4. Seeking Friends of Lansing City
Lansing area residents:
A movement is underway to re-energize the Lansing City Market!
A small group of women who are passionate about local food, supporting
local farmers and keeping Lansing's spendable dollars in the area are looking
for supporters willing to share their time and talents to help revitalize the
historic Lansing City Market. For more information about the Friends of
the Lansing City Market group and to join, please email [log in to unmask]"
title="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask].
5. Whole Foods to buy Wild Oats for $565 million
By Nichola Groom and Michael Flaherty Wed Feb 21, 10:27 PM ET
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Whole Foods Market Inc. (Nasdaq:WFMI - news)
said on Wednesday it will buy smaller rival Wild Oats Markets Inc.
(Nasdaq:OATS - news) for
about $565 million to compete better with larger traditional grocers, which are
increasingly encroaching into its organic and prepared foods niches.
Shares of the world's largest natural and organic grocery chain, which is
facing slowing growth at established stores, rose 5 percent following the
announcement, while Wild Oats shares soared more than 17 percent.
The news came as Whole Foods reported a 7.7 percent drop in quarterly earnings.
Even though total sales rose, sales at stores open at least a year rose 7
percent in the quarter -- about half the 13 percent rise a year earlier.
Organic and natural foods are gaining popularity as consumers try to eat
better, but growth has not been as strong as some expected a year ago when
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT - news) said it was doubling its offerings of
At the same time, Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY - news) and other traditional grocers
have also added more organic fare, while niche retailers like privately held
Trader Joe's are expanding rapidly, and Whole Foods on Wednesday said it aimed
to cut prices on some products in the face of competition.
"This is not a move being made from a position of strength," said Rob
Campagnino of SeaRock Capital Management.
Whole Foods will pay $18.50 a share in cash for Boulder, Colorado-based Wild
Oats -- an 18 percent premium to the company's closing share price on
Wednesday. Whole Foods will also assume $106 million of Wild Oats' debt. The
deal is expected to close in April.
"The growth opportunity in this category has led to increased competition
from many players, most of whom are not dedicated natural and organic foods
supermarkets, but are considerably larger than we are," Whole Foods Chief
Executive John Mackey said in a statement, adding that the deal timing
"could not have been better."
On a conference call with analysts, Mackey said he approached Wild Oats after
CEO Perry Odak resigned in October and the company did not name a permanent
"OFFENSE IS THE BEST DEFENSE"
With the deal, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods will keep Wild Oats out of the
hands of a traditional grocer, which could have used the chain to compete
better against Whole Foods.
"Offense is the best defense," said Ken Harris of consulting firm
Cannondale Associates. "They were either going to buy Wild Oats, or
somebody else was going to do it."
Whole Foods said the addition of Wild Oats' 110 stores to its 190-store base
will give it access to new markets and increase its presence in the Pacific
Northwest, Rocky Mountain region, and Florida. Whole Foods stores are generally
larger with about twice the sales per square foot.
"They're buying it for enhanced market presence, rather than going through
the tough process of securing good real estate and building stores," said
Tim McNamara, Northeast broker for SullivanHayes property management and
Whole Foods said it earned $53.8 million, or 38 cents per share, in its fiscal
first quarter, compared to a profit of $58.3 million, or 42 cents per share, a
Wall Street analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 36 cents per
share, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales rose 12 percent to $1.87 billion.
In November, Mackey said fiscal 2007 would "be a transition year" for
Whole Foods, and forecast same-store sales growth of 6 percent to 8 percent.
The company on Wednesday backed that forecast, which is below the double-digit
increases it has posted for the last three years.
Whole Foods shares were at $48.06 in after-hours trade after closing at $45.70
on Nasdaq. Wild Oats' stock, meanwhile, soared to $18.44 after closing at
Yucaipa Companies, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, owns 15.2 percent
of Wild Oats' shares.
Whole Foods shares trade at about 31 times analysts' average 2007 earnings
estimate, well above the multiple of 18.9 for Safeway's stock.
(Additional reporting by Brad Dorfman in Scottsdale, Arizona and Ilaina Jonas
in New York)
6. EPA Seeks Public Comment on U.S. Greenhouse
This is your chance to share
your perspective on Global climate change and US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / [log in to unmask]
(2/20/07) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on
a draft report that analyzes sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The report, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks:
1990-2005, will be open for public comment for 30 days after the
Federal Register notice is published.
After responding to public comments, EPA will submit, through the U.S.
Department of State, the final inventory report to the Secretariat of the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, fulfilling its annual
requirement as a party to this international treaty on climate change. The
UNFCCC treaty, ratified by the United States in 1992, sets an overall framework
for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenge posed by climate change.
The inventory tracks annual greenhouse gas emissions at the national level and
presents historical emissions from 1990 to 2005. The inventory also calculates
carbon dioxide emissions that are removed from the atmosphere by
"sinks," e.g., through the uptake of carbon by forests, vegetation,
EPA prepared the annual report in collaboration with experts from multiple
federal agencies. The major finding in the draft report is that overall
emissions during 2005 increased by less than one percent from the previous
year. Total emissions of the six main greenhouse gases in 2005 were equivalent to
7,262 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. These gases include carbon
dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and
sulfur hexafluoride. The draft report indicates that overall emissions have
grown by 16 percent from 1990 to 2005, while the U.S. economy has grown by 55
percent over the same period.
Information on the draft 2007 report
and how to submit public comments: epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport07.html
Grower Position-AmeriCorps position
Heifer International, a progressive, non-profit, sustainable
development organization is seeking interested, reliable, experienced and
hard-working assistant growers to participate in all aspects of the production
and demonstration gardens at Overlook Farm in Rutland Massachusetts. These
gardens supply the on-site cafeteria and the “global village”
demonstration sites—providing traditional New England garden crops as
well as crops from some of the countries Heifer sponsors. The assistant growers
will be an integral part of the garden team, and be expected to help facilitate
large groups of volunteers, and participate enthusiastically in all aspects of
gardening and crop production for the 2006 season (April through October).
Stipend and Housing Provided. AmeriCorps Education Award Opportunities
available. For an application or more information- please contact Overlook Farm
at 508-886-2221 or [log in to unmask]
Food Red Cedar Dinner: A Celebration of Slow Food
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center on the MSU campus
Tickets, $45 per person, vegetarian options available
Join the new Slow Food Red Cedar organization for a special dinner at
the Kellogg Center at MSU on Tuesday, March 6 from 6-8:30 pm. The Slow
Food movement promotes local foods, sustainable agriculture, heritage foodways,
and lively conversation at the table. This amazing meal is created by
Chefs Nick Seccia of the Henry Ford Museum and Rajeev Patgaonkar of the Kellogg
Center. Here is the menu!
Organic Local sweet Corn
Polenta, Cannellini Bean Mushroom Ragout,
Pancetta wilted baby
greens, Detroit Asiago Cracker, Crème fraiche
MSU Campus grown
Butternut Squash Bisque, Caramelized Pecans, Maple Sour Cream
Herb marinated grilled
Organic Chicken Breast topped with Grand Traverse Cherry Bails Sauce, Minnesota
Wild Rice Pilaf, Asparagus and Bell Pepper
Michigan Apple Pithivier,
Organic Pear Espuma, Beet Sugar Caramel,
Free Trade Coffee
Bread Rolls, Butter
Tickets are $45 per
person and include entry into the Farmers Market at 4:30 to sample Michigan
products, including beers, wines, and hard ciders. A vegetarian meal is
available. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Please contact
Diane Drago at [log in to unmask]"
title="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask] or phone
517-663-5147 for ticket information.
Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University
C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems
303 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824