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Milkmen are returning to London as millennials order glass milk bottles in a bid to slash plastic waste

Milkmen and milkwomen are making a comeback in London as millennials have started using glass milk bottles in a bid to cut down plastic waste.

Dairies in the capital told of a “phenomenal” upsurge in interest from younger customers at the start of the year amid growing public upset over plastic waste.

Both UK-wide company milk&more and east London dairy Parker Dairies have seen increased demand for glass bottles in 2018, citing David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II as the “catalyst” for the new uptake.

The firms said younger consumers and families seem willing to pay more for the service in a bid to help the environment.

It comes amid conflicting reports of a resurgence in glass doorstep deliveries in the UK.

While it was reported there was a 25 per cent hike in the number of deliveries in the UK over the last two years, Dairy UK told the Standard it could not confirm the figure.

The industry body said figures showed doorstep deliveries make up 3 per cent of milk sales in the UK – around 1 million pints per day – and glass milk bottles make up 3 per cent of all milk sales.

But depot manager of Parker Dairies Paul Lough said interest of late in glass bottles has been “absolutely phenomenal”.

He said the dairy, which has a fleet of 25 electric milk floats covering all of east London, the city and the West End, has gained 382 new customers since the beginning of the year.

Of these new calls, 95 per cent are having milk delivered in glass bottles.

Mr Lough said: “Before Christmas we were taking 30 calls a month, and since New Year we are getting 30 calls a week.”

The dairy has seen a 4 per cent increase in sales since December, with an extra 1800 pints being sold each week.

Mr Lough attributed the new interest to the “regeneration” of the East End since the Olympics.

“People are much more environmentally conscious and so they are asking if we do glass,” he said.

And the dairy has attracted a younger clientele, Mr Lough said, meaning the firm has expanded its product line to cater to the new demographic.

“Without a doubt [they are younger],” he said. “That is why we are trying to change our product list.

“We do sourdough and honeys… we sell 250 loaves a week to new customers.”

Meanwhile, UK company milk&more said it has gained more than 2,500 new customers in the last month – the equivalent of five new milk rounds.

And some 90 per cent of these customers across the country are ordering in the iconic glass bottles.

In London, milk&more has added the equivalent of a whole new round, the company said.

The company – which occupies Hanworth Dairy in south west London – was bought by dairy giant Müller from Dairy Crest in 2016, which pledged to save glass milk bottle doorstep delivery and boost the service.

Dairy Crest had planned to shut down the dairy and review milk&more in light of declining interest in milk deliveries, with plans to phase out glass bottles.

But Müller said it wanted to reverse the plans and “rejuvenate and expand” milk&more.

Milkman Ian Beardwell has been doing the same round in Wimbledon for Hanworth Dairy for 27 years.

He said: “Since Blue Planet that has been the catalyst of the revival in glass.

“I used to do 550 calls before and in four weeks I’ve gained another 35 to 40 calls – 90 per cent glass.

“The trend for new customers has always been to come on board with plastic. But I have always done glass. I think they forgot that I do glass… people just didn’t realise.

“One lady has just come back to me in the last four weeks. I hadn’t been delivering to her for the last 10 years. She told me she just got lazy.”

Patrick Müller, managing director of milk&more, said: “The glass bottle is an exciting product… we think that it has a future.

“We believe the tradition of the milkman has some fantastic elements that are relevant now. They are a reliable presence for pre-breakfast delivery, they offer an exciting product range including locally sourced produce, and can be a part of the community.

“We just have to make them relevant for the modern consumer.”

He said new customers were aged around 35 years old, coming from young families with a double income.

Mr Muller added: “It’s popular with families, so people that care about the local community and local produce.

“They want the story behind their produce but they don’t have the time to get it.

“We talked with customers and they said they enjoy the experience of the glass bottle – the childhood memories – and they want to reduce their plastic wastage.”

milk&more is launching a new website in the next week, Mr Müller said.

Source: Evening Standard

Northwest Grocery Workers Union Approves Contract With Supermarkets

Grocery workers have approved a contract with some of the region’s biggest supermarkets after months of contentious negotiations, a short-lived boycott against Fred Meyer and the threat of a strike.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 announced the ratification late Friday.

The union represents about 20,000 grocery workers in Oregon and southwest Washington. Wages were the dominant issue during negotiations with Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertsons and Safeway.

The union insisted workers weren’t paid enough to thrive in the current economy.

Wages in the Portland area, for example, ranged from near-minimum wage to more than $17 per hour.

Negotiations ended with the help of a federal mediator.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that secures increased wages, continued premium health care coverage and pension stability,” said a Fred Meyer spokesman in a statement.

