FRESH DIRECT RAISES $31 MILLION IN PLACEMENT
rect here said last week it has raised $31 million through a private placement of its equity securities to a limited number of accredited investors. Funds sponsored by the American International Group here invested a combined $15 million, with the remainder made up by CIBC Capital Partners, Toronto; Canyon Partners, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Mercantile Capital Partners here; and others. FreshDirect said it plans to use the capital for operational and capital improvements and future geographic expansion. The company currently delivers to sections of Manhattan.
GIANT EAGLE, TEAMSTERS REACH AGREEMENT
PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle here said it has reached agreement on a five-year contract with Teamsters Local 249 here and will abandon its plans to outsource transportation. During the summer, Giant Eagle had said it would outsource the jobs of some 200 Teamsters if it did not have a new contract negotiated by Oct. 1, and it had entered an agreement, which was subject to negotiations with Local 249, to sell its transportation assets. The company said its agreement with the Teamsters includes a one-year wage freeze, work rule changes and some cost sharing in health care coverage.
MEIJER ELIMINATES 350 POSITIONS: REPORT
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Meijer here said it will eliminate approximately 350 supervisory and administrative positions at its corporate offices, distribution centers and field staff offices, according to published reports. The reports said Meijer explained that the job cuts are part of a corporate restructuring "to increase its competitive position in the supercenter discount industry." A company spokesman was not available for comment.
ASSOCIATIONS DISPUTE GAO STUDY'S COSTS OF COOL
WASHINGTON -- The Food Marketing Institute here and the National Grocers Association, Arlington, Va., last week said a report by the General Accounting Office on the costs of implementing country-of-origin labeling underestimated the investment that such a change would require of the food-distribution industry. The report suggested that the costs of COOL would not be as lofty as the $1.9 billion previously estimated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture because many producers in essence already comply by labeling their products and maintaining records on countries of origin. The House recently stalled the law by blocking spending on its enforcement, but last week a bipartisan group of senators said they would seek to incorporate COOL into next year's agriculture appropriations bill when it comes to the floor later this year. The law would require labeling for beef, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, fruit, vegetables and peanuts.
SECOND HARVEST TO SALUTE ALBERTSONS
BOISE, Idaho -- Albertsons here will be named Retailer of the Year by Chicago-based America's Second Harvest, the hunger relief organization said last week. America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest charitable organization dedicated to hunger relief, will recognize Albertsons during a dinner ceremony at its annual conference in Los Angeles. The annual award is based on a company's donation of time, money and/or food to the network of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue organizations that make up America's Second Harvest. In the past year, Albertsons has donated more than 19 million pounds of food and household goods to food banks and local hunger-relief programs across the country, according to America's Second Harvest.