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• Ahold reportedly has gotten preliminary approval from a federal judge for a $1.1 billion settlement of a shareholder class action lawsuit filed against it in the wake of its accounting scandal. The lawsuit charged that the company artificially inflated its stock price by misrepresenting its financial situation. Final approval is expected to come in June 2006.

• Published reports say that Carrefour, the French retailer, may eliminate some well-know brand names from its shelves because of a dispute with manufacturers over pricing. Among the suppliers that may be affected - Reckitt Benkiser and Colgate-Palmolive.

• The United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association (UFFVA) announced that it is now accepting nominations for its Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, which it has expanded from 12 to 20 winners for 2006.

“The first-year support from supermarket executives to honor their front-line produce staff was simply remarkable,” said United President Tom Stenzel. “When we saw supermarket chain CEOs and other top executives participating in their first-ever produce convention, we knew this program was reaching the right people with an important message. We’re helping focus the entire supply chain on the importance of produce excellence at store level, and what a difference great employees empowered by their management can make in store sales,” he said.

UFFVA will provide to the produce directors/vice presidents from winning chain stores free registration and travel expenses to Chicago for its United Produce Show on May 6-9, 2006.
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