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Open Farm first pet food in U.S. to have Certified Humane label

BY Ryan Chavis

HERNDON, Va. — Open Farm, a Canadian-based pet food company, will be the first producer of Certified Humane Raised and Handled dry dog food in the United States. Humane Farm Animal Care, a nonprofit certification organization that aims to improve the lives of farm animals in food production, made the announcement on Wednesday. 
 
Under the Certified Humane label, Open Farm will use only meat and poultry product in pets foods that come from Certified Humane farms and ranches, HFAC said. Additionally, animals on such farms and ranches are raised where they can roam freely in their environments. The animals must also be reared without antibiotics or growth hormones and can’t be fed animal by-products.
 
"As an animal lover and ethical eater, it was very important that Open Farm work only with farmers who respect the animals under their care, raising them in accordance with strict ethical and humane standards," said Jacqueline Prehogan, president of Open Farm. "The Certified Humane stamp gives pet parents a high level of comfort in knowing where their pet's food comes from and, for the first time, having the choice to buy humane pet food."
 
Pet owners can find stores close to them that carry Open Farm using a free mobile app from Certified Humane or by visiting Certified Humane’s “where to shop” page
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Easter products, pharmacy revenue boost March sales at Fred’s

BY Ryan Chavis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Fred’s on Thursday announced that its March sales increased 0.3% to $191.7 million, as compared to $191 million during the same period in 2014. Comparable store sales for the month increased nearly 2%, compared with a decrease of 1.2% in March 2014. 
 
Total sales for the first two months of fiscal 2015 declined 1% to $344.9 million. Excluding sales of $15.8 million from closed stores for the comparable two-month period in 2014, total sales increased by 4% for the same time period in 2015, the company reported.
 
According to Fred’s CEO Jerry Shore, Easter product sales as well as revenue from the company’s pharmacy department were factors in the increase. He noted areas where the company hoped to see improvement: “We were negatively affected in spring seasonal and Lawn & Garden product categories due to the port strike and wet weather during March,” Shore said. “We expect that these sales will rebound in the upcoming months as spring merchandise is received.”
 
Shore also added that the Fred’s pharmacy team is at work completing the acquisition of specialty pharmacy business EntrustRx and Reeves-Sain Drug Store. 
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Walgreens Boots Alliance names former Duane Reade CEO to board of directors

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreens Boots Alliance on Wednesday announced the election of US Foods president and CEO John Lederer to the board of directors of the newly established global enterprise.
 
“We are pleased to welcome John to the board of directors as we launch a new era of customer and patient service, growth and value creation for the combined Walgreens Boots Alliance,” stated Jim Skinner, executive chairman. “John’s successful record of leading and transforming major retail and wholesale companies, including Duane Reade and US Foods, will help Walgreens Boots Alliance realize its vision to be the first choice for pharmacy, wellbeing and beauty – caring for people and communities around the world.”
 
“We are fortunate to have John and his exceptional leadership experience in U.S. retail pharmacy and consumer and wholesale business on our board as Walgreens Boots Alliance pursues our ambition to build a global healthcare champion that is always close to our customers’ hearts and minds,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and acting CEO.
 
Lederer was appointed president and CEO of US Foods in September 2010, where he has led a comprehensive brand transformation.  Previously, he was chairman and CEO of Duane Reade, where he also led a major transformation to create a new urban drug store format for New Yorkers, culminating in its strategic sale to Walgreens in 2010.  
 
Lederer also enjoyed a highly successful 30-year-career at Loblaw Companies Limited, Canada’s largest food distributor, where he served in a variety of senior leadership positions including president from 2000 to 2006. Lederer also serves on the board of directors of Restaurant Brands International. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from York University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
 
Lederer’s election to the Walgreens Boots Alliance board fulfills a provision of the Nomination and Support Agreement entered into with JANA Partners in September 2014 pursuant to which JANA Partners was entitled to recommend an additional independent director, the election of whom was to be mutually agreed to by the company and JANA Partners.
 
“As an experienced and successful retail and wholesale business leader, with a record of innovation to expand growth and unlock shareholder value, John will help contribute to the success of the Walgreens Boots Alliance global enterprise,” said Barry Rosenstein, managing partner of JANA Partners. “With his leadership and operational experience, strategic insight and proven ability to achieve results, John is an important addition to the board, and I look forward to serving with him.”
 
“It is a tremendous privilege to join the Walgreens Boots Alliance board as this new global enterprise for health and wellbeing moves forward with a very bright future,” Lederer said. “I am committed to working with the entire board and management to continue advancing customer and patient service the world over, and driving growth and shareholder value.”
 
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