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• In Toronto, the Globe and Mail reports that Sobeys Inc. has announced a "controversial initiative to retroactively cut vendors’ prices by 1 per cent. The company also is accepting no supplier increases in 2014, with some exceptions. The moves are aimed at helping the retailer generate some of the savings it promised from its $5.8-billion acquisition of rival Safeway Canada … Sobeys has pledged to slash $200-million in annual costs within three years of the takeover, which closed on Nov. 4 – half of that within the first 12 months."

• New York-based Mrs. Green's Natural Markets, which operates 18 stores in the US and Canada, said this week that it plans to open 20 new locations this year, in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The company says that this is the beginning of a broader plan to have 100 stores "over the next few years."

• The New York Times reports that Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef since 2007, is leaving his job there, in part to be able to spend more time with his husband in New York, and in part because he has been inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama to create a foundation designed to promote healthier foods in schools.

“Food knowledge should be part of a complete curriculum,” he tells the Times. “We used to learn about food as a part of everyday growing up, but I think we’ve lost that. I think it has a place in schools.”

Yosses credit the Obamas' insistence on healthier foods on the White House menu for prompting his new career direction, saying it also has had a lasting impact on his own eating habits, not to mention the items he makes.
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