association was found between dairy farms and MRSA infections.

“The study shows the utility of electronic health records for demonstrating the unrecognized public health consequences of operations with environmental impacts,” said Brian Schwartz, M.D., MS, senior author and environmental epidemiologist who splits his time between Geisinger Health System and Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences.

Funding for the research was provided by the New York University-Geisinger Seed Grant Program, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, the Johns Hopkins Sommer Scholarship and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Training Grant ES07141.

ScienceDaily: Agriculture and Food News

Limoneira acquires Associated Citrus Packers

Limoneira Co., a leading agribusiness based in Santa Paula, CA, has completed the acquisition of Associated Citrus Packers Inc., a privately owned Arizona corporation.

The purchase price of $ 18.6 million was paid with the issuance of approximately 705,000 unregistered shares of Limoneira common stock with a value of $ 16 million, $ 1 million in cash and the repayment of $ 1.6 million in ACP’s long term debt.

ACP will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Limoneira, and several members of ACP’s senior management will remain an important part of the management of the combined organization.

ACP owns approximately 1,300 acres of land in Yuma, AZ, comprised of approximately 950 acres of lemon orchards, 350 acres of other crops and facilities, and access to the Colorado River for crop irrigation.

The Yuma, AZ, lemon crop typically harvests and sells beginning September and may continue through February. Limoneira procured, packed and sold ACP’s lemons and the lemons of certain other Yuma-area lemon growers during the 2012-13 season. A total of 745,000 cartons of lemons were sold during the period September 2012 to February 2013, including 355,000 cartons harvested by ACP. A similar volume of lemons is anticipated to be sold during the 2013 / 2014 season.

The acquisition of ACP is expected to generate additional agribusiness operating profit for Limoneira during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013 and first quarter of fiscal year 2014 vs. last year due to larger profit margins on lemons grown on Limoneira orchards compared to lemons that are procured from third party growers.

“We are very excited to bring Associated Citrus Packers into the Limoneira family,” Alex Teague, senior vice president of Limoneira, said in a press release. “The high quality of the fruit that ACP added to our year-round supply chain has been instrumental to our customers and packing operations growing success. The ability to supply our customers on a year-round basis domestically and abroad is vital in today’s marketplace. We are confident that this fruit adds to not only our bottom line, but that of our customers as well.”

“This acquisition is in-line with Limoneira’s long-term growth strategy to expand our portfolio of quality citrus acreage,” Harold Edwards, president and chief executive officer of Limoneira, added in the press release. “We are very pleased that several members of Associated Citrus Packers will be joining the Limoneira team following the acquisition, and we are confident that ACP will be an important contributor to our top- and bottom-line growth. We continue to see a strong pipeline of additional acquisition opportunities and look forward to further expanding our business through acquisitions as well as organic growth in coming years. We expect this acquisition to be accretive to our earnings in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.”

“Since we entered into the agreement with Limoneira last year to pack and market our lemons, we have been extremely pleased with their operational expertise,” Mark Spencer, former CEO of Associated, added in the press release. “Their strong reputation in the marketplace is well deserved and highlighted by their dedication to food safety and sustainability. We are excited to join their company and continue a successful relationship.”

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