JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Activists say some of the cocoa in your Valentine's Day chocolate probably came from a West African country where the president is clinging to office. And they note that hundreds of thousands of young children also had a role in producing it. Activists are harnessing Ivory Coast's political crisis to add momentum to their campaign to force the world's chocolate makers to improve their labor practices.
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Workers at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Venezuela have ended a strike that lasted nearly a month and drastically cut back production of soft drinks in the country, the company said Thursday. Coca-Cola Femsa de Venezuela SA said it signed a new contract Wednesday night with workers at its plant in the northern-central city of Valencia.
NEW YORK (AP) — Meat producer Tyson Foods Inc. is paying $5.2 million to settle with the U.S. government over claims that its Mexican poultry subsidiary made payoffs to get products certified for export. Tyson says it voluntarily reported that improper payments of more than $100,000 were made by Tyson de Mexico to two Mexican government veterinarians who certified chicken products for export in 2007.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Kraft Foods Inc., like many of its peers, is feeling some pricing pressure. The company reported Thursday that price increases it made to cope with higher ingredient costs are not going to be enough to sustain its profitability and it plans further hikes this year.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former official involved with the multibillion-dollar charitable trust that controls the Hershey candy company is claiming in a court filing that board members used the trust's considerable assets to pad their bank accounts and treat themselves to luxury hotel stays, limousine rides and free golf.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Food industry workers who become whistleblowers gained protection against retaliation from their employers with a little-noticed provision in the sweeping food safety law President Barack Obama signed last month. The Food Safety and Modernization Act is best known for sections that aim to prevent foodborne illnesses, allow the Food and Drug Administration to order recalls and make it easier to trace contaminated food to its source.
(AP) — A customer holds a bunch of chilies at a market in Jakarta, Indonesia, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. In spice-crazed Indonesia, a meal without fresh chilies is almost unthinkable. But prices have soared as much as 10-fold in recent months, some say because of climate change, driving up inflation and pulling everyone from housewives to the president into the debate.
(AP) —This Feb. 3, 2009, file photo shows the Peanut Corporation of America processing plant in Plainview, Texas. Kenneth Kendrick, who had been assistant manager at the plant, spoke out about unsanitary conditions there after a salmonella outbreak that killed nine and sickened hundreds.
Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts coffee drinkers beware: it's soon going to cost you more to drink your favorite cup of joe at home. J.M. Smucker Co. said Tuesday that the list price for most of its U.S. coffee products — which mostly includes those sold under the Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts names — will be going up 10 percent, on average, to deal with higher costs for unroasted beans, or green coffee.
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Taco Bell will offer Facebook fans a free taco as it tries to recover from a lawsuit questioning the content of its taco filling. The company was recently thrust into the spotlight when a lawsuit claimed that the restaurant's seasoned beef filling did not have enough beef in them to be billed as such.
THOMASVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Shares of Flowers Foods Inc. fell Monday after the maker of packaged bakery goods said its fourth-quarter results missed Wall Street expectations, and it offered a tempered earnings outlook for the current year. Flowers, like other food companies, is dealing with rising costs for ingredients as shoppers cut back on spending.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sara Lee Corp. will raise prices further to cope with higher ingredient costs that squeezed its profit margins in its second quarter. Sara Lee, like many packaged food makers, is struggling with higher prices for ingredients such as coffee beans, meat and wheat.
ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co.'s fourth-quarter net income more than tripled, helped by the acquisition of a bottler and selling more drinks in North America. It was the third consecutive quarter of rising sales in the birthplace of the world's largest drink maker. It had been relying on emerging markets such as China and India for growth as weakened consumer spending and increased interest in healthier drinks sapped soda demand in developed markets.
(AP) —A bottle of beer that was retrieved from a shipwreck in the Åland archipelago in the summer of 2010, is photographed at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in Espoo, Finland, Tuesday Feb. 8, 2011. Divers retrieved more than 160 bottles of champagne and five bottles of beer from the wreck of a ship that likely sank during the first half of 1800s.
(AP) — In this Nov. 20, 2010 photo, cans of Coca-Cola Zero are shown at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead. Fla. Coca-Cola Co.’s fourth-quarter net income more than tripled Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, helped by an acquisition and volume growth in developed countries. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) Imperial Sugar Posts $8.
PICO RIVERA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California meat producer has recalled 3,170 pounds of ground beef that might be contaminated with E. coli. U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service spokesman Richard McIntire said Monday that no illnesses have been reported from the bulk ground beef and patties sold by Pico Rivera-based American Food Service.
Imperial Sugar Co. said Monday it slid to a bigger-than-expected loss in the last three months of the year compared with a year-ago period that benefited from a hefty insurance claims settlement. The refined sugar processor, which markets sugar under the Imperial, Dixie Crystals and Holly brands, posted a loss of $8.
Cupid got off easy this Valentine's Day, but spikes in cocoa bean and sugar prices may have the Easter bunny digging deeper into your pocket for those chocolate eggs and rabbits. Chocolate prices are going up, but Valentine's chocolates are mostly already on shelves with prices set. It's possible high-quality Valentine's products could cost a little more, but by Easter prices likely will rise, possibly by as much as 5 percent, said Marcia Mogelonsky, U.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama had doubts about making a campaign against childhood obesity one of her signature issues. "I wondered to myself whether we could really make a difference, because when you take on a problem this big and this complicated, at times it can be a little overwhelming," she said in a recent speech.