5@5: Publicly traded firms receive $300M in small-business loans | Whole Foods tracks stores likely to unionize

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

April 21, 2020

2 Min Read
5@5: Publicly traded firms receive $300M in small-business loans | Whole Foods tracks stores likely to unionize

Publicly traded firms get $300M in small-business loans

The Paycheck Protection Program gave at least 75 publicly traded companies, some with market values of over $100 million, a combined $300 million in small business loans—and struggling smaller businesses that didn't receive funding are understandably frustrated. However, lawmakers are in the process of negotiating an additional relief package that would replenish the depleted program with over $300 billion, though some experts calculate it would take $720 billion to fully meet the demand. Read more at AP


Amazon-owned Whole Foods is quietly tracking its employees with a heat map tool that ranks which stores are most at risk of unionizing

Whole Foods Market's parent company Amazon is reportedly using an interactive heat map to track and score stores based on how likely they are to unionize. Individual risk scores are calculated from metrics including racial diversity, employee "loyalty," turnover and proximity to a union office. Read more at Business Insider


60% of consumers 'fearful' of shopping inside grocery stores

A new survey shows that the majority of U.S. shoppers are scared to go out and shop at grocery stores, and Americans are now averaging once-a-week trips to buy food. This is in part because the shopping experience at these brick-and-mortar locations has changed drastically for consumers; salad and hot bars are gone and semi-dystopian masks, gloves and plexiglass cashier guards are the new normal. Read more at The Spoon… 


Stores can sell unlabeled eggs during COVID-19 crisis

Eggs continue to fly off shelves in the era of COVID-19, which has prompted the FDA to announce a temporary policy for selling eggs that allows retailers to sell bulk eggs with no label. Retailers can now simply place a tag or sign with relevant information regarding where the eggs came from near the display. However, this move could add a layer of opacity that hinders consumers from choosing the most ethical option and, by extension, supporting a sustainable food system. Read more at Modern Farmer


Tyson Foods plant in Iowa to resume 'limited operations'

One of several meat plants that closed recently after dozens of workers tested positive for COVID-19, a Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Iowa is reopening after two weeks and will "resume limited operations." Two of the plant's workers have died from the virus. Governor Kim Reynolds stated this week that shutting down Iowa's food processing plants isn't an option right now, but she did acknowledge the high probability of more clusters of sickness developing as a result of keeping them open. Read more at ABC News

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