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CRN to serve as promotional partner for vitamin D scientific symposium

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Thursday announced it will serve as a promotional partner for the one-day scientific symposium "Vitamin D: Beyond Bone," presented by the New York Academy of Sciences, The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and the Abbott Nutrition Health Institute. 

The keynote speaker will be Daniel Bikle, professor of medicine and dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-director of the Special Diagnostic and Treatment Unit of the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

The conference will explore recent epidemiological data and the known underlying mechanisms behind vitamin D’s effects on pregnancy, lactation, immune, metabolic, muscle and cardiovascular functions. In addition, the agenda will cover recent changes to vitamin D dietary guidelines and critical next steps in research to help translate data into public health strategies that support the wellbeing of infants, adults and the aging population.

The conference takes place Sept. 21 in New York.


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Kraft Foods CEO outlines strategic growth priorities for Mondelez International

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — Speaking this week at the Barclays Capital Back-to-School Consumer Conference, Kraft Foods chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld outlined how the soon-to-debut global snacks company Mondelez International is "uniquely positioned to win in the marketplace."

Rosenfeld said the company touts such competitive advantages as leading positions in fast-growing categories; an advantaged geographic footprint with significant exposure to developing markets; a portfolio of the world’s favorite snacks brands; proven global innovation platforms; strong routes to market and world-class talent and capabilities.

As previously announced, Kraft Foods plans to spin off Kraft Foods Group, which will hold Kraft Foods’ North American grocery business on Oct. 1. Kraft Foods Group will trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "KRFT." Following the spinoff, Kraft Foods will be renamed Mondelez International. Mondelez International will trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol "MDLZ."

"As our results show, we’ve significantly changed the trajectory of our business to deliver sustainable, profitable growth," Rosenfeld said. "With the spinoff of our North American grocery business, we’re now ready to unleash a global snacking powerhouse that’s poised to deliver top-tier revenue and earnings growth."

During the conference, Kraft Foods EVP and CFO Dave Brearton also outlined the company’s financial targets.

"Over the long term, we’re targeting organic revenue growth of 5% to 7% and double-digit operating EPS growth on a constant-currency basis," Brearton said. "These rates are higher than our previous long-term targets for Kraft Foods prior to the spin. For 2013, we expect to deliver results that are consistent with our long-term profile, specifically, organic net revenue growth of 5% to 7% and Operating EPS of $1.50 to $1.55, including a significant foreign exchange headwind of about 15 cents versus 2011 currency rates."

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Winn-Dixie donates 50-ft. trailer to Second Harvest North Florida

BY Michael Johnsen

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores on Wednesday announced the donation of a 50-ft. refrigerated semi-trailer to Second Harvest North Florida, the regional food bank that supplies food to 450 local nonprofit organizations across 17 counties in northern Florida.

Winn-Dixie donated the trailer after learning the food bank’s existing trailer was no longer road-worthy and is being used as an auxiliary refrigeration unit to store perishable foods. The trailer was loaded with approximately 13,000 lbs. of food to restock the food bank’s nearly empty warehouse.

"Winn-Dixie is in the food business. So it’s only natural that we’re eager to partner with Second Harvest to address what, to many, is an invisible problem," Winn-Dixie regional VP Randy Rambo said. "When we learned about Second Harvest’s need, we knew what had to be done in the short and long term."

The food donated today by Winn-Dixie is being put to immediate use through Second Harvest’s Mobile Pantry and its BackPack programs. The specially-wrapped trailer will act as a rolling billboard to educate the public about the region’s hunger problem while transporting food to senior centers, soup kitchens, youth and adult daycare facilities, homeless shelters, church food pantries and feeding programs for school children.

"This is a real godsend," stated Bruce Ganger, executive director for Second Harvest North Florida. "We are the link between surplus food and local nonprofits serving people in need. We have seen demand nearly quadruple in the past four years and we can’t serve the need without a trailer like this."

In 2008, Second Harvest distributed 7.6 million lbs. of food. In 2009, that increased to 11 million lbs. The need continued to grow to 19.3 million lbs. in 2010 and 20.1 million lbs. in 2011. Ganger said that in 2012, Second Harvest will distribute 24 million lbs. of food — equivalent to 20 million meals.

Ganger hopes today’s donation will encourage other companies and individuals to donate food or funding to Second Harvest. He said that a $1 donation provides seven meals. Many of the families the food bank serves make too much money to qualify for federal benefits but too little to make ends meet.

Three-and-a-half years ago, Winn-Dixie launched its food recovery program with Second Harvest North Florida. Prepackaged foods from the grocer’s in-store bakeries and delis, produce, and meat and seafood departments that had previously been discarded on their "sell by" dates are now donated to the food bank. The program was expanded company-wide later that year and has been replicated by other grocers.

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