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FMI Offers August Workshops and Webinars to Help Retailers Comply With COOL Requirements

BY CSA STAFF

Beginning Sept. 30, 2008, the government will require country of origin labeling (COOL) for beef, chicken, goat meat, lamb, produce, peanuts, pecans, ginseng and macadamia nuts.

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will provide six workshops in August to help retailers, wholesalers and suppliers comply with the new rules.

FMI will hold three one-day regional workshops jointly with the American Meat Institute Foundation and United Fresh Produce Association. The workshops will feature legal experts from the three associations and USDA officials who helped write the rule. The morning session will cover meat; the afternoon session will cover produce. Dates and locations are:

August 12: Four Point Sheraton hotel in Baltimore August 13: Hyatt Regency O’Hare hotel in Chicago August 14: Wyndham hotel in San Jose, Calif.

FMI will follow up with three Webinars from 2-4 p.m. EST on Aug. 19, 20 and 21 exclusively for retailers and wholesalers. To learn more and register for the workshops and Webinars, visit www.fmi.org/events.

Industry education and outreach programs will be conducted by the USDA for six months before the new rule is enforced.

Some technical details in the interim final rule still need to be resolved. To gain clarification, FMI will file comments with USDA and meet with agency officials.

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Best Buy to expand instrument offerings

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy confirmed reports that it will begin offering musical instruments and musical recording equipment at an additional 75-85 Best Buy stores across the U.S. and online at www.BestBuy.com. The diverse musical instrument and recording line-up will include more than 1,000 guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and recording equipment, as well as other musical instruments and accessories, all available at entry level and professional price points.

The introduction of musical instruments is a natural progression for Best Buy, explained Steve Hehir, senior vp of musical instruments for Best Buy. Consumers have always looked to us as a resource for music in a variety of formats. Now theyll be able to rely on us for help with musical performance and creating too. 

Seven Best Buy stores in Southern California and Minneapolis participated in a successful pilot of the musical instruments store-within-a-store concept that launched earlier this year. The program recently expanded to Chicago and Washington, bringing the current musical instrument store count to ten. The rollout to 75-85 Best Buy stores is expected to continue through late December. For consumers who are unable to visit a store location or who prefer shopping online, BestBuy.com will offer an expanded musical instrument assortment beginning Aug. 1.

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Report: Court reverses ruling on Whole Foods, Wild Oats deal

BY CSA STAFF

WASHINGTON According to reports, a U.S. appeals court has reversed a lower court decision last year that enabled Whole Foods Market to buy Wild Oats Markets, despite the objections of the Federal Trade Commission.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia reportedly said that U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman wrongfully turned down the FTC’s request for an injunction to block the deal, saying he “underestimated the FTC’s likelihood of success on the merits.”

Judge Friedman had denied the FTC’s request on the grounds that it did not prove that the merger between the two companies would hurt competition.

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