Multiple conversations with the union about the terms of the contract reveal an agreement in which wage increases for “apprentice” workers — employees with fewer hours under their belts — are driven almost entirely by Oregon’s increasing minimum wage.

On the other hand, most “journeypeople” — a more senior group of employees — should see negotiated wage increases between $1.65 and $2.80 per hour over the life of the three-year contract, according to the union.

The agreement preserves a structure in which apprentices can earn more the longer they work, with pay based on a formula tied to minimum wage.

For example, one group of workers starts at 10 cents more than minimum wage; another group might get paid 25 cents more, etc.

The union emphasized that, under this contract, apprentices will be paid at the same level above minimum wage as they were before.

That means in dollars and cents, the bulk of their raises will be due to increases mandated by state law. The union said that’s a law it fought for in Salem. Kelley McAllister, a spokesperson for UFCW Local 555, said apprentice workers will also benefit from other areas of the contract. She pointed, for example, to a guarantee of 20 hours of work per week, which she said is the threshold for benefits.

She said guaranteed hours should help apprentices achieve journeyperson ranking more quickly. McAllister said the union also made progress closing the pay gap between a group of male-dominated jobs (such as in grocery, produce and beer, wine and liquor) and a group of female-dominated jobs (such as in the bakery, deli or cheese sections).

She said if future contracts continue in this vein, that pay gap should close in nine years.

Source: OPB

Instacart Delivery Workers Are Planning a Three Day Strike

A group of workers on the grocery delivery app Instacart are organizing a nationwide strike from November 3-5 to demand that the company restore its old tipping policies.

Specifically, workers will ask Instacart to raise the default tip amount set by the company from 5% to 10% per order.

“We did not arrive at the 10% figure arbitrarily, rather this is what the default tip amount was back when I and many others started working for Instacart,” Vanessa Bain, an Instacart Shopper from Menlo Park, California, and one of the lead organizers of the strike, wrote in a post on Medium Wednesday. Bain started working on the app in 2016. “We are simply demanding the restoration of what was originally promised.”

Instacart shoppers who participate in the 3-day strike will be asked to take one of three actions depending on their financial situation and the amount of risk they’re willing to take. Some workers will turn the app off for three days. Others hoping to do more disrupt Instacart’s system will sign up for as many regular orders as possible and then cancel them, passing them onto the next worker.

Those willing to take on the most risk won’t fulfill batches of special “on demand” orders, letting them time out, and getting kicked off the app, and then repeating the process once they are let back on. (When workers let too many batches time out, Instacart temporarily kicks them off the app.)

“We take the feedback of the shopper community very seriously and remain committed to listening to and using that feedback to improve their experience,” Instacart told Motherboard in response to news of the strike.

Are you or your friends organizing a worker action on a gig economy platform? Do you work for a food delivery app and have a story to tell? Please get in touch. You can send Lauren tips at lauren.gurley@vice.com.

Bain, who has led an annual action against the company for the past three years, is using the 13,600 member Facebook group “Instacart Shoppers (National)” to organize the protest. She told Motherboard that she expects thousands of Instacart workers, known as ‘shoppers,” to participate in the action. Aside from raising the default tip amount, workers will demand that Instacart give them the entirety of each tip and remove an “intentionally confusing & obsolete ‘service fee,’” which misleadingly goes directly into the pockets of the company, not its workers. Instacart told Motherboard that shoppers currently receive the entirety of the tip that customers leave.

Since 2016, Instacart shoppers have seen what used to be a good paying side hustle devolve rapidly, they said. Three years ago, the app turned a default 10% tipping fee built into each order into a 10% service fee that went directly to the company. Instacart has since increased the tipping default to 5% percent per batch, but continues to take out a service fee that goes directly to the company, but which workers say misleads customers into thinking that they’re tipping shoppers. Instacart has been valued at $4 billion and has a workforce of 130,000 shoppers in the US.

In February, reacting to sustained outrage from labor organizers, politicians, and workers that Instacart used tips to pay workers their base pay, the company promised to calculate tips separate from base pay, and introduced minimum fees of $5 to $10 per order, depending on the task and city. But workers continue to complain that their tips have been mysteriously decreasing.

Bain says workers feel that reductions in pay over the past two years are a “bait and switch” on the part of the company to lure gig workers in and leave them beholden to the app.

