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Yes To Carrots partners with organizations to develop community gardening program

BY Melissa Valliant

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. Yes To Carrots, a company that creates organic, paraben-free skin and hair care products, recently announced the launch of a non-profit organization called Yes To Carrots Seed Fund. The organization joins partner organizations to encourage individuals to start garden projects within their community and provides them with the necessary equipment, seeds and related supplies.

Created by Ido Leffler, chief executive officer of Yes To Carrots, the program allows low-income individuals in various locations to learn gardening, acquire social and business skills and transform poor areas into beautiful gardens. The Seed Fund teamed with Chicago-based Growing Home, Inc., a social enterprise business based on organic agriculture, to develop a program where community members plant and harvest gardens and sell the produce at local markets, thus providing them with vital experience necessary to reenter the job market.

Three gardens have been created in Columbus, Ohio, through a partnership with three different organizations. The Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio joined The Seed Fund in creating a garden that uses its produce for medicinal and ceremonial purposes in weekly alcohol and tobacco cessation programs. The Horn of Africa Community Center joined The Seed Fund to provide a large Somali refugee population in Columbus with a garden that allows them to farm as they once did in Somalia. The Fifth Avenue Community Housing Network joined The Seed Fund to give women with physical and mental disabilities an opportunity to gain responsibilities and social and business experience.

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Pepsi to buy Canadian snack maker Spitz

BY Melissa Valliant

NEW YORK In an effort to further expand into the healthy snack category, PepsiCo announced Wednesday it will be buying Canadian sunflower seed maker Spitz International Co.

Spitz would be included in PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business unit and joins True North nut snacks and baked Lay’s potato chips in Pepsi?s handful of healthy food products. Spitz will continue operating in Canada?s Bow Island and Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Pepsi sales, especially beverage, have taken a hit as consumers reevaluate their purchasing options in the tightening economy. “Spitz enables Frito-lay Canada to grow our seed business in Canada and help us expand in the United States, while supporting PepsiCo’s broader health and wellness strategy,”Al Carey, president and chief executive of Frito-Lay North America said. The terms of acquisition were not disclosed.

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Hershey names Idrovo senior vice president, strategy, business development

BY Melissa Valliant

HERSHEY, Pa. Hershey announced Wednesday that Javier Idrovo, former president of Dole Packaged Foods, will be joining the chocolate company as senior vice president of strategy and business development, effective Nov. 3.

Idrovo’s responsibilities include leading Hershey’s strategic plan, overseeing and directing its merger and acquisition activities, developing a decision-making strategy for financial and operational issues and finding new locations in which to expand.

“Over the past year, we have developed and launched a very strong strategic plan,” said David West, president and chief executive officer. “[Idrovo]’s extensive background both in leading a global consumer business and as a management consultant will be of immense value as we implement our plan across the organization. Javier will ensure that we have the proper resources and alignment to successfully implement our strategy and rive long-term growth.”

Idrovo spent much of his career at Dole Packaged Foods, serving as senior vice president of strategy; vice president and chief financial officer and later rising to president. Prior to this experience, he was employed at The Boston Consulting Group, where he analyzed and led business strategies.

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