Senate Passes Farm Bill
enate passed the subsidies-laden Farm Bill last week, 64-35. The bill, expected to be signed by President Bush, is said to cost 80% more than existing programs, or an estimated $190 billion in farm subsidies over the next 10 years. The Food Marketing Institute opposes a labeling provision in the bill that would require meat and produce to be labeled according to country of origin. FMI called it "extremely poor public policy," saying it would be cumbersome for retailers to keep track of where their perishables originate.
UFCW Votes For New Kroger Contracts
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- United Food and Commercial Workers members here voted last week to ratify separate contracts to replace pacts that expired with Kroger Co. in South Bend and Fort Wayne, Ind., and Decatur, Ill. The contracts run four to five years and include wage increases, but do not require employees to begin making monthly contributions to their health plan.