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The Big Chefs

Touch the Soil News #556 Making news recently are the companies Aramark and Compass. Many of us are probably unfamiliar with them – more in a minute. They have both announced changes in how they source chickens from more humane suppliers that offer less crowded conditions with natural light, hay bales and perches for the chickens. It seems these two companies are concerned with how the world perceives them. But what kind of companies are Aramark and Compass? They are food service companies that provide meals in institutions cafeteria-style. You will find them at colleges, hospitals, universities, stadiums and correctional institutions. While they have foreign operations, a large part of…

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What Are Food Hubs? Can They Help You Become A Successful Local Farmer? (Part 2 of 2)

Touch the Soil News # 141 The growing development of food hubs is materially populated with not-for-profit visions that do not seek high returns, but primarily the cash flows necessary to keep the doors open. In Part 2 of this food hub coverage we’ll take a brief look at five (5) successful food hubs and their operations. Information about these food hubs came from a research project by the Wallace Center. It is encouraging to see enterprises and communities support a change from the industrial food system. Red Tomato food hub, Plainville, Massachusetts Red Tomato has annual sales of approximately $4 million with 7 employees. Red Tomato, established in 1997,…

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Regulators and the Restaurant Food Chain – Struggling to Restrain Birth of a Giant

In a previous article, we explored how America now spends more dollars eating out than at grocery stores for home eating. Like everyone else, we at Touch the Soil eat out also. One of the things we noticed is the frequency of Sysco and US Foods trucks at the back doors of the restaurants we go to. One begins to wonder, from whose menu do restaurants order their food from? It all came to a head recently when we stumbled across news about a lawsuit initiated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is charged with ensuring companies comply with antitrust laws and regulations. Mostly the FTC works things…

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