Posts Tagged “Wal-Mart”
Wal-Mart will build a distribution center for fresh produce and other perishable items with land acquired from Port Canaveral in Florida.
Specialized carts designed to keep employees out on the floor culling produce and reducing wastage, is being implemented by Wal Mart Stores Inc., the latest step in a push to improve its fresh food offerings and revive sales growth, according to a recent news story by Reuters.
“Quality carts”, as they are being called by the world’s largest retailer, are being deloyed at 500 stores. There are plans to have them in all of its nearly 5,000 U.S. outlets by the end of the third quarter, Vice President for Central Operations Shana DeSmit told Reuters in an interview.
Equipped with weighing scales and a box to collect the discarded produce, the carts are being equipped weighing scales and a box to help employees carry out tasks that were typically carried out in the back room. With the carts, employees can sort fresh produce by removing items nearing expiration and weighing them to manage inventory counts and help with replenishment.
Wal-Mart’s service levels have suffered due to fewer employees in store interacting with consumers.
The retailer is introducing one such cart per store and will eventually add more, said DeSmit. The produce collected through the carts is either donated or sold through markdowns.
A renewed emphasis on fresh food, which includes produce, deli items, meat and baked goods, has been a crucial turnaround strategy under U.S Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran. Wal-Mart is the largest grocer in the United States, with nationwide sales of $167 billion in 2015.
Wal-Mart has started revamping the layout of the food section at 3,000 stores, in recent months, including supercenters and its smaller Neighborhood Market stores. It has taken steps such as lowering display cases and opening up floor space so that shoppers can see more clearly across the food area. It has replaced black plastic crates with ones that look like wood to give the store more of a farmer’s market feel.
In February, the retailer said it would hire hundreds of fresh food managers to improve its offerings. The company is on schedule to have such managers in a third of its stores nationwide by the end of the year, Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc is creating hundreds of management positions as part of a new program aimed at improving the fresh food sections at its U.S. stores retailer.
Wal-Mart, the largest grocer in the United States, has already hired dozens of field managers and plans to hire hundreds more over the next three years. Their job is to train workers and take other steps to improve the fresh food offering in stores.
The move was initially disclosed at an annual private meeting of suppliers recently in Indianapolis.
Wal-Mart spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said,”to help ensure quality and consistency in our fresh operations,” managers are being hired.
Wal-Mart has placed a renewed emphasis on fresh food under the strategy of Greg Foran, head of the company’s U.S. operations. Foran sees a better fresh food offering as key to reviving sales growth.
The move to install a new layer of managers comes as Wal-Mart faces growing competition for grocery shoppers from national and regional supermarket chains like Florida-based Publix Super Markets Inc and Texas-based H-E-B.
The new managers will oversee the fresh food operations at about 10 stores each. Wal-Mart has about 4,600 stores across the United States.
Nearly all vendors for Wal-Mart Stores will begin facing fees for stocking their items in new stores and for warehousing inventory. This is seen as raising pressure on suppliers as the world’s largest retailer battles higher costs from wage hikes to it one-half million employees.
Wal-Mart began informing suppliers about the fees and other changes to supplier agreements recently, and the changes, which also include amended payment terms, will affect 10,000 suppliers to its U.S. stores.
In the past, Wal-Mart has imposed such fees, but did not apply fees uniformly. Some but not all suppliers were charged
The new agreements mean a larger number of vendors will likely start paying fees, passing some of the retailer’s costs onto suppliers,
As an example, Wal-Mart is seeking to charge a food supplier 10 percent of the value of inventory shipped to new stores and to new warehouses, both one-time charges, and 1 percent to hold inventory in existing warehouses, according to a copy of amended terms seen by Reuters.
It is not clear from the document whether the one-time charges apply only to the initial shipment or cover a certain period of time. Currently, the supplier is not charged anything, the document shows.
It is not the way Wal-Mart has done business in the past, and this approach suggests that they are seeking areas to offset their increased investment in wages, as well as offset their lack of organic revenue growth.
