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  • Smart & Final Inc. announced it plans to sell "certain assets of its Stockton, Calif. foodservice direct delivery business" to Sysco Corporation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is scheduled to close next month.

    "Coupled with the divestiture of our Florida operations, this transaction further concentrates our focus on our core store operations in the Western U.S.," said Ross Roeder, Smart & Final chairman and CEO. "Smart & Final has successfully operated its stores business for more than 130 years. This is where our expertise lies and this is where we see our best growth opportunities. Through the divestiture of our foodservice operations, we will have additional resources to strengthen our balance sheet and to focus on the continued development of our two store formats."

    The previously announced sale of Smart & Final's Florida foodservice direct delivery business and certain Florida stores to Gordon Food Service also is anticipated to close in September.

  • The member states of the European Union (EU) have been unable to reach agreement on a list of food and drinks the names of which should be protected in global markets, such as Champagne or Parma.

    There are some 30 products on the list being considered, but Greece blocked a vote because Kalamata olives and ouzo were not included.

  • The Observer reports that after a scorching summer in Europe, autumn has arrived early in France - which means that wine producers "are rushing to harvest their crops before the vintage is ruined."

    The downside is that the traditional August 15-30 holiday time in France is being foregone by many who are either directly or indirectly connecting to the country's wine industry.

    The upside, according to experts, is that this year's Beaujolais may be the sweetest in memory, and could help revive the country's stagnant wine industry.

  • Wine Spectator reports that the Wine Market Council will roll out its first nationwide advertising campaign using the slogan: "Wine. Since 6000 B.C."

    The organization also will play off the "Got Milk?" ads by showing classical portraits and sculptures in its ads with tag lines such as "Then as now, the perfect complement to the ancient art of kick'n back."

    The goal is to influence occasional wine drinkers to imbibe more often, rather than reserving it for special occasions.

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