Smucker, tech unit team up
The J.M. Smucker Co. of Orrville and Columbus-based tech incubator Rev1 have become partners in an effort to boost food and agriculture startups.
Smucker has contracted with Rev1 to help the 120-year-old company gain access to cutting-edge innovators and give young entrepreneurs the resources and experience of a big packaged-goods company.
Rev1 hopes that its reputation for helping to boost tech startups, married to Smucker’s success in making and marketing foods, will create more opportunities for food innovation in Ohio.
Smucker’s brands, beyond its eponymous jellies and jams, include Jif, Folgers, Meow Mix, Crisco and Milk-Bone. It is looking for startups in specific areas related to food and agriculture, including snack foods, supply chain and processing technology.
— Columbus Dispatch
GateHouse Media Ohio
More blues for Maine berries
The value of Maine’s wild blueberries hit its lowest point since 1985 last year.
Wild blueberries, which are smaller than the cultivated kind, are one of the state’s most important agricultural crops. But the industry has struggled with low prices and oversupply in recent years. The Portland Press Herald reports that trend continued in 2017, when the blueberries were worth 26 cents per pound.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data say the estimated value of the harvest fell more than a third to $17.6 million last year. The size of the crop also fell a third last year to 67.8 million pounds.
The industry has struggled with competition from Canada, which produces the same fruit at a lower price. The berries are mostly frozen and used in processed foods.
Comcast suffers outage
Comcast, one of the nation’s largest operators of cable TV and residential internet services, said most of its services had been restored following a widespread outage Friday.
The Philadelphia company said in a statement that two separate and unrelated fiber cuts at backbone networks, which are a type of infrastructure that helps connect different computer networks, caused outages to its services.
Citigroup to issue refunds
Citigroup said Friday it plans to refund $335 million to a group of customers who may have been overpaying interest on their credit cards. In a settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Citi will refund 1.75 million customers in overpaid interest by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, Citi disclosed that it had used a flawed methodology in determining whether credit card customers were eligible for an interest-rate reduction on their cards, as required by the CARD Act, a federal law that governs the credit card industry.
Citi disclosed the flaw to regulators, including the CFPB, in 2017. The CFPB chose not to fine Citi for the flawed practice, citing the bank’s decision to self-report the problem to regulators and that it was in the process of refunding customers. Citi had already set aside the funds to cover the refund in a regulatory filing earlier this year.
Week-ending rally cools off
U.S. stocks finished mostly higher Friday, but they surrendered most of an early gain as worries about rising tariffs once again dampened investors’ enthusiasm as the second quarter came to an end.
Banks led the early rally. The Federal Reserve gave the green light for most large U.S. financial institutions to pay bigger dividends to shareholders and buy back more stock.
At the close, the Dow’s gain was 55.36 points, or 0.2 percent, at 24,271.41. The S&P 500 index edged up 2.06 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,718.37. The Nasdaq composite rose 6.62 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,510.30. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 1.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,643.07. All four indexes ended the second three months of the year with gains.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.
Business news briefs, June 30: Smucker, tech incubator team up