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Fortune: Clif Bar sports one of the best workplaces across medium-sized companies

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERYVILLE, Calif. — Clif Bar & Co. has been named one of the best workplaces in the United States by Great Place to Work. The 2013 annual list recognizing exceptional workplace cultures at small- and medium-size companies was published Thursday in Fortune magazine.

“We strive for a workplace that sustains our people — one of the five aspirations, or bottom lines, that defines our business,” stated Clif Bar CEO Kevin Cleary. “Happy, healthy people create good food. We’re honored to be recognized for building a company culture that supports and inspires our employees to grow and succeed, have fun and contribute to a more sustainable future.”

Ranked ninth on the list of 25 best medium workplaces (251-999 employees), Clif Bar made the 2013 list in its first year of applying. Great Place to Work evaluated each company in a selection process that included an employee survey and detailed questionnaire about benefits programs and company practices.

Taking a holistic approach to employee well-being, Clif Bar supports its people physically, fiscally and emotionally. Employees have access to an onsite gym, personal trainers and fitness classes as well as nutritional counseling and an annual athletic competition stipend.

In addition to 401(k) and annual incentive plans, employees also own 20% of Clif Bar through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. In keeping with the company’s focus on environmental sustainability, employees are helped to reduce their own carbon footprint through such incentives as fiscal help to purchase low emission vehicles or leave their cars at home entirely.

An onsite childcare center, dog-friendly workplace, employee-run kitchen, flexible work week, telecommute options, tuition reimbursement, community service opportunities, life coaching and a paid sabbatical every seven years provide employees with emotional support, comfort and personal growth.


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Aquaball bounces into Harris Teeter, signs Northeast distribution agreement

BY Jason Owen

IRVINE, Calif. — True Drinks, a healthy beverage supplier, announced this week the expansion of its distribution network for the vitamin-enriched Aquaball kids drink into major retail markets.

On Wednesday, True Drinks announced that the Aquaball would now be available in all Harris Teeter locations. Harris Teeter operates over 200 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware and the District of Columbia.

"AquaBall is a great addition to our stores, giving parents a healthier choice in beverages for their children," stated Harris Teeter’s Steve Kravitz. "With the alarming increase in childhood obesity, we launched our yourwellness program in 2006, and our yourwellness for families program is a tool to help families optimize their children’s health and well-being. AquaBall fits perfectly with our focus on providing healthy alternatives for kids."

Then, on Thursday, True Drinks announced the company has entered into a five-year distribution agreement with Polar Beverages, which will sell and distribute the Aquaball to grocery, mass, drug and convenience stores. The Polar Beverages agreement covers much of the Northeast region, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and parts of New York.

"We are pleased to expand our relationship with Polar Beverages beyond the production of AquaBall at their Adirondack facility," said Jason Dorfman, national director of sales for True Drinks. "This strategic partnership will enable True Drinks to rapidly expand AquaBall’s distribution across the over 25,000 locations they service in New England. As the healthiest beverage available for children, our goal is to make AquaBall available to families everywhere."

Aquaball Naturally Flavored Water contains no artificial colors or flavors and is vitamin-enhanced with B6, B12, B3 and vitamin C. AquaBall is calorie- and sugar-free and sweetened with stevia, an all-natural sweetener.


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Biosimilars should carry same generic names as branded biologics, GPhA says

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — A trade group for the generic pharmaceutical industry is hoping the Food and Drug Administration will allow biosimilars to share the same generic names as their branded biologic counterparts, saying that giving biosimilars their own generic names would not enhance safety.

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association said Thursday that it had filed a petition with the FDA recommending that all biosimilars the agency approves carry the same international non-proprietary name, or INN, as the branded products they’re based upon because they are considered to have no clinically meaningful difference. For example, Hospira’s Inflectra, the autoimmune treatment recently approved by the European Medicines Agency, carries the generic name infliximab, the same name as reference product Remicade, sold by Johnson & Johnson and Merck.

"It is simple: biosimilars have no clinically meaningful difference from the reference product, so they should have the same name," GPhA president and CEO Ralph Neas said. "This approach works in Europe; it has worked in the United States for chemical drugs, and it should be the standard worldwide. To upset the naming system in place risks engendering confusion and would have a major negative impact throughout the global pharmaceutical supply chain, potentially jeopardizing patient access across the globe."


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