“They’re not paying us enough to get by and they’re not paying us enough to save and get out of gig work,” said Bain, who said she used to make $1,500 for 40 hours of work on the app when she started in 2016. Now she says she’s “paying a very high cost to make a small amount of money. All of the companies benefit from keeping you trapped in cyclical poverty. You’re dependent on it to make ends meet each week. Some people are performing a service, earning the money, and cashing it out immediately afterward to pay for gas to keep working.”

Bain says the strike will last three days “because one is not destructive enough. The main point is to pressure Instacart into doing what they should do anyway, and that is to restore our tips to their previous amounts.”

Source: Vice.com

Unions Sue USDA Seeking to Halt New Pork Processing Rule

The union representing workers at pork processing plants sued the federal government on Monday to challenge a new rule that allows companies to set line speeds and turn over more food safety tasks to company employees.

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and local unions in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas joined with nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen to file the lawsuit in federal court in Minneapolis.

The lawsuit alleges that the new rule announced in September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it isn’t backed by reasoned decision-making and should be set aside.

A spokeswoman for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.

UFCW International President Marc Perrone said there is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety.

“Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm’s way,” he said.

Swine slaughter workers regularly have reported extreme pressure to work as quickly as possible, which increases the risk of knife injuries, knee, back, shoulder and neck traumas, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, the union said in a statement.

In June, the USDA’s Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into its rulemaking procedure at the request of 17 members of Congress. Public Citizen and UFCW are asking the court to block implementation of the rule and to set it aside.

Local UFCW units joining the lawsuit represent pork slaughter workers in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Denison, Iowa and Bel Aire, Kansas.

Source: Edge Media Network

UFCW 8-Golden State Members Ratify Landmark Contracts With Safeway, Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Maxx Value and Vons Supermarkets

Members of UFCW 8-Golden State employed at Safeway, Save Mart, FoodMaxx, Maxx Value and Vons supermarkets in Northern, Central and Southern California voted overwhelmingly to ratify new labor contracts, the Union announced today.

“Union member Solidarity made these landmark contracts possible. Our members have proven once again, Solidarity Works!” UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall said after mail-in ballots were counted on Oct. 3 and 4 at the Union’s offices in Roseville and Bakersfield.

“Our members appreciate the value of their new contracts, which are a model of what can be accomplished through interest-based bargaining,” President Loveall said.

The agreements include meaningful wage increases for approximately 14,000 UFCW 8-Golden State members at the five companies.

In addition, the contracts guarantee continued funding for strong benefits including an additional retirement plan for all members.

“These employers recognized the successes we’ve achieved in progressive health care plan design and our tireless work in re-inventing health care delivery,” President Loveall said.

In separate negotiations, members of UFCW 8-Golden State and other UFCW Local Unions in Southern California approved contracts with Albertsons, Ralphs and Vons in the region in September.

Meanwhile, negotiations continue between UFCW 8-Golden State and Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill and Food Source in Northern California.

UFCW 8-Golden State represents members working in grocery and drug stores, food-processing plants, distilleries, medical facilities and offices.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Stater Bros. workers ratify new union contract

Workers at 172 Stater Bros. stores across the region have voted to ratify a three-year contract with the supermarket chain, a union said Friday.

The contract between San Bernardino-based Stater Bros., Southern California’s largest regionally-based grocery chain, was announced earlier this week on a union website. It was confirmed Friday by Andrea Zinder, president of Orange County-based Local 324.

Zinder declined to discuss the terms of the contract, but when the tentative agreement was announced several weeks ago, it was disclosed that it was virtually the same deal reached by the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Albertsons, Ralphs, Vons and Pavilions chains on Sept, 8. Workers at these stores voted to accept the contract later that week.

Zinder also declined to discuss the Stater Bros. vote margin but said it was “overwhelmingly ratified.” Stater Bros. employs about 17,000 retail workers who are UFCW members.

The deal includes wage increases of between $1.55 and $1.65 an hour over the three years of the contract. It also improves employees’ health care coverage, fully funds pensions and guarantees hours for veteran workers.

The ratification means that only Gelson’s, with locations mostly in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and Super A, with eight Los Angeles County locations, are without contracts. Negotiations are ongoing with both chains.

Southern California supermarket workers in September ratified a three-year contract with the region’s bigger chains, ending a months-long, contentious negotiation with a deal described as the best the union has received in three decades.

Some 46,000 workers at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores voted to accept the contract. Thousands of UFCW members at the chains authorized a strike in late June.

Source: Press-Enterprise

Amazon’s Grocery-Store Plan Moves Ahead With Los Angeles Leases

Amazon.com Inc. is advancing a plan to open a chain of U.S. grocery stores with early outposts in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, according to people familiar with the matter.

