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•  The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) and the United Fresh Produce Association are scheduled to provide what they are calling "an important update" on their merger plans this Thursday, October 28.

The update will be hosted by PMA CEO Cathy Burns and United Fresh CEO Tom Stenzel, as well as members of the executive board of the new organization.

“This new association will not simply be a combination of our two great associations,” said Stenzel in a prepared statement.  “The new association will be a needed evolution for our industry."

Burns said that the new organization "will be built on a foundation of strong volunteer leadership from across the supply chain and around the world. Our industry will have a role in many of the critical challenges facing the world in the years to come and, based on the work we’ve already done, I’m excited to create an extraordinary future for fresh produce and floral."

•  Arkansas Online reports that "a federal judge has dismissed antitrust claims against Tyson Foods that were brought by a group of grocers, including Kroger, Meijer and Publix.

"The decision is part of an ongoing case against the chicken industry for allegedly conspiring to restrict production and inflate chicken prices from 2008 to 2016.

"Judge Thomas Durkin of the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division on Tuesday approved the stipulation between the listed parties, who all agreed to the dismissal. Walmart, among others, was not part of the plaintiff class. The order has no bearing on the defendants' claims against other chicken companies.

"Tyson Foods has previously reached settlements in related price-fixing litigation but has admitted no wrongdoing. Spokesmen have said the settlements are in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, and 'do not constitute an admission of liability'."

•  The National Retail Federation says it "expects 90% of the country to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa this year, up from 87% last year. On average, it expects them to spend $978 on gifts and holiday items. That’s on par with the previous year’s spending, but still shy of the $1,048 spent in 2019.

"As was true last year, people say they are putting presents for family and friends at the top of their list, along with spending on décor and food for celebrations. Intentions to spend on non-gift purchases for themselves and the family are down. This year, about 47% say they’ll take advantage of promotions to buy non-gift items, spending about $118, down significantly from the 60% who planned on spending $162 last year."

•  The Wall Street Journal reports that "the supply chain for countless products is or has been disrupted—and that includes wine. There are ships languishing in ports and undelivered cases cramming warehouses to capacity, not to mention winemakers awaiting shipments of labels and bottles. The result: empty shelves at wine shops as well as the aforementioned rationing.

"The pandemic played a role in the wine world’s supply chain woes; distributors struggled to keep up with the sharp increase in consumer demand and rolling state-by-state shutdowns crimped the labor market. The situation will get worse before it gets better," according to wine-industry experts, "though they didn’t all predict that Champagne will be scarce this holiday season."