With interest in locally grown food soaring, the federal government said Tuesday it has created a small loan program to help community farmers who might not be able to borrow money from banks. The low-interest "microloans" of up to $35,000 are designed to aid startup costs, bolster existing family-run farms and help minority growers and military veterans who want to farm.
As an unusual cold spell gripped parts of the West for a fifth day, some California citrus growers reported damage to crops and an agriculture official said national prices on lettuce have started to rise because of lost produce in Arizona.
As the West Coast cold snap lingers for a fifth day, California produce farmers are growing increasingly concerned about the impact the weather may have on their crops. California's San Joaquin Valley, used to a year-round temperate climate, saw Sunday's temperatures plummet to 25 degrees.
The company that makes Fat Tire beer is now completely owned by its employees. Fort Collins, Colo.-based New Belgium Brewing announced the milestone Tuesday, a day after its 456 employees got the news at their annual winter retreat. The company is the nation's third-largest craft brewer.
Venezuelans have long had to shop around to find scarce foods, and lately consumers have had particular trouble finding staples like chicken, cooking oil, sugar and coffee, as well as toilet paper and some medicines. The shortages are a potential political vulnerability for the government while President Hugo Chavez lies bedridden in Cuba, unheard from more than a month after his fourth cancer operation.
U.S. wholesale prices fell for the third month in a row last month, pushed down by falling food and gas costs. The drop is the latest evidence inflation is tame. The producer price index dropped 0.2 percent in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That follows a decline of 0.8 percent in November.
State-owned Czech brewery Budejovicky Budvar NP says a British court has rejected for good Anheuser-Busch's request to have Budvar's Budweiser trademark declared invalid in the country, the latest ruling in a long legal battle over the brand name.
Soda sellers are set to get a three-month grace period from fines for violating New York City's upcoming crackdown on supersized sugary drinks, but a size limit still is set to take effect as planned in March, officials said Monday. The reprieve on fines comes as soda makers, restaurateurs and other businesses are suing to try to block the unprecedented rule from going into effect at all.
Consumer demand for "Farm-to-Table" will continue to grow in 2013 if shopper behavior matches responses to new research conducted for Plainville Farms turkey and FreeBird chicken. Shoppers said their motivation for wanting "Farm-to-Table" products is based on a belief that they are "fresher" (95%) and "healthier/ more nutritious" (90%).
An Ohio candy maker recalled 492 bags of its product because it contains milk that is not declared on the label. Island Delights Inc. of Seville announced the recall of the bags of Coconut Haystack candy earlier this week. An audit by the Ohio Department of Agriculture found the candy contained milk that could be harmful to the health of people who are allergic to it.
Virginia wineries enjoyed record-breaking sales in fiscal 2012. Gov. Bob McDonnell said Monday that nearly 485,000 cases were sold during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012. The previous record was about 477,000 cases sold in fiscal 2011.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will keep his job in President Obama's second term. USDA communications director Matt Paul said Monday that Obama asked Vilsack to stay in his post and Vilsack accepted. Vilsack is the former Democratic governor of Iowa.
Flowers Foods Inc.'s shares soared Monday on the bakery's plans to buy Hostess Brand Inc.'s bread business, including its iconic Wonder bread brand. Flowers announced late Friday that it had signed two asset purchase agreements with Hostess that made it the "stalking horse bidder" that sets the bar for the court-supervised auction of the company's bread business.
As an unusual cold spell gripped parts of the West for a fifth day, some California citrus growers reported damage to crops and an agriculture official said national prices on lettuce have started to rise because of lost produce in Arizona. The extreme chill in the West comes as the eastern U.S., from Atlanta to New York City, is seeing spring-like weather.
Coca-Cola said it will start airing a two-minute spot during the highest-rated shows on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC in hopes of flexing its marketing muscle in the debate over sodas and their impact on public health.
Pretzel maker Snyder's-Lance said Monday that it is promoting its president and COO Carl Lee to lead the company, as CEO David Singer plans to retire in May. Singer will step down after the snack food company's annual shareholder meeting on May 3.
The CEO of Maple Leaf Foods has been ordered to pay his ex-wife $175,000 a month in interim spousal support after an Ontario judge struck down parts of a marriage contract meant to keep the family's wealth within the bloodline. The case lays bare intimate details of the McCain's marriage and lavish lifestyle, as well as the inner workings of one of Canada's largest food empires.
New ads by Coca-Cola, the world's No. 1 beverage company, will address obesity. The two-minute ads will air during prime time on major networks and will coincide with the company's pledge to provide more diet options at soda fountains across the country.
Lamb Weston, the ConAgra-owned company that operates a sweet potato processing plant near Delhi, will have a new boss in February. ConAgra Foods has announced Greg Schlafer will join the company on Feb. 25 as president of its Lamb Weston frozen potato business.
The auction for the beleaguered Tully's Coffee chain concluded Friday in federal bankruptcy court, with a judge approving the sale to an ownership group led by actor Patrick Dempsey. Dempsey had claimed victory last week after bidding concluded, but a company that teamed up with Starbucks to make an offer for Tully's filed an objection.