In the Los Angeles area, it has signed more than a dozen leases, the people said. The first few stores are likely to be in the dense suburban locations of Woodland Hills and Studio City, while another grocer is slated for the city of Irvine, in nearby Orange County, a person familiar with the matter said. These stores could open as early as the end of the year.

Amazon is planning to operate dozens of grocery stores in cities across the country, part of the online giant’s increasing focus on a bricks-and-mortar presence to find more ways to reach consumers.

Many of the proposed locations are outside urban cores and cater to middle-income consumers. Apart from prepared foods, they will stock mainstream groceries such as soda and Oreos, people familiar with the matter said.

The company now has 16 Amazon Go stores, where customers can grab ready-to-eat food and grocery purchases checkout-free. It also has four Amazon 4-star stores, which stock products rated 4-stars and above on the Amazon site, and 18 Amazon Books stores.

Revenue from these bricks-and-mortar businesses is small but edging up. In the second quarter, net sales from Amazon’s physical stores rose 1% to $4.3 billion from a year earlier, compared with 16% growth recorded in its online stores, according to Amazon’s earnings statement. Sales in its physical stores include items that customers select in the store, but exclude purchases made online and picked up at a store.

One of Amazon’s first grocery locations will be on N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, at a strip center in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, the people said.

Local building and safety departments recently granted contractors hired by Amazon permits to change the facade, start electrical work on light fixtures and fire sprinklers, and to install an espresso machine and kitchen equipment at the property there. Filings show that there will be a substantial kitchen, indicating that the store will offer prepared foods.

The roughly 35,000 square-foot store was previously occupied by Toys “R” Us, and its neighbors are Citibank, Office Depot and Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. There is a Costco wholesale market half a mile away.

Paragon Commercial Group, the owner of the strip center, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Amazon doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation, said an Amazon spokeswoman.

Amazon is also looking at grocery spaces in the New York metropolitan area, New Jersey and Connecticut. Many of these locations are in strip centers and open-air shopping centers and would occupy about 20,000 to 40,000 square feet, the people said.

In March, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon’s new grocery chain isn’t intended to compete directly with the company’s upscale Whole Foods Market chain, which doesn’t sell products with artificial flavors, preservatives and sweeteners, among other quality standards.

The Journal was unable to determine what the new stores would be called or whether they will use a similar cashierless technology used by its chain of convenience stores, Amazon Go.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tipping Point for Save Mart

The Save Mart Cos. is slated to open a new flagship store in Modesto, Calif., on Oct 2. It will feature made-to-order items throughout its fresh departments, as well as Save Mart’s new fast-casual restaurant—The Tipping Point—within the store.

Culinary-driven offerings are a mainstay of the “Valley Fresh” section of the new Save Mart, officials said. The section features a produce cutting specialist on staff; made-to-order smoothies; custom fruit bowls; ceviche, olive and pasta bars; and custom-made guacamole and salsa, Store Director Jerald Smith told The Modesto Bee.

“We’re going to make your life simpler,” he said in the on-camera interview. “You’re going to be able to walk up, fill a tray up, fill a bowl up. You pay by the pound—easy in/out.”

Fresh produce is another focal point for the store, which will offer a large variety of local and organic items. The flagship location will also feature a nut roasting and grinding area, where shoppers can get fresh-prepared nut butters.

The service-oriented meat department includes a smoker and a grill, where butchers will prepare customers’ meat orders while they shop.

With both indoor and outdoor garden seating, The Tipping Point restaurant will specialize in tri-tip barbecue served five different ways: as wet or dry sandwich, torta, taco or salad. Side dishes include street corn and churros.

In addition to its signature whole and plated tri-tip, The Tipping Point will have a wide selection of local beer and wine on tap. Local beer and wine selections will change seasonally and be announced to followers on the store’s Facebook page.

“We have a strong identification with how good food brings people together, and tri-tip is a staple in the Central Valley,” Nicole Pesco, CEO for Save Mart, said in a release. “The Tipping Point gives the community a new gathering spot to enjoy this amazing food in a comfortable atmosphere—and you won’t have to clean the grill at the end of the evening.”

In the coming weeks, The Tipping Point food menu and other signature prepared foods from throughout the new store’s hot bar and service deli will be available for on-demand delivery by DoorDash. Save Mart recently announced its plans to expand its DoorDash service throughout California’s Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and Reno, Nev., in the coming months.

“Our aim is to meet shoppers where they are at—literally. DoorDash delivery offers a quick, convenient meal solution and complements our home delivery services,” said Bobby McDowell, VP of operations for Save Mart, in a statement.

