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RBI sets up Committee on Financial Benchmarks

In the context of the recent global developments relating to financial benchmarks and the related reforms implemented by various international agencies, there is a need to review the process of computation and dissemination of major financial benchmarks in India, the governance mechanisms in the institutions involved in computing the benchmarks and other related issues. The Reserve [...]

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Dole Food Company organizes special committee

Murdock acquisition bid:
Dole Food Company organizes special committee

Dole Food Company, Inc. has announced that it has designated a special committee of its Board of Directors to act on behalf of the Company in respect of the acquisition proposal made by David H. Murdock on June 10, 2013. The special committee consists of the four members of the Board of Directors who are independent, and will be chaired by Andrew J. Conrad. The special committee has engaged Lazard as its financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as legal counsel.

No assurance can be given that Mr. Murdock’s proposal, or any other transaction, will be consummated. The Company does not intend to disclose developments regarding these matters unless and until its Board of Directors determines there is a need to update the market.

Publication date: 6/26/2013


FreshPlaza.com

SFA elects new Retailer Network Committee members

The Specialty Food Association has elected four new members to its Retailer Network Committee for a two-year term.

They include Patrick Crowl, Woodstock Farmers’ Market, Woodstock, Vt.; Trip Straub, Straub’s, St. Louis; Pete Marczyk, Marczyk Fine Foods, Denver; and Liz Martinez, Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco.

Re-elected to the committee are Jon Pruden, TASTE, Virginia Beach, Va.; Phil Myers, Central Market, Houston; Emilio Mignucci, Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia; Greg O’Neil, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Wine & Bread, Chicago; Linda Sikorski, The Pasta Shop, Oakland, Calif.; and Richard Tarlow, Canyon Market, San Francisco.


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“The committee’s mission is to build a community of specialty food merchants that facilitates communications and relationships among all constituents in our industry and helps all segments to grow and succeed,” said Ron Tanner, VP of philanthropy, government and industry relations for SFA, in a statement. “We welcome the new members, who are each outstanding retailers in their markets.”

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SFA elects new Retailer Network Committee members

The Specialty Food Association has elected four new members to its Retailer Network Committee for a two-year term.

They include Patrick Crowl, Woodstock Farmers’ Market, Woodstock, Vt.; Trip Straub, Straub’s, St. Louis; Pete Marczyk, Marczyk Fine Foods, Denver; and Liz Martinez, Bi-Rite Market, San Francisco.

Re-elected to the committee are Jon Pruden, TASTE, Virginia Beach, Va.; Phil Myers, Central Market, Houston; Emilio Mignucci, Di Bruno Bros., Philadelphia; Greg O’Neil, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Wine & Bread, Chicago; Linda Sikorski, The Pasta Shop, Oakland, Calif.; and Richard Tarlow, Canyon Market, San Francisco.


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“The committee’s mission is to build a community of specialty food merchants that facilitates communications and relationships among all constituents in our industry and helps all segments to grow and succeed,” said Ron Tanner, VP of philanthropy, government and industry relations for SFA, in a statement. “We welcome the new members, who are each outstanding retailers in their markets.”

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EPC forms Women’s Leadership Committee

The Eastern Produce Council announced that it has formed a new Women’s Leadership Committee, which will be chaired by industry veteran Theresa Lowden, executive vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Produce Division of JOH.

The EPC Women’s Leadership Committee will be scheduling its first meeting over the summer and the entire committee will be announced prior to the Sept. 10 EPC meeting.

“I am truly excited and believe that this added committee will only enhance and make the EPC organization stronger,” Lowden said in a press release. “I look forward to the opportunity and bringing something new and exciting to the organization.”

“We believe we have an industry of strong women leaders, and this will help the Eastern Produce Council be a better, more engaged organization,” Paul Kneeland, EPC president and vice president of produce, floral, seafood and meat for Kings Food Markets, added in the press release. “Theresa and her committee will help bring additional focused programming to the EPC and help create a model for other organizations around the country.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

School nutrition, white potato amendments get green light at Senate Committee markup

TGF-FruitImageWASHINGTON — A Senate committee voted May 22 on a compromise amendment that would help schools adjust to new nutrition standards but without allowing schools to opt out of the new standards that require more fruits and vegetables in school meals.

The latest vote comes just two days after a House subcommittee voted to grant the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture authority to hand out waivers if schools can demonstrate hardship in meeting the revamped nutrition standards. The issue has become a powder keg on Capitol Hill during the debate over USDA’s fiscal 2015 spending measure.