Cargo Data Corp., is promoting temperature recorders approved by Wal-Mart. The recorder has been approved for temperature controlled shipments to all U.S. distribution centers of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in Bentonville, Ark., according to a news release from the Ventura, Calif.-based Cargo Data.
The recorders can be used in produce, meat, poultry, seafood and floral, according to the release. The automated temperature monitoring system saves users time and money and helps reduce risk of hidden shrink, according to the release. Through the express data retrieval system, the recorders store up to 100 shipments of temperature data which can be downloaded to a computer for automatic archiving, according to the release.
The Cargo Data Corporation office is located in Ventura, CA. Its management team has been in place since 1974 and continues to focus on providing industry-leading cold chain monitoring solutions for firms involved in the perishable food, chemical, pharmaceutical, and floral industries.
It goal is to provide innovative cold chain monitoring products that are simple to use.
Cargo Data encourages the recycling of it digital temperature recorders in an effort to keep tons of circuit boards, batteries and other pollutants out of landfills.
Cargo Data markets its products in several channels. If you are a distributor or broker interested in in handling Cargo Data produce, contact the company at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You buy a tasteless cantaloupe at Wal-Mart, or a sour grape sold as being sweet, just bring your receipt back to the store and they’ll refund you money, under a new police in U.S. stores selling produce. This according to a recent story by Reuters news service.
As the largest grocer and seller of produce in the United States, Wal-Mart has already lowered prices on produce as it tries to get its shoppers, many of whom are on limited budgets, to buy more healthy fare. The huge chain, which made a splash in produce nearly 20 years ago, but has since seen its produce departments lose some of their shine, says it is now working on getting fresher produce to its stores more quickly and training its staff to do a better job of selling the goods.
Walmart is buying directly from growers and relying on its own distribution centers and trucking systems to get product from the field to shelf faster. It has produce experts working with farmers in key growing regions and aims to double its sales of locally grown produce by December 2015.
Buying more local produce and cutting supply chain costs have helped Walmart keep a lid on prices, which has been key in its push to stay ahead of rivals that include traditional grocers such as Kroger Co and drugstores such as Walgreen Co. Walmart started to see sales gains in produce earlier this year after it began making improvements in produce handling.
Other chains, such as Safeway Inc and Texas’ H-E-B, have already offered guarantees on their produce, but Walmart’s push will be the biggest as it is the nation’s biggest retailer.
Walmart customers not satisfied with the produce can bring their receipt back to the store for a refund. Walmart said the shoppers will not need to bring back the produce to qualify.
To ensure that fresh produce makes it to the stores, Walmart said unnamed third-party service providers will do weekly checks in more than 3,400 of its stores selling produce. Walmart said it would benchmark itself and its competitors week over week.
Walmart also said it recently began a produce training program for 70,000 employees. Store managers, market managers and produce department managers are set to learn more about handling fruits and vegetables. Quality guides for workers will illustrate how to identify top produce, the company said.
(Note: This was originally planned as a five-part series, but is now turning into a 6-part series as I keep finding more information that is not only interesting, but I believe can be of great value to you as a produce trucker. Also, the latest strawberry purchase at my local Wal-Mart, was again this season, a frustrating experience. While the berries had good color protected in the clamshell container, they turned out to be soft and spongy once I got home and opened it.
Part IV of this series, may provide a clue why my strawberry purchase was disappointing, and why your delivery of some strawberries, may be cost you a claim or rejection at destination. — Bill Martin)
For example, several produce shippers of fresh strawberries choose to use a non-sealed bag type system, according to Rich Macleod of TransFresh Corp., Salinas, CA, whose product is Tectrol.
In this series, I have used information from a study by the University of California, Davis/University of Florida study showing the advantages for truckers who have strawberry loads with palletized sealed bags using carbon dioxide (CO2). The study also is quite favorable to TransFresh. I’m referring to the research, Comparison of Pallet Cover Systems to Maintain Strawberry fruit Quality During Transit.
If I had not known Rich Macleod for years, being familar with his work, his concern for produce truckers and in general his honesty and integrity, plus his impressive career, I might be a bit wary of a study conducted in part by his alma mater, UC Davis, that is favorable to his company.
