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ALDI has received the 2016–17 “Best of the Best” award from the Environmental Protection Agency’s GreenChill Partnership for its use of cutting-edge, environmentally sustainable refrigeration systems in 34 of its stores.

As part of its capital investment of $5 billion in new and remodeled stores over the next five years, ALDI is increasing its environmentally friendly features in stores. New and remodeled stores feature environmentally friendly building materials and energy-saving LED lighting. ALDI is committed to continuing to reduce its refrigerant emissions and received its first GreenChill certification in 2015.  

“ALDI is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact not only because our customers expect it, but because it is the right thing to do as a business. Partnerships like the one we share with GreenChill are critically important, as they enable us to work toward our goal of sustainable business operations,” said Aaron Sumida, vice president of ALDI. “In switching to more environmentally friendly coolants, we strive to minimize the environmental impact of our refrigeration systems. This recognition from the GreenChill Partnership is a testament to our commitment.”

While the recognition typically goes to just one store, this year’s award from GreenChill acknowledges a record 34 platinum-certified ALDI stores. Platinum certification is the highest level awarded by GreenChill, and it requires each store to meet very stringent criteria.

“ALDI deserves recognition for embracing GreenChill’s environmental protection goals through its platinum-level certification of so many stores,” said Tom Land, manager of EPA’s GreenChill program. “ALDI is showing industry leadership through active participation in the GreenChill partnership and through certification of innovative refrigeration systems.”

The partnership with GreenChill is just one way that ALDI is working to reduce its impact on the environment. Last year, ALDI increased the number of stores with rooftop solar panels by more than 45 percent and will continue to grow its solar portfolio and use of green electricity. Additionally, ALDI has recycled nearly 100 percent of the cardboard, paper, plastic film and foil that it uses in its warehouses since 2012. Moreover, its new warehouses are constructed with sun shades and special glass to insulate and reduce heat from the sun.

GreenChill works with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate change. The “Best of the Best” achievement recognizes GreenChill-certified stores demonstrating innovation in advanced refrigeration technology.

Given the bounty of bright and colorful fruits and vegetables now available from around the world year-round, there’s no reason why a produce department in any retail store — from a major chain to a mom and pop bodega, cannot decorate for the holiday season. And there’s plenty of reasons to put some extra effort into doing so. Beautiful displays that scream out “holiday season” attract consumers and can increase sales.

There’s also no reason why produce managers can’t be inspired by great ideas that make their departments stand out. For example, offers several website links, one with over 80 photos of beautiful produce departments from around the world decorated for the holidays.

FruitBasket 054 Decorating your produce department for the holidays also offers a great opportunity to cross-merchandise with other departments and sections in stores. Borrow a pile of beautifully packaged Christmas candies from the sweets’ department, for example, and tuck them into fruit displays for added color. Theme your green, red and fruits and vegetables into Christmas tree or wreath displays. Think apples, berries, cherries, pomegranates, kiwifruit, apples (again), grapes, pears, avocados, limes, mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic bulbs and onions, as just a few examples.

Tuck holiday-wrapped bottles of wine, champagne and other spirits your store sells into the displays. These not only increase the holiday appeal, they can also increase impulse sales for your store.

Be sure to tuck bottles of apple cider and other fruit and vegetable drinks into your beverage area.

Make room for a display of beautiful holiday gift baskets with price tags that range from as little as $10 to as much as over $100. Gift baskets add charm and décor to holiday displays, and they are a perfect resolution for consumer gifting.

Those stores that don’t have staff to spend time on creating gift baskets, outsourcing can accommodate the labor needs of every store and ensure full displays at all times to prevent missed sales.

Some produce distributors and shippers are also strongly riding the gift fruit basket, and they are a great place for retailers to turn for their outsourcing needs.

Stock up. Sales increase about six percent the week before Christmas and up to 23 percent the week of Christmas. Sales decrease approximately 13 percent the week after Christmas. People then make light purchases for the New Year’s holiday.

This is not the time of year to run out of anything that might be needed for a holiday meal or a gift. Specialty, ethnic and conventional produce are all important. How frustrating it must be for a consumer to not find a bag of ready to prepare — or eat — celery, for example, on the store shelf. It’s enough to send that person down the street to your competitor.

And don’t forget the dates, nuts and dried fruits. Baskets with overflowing bulk and packaged nuts are festive in themselves. Remember to include nice size displays of packaged, ready to use or snack-on treats that are made of items like chestnuts, pistachios, raisins, cranberries and other tasty delights.

Peapod is launching its first ever text-to-order grocery application. With the Chat-to-Cart platform from StorePower, shoppers can use their phones' text feature to type, speak and even use popular emoji icons to build and update their Peapod carts.

"At Peapod, we have always been committed to being the ultimate convenience for our customers," said Cat De Merode, Peapod's vice president of product. "The Chat-to-Cart platform was designed for the busy shopper that relies on their mobile device whether at home or on-the-go. Now, instead of texting a family member to pick up an extra gallon of milk, you can text Peapod and let us do the work. The texting functionality complements the Peapod mobile app and desktop website for one seamless ordering process."