Spearheaded by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the amendment would require technical changes on sodium contained in the federally supported meals, require a report on the acceptable range whole grain products and come up with a plan to provide schools with training and technical assistance.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) advocated for waivers to directly help schools that cannot meet the standards. Harkin said he would not support “blanket waivers,” prompting Hoeven to agree to the compromise amendment at this time. The bill still has to be considered by the full Senate next week.

“We commend the Senate Appropriations Committee for its sensible resolution of debate over implementation of the 2012 school meal regulations,” Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association, said in a statement released after the vote.

“Now that a sensible, bipartisan solution has prevailed in the Senate, we encourage all players to step back from the debate and come together to better help schools meet these simple fruit and vegetable standards,” Stenzel said. “The fresh produce industry stands ready to support the School Nutrition Association and all of its members in implementing the fruit and vegetable requirements.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee also voted to add white potatoes to the supplemental feeding package supplied to Women, Infants and Children recipients, an amendment offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Collins said the nutritious commodity had been unfairly excluded.

As part of a compromise, the amendment would not allow vegetables with added sugars, fats or oils from being purchased with WIC vouchers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to conduct an evaluation of the nutrient value of all fresh fruits and vegetables to determine what should be in the package.

Harkin adamantly opposed the amendment, saying this would be the first time in the WIC’s 40-year history that Congress had overruled experts on the recommended food package, and that white potatoes should be excluded until USDA completes its report.

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

School nutrition, white potato amendments get green light at Senate Committee markup

WASHINGTON — A Senate committee voted May 22 on a compromise amendment that would help schools adjust to new nutrition standards but without allowing schools to opt out of the new standards that require more fruits and vegetables in school meals.

The latest vote comes just two days after a House subcommittee voted to grant the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture authority to hand out waivers if schools can demonstrate hardship in meeting the revamped nutrition standards. The issue has become a powder keg on Capitol Hill during the debate over USDA’s fiscal 2015 spending measure.

Spearheaded by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the amendment would require technical changes on sodium contained in the federally supported meals, require a report on the acceptable range whole grain products and come up with a plan to provide schools with training and technical assistance.

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) advocated for waivers to directly help schools that cannot meet the standards. Harkin said he would not support “blanket waivers,” prompting Hoeven to agree to the compromise amendment at this time. The bill still has to be considered by the full Senate next week.

“We commend the Senate Appropriations Committee for its sensible resolution of debate over implementation of the 2012 school meal regulations,” Tom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association, said in a statement released after the vote.

“Now that a sensible, bipartisan solution has prevailed in the Senate, we encourage all players to step back from the debate and come together to better help schools meet these simple fruit and vegetable standards,” Stenzel said. “The fresh produce industry stands ready to support the School Nutrition Association and all of its members in implementing the fruit and vegetable requirements.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee also voted to add white potatoes to the supplemental feeding package supplied to Women, Infants and Children recipients, an amendment offered by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Collins said the nutritious commodity had been unfairly excluded.

As part of a compromise, the amendment would not allow vegetables with added sugars, fats or oils from being purchased with WIC vouchers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to conduct an evaluation of the nutrient value of all fresh fruits and vegetables to determine what should be in the package.

Harkin adamantly opposed the amendment, saying this would be the first time in the WIC’s 40-year history that Congress had overruled experts on the recommended food package, and that white potatoes should be excluded until USDA completes its report.

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

Ahold Revamps Executive Committee

AMSTERDAM — Ahold here said Tuesday is has revamped its executive committee structure and named Procter & Gamble veteran Hanneke Faber to the newly created post of chief commercial officer.

Dick BoerHanneke, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Dick Boer, will lead all global online and customer loyalty initiatives. At P&G, she worked in various senior general management and marketing roles in the United States, Switzerland, Greece and the Netherlands.

Ahold said the new executive committee structure would help the company execute its “Reshaping Retail” strategy. The other members of the executive committee and their responsibilities are:

CEO Boer: overall Reshaping Retail strategy, communications, external relations;

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Carr: finance, information management, real estate, simplicity;


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Chief Corporate Governance Counsel Lodewijk Hijmans van den Bergh: legal and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, responsible retailing;

Chief Operating Officer Ahold USA James McCann: business operations, continental strategy;

Chief Operating Officer Ahold Europe Sander van der Laan: business operations, continental strategy;

Chief Human Resources Officer (to be announced): HR, leadership, organizational design.