Save Mart operates 83 Save Mart stores throughout California and northern Nevada. The grocery chain is part of The Save Mart Cos., which operates 207 traditional and price impact stores under the banners of Save Mart, Lucky, FoodMaxx and MaxxValue Foods.

Source: Winsight Grocery Business

Grocery workers’ union, Fred Meyer and others reach tentative agreement

After two days of bargaining that lasted through the night on Friday, a regional grocery workers’ union and four grocery stores reached a tentative agreement around 9 a.m. Saturday.

The tentative agreement heads off a potential strike at Fred Meyer, one of the stores involved in the negotiations, as well as ends a week-long customer boycott of the store requested by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555.

“We are now asking all of our supporters to cease the boycott and resume their normal shopping habits, including shopping at Fred Meyer,” the union said in a Saturday afternoon press release.

The tentative agreement covers about 18,000 grocery workers at Fred Meyer, QFC, Albertsons and Safeway in Oregon and Southwest Washington. About 600 of those employees work in the Kelso-Longview area.

The details of the agreement are embargoed until union members review and vote on the contract, according to the union news release. Union officials will send out dates, times and locations for the vote over the next few days, the release says.

“Our bargaining team is happy to report that we were successful in addressing all of our concerns,” the union said.

Representatives with the stores could not be reached for comment Saturday.

UFCW 555 and the four stores were involved in nearly 15 months of “unity” contract negotiations. The two sides had argued over wage offers, and the union had demanded the companies solve what it considered a gender pay gap.

The union was particularly upset with Fred Meyer, which union officials accused of using intimidation in response to the union’s decision to cancel its contracts with the store.

UFCW 555 filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board earlier this month. The status of the investigation was unavailable Saturday.

The union was poised to strike at Fred Meyer after canceling its contracts with the store and passing a near unanimous strike authorization vote.

Last week the union asked customers to boycott Fred Meyer as the “first economic action taken by the union” in response to the “unfair labor practices” and the company’s refusal to response to union contract proposals, the union said.

“Our boycott against Fred Meyer was highly effective, due to your hard work in building relationships with your communities, who stood strong and proud with us!” the union posted on Facebook Saturday. “The boycott has ended, effective immediately.”

Source: TDN.com

The Online Grocery Report: The market, drivers, key players, and opportunities in a rising segment of e-commerce

Online grocery is growing rapidly from its small base. Its market value has doubled from 2016 to 2018, suggesting that consumers are starting to get more comfortable ordering essentials and certain foods online — a major barrier to adoption.

Meanwhile, one type of product that’s popular in online grocery, consumer packaged goods (CPGs), has seen the majority of its growth come from online. Although consumers may not be entirely comfortable buying items like produce online yet, that will likely come as their familiarity and trust in online grocery grows.

Online Grocery Forecast

Business Insider Intelligence

Grocers are rushing to take advantage of this potential, resulting in a highly competitive market. Both established grocery players and newcomers to the space are expanding their curbside pickup and delivery offerings — the two basic components of online grocery — in an attempt to grab market share.

They’re each employing different strategies to find success: Amazon is leaning on its e-commerce and fulfillment capabilities to offer a variety of online grocery services, for example, while Walmart is using its strong brick-and-mortar footprint to its advantage. Still, others, like Kroger and Aldi, are working with third parties such as Instacart to provide their services.

In the first Online Grocery Report, Business Insider Intelligence looks at a variety of grocers’ curbside pickup and grocery delivery options, analyzing how they compare with competitors’ strategies, how profitable they are for the grocer, and what their future may be. While companies like Instacart exist that offer online grocery services for other grocers, we focus specifically on companies that sell their own products. Finally, we examine different strategies companies can use to optimize the profitability of their online grocery offerings.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Aldi, Amazon, Ford, Instacart, Kroger, Ocado, Postmates, Target, Walmart, Whole Foods

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Online grocery currently comprises a small portion of grocery overall but is on a rapid rise. Adoption is still fairly low, with about 10% of US consumers saying that they regularly shop online for groceries, according to NPD.
  • However, the value of the US online grocery market has grown from $12 billion in 2016 to $26 billion in 2018 and it has plenty of room to grow, given that the size of the overall grocery market was $632 billion in 2018 according to IBISWorld.
  • Both established grocers like Walmart and Kroger and players new to the space like Amazon are rushing to improve their curbside pickup and delivery options and all of them are employing differing strategies suited to their size and strengths.
  • Regardless of grocers’ individual strategies, they will all need to find a way to run their online grocery offerings in a profitable way and to address consumers’ barriers to adoption.

Source: Business Insider