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Whole Foods encourages shoppers to think sustainability, ethics when holiday shopping

BY Jenna Duncan

AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market is asking shoppers across the United States to consider where their gifts come from and the impact their buying has on the environment and different communities, the company said in a release.

Whole Foods is urging shoppers to be ethical and responsible during holiday shopping trips, and is offering a plethora of fair-trade, hand made and organic items.

“From handmade Nepalese felted wool ornaments to an organic cotton peace scarf, these gifts help preserve the health of the earth’s resources and its people,” Whole Foods said.

Whole Foods said that this season it has stocked many items in the $5, $10 and $20 ranges and marked them with the “Holidays with Heart,” label, which explains select items have been designated as helping to mitigate “negative social and/or environmental impact.” Whole Foods’ “Whole Trade”-marked items have been selected because they comply with the company’s standard on work conditions and ethical business practices.

Whole Foods has committed to donating 1% of sales from “Holidays with Heart” and “Whole Trade” products to the Whole Planet Foundation. Additionally, Whole Foods has donated almost $1 million worth of food to nationwide hunger-relief cause, Feeding America.

Whole Foods operates 270 stores in the United States. For fiscal 2008 (the period ended Sept. 28), the company reported an increase in sales by 13.7% over the previous period to $8 billion.

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Nestle, Jamba Juice suspend ready-to-drink beverage line

BY Melissa Valliant

EMERYVILLE, Calif. Nestle and Jamba Juice’s ready-to-drink beverages squeezed their way into the beverage segment only six months ago, but it was announced last week that the line will now cease to be produced—at least temporarily. Though the product has been well received by consumers, production issues are forcing Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, and leading smoothie restaurant Jamba Juice to suspend production and shipments.

“We have faced challenges recently with manufacturing on a consistent basis, resulting in inventory and out-of-stock issues. This is particularly disappointing given the strong reception we have received from consumers and customers alike,” said Nestle USA Beverage Division president Rob Case. “We at Nestle are fully committed to re-assessing our Jamba ready-to-drink beverage proposition so that we can come back stronger and positioned for success in the future.”

According to Jamba, Inc.’s president and CEO, James White, said that customer sell-in and feedback proved better than expected, and the six SKUs ranked among the top in the category. “While this is an unfortunate event, this suspension will provide the opportunity to evaluate new manufacturing solutions which could enable the Jamba brand to secure an even stronger position in ready-to-drink beverages.”

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Chairman of Schwan Food Co. set to retire

BY Jenna Duncan

MARSHALL, Minn. Chairman of The Schwan Food Co., Afred Schwan, will retire at the end of the year after 45 years of service, reports said Monday.

Schwan has served as company chairman for 15 years, reports said. Schwan also served for five years as company president and CEO. He is 83 years old.

Schwan has stated that Dec. 31 will be his final day as chairman and Schwan Food Co. has said that his replacement will be named early next year.

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