“Following the development and implementation of Reshaping Retail, Ahold is now at a point to adjust its leadership structure in a way that will best drive and support our growth phase,” said Boer. “Furthermore, I am delighted that we have Hanneke joining our company. Coming from a world-class marketing organization, she will provide us with key insights in leading online and customer loyalty initiatives going forward.”



The members of the executive committee will officially take up their roles starting Sept. 1.

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Idaho House Committee Recommends Passage of ‘Ag-Gag’ Bill

The Idaho House is now ready for a floor vote that will likely send Senate Bill 1337 to Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter for his signature. It would make trespassing and filming agricultural operations without permission of the owner illegal.

After three-and-a-half hours of testimony on Thursday, the House Agriculture Affairs Committee sent the Agriculture Protection Act containing some familiar “ag-gag” provisions to the House floor with a “do-pass” recommendation.

About 130 people signed into the hearing, which pitted state and national animal-welfare activists against a solid wall of Idaho agriculture representatives. The committee’s favorable action on the bill was never really in doubt.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) sent in its top public policy manager, Matt Dominguez, to Boise in a last-minute attempt to prevent S. 1337 from reaching the House floor. But Dominguez, who grew up on a farm, and the HSUS Idaho director both ended up being grilled by committee members.

Dominguez was asked whether farm animal abuse investigations like the one undertaken in Idaho in 2010 are mere tactics of a larger strategy aimed at the total elimination of animal agriculture as we know it, and he was also pressed for an estimate of how much of its own money HSUS spends on animal rescue.

“The Humane Society is not out to end animal agriculture at all,” Dominguez assured the Idaho House committee. “We support farmers who treat their animals humanely,” he said.

Dominguez said he did not know what percentage of the group’s approximately $ 160-million annual operating budget supports animal rescue. He said the HSUS goal is to stop animal abuse, but it does help local rescue and shelter activities.

He did acknowledge that HSUS may have a board member or two who talked of eliminating animal agriculture when they were “in their twenties,” but he insisted that is not the group’s policy today.

Lisa Kauffman, the Idaho state director for HSUS, came under more direct fire for a letter she sent in January to the dairy that was the target of the 2012 undercover investigation that prompted the legislative action.

Hansen, ID-based Bettencourt Dairies took the letter as a threat because Kauffman wrote that the company’s reputation would be hurt if it did not persuade the state’s dairy industry to drop the bill. Kauffman said she did not mean it that way, but merely thought since Bettencourt acted responsibility after the animal abuse was disclosed, it might see her point.

In addition to the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, which has put the weight of the state’s $ 2.5-billion dairy industry behind the bill, other ag organizations testified in favor of the bill on Thursday.

Strong statements of support also came from Idaho’s $ 500-million seed industry. Representatives of that industry said they are concerned about damage to genetically engineered seed research like the incidents that occurred recently in Oregon.

The many opponents of S. 1337 were almost all in agreement that Section D, which forbids taking pictures or making films or video without permission, is the most damaging part of the proposed law. Lobbyists for Idaho’s construction industry and some state conservation groups also voiced their opposition.

Food Safety News

RBI releases Report of the Committee on Financial Benchmarks

The Reserve Bank of India has, today, placed on its website, the Report of the Committee on Financial Benchmarks. It may be recalled that the Reserve Bank had announced the constitution of the Committee on Financial Benchmarks (Chairman: Shri P. Vijaya Bhaskar, Executive Director) on June 28, 2013 with a mandate to study various issues relating to financial benchmarks in India and to submit the Report by December 31, 2013. The Draft Report of the Committee was placed on RBI website on January 3, 2014 for public comments. The Committee has finalised its report after taking into account the feedback received from market participants and other stakeholders.

Ajit Prasad
Assistant General Manager

Press Release : 2013-2014/1597

The post RBI releases Report of the Committee on Financial Benchmarks .

The Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework Submits its Report

On September 12, 2013, Dr. Raghuram G Rajan, Governor had appointed an Expert Committee to revise and strengthen the monetary policy framework. The Committee submitted its report to the Governor today. Ajit Prasad Assistant General Manager Press Release : 2013-2014/1459 Report attached for download. Report of the Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary [...]

The post The Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework Submits its Report .

The Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary Policy Framework Submits its Report

On September 12, 2013, Dr. Raghuram G Rajan, Governor had appointed an Expert Committee to revise and strengthen the monetary policy framework. The Committee submitted its report to the Governor today. Ajit Prasad Assistant General Manager Press Release : 2013-2014/1459 Report attached for download. Report of the Expert Committee to Revise and Strengthen the Monetary [...]

