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LEADING THE NEWS


Frozen meals company Bellisio Foods seeks sale: Source
Reuters
Bellisio Foods Inc., a U.S. maker and distributor of frozen meals sold under the Boston Market and Chili's brands, is exploring a sale it hopes could value it as much as $800 million, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.
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SunOpta to buy private frozen fruit supplier for about $450 million
Reuters
Canadian organic food provider SunOpta Inc said it would buy organic frozen fruit supplier Sunrise Holdings Delaware Inc., from private equity firm Paine & Partners LLC for about $450 million.
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Is this the end of Whole Foods' organic growth?
Forbes
Whole Foods shares dropped more than 10 percent on Thursday morning after poor third quarter earnings results, and are down nearly 30 percent year to date. The main culprit appears to be an overcharging scandal in the New York City area that had broader effects after the story was picked up across the country.
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POLITICS


Congress takes off for the summer, setting up an autumn showdown
The Washington Post
Congress is leaving Washington for the summer by putting in place all the elements for another debt and spending showdown in the fall, when funding deadlines for federal agencies and highway programs are expected to collide within weeks of when the Treasury’s borrowing authority will expire.
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Democrats have a plan for August: Talk more like the GOP
The Washington Post
Democrats are self-aware about their trouble articulating a concise, consistent message. What they’ve learned from watching Republicans these past few years is that repeating the same lines over and over again works as Pavlovian conditioning. Simple and digestible beats detail and depth.
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Republicans see opportunities with a changing – and skeptical – black electorate
The Washington Post
Cleveland was no place to be a Republican on Nov. 6, 2012. It started out well: The Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan presidential ticket made a surprise Election Day fly-in, thanks to internal polling that had the campaign thinking that it would take Ohio, and the White House.
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POLICY


Lawmakers could delay beef imports for 'years,' White House says
Agri-Pulse
Imports of beef from Brazil and Argentina could be blocked for years by requirements that lawmakers are trying to impose on the Agriculture Department, the White House says.
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Senate clears House-backed transportation patch
Politico
The Senate on Thursday cleared a transportation extension to keep highway and transit programs running through October, sending the bill to the president’s desk just days before current authority is set to expire.
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12 lawsuits brought against EPA's Clean Water Rule to be heard together
Agri-Pulse
A dozen lawsuits brought in protest against the Obama administration's newly finalized “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule are scheduled to be heard together as one case before the 6th Circuit Court based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Related: Memo warns of 'fatal' flaws in WOTUS rule (Agri-Pulse)

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Tennessee food program chief quits, reports problems to feds
USA Today
The director of an $80 million food program for impoverished children has reported to federal regulators that kids in Tennessee are being placed at risk for hunger because of a lack of leadership at the state Department of Human Services.
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Canada condemns proposed voluntary COOL system
USAgNet
U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Thursday said his legislation to repeal mandatory Country of Origin Labeling for meat is the surest way to avoid $3.2 billion in trade retaliation, following a statement from Canada's Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz condemning the voluntary labeling system proposed by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow and North Dakota Senator John Hoeven.
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INDUSTRY NEWS


Here's what a $15 per hour wage means for fast food prices
Fortune Magazine
As New York State moved closer to approving a $15 per hour wage for fast food workers last week, there was speculation about what such a hike would mean for consumers. A new study provides this answer: Prices will increase ever so slightly.

Related: Super cheap fast food would still be super cheap if workers made $15 an hour (Fast Company)

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Cost-cutting at Kraft Heinz extends to refrigerator
Tribune Live
After merging this month with Heinz, the combined company rolled out policies aimed at curbing expenses such as travel, electricity and office supplies, according to the contents of a memo reviewed by Bloomberg News.
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Whole Foods to take on Trader Joe's in L.A. with smaller stores
Los Angeles Times
The first test for Whole Foods Market Inc.'s new value-oriented stores will be in one of the nation's most competitive grocery landscapes. The Austin, Texas-based chain said the first of its new 365 by Whole Foods Market stores will open next year in Silver Lake, setting up a potential showdown with rival Trader Joe's.
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ConAgra Foods removes BPA from all its U.S. and Canada cans
Food Production Daily
ConAgra Foods claims it has removed Bisphenol A from all of its cans sold in the U.S. and Canada but this does not include those that are imported from abroad.
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What happens when the town's biggest employer gets sold?
Fortune Magazine
Ferndale, Michigan is home to Garden Fresh Gourmet, which was recently bought by Campbell. But both sides say the deal is right for the community.
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The golden age of the veggie burger
Men's Journal
The veggie burger has, quite deservedly, gotten a bad reputation. It's often added to restaurant menus as an afterthought and the best-known frozen varieties can be gag-inducing in taste and smell. There are, of course, some truly great meatless patties out there, but more often than not, they're just tucked away as one of a couple menu alternatives for vegetarians.
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Hormel Foods on running Applegate at arm's length, organic sourcing challenges, and 'swim lanes'
Food Navigator-USA
When Applegate – the No. 1 brand in natural and organic prepared meats – got into bed with Hormel Foods, which owns Spam and Stagg, some diehard fans were not happy. But selling up does not mean selling out, insists Hormel.
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WhiteWave's Silk almond milk brand also under fire in '2 percent almond' false advertising class action
Food Navigator-USA
WhiteWave Foods has been accused of falsely advertising its Silk almond milk by the same legal firm suing Blue Diamond over the way it markets Almond Breeze, and as the cases are near-identical, the judge handling them has consolidated them into one class action in New York.
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The new 365 store format is going to have 'very, very competitive prices,' says Whole Foods
Food Navigator-USA
The new 365 by Whole Foods Market smaller format stores will have "very, very competitive prices" and “open up a whole new set of customers who, so far, have for various reasons, have not liked Whole Foods Market”, co-CEO John Mackey told analysts yesterday after unveiling a disappointing set of third quarter results.
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Frozen Express
Colby Horton, Executive Vice President of Publishing, (469) 420-2601
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Lonny Alfred, Content Editor, (469) 420-2663   
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