Fuel costs were cited by Australia's National Foods for an 8% increase in about half its dairy product prices, just one day after an equivalent price hike was announced by Dairy Farmers Group cooperative. A spokesperson for New Zealand's Fonterra dairy said, "cost pressures from various sources, including significant movements in fuel price, is a factor that continually impacts on the entire supply chain." However, that company has not yet announced price increases.
Although 7-Eleven Mexico took 12 years to open its first 100 stores in northern cities, it has taken only one year to open 100 more due to its popularity in that region and in the nation's capital. The joint venture between Grupo Chapa and 7-Eleven credits its success to offering a higher level of service and unique items, and total annual sales are close to $350 million.
Although Winn-Dixie Stores is in bankruptcy protection and suffered big losses in Louisiana, where it has a large presence, its CEO sees opportunity. The grocery chain plans to spend $100 million to rebuild and upgrade its affected stores, but the company will have to front the money until insurance kicks in. It still faces tough competition in the region, however, from competitors Wal-Mart Stores and Publix Super Markets.
Sugar growers along the Gulf Coast will receive $9 million in Emergency Conservation funds to help them recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but farmers will be looking for further government assistance in the wake of the twin storms that wiped out 50% to 75% of the region's sugar cane crops. The industry is also looking to waive interest on commodity loans and receive financial assistance in covering barge transport costs.
New facilities will enable Michigan-based Hudsonville Ice Cream to meet growing demand for its 62 flavors of ice cream. The company says it will continue to market the quality of its products rather than trying to compete on price.