Keeping in Touch with NAMA
Dec. 15, 2010

5 year-end tax-planning moves for business owners
The Wall Street Journal
The end of the year is usually a hectic time for business owners like me, who are scrambling to wrap up activities while planning ahead for the new year. This December is particularly challenging because of continuing tax uncertainty. As a small-business owner and tax expert, Barbara Weltman has decided to focus on what is known rather than on what is not known about tax rules, and to take year-end actions that are helpful regardless of possible changes to tax rules. Here are five steps that she recommends taking before year's end.More

Small business outlook keeps inching higher
The Wall Street Journal
Small businesses are getting perkier. That's a positive, because these are the companies that employ half the workforce and create most of the new jobs. This morning, the National Federation of Independent Business reported that its November index of small business optimism rose for the fourth consecutive month to its highest level in three years. Think about what's happened since December 2007 and you can see why this positive reading might have an impact on the recovery.More

NAMA Government Affairs
NAMA's Government Affairs team focuses on federal and state legislative news that impacts your company’s growth and profitability. Required reading for all members! Click Here for the most recent Legislative Alerts. For additional information contact Ned Monroe at More

Brazil coffee forecast raised to 48.1 million bags
Coffee production in Brazil, the world's biggest grower and exporter, will rise more than previously forecast this year, the Agriculture Ministry said. Growers will harvest 48.1 million bags, up from a Sept. 9, forecast of 47.2 million bags, the ministry's crop-forecasting agency, known as Conab, said recently in an e-mailed report. The South American country produced 39.5 million bags last year.More

Coffee jumps most in three weeks as excessive rains damage Colombia crops
Arabica-coffee futures jumped the most in three weeks as excessive rain hurt crops in Colombia, the second-largest grower. Flooding has threatened crops, damaged roads and delayed agriculture shipments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service said on Dec. 10. The unusually heavy rain from a La Nina weather pattern is forecast to last until the first quarter of 2011, the agency said. Prices have surged 60 percent this year, heading for the biggest annual gain since 1994. More

Dairy snacks market up 6 percent
Food Product Design
The international market for dairy snacks grew by 7 percent in 2009 and is predicted to rise by 6 percent in 2010, according to new market research from food and drink consultancy Zenith International. The “Dairy Snacks 2020 Report" estimates total volume at 217,000 tons in 2010 across 26 countries in North America, Latin America, West Europe, East Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The United States accounted for almost two-thirds of the total dairy snack volume in 2009; the United Kingdom was the second largest market, with other key countries including France, Canada, Germany and Japan. The most developed regions are North America, West Europe and Australia, with Latin America and East Europe presenting the next opportunities for companies to be first to market.More

Candy, snacks top brands with high equity
Food Product Design
Hershey's Kisses are tasting sweet success today after a new Harris Interactive poll revealed consumers rank it No. 1 overall in brand equity. According to the 2010 EquiTrend® study, the comfort food category reigned supreme with M&Ms, Hershey Bar, Oreo Cookies and Snickers all ranking high. The annual brand equity study measures more than 1,000 brands across 42 categories and has been tracking consumers' awareness and perception of brands for over 20 years.More

New 3D vending machines are eco-friendly and eye-catching
The Independent
Japanese Coke lovers will be able to buy soda from eco-friendly 3D vending machines starting in January 2011. Coca-Cola's new high-tech design features sleek 3D displays, and are not just aesthetically appealing — vending machines are at the forefront of Japan's green movement, and the aim is for consumers to feel good about using the machines.More