With the simplicity of texting, the list can also be shared across multiple family members for an all-inclusive weekly shop and even synched up with voice-activated assistants for voice-to-text convenience. The Chat-to-Cart launch follows a string of recent innovations launched by Peapod that are geared toward the connected shopper including Peapod's award-winning mobile app and Peapod's voice activated Alexa skill.

Peapod worked with StorePower, a leading creator of online shopping tools, as a first mover in the space to implement its patented Chat-to-Cart platform. "This is an exciting example of a proven retailer leveraging the newest technology to help their customers shop faster and smarter," said Richard Demb, co-founder of StorePower. "There is a heritage of innovation at Peapod and we're proud to work with them to continue that legacy. The Peapod team has proven their commitment to early adopters of customer-led innovations."

Limoneira Co., a leading agribusiness with prime agricultural land and operations, real estate and water rights throughout California, Arizona and Chile recently announced that it will name Mark Palamountain as its new chief financial officer, treasurer and corporate secretary, effective Jan. 8, 2018.

Mark-Palamountain-12-17Mark PalamountainPalamountain will replace Limoneira’s Chief Financial Officer, Joe Rumley, who announced his decision to pursue other opportunities on Sept. 26 after serving in this role since 2010. Palamountain most recently served as Limoneira’s senior director of agriculture operations and has been with the company since 2012. He has been instrumental in building and managing a deep pipeline of acquisition activities and successfully acquired over 3,000 new acres, created and implemented Limoneira’s “Net Zero” renewable energy portfolio expansion, managing capital growth strategies and acreage redevelopment activities and worked directly with all investor relations activities.

Prior to joining Limoneira, Palamountain was chief executive offiver and founder of Perpetual Power LLC, a leading solar integration company specializing in finance and product technology. From 2003 to 2008, he served as a managing director, head of Nasdaq trading for Broadpoint Securities where he was responsible for all trading desk management functions for a team of 25 traders. Between 2001 and 2003, Palamountain was principal at Thomas Weisel Patners and from 1997 to 2001, he was a trader at JPMorgan Chase.

“We are excited about Mark’s transition to the role of chief financial officer and would like to thank Joe for his work in establishing a strong financial reporting infrastructure at Limoneira,” said Harold Edwards, Limoneira’s president and chief executive officer. “Mark has been a valued member of our leadership team in his nearly six years with the Company, leading our business development efforts and renewable energy initiatives, as well as managing our agriculture operations. Combined with his background in capital markets, he will be well suited to execute the company’s capital allocation framework and ensure we are maximizing value for shareholders.”

Palamountain added, “I look forward to leveraging my capital markets and operational experience to continue building upon Limoneira’s strong heritage in the citrus industry. Over the past number of years our team has put the elements in place to significantly grow our agribusiness operations in the coming years following a series of investments in new orchards and infrastructure. I look forward to the opportunities that are ahead for Limoneira and our long-term shareholders.”


Publix Super Markets Charities announced today it would donate $5 million to more than 125 Habitat for Humanity affiliates, including those impacted by Hurricane Irma, and over 30 shelters and other nonprofit organizations across the Southeast.

This generous donation continues the Foundation’s commitment to meeting the basic needs of the communities it serves through additional financial support for housing, transitional support and client service programs.

“No individual or family should have to worry about the basic needs of food or shelter,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett, president of Publix Super Markets Charities. “I am honored our Foundation is continuing my father’s legacy of supporting the communities Publix serves. And I am so proud of our Publix associates for giving their time and talents to building houses and providing hope to those in need.”

“Publix and Publix Charities set a very high bar for community engagement,” said Mario Artecona, chief executive officer, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami. “Their support is consistent and steadfast. Not only are they incredibly generous, but their associates volunteer with a contagious enthusiasm — be it during regular construction or hurricane recovery, and anything in between. They never fail to be front and center addressing the needs of the community.”

In related efforts, to help truly make each new house sponsored by PSMC a home, Publix Super Markets will greet the new homeowners with fully stocked pantries.

PSMC began its support of Habitat for Humanity in 1989 with its first contribution to Habitat for Humanity of East Polk County (Winter Haven, Florida). The Foundation has continued its support of Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and other nonprofits that serve the plight of the hungry and homeless. Earlier this year, PSMC made another $5 million donation to Feeding America member food banks, schools and other nonprofits focused on alleviating hunger across the company’s operating area. To learn more about the Foundation’s efforts, please visit or

George Jenkins, founder of Publix Super Markets and affectionately known as “Mr. George,” believed in giving. From the day he opened his first Publix, he made sure his associates, customers and community were taken care of. In 1966, Mr. George established the Foundation with the vision that it would continue giving long after he was gone. Under the leadership of Carol Jenkins Barnett, Mr. George’s daughter, Publix Super Markets Charities remains committed to serving the communities in which Publix operates.