However, there was another study commissioned by PEAKfresh, a competitor of TransFresh. It was conducted by the Horticulture and crop Science Department at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, entitled, Comparison of the Efficacy of the PEAKfresh and Tectrol Systems for Maintaining Strawberry Quality.
This study can be found on both the PEAKfresh and TransFresh websites.
In part the research states, “Berries in PEAKfresh treated pallets became softer on average than berreis in the Tectrol treated pallets during cross-country shipments, and this is in agreement with previous research on the effect of elevated CO2 on strawberry firmness.”
Additionally the PEAKfresh commissioned study notes after a two-day shelf life, fruit from the Tectrol pallet system exhibited significantly less decay, from 3% to 7% than other systems evaluated.
So if research is showing that non-sealed pallet/bag systems results in more softness and decay in strawberries, why doesn’t everyone use the sealed system?
Rich Macleod says, “There is a significant price difference between an unsealed bag and a sealed MAP system (Tectrol). Obviously there is a lot more sophistication in materials, equipment and man power to create a sealed MAP.”
Macleod has been told the open bag systems cost around $8 to $12-plus per bag, while Tectrol charges its shippers $19.25 per service.
“Prices can range from $24/pallet to $30/pallet for either bag or service,” Macleod says.
Continuing, he states, “First off, if you are using the open bag system, you are not injecting any CO2. If you are using MAP (Tectrol), you not only are injecting CO2 or other gasses, you are trying to keep those gasses contained or sealed inside the system.”
Thus, Macleod wants the Tectrol CO2 levels to hit between 10% and 18% inside the sealed Tectrol bag upon arrival at destination. Thus, this process requires more material, specialized bags, sealing tape, CO2 injection machinery, etc.
So for obvious reasons, the Tectrol process costs a shipper more money, and apparently some shippers would rather risk strawberry quality shipped to customers, than pay more.
The old saying, “you pay for what you get” certainly seems to apply to modified atmosphere shipments of strawberries.
“Shippers who recommend and sell open bags enjoy a significant cost advatange over those recommending and selling a MAP like Tectrol. However, as a retailer, given the UC Davis data, why would you pay the same for an open bag service as a true MAP service,” Macleod asks.
And I, as a consumer, am wondering if Wal-Mart or their suppliers are not trying to cut corners on what they pay for strawberries because those berries are trucked across country in unsealed bags. It is the peak strawberry season, and I can’t seem to buy any decent strawberries!
(This is Part 4 0f 6 featuring an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp., Salinas, CA. He has been with the company since 1976, and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Each Christmas Eve, tradition holds that children leave out a plate of milk and cookies for Santa. During the night Santa Claus might visit in excess of 125 million homes. (Estimates vary.) Should he eat merely a single cookie in each visit, at an average of 100 calories per cookie, Bolthouse Farms analysts estimate that Santa may consume as many as 12.5 billion empty calories in a single night. This season, Bolthouse Farms is encouraging Santa Claus to make a smarter food choice.
Children who learn to make smart food choices at an early age tend to thrive. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades and research shows that kids are consuming 5-15% more sugar per day than dietary guidelines allow. To combat the sugar craze, experts recommend making smart food choices, like limiting desserts, sweets and sugary cereals and checking nutrition labels to ensure that sugar isn’t a main ingredient. As sugar is undoubtedly the primary ingredient in the 125 million cookies Santa may consume on Christmas Eve, this gives American parents an ideal moment to discuss food choices.
Bolthouse Farms’ Cut and Peeled Baby Carrots will be repackaged this December as the “Official Snack of Santa.” The holiday carrots will be available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores nationwide. At 35 calories per serving and full of Vitamin A and beta carotene, baby carrots give Santa and his reindeer the nutritious edge needed to navigate their global journey. With a satisfying crunch that pairs well with favorite holiday dips and dressings, baby carrots are an ideal snack for “all the good boys and girls,” young and old.
“We are sympathetic to Santa and we love cookies, too. But we’re sure Mrs. Claus would welcome it if Santa cut down on the empty calories,” said Jeff Dunn, chief executive officer, Bolthouse Farms. “Even small food choices, made the right way day after day, can have a positive, lasting impact.”
To complement its holiday campaign, Bolthouse Farms is helping to raise funds for Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization committed to ending hunger and developing sustainable nutritionsolutions. Beginning on November 26 and running for one month, Bolthouse Farms asks consumers to help Santa fight hunger by pledging their support on www.facebook.com/bolthousefarms. For every pledge, Bolthouse Farms will donate $1 to Action Against Hunger, up to $25,000.
“The people at Action Against Hunger are putting every resource at their disposal towards the fight against hunger, and we’re proud to support them,” said Bolthouse Farms’ Jeff Dunn. “For some communities, of course, food choices are not a choice at all – access to food and clean water are limited. For other communities, more options exist, and children can learn at an early age to make choices that keep them healthy and engaged.”
Bolthouse Farms is a health-and-wellness focused company. Headquartered in California’s San Joaquin Valley, Bolthouse has grown to become America’s premier producer of carrots, as well as a category leader in super-premium juices, smoothies, protein shakes, cafe beverages and premium refrigerated dressings.
- Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Kit BK, Flegal KM. Prevalence of obesity and trends in body mass index among US children and adolescents, 1999-2010. JAMA. 2012;307:483-90.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, health.gov
- Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kids-and-sugar/MY02029
About Bolthouse Farms
Bolthouse Farms is a farm located in California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, known for high-quality consumer brands and innovative products. Bolthouse Farms is a market share leader in growing and distributing carrots. In addition, Bolthouse Farms produces and sells super-premium juices, smoothies, protein shakes and cafe beverages under the Bolthouse Farms brand name. In recent years, Bolthouse Farms diversified its offerings by launching a line of premium refrigerated yogurt dressings and extra virgin olive oil vinaigrettes. The Bolthouse Farms mission is to Inspire the Fresh Revolution™ and change the way people consume healthy foods and beverages. The company was acquired by Campbell Soup Company on Aug. 6, 2012. To learn more about the company’s mission and see the entire line of current products, visit www.bolthouse.com.
About Action Against Hunger
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization that works to save the lives of acutely malnourished children and ensure that communities have long-term access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene. By providing immediate assistance during times of emergency while integrating our programs into local and national systems for sustainability, we aim to restore health, self-sufficiency, and independence to vulnerable populations around the world.
Source: Bolthouse Farms
He talks about working directly with shippers for starters. For example, the past six years Allen has worked directly with Lipman, a 60-year-old farming and shipping operation that was known as Six Ls until a name change in September 2011. Based in Immokalee, FL, Lipman is North America’s largest field grower of tomatoes with 4,000 workers and 22 locations.
Not only does Allen work directly with shippers, but good ones.
“Six Ls can call me anytime and I’ll be there. I stick with them, but it works both ways. They treat me well and I provide them with great service,” says Allen, who lives in Canton, NC.
Another reason the 64-year–old veteran trucker has always been able to make it as an owner operator is because he has his own operating authority.
“Having your own authority makes a big difference,” Allen says. “You don’t have to pay some else to run under their operating authority.”
How often does he haul produce? Everyday. He pretty much hauls exclusively for Six Ls (Lipman), a company that also has several vegetable items in addition to tomatoes. Most of his hauls are up and down the East Coast, although he occasionally delivers in the Midwest.
On this recent November day, Allen was at on the Atlanta State Farmers Market delivering tomatoes he had picked up in Asheville, NC. He didn’t know where the tomatoes were grown. Once unloaded, he would be deadheading the 200 miles back to Asheville.
“I’ll be paid for the deadhead miles,” Allen says, although he did not want the amount per mile publicized for the record. If I haul something up there then I’ll get full pay.”
Another key to being a successful owner operator is being on time.
“You have got to be dependable and on time. Wal Mart will charge (deduct from your freight) $100 if you are a minute late for arrival. It happened to me one time,” he recalls.
Allen also rarely eats in a restaurant, although he averages well over 100,000 miles a year on the road. He saves by taking and preparing his own meals.
While being on time, having your own authority and working directly with shippers are keys to his success, these are not the most important factors.
“The most important thing,” Allen says, “is you have got to have what it takes inside of you. You have to want to do it. You have to have that internal drive to work.”
Operating as E.A.R. (Edward Allen Robinson), he owns a 2006 Western Star he actually purchased new in 2007. It is powered by a 550 h.p. twin turbo Caterpillar diesel and features an 18-speed transmission. The sleeper is fully equipped with everything from a flat screen tv to a microwave oven. The Star has logged 700,000 miles. It pulls a 53-foot Utility trailer with a Thermo King reefer unit.
Allen is seriously considering retiring in May 2013. However, he admits not being sure whether he is going to keep the Western Star or not.
However, a little later he adds jokingly, “I’m going to leave my truck in the yard for a little while, just in case I wear out my welcome at home.” He has been married 20 years and has six granddaughters and two grandsons.
He’s looking forward to the holidays and taking some time to be off with the family and buying gifts for the grand kids.
“It’s really worth it, just seeing the smiles on their faces,” he concludes.
By Larry Oscar
It’s been a few years since some studies were conducted that support the theory that drinking beer is a prerequisite for good health. In a study, published in March of 2008, researchers at the National Institutes of Health released a study showing that frequent drinking in moderation may protect men from death due to cardiovascular disease.
Men who reported drinking 120 to 365 days a year had a 20% lower cardiovascular death rate than those who drank one to 36 days a year. In a 2003 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Adults over age 65 who drank one to six alcoholic beverages over the course of the week had a lower risk of dementia than non-drinkers. A 2006 report that appeared in the American Heart Association journal also showed that a drink or two a day may result in a better cognitive function in women.
Now this isn’t news to those of us who have savored the health benefits from drinking for several decades. We know that our consumption of beer, wine, and other “beverages” have helped us become the geniuses we are today. And doing some simple research on just how much beer Americans drink has produced some mind boggling numbers. The United States produces about 200 million barrels of beer per year. That’s roughly 20 US gallons of beer for every man, woman, and child every year. It’s nice to know that the United States is still ahead of the rest of the world in something besides teenage pregnancy.
Now you take the volume of Skiatook Lake in Northeastern Oklahoma where I live, which is over 2.1 billion barrels and divide that by 200 million barrels of beer and that means that the beer drinkers of the United States consume the entire volume of the lake in beer about every 10 ½ years. Now there is something that we can all take pride in as a nation. Thank God for beer drinkers. Beer brewing goes back to over 6,000 BC. It is one of the oldest beverages mankind has produced. Beer is also something that has brought nations together in times of crisis. Many high level negotiations between nations and kings and queens have been conducted over a few pints of ale.
It has been suggested that beer may be responsible for over one half of the amount of the human population. In 1931 a study was conducted that proved beyond any doubt that after a few beers women become more attractive. I have personally never experienced this, of course, but it would be a logical conclusion given the lack of beauty enhancing cosmetics during the 1300’s.
And a point of note is the modern beer advertisement. Do you ever see a beer commercial with some “skank” holding up a frosty glass of brew? Of course you don’t. The obvious implication here is that beer attracts babes, and if you drink the right brand of beer you will leave the bar with some beauty hanging on your arm. I can assure you that these commercials are misleading.
However, perception is reality to some people. Just look at who some guys have married when walking around Wal- Mart! If it wasn’t for beer we might have hoards of very overweight women roaming the streets with knives and pitchforks demanding husbands. Beer levels the social playing field. You can always crack a joke at a party if you have a beer in your hand. For example, take the old beer joke “What does a drunk walrus have in common with a woman at a Tupperware party?….. They’re both out looking for a tight seal.” Now you wouldn’t get away with that joke in a social setting while holding a glass of champagne, but with a beer in your hand everyone laughs, and you look like a cool dude.
Now that we are well into 2012, and this year is supposed to be the last, according to some ancient Mayan prophecy, maybe we should make a serious resolution. (I never understood why anyone would ever believe a prediction from anyone who missed predicting their own demise.) However, we should all adopt a new resolution to drink as many different beers this year as possible. And what better country in which to drink beer. After all, it may not have been the Constitution that made America great. It may have been Anheuser-Busch !!