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RBI appoints a Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India

The Reserve Bank of India has constituted an Expert Committee to Review Governance of Boards of Banks in India. The Committee would be chaired by Shri P. J. Nayak, former Chairman and CEO of Axis Bank; the other members being Shri S. Raman, Whole Time Member, Securities & Exchange Board of India, Smt. Shubhalakshmi Panse, [...]

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RBI releases Report of the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Business and Low Income Households

The Reserve Bank of India has today released on its website for public comments, the Report of the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Business and Low Income Households and additional comments from two members in this regard. The Comments may be emailed or sent by post to the Principal Chief General Manager, Rural Planning and Credit Department, Reserve Bank [...]

The post RBI releases Report of the Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Business and Low Income Households .

Chilean Citrus Committee focuses on keeping U.S. customers informed and in good supply

The Chilean Citrus industry, via the Chilean Citrus Committee and “Fruits from Chile” wants to provide as much useful information to its U.S. customers about the numerous steps in the supply chain — from growers to exporters to importers and finally to retailers — to keep everyone abreast of the volumes being shipped during any given season and forecasts for that overall season. One way the organizations do that is through videos posted on YouTube and on its “Fruits from Chile” website.

In July 2013, Juan Enrique Ortuzar, chairman of the Chilean Citrus Committee, commentated “Introducing Chilean Citrus!” In it he said that the Chilean industry felt that there would be a slight overall increase in Chilean citrus being exported to the U.S., although some growers in the northern regions of the country had suffered some damage and losses from a drought that was affecting the region.

“Growers were very cautious in their use of the water they had,” said Ortuzar. “Still, overall our lemon volumes were similar to the year before, and late mandarins enjoyed an increase.”

The challenge Chilean citrus growers continually face is living up to its commitment to always provide consistently good volumes and high-quality citrus to the U.S. market, which is the country’s primary market for Mandarins, clementines and lemons.

Ortuzar explained that early harvests start in late April in the northern regions of Chile. It also has a central region, which gives the country a nice, long season to supply the U.S. with high-quality citrus.

“We harvest fruits from the north through late July and into August,” he said. “Navel oranges start in the northern areas by late May, and soon after, in early to mid-June, we start in the central zone of Chile. This program runs into September.”

Late Mandarins from Chile are harvested from August through late September. Ortuzar said ocean shipments to the U.S. are a short trip, and so fruit can be from the tree to consumers’ tables in two to three weeks.

“A harvest generally takes about two weeks in a typical normal grove,” he explained. “Pickers usually pick about 1,000 kilos of fruit per day, meaning he’ll pick from many trees. Most citrus varieties are ready to be packed the minute they are picked. And most groves are picked twice. The first time only the mature fruit is taken. Pickers wait for about two weeks for the remainder of the fruit to ripen, and then they do picking the tree completely of fruit.”

The quality of the citrus that Chile grows and ships is very important to its industry. Ortuzar said that freshness in a piece of citrus is reflected in its deep orange color. The taste is fresh and sweet, but it also has a little acid that provides that refreshing flavor such as one finds in a great Navel orange.

“Different citrus fruits are eaten in different ways,” he said. “Navels are fantastic eaten fresh because they have a nice balance of sweet and tart. Children really like them. We suggest that you cut them into slices resembling a smile, and then smile as you bite into a slice.”

Chilean Mandarins are also excellent pieces of fruit. Chile produces two types: clementines in the early season and Mandarins or W. Murcotts in mid- and late seasons. It supplies the U.S. market from mid-May through early November, which does not compete with domestic citrus production.

“These fruits are really wonderful,” said Ortuzar. “They are small, convenient, easy to peel, easy to eat, juicy — but not so that they run all over when you peel them — and they are very sweet. This is why we are seeing so much growth in this category today.”

Although everyone loves the Mandarin category, Ortuzar feels they are the perfect fruit for kids.

“They pack well in lunch boxes and in backpacks to be carried to sports practice and other outings,” he said. “They are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are really the perfect piece of fruit.”

Chile has another great advantage in its citrus production. It does not have fruit flies or other difficult-to-manage pests or diseases, and so the category does not require cold sterilization or treatment that can compromise the quality of other fresh fruits.

