Sambazon gets Washington nod
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice awarded Sambazon, of San Clemente, Calif., one of three 2006 State Department Awards for Corporate Excellence at a ceremony at the State Department in November. Sambazon, manufacturer of South American açai products, received the award for its positive role as an American business abroad.
"Sambazon is an outstanding example of the positive impact that a small company can make to the economy, the environment and the society of its host country," Rice said. She went on to say how Sambazon's purchases of açai supported nearly 1,000 grower families who worked more than 66,000 acres within the Amazon estuary. She lauded the company for creating training workshops for growers, as well as offering guaranteed contracts and micro-credit programs.
Nominations for the award were submitted by American ambassadors to the State Department. The ceremony was attended by members of the diplomatic community, including Brazil's minister of development, industry and trade.
Organic Trade Association Executive Director Caren Wilcox, who attended the ceremony, applauded OTA member Sambazon for providing a, "delicious, nutritious organic product while benefiting the economic situation of indigenous people and the vitality of the Amazon rainforest."
Shoppers embrace private label brands
New consumer research by the Private Label Manufacturers Association shows that a record 41 percent of shoppers surveyed identify themselves as frequent purchasers of store brand products, and the news could have important implications for retailers.
The latest market statistics show that private label now accounts for more than $50 billion in annual sales.
The increase represents a gain from five years ago when 36 percent of shoppers said they were frequent private label shoppers. Fifteen years ago, 12 percent of consumers bought store brand products frequently.
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