In & Around Food World

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When you travel around the food world in the mid-Atlantic you can run into some very interesting people doing very interesting things. One of those interesting people is someone who most of our readers know, Ed Sherwin.

Ed Sherwin is owner of Sherwin Food Safety, Inc. which provides education and services to the food, lodging and travel industries. His clients include independent restaurants, multi-unit food service operators, hotels, conference facilities, cruise operators, government offices, convenience stores and supermarkets. In addition to food safety programs, SFS offers the services of HACCP compliance plans, quality assurance audits, human resource training and development, secret shopper reports and 24-hour crisis response. His daughter, Kelly Sherwin, is following in her father’s foot steps. Kelly Sherwin is Senior Manager of Life Sciences, Health, and Food for the City of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

According to a report issued by the international advocacy confederation Oxfam, the Netherlands was ranked number one in the world for food quality, based on the availability of nutritionally diverse food options and access to safe water. The U.S. tied with Australia for fourth place for food quality, and ranked Number One for affordability of food.

Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. The group saves lives, develops long-term solutions to poverty, and campaigns for social change. As one of the 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, Oxfam America works with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions.

In 1970, Oxfam America became an independent, non profit organization and an Oxfam affiliate in response to the humanitarian crisis created by the fight for Bangladesh independence. Oxfam America’s headquarters are located in Boston, MA; a policy and campaign office was opened in Washington, DC in 1994. There are seven regional offices around the world. For more information about Oxfam America visit www.oxfamamerica.org.

In an effort to continue to grow what is already one of the most successful charity golf tournaments in the country, the Committee of the Easter Seals Celebrity Pro-Am Golf tournament is making some changes this year. In the past the tournament was sponsored by the Safeway Foundation. This year, however, the committee has decided to expand the event to include the entire food industry, including multiple supermarket VIPs so that participants will have the opportunity to network more broadly and they can raise more

funds for Easter Seals.

The mission of the tournament remains the same – to raise funds that enable Easter Seals serving DC/MD/VA to provide urgent, direct services that support veterans searching for meaningful employment, lay the foundation so at-risk young children succeed in school and live, and enable seniors to stay in the community and out of institutions. “It is an incredible tribute to the Committee and Safeway that we have such a strong foundation to build upon. Thank you for your many years of support and for supporting this change that will enable us to do even more in the future,” said Lisa Reeves, president and CEO of Easter Seals serving DC, Maryland and Virginia. “I am excited by the committee’s vision, and I fully expect that we will realize their goal of creating an even bigger event where each year we can honor a particular retailer for its significant contributions to the success of Easter Seals community services.”

Giant/Carlisle donated nearly $650,000 to local charities between November 24 and December 7. The division of Ahold USA also made a $9,000 donation to Philabundance, a hunger-relief organization in the Philadelphia area.

NurnbergMesse North America (NMNA) and Food Marketing Institute are going to co-locate the InterBev Beverage 2014 trade show with FMI Connect: The Global Food Retail Experience, in June in Chicago.

“InterBev is the premier beverage trade show in North America, and given the strength of the beverage category in recent years, their presence will provide food retailers with multiple opportunities to explore new product innovations,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO, in a recent statement.

NMNA is a U.S. subsidiary of Germany-based NurnbergMesse GmbH, which is one of the world’s largest trade show companies. Past InterBev Expo conferences had been held as stand-alone events in Las Vegas.

Six independent coffee shops in the District of Columbia have joined forces to launch an attack on Starbucks, according to the Huffington Post, in an attempt to drive customers from the coffee giant. Peregrine Espresso, Filter, the Coffee Bar, Chinatown Coffee Company, Lama no and the Blind Dog Café have created the DC Disloyalty Card and will give card holders a stamp each time they visit a location. Once they get six, the coffee fan receives a free drink from one of the participating shops. We understand that the shops made 500 cards for the initial printing and are already running out.

FMI Connect is the new, redesigned FMI show, scheduled for June 10-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Some of the country’s largest food companies have cut daily calorie counts by an average of 78 per person, a study says, more than four times the amount the industry pledged to slash by next year 2015. The study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that between 2007 and 2012, the estimated total cut in food product calories from a group of 16 major food companies was in the range of 6.4 trillion.

The 2010 pledge taken by the companies – including General Mills., Campbell Soup, ConAgra, Kraft, Kellogg, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Hershey – was to cut 1 trillion calories by 2012 and 1.5 trillion calories by 2015.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation signed on to hold the companies accountable, and then hired researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to painstakingly count the calories in almost every single packaged item the grocery store. To do that, the UNC researchers used the store-based scanner date to hundreds of thousands to foods, commercial databases and nutrition facts panels to calculate exactly how many calories the companies were selling. Researchers aren’t yet releasing the entire study, but they said that the companies have exceeded their own goals by a wide margin. The companies involved are all part of an industry coalition of food business called Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation that has organized to help reduce obesity.

More than 100 Network of Executive Women members learned the value of channeling and celebrating personal experiences at the NEW Mid-Atlantic fall networking event held in December at the Bethesda Marriott. Socialist, author and comedian Dr. Bertice Berry used humor and stories drawn from her own life in her keynote presentation “ReNew, ReEnergize, ReEngage the Leader in You.” Emphasizing the importance of celebrating success as a group, Berry recalled a trip to Africa, where she gave a coat to a tribal woman and was thanked by other women in the village as though they had received gifts themselves. “When you do well, I do well,” Berry said. “We are all connected. Women leaders must mentor others,” she added. “When you get to the top, you need to send the elevator back down.”

Among the organizations sending large delegations to the event were Altria, Coca-Cola, Giant/Landover, Harris Teeter, Nestle, Safeway, Shoppers Food and Pharmacy and Staples.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) elected its association officers and members of the board of directors for 2013-2014 at its annual membership meeting in San Diego, CA.

Scott Haws, VP of Retail/Deli Sales, Land O’Lakes, has been elected chairman of the board. Haws has served on the board since 2005. He is also a member of the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats and Honorable Order of Golden Penguins.

Other officers sworn in at the association’s 69th annual meeting were: David Welch, Winn-Dixie, chairman-elect; Scott Rouse, Tyson Foods, secretary; Ray Tarnowski, Philadelphia Warehouse & Cold Storage, treasurer; Dave Jones, Kellogg Company, vice chairman-frozen; and John Farmer, Dairy Farmers of America, vice chairman-refrigerated.

Newly elected to the board were: Shawn Buckner, Meijer; Ken Cassara, Wegmans; Dave Cichocki, Kraft Foods; Richard Gillis, Lactalis Retail Dairy; Ken Lahey, ConAgra Foods; Philip Payment, HAC; Kevin Schwab, Pictsweet; Mike Witt, Supervalu.

Elected for a second term on the board were: Bob Cronin, Wells Enterprises; Ken Messick, Boulder Brands; Joe Mrozek, Pinnacle Foods Group; Dan Nolan, Stremick’s Heritage Foods; Michael O’Keefe, Advantage Sales & Marketing; Trenton Potts, Daisy Brand; Angela Rosenquist, Boboli International.

National Grocers Association has launched an online political action center that will seek to connect independent grocers with their legislators. The new website – www.GrocersTakeAction.org – also will integrate NGA’s grassroots efforts with its Political Action Committee, the NGA Grocers PAC.

Wegmans Food Markets is ranked number12 this year on Fortune Magazine’s annual list of Best Companies to Work For. The Rochester, NY-based company ranked number five last year. Fortune Cited Wegmans’ flexible scheduling, employee scholarship program, and other initiatives that “help young employees grow within the company.” In addition, 66 percent of jobs are filled through internal promotions.

Convenience store chain Sheetz of Altoona, PA., also made the list for the first time at number 87.

Food Marketing Institute presented the Sidney R. Rabb Award to Neil Golub, executive chairman of the board of Price Chopper Supermarkets for his “statesmanship and community service.” Golub received FMI’s highest honor at the Midwinter Executive Conference held in Phoenix, AZ.

We end this column on a very happy note. Our congratulations go out to Dana Metzger, daughter of Best-Met’s Jeff and Audrie Metzger, who was named one of the “Rising PR Stars 30 and Under” by PR News at their annual dinner held in December at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. (We always knew she was a Star!)