“Reliability of consistent shipments is therefore outstanding,” said Ortuzar. “Chile is in a very good position to live up to its promise to U.S. consumers to bring sweet, juicy and reliable fruit to them during the summer months.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

RBI sets up Committee on Data and Information Management in the Reserve Bank of India

The information requirement for monetary and macro financial policies as well as supervision has become more demanding with the increasing integration of the Indian economy and markets with the global economy. Periodic assessment of the institutional process of data capture and management, therefore, becomes important to strengthen the information base of policy making. However, for [...]

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Michigan Apple Committee announces Healthy Living program for 2014

The Michigan Apple Committee’s Healthy Living program — a great fit for consumers who will use the new year as an opportunity to commit to a healthier lifestyle — aims to educate consumers about the health benefits of eating Michigan apples on a regular basis.

The program will run from January through March everywhere Michigan apples are sold, and it will feature a sweepstakes where consumers have the chance to win one of three treadmills.

“The Healthy Living Program is a great way for consumers to start the new year with Michigan apples,” said Diane Smith, MAC executive director. “The sweepstakes gives consumers the chance to win one of three treadmills, which is a perfect complement to healthy food choices as consumers make their New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle.”

The Michigan Apple Committee will work with retailers across the country to promote the program. Sweepstakes specifics will be included on Michigan Apple bag tags. The program will also include in-store chef demonstrations in major retail stores that feature healthy Michigan apple recipes and allow consumers to taste three of Michigan’s premium varieties: Jonagold, Fuji and Gala.

“Commitment to a healthier lifestyle means more than just losing weight,” said Smith. “Apples offer an array of health benefits and are continually being studied for their role in prevention and management of chronic diseases. We’re focusing on healthy choices, not just looking ‘fit’.”

Consumers and retailers alike can find health information about Michigan apples on MAC’s website at www.MichiganApples.com/healthy-living.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Vidalia Onion Committee taps former assistant for top spot

NEW ORLEANS — Susan Waters, executive assistant to the Vidalia Onion Committee since 2009, has been named the organization’s new executive director after a six-month search.

Waters replaces Wendy Brannen, who held the post for eight years before departing to become director of consumer health and public relations for the U.S. Apple Association earlier this year.

The decision was made several days ago but, due to terms of the VOC watersSusan Waterscommittee’s U.S. Department of Agriculture marketing order, it could not be announced without that agency’s approval. With the government shutdown, news of Waters’ promotion could not be released until the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention, here.

Waters is a Vidalia native with ties to the industry going back to childhood. She spent a decade working with Farm Credit (now AgSouth) and another 16 years with the Georgia Board of Pardons & Paroles.

“It’s like a homecoming of sorts,” Waters said Oct. 23. “I actually knew a lot of the growers and their families when I was working for AgSouth. Some of our growers I graduated from high school with.”

Not only does Waters know the Vidalia onion committee, she has also become an increasingly familiar face throughout the industry, appearing at tradeshows and working side-by-side with Brannen on a string of highly successful marketing campaigns that have included pairings with Hollywood blockbusters and Nashville music stars.

“Susan is a sweet and sincere person who truly cares about the industry,” Brannen said. “That will help her do well in continuing with the VOC in this new role. I am happy to see her grow.”

Waters is grateful for the opportunity and excited about her expanded role with the committee.

“I enjoy what I do and I enjoy working with the farmers, they’re just a good group of people,” she said. “It’s a good situation.”

If Waters had any doubts about the position, they were erased as she has performed the duties of the office over the last six months on her own.

“I didn’t have time to think about it — I just did it,” Waters laughed. “I have had help — the committee members have all pitched in and been just great. They’ve offered to come answer phones, file, anything I need.”

Waters’ first major official challenge was preparing to represent the committee at PMA on short notice.

“I had a week-and-a-half to really prepare for PMA, it was quick, it was hard, but we made it through it and we’re doing pretty good,” Waters said. “I’m so fortunate to already know familiar faces — when I was at PMA it wasn’t like being thrown into a group of total strangers.”

While the focus for this year’s Vidalia marketing campaign is still taking shape, Waters suggests it will focus on the history and legacy of the world’s most famous onion.

“One thing we all want to do is make sure the public and especially the younger demographic are educated about what the Vidalia name was built on,” she said. “We want to get back to our roots and educate people even more about what exactly a Vidalia is. There was a visitor in our museum the other day who didn’t realize Vidalias are only grown in Georgia. Education is always going to be key to our success. There is always a new crop of consumers coming along and we want to make sure we reach them.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines