Pennsylvania State Rep. Mark Mustio says he will file a measure in the state legislature to pre-empt local taxes on sweetened beverages, which could impact the 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on drinks in Philadelphia that went into effect almost a year ago. "The imposition of this unfair tax is threatening those efforts in a very real way, with some grocery stores reporting as much as a 20 percent drop in overall revenue since its inception," Mustio says.
Hershey is responding to rumors that it is contemplating a semi-processed cocoa facility in Ivory Coast, saying that its cocoa sourcing strategies have remained the same. "As I said before, we do not process cocoa and that approach to how we operate our business has not changed," said Jeff Beckman, director of corporate communications at Hershey.
Mars has celebrated the delivery of over two million Operation Gratitude care packages by including special prizes in two of the packages. Mars included two Super Bowl tickets in the 2,000,000th package and VIP passes to the NASCAR Charlotte 600 in the 2,000,001st package.
A box of Little Red Riding Hood-themed chocolates that were purchased about 100 years ago will be auctioned on Dec. 19. The late Eileen Margaret Elmes of London said she couldn't bear to eat the chocolates because they were so pretty.
Hershey has added a 13th member to its board of directors, welcoming Wendy Schoppert to the board, according to a press release. "Her knowledge of the marketplace and guidance as a member of our board will provide tremendous leadership as Hershey progresses through its next phase of growth towards its vision of being an innovative snacking powerhouse," said Hershey Chairman J.P. Bilbrey of Schoppert, who previously held positions on Sleep Number's senior executive team.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning regarding Bibi Frutix candy, which they said may contain a chemical substance that has sickened at least two individuals so far. "A partner food pantry agency in Wamego, Kan., notified Harvesters -- The Community Food Network of potentially contaminated Bibi Frutix candy product it received through Harvesters' distribution program," wrote the FDA in a warning posted on its website.
Aldi has issued a voluntary recall of the Choceur Dark Chocolate Bars sold in its stores due to the potential of undeclared almonds within the bars. An employee found pieces of almonds in one of the bars, according to the company.
Major revisions to the 2018 farm bill are not likely, said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., because there are no sources of new funding, but stakeholders hope the limited budget doesn't mean that crop insurance will be compromised. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., noted critics don't understand the vital role that crop insurance plays as a risk-management tool.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urges all recipients to respond to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service 2017 Census of Agriculture that was mailed to registered producers in all 50 states or to complete it online. Results from the survey, which has a Feb. 5 deadline, are used for funding and policy decisions.
The 2018 farm bill may be enacted by the end of summer, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, noting the legislation will address issues with cotton, dairy and specialty crops but will not be as wide-ranging as the 2014 farm bill. "[W]e need to make sure there is a safety net for food security at the right level," Perdue said.