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Walgreens increases quarterly dividend by 14.5%

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The board of directors of Walgreens on Wednesday declared a regular quarterly dividend of 31.5 cents per share, a 14.5% increase over the year ago dividend.

The dividend is payable June 12, 2014, to shareholders of record May 21, 2014. 

Walgreens has paid a dividend in 326 straight quarters (i.e., more than 81 years) and has raised its dividend for 38 consecutive years. Over the last five years, Walgreens annual dividend rate has increased from 45 cents per share to $1.26 per share, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of nearly 23%.

 

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Dole grows line of chopped salads

BY Ryan Chavis

MONTEREY, Calif. — Dole is bolstering its chopped salad line by adding two new All Natural Chopped Salad Kits, both of which combine blends of fresh greens and vegetables with natural toppings. Dole All Natural Chopped Sunflower Crunch Salad Kit and Dole All Natural Chopped Sesame Asian Salad Kit will be available starting today at supermarkets across the country.

The Sunflower Crunch Salad Kit provides a sweet and savory experience thanks to farmhouse-inspired ingredients and flavors like applewood-smoked bacon, sunflower seeds and Dole’s Sweet Onion and Citrus Dressing. Dole’s Sesame Asian Salad kit combines Asian ingredients and flavors, including garlic wontons, roasted sliced almonds and Dole’s Toasted Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette. 

“The result is the broadest spectrum of flavorful, restaurant-caliber chopped salads that can’t be easily recreated at home,” Markus Eriksson, senior brand manager for Dole Fresh Vegetables, said of the latest additions. “And, consistent with the Dole Chopped promise, each delivers a unique combination of flavor, texture, color and crunch in every bite.”

The two new kits will join the three Dole Chopped Salad Kits that launched last year, which included Chipotle & Cheddar, BBQ Ranch and Bacon & Bleu. All kits are available for a suggested retail price of $3.99.

 

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P&G commits to no deforestation in palm oil supply chain

BY Antoinette Alexander

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gamble has declared a commitment to no deforestation in its palm oil supply chain by improving practices with all its suppliers, including small local farmers, to ensure protection of forests, the company announced on Tuesday.

According to P&G, it uses very little actual palm oil in its products, but derivatives and by-products of palm oil are found in a variety of its beauty and household care products, such as detergents, shampoos, hand and body cleansers, bar soaps and color cosmetics.

“P&G’s commitment to no deforestation in its palm supply chain is unequivocal. Our aim is to develop effective long-term solutions to the complicated issue of palm oil sustainability. We are committed to driving positive change throughout the entire supply chain, not just for us, but for the industry and for the small farmers who depend on this crop,” said Len Sauers, Procter & Gamble VP global sustainability.

Already, 100% of Practer & Gamble’s purchased palm oil is certified by Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil standards. Procter & Gamble is a member of the RSPO, and supports the criteria it has established for sustainable palm oil. The new goals go beyond RSPO certification, with the objective of developing reliable, effective and lasting sustainable practices by all palm suppliers.

Procter & Gamble’s new goals call for ensuring no deforestation in its entire palm supply chain. Specific commitments include:

1. Establish traceability of palm oil and palm kernel oil to supplier mills by Dec. 31, 2015;

2. Ensuring no deforestation in the palm supply chain to plantations by 2020:

  • For palm oil, require suppliers to submit plans by Dec. 31, 2015 that demonstrate how they will ensure no deforestation in the supply chain for their mills by 2020; and
  • For palm kernel oil, begin investing in and working with small farmers, with the aim of improving their practices to ensure no deforestation in the supply chain by 2020;

3. Working with suppliers, industry peers, NGOs, academic experts and other stakeholders to promote consistent industry standards and practices for sustainable palm oil sourcing.

4. Continuing to support universal human rights as outlined in P&G’s existing Sustainability Guidelines for Suppliers, and to support the rights of indigenous people.

5. Reporting annually on progress toward achieving these goals.

“These goals go beyond our current commitments. P&G will continue to work with each of our suppliers, and we will invest in and work directly with small local farmers, where much of our supply comes from, to improve their production practices,” Sauers said. “This is the most complicated aspect of the palm supply chain, where P&G believes we can make a significant and lasting impact.”

 

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