Afternoon Coffee: Canada’s Mozzarella Mafia, Campbell’s Closes Shops, Public Archives Closing

One method of cost reduction??
Psst! Wanna Buy Some Mozzarella? U.S. Cheese Being Smuggled Into Canada -- "CBC News has learned from numerous police sources that charges are expected soon against a few officers who are alleged to have been involved in the movement of caseloads of cheese from the U.S. to sell to Canadian pizzerias and restaurants. "The alleged scam involves jamming cases of 'brick' cheese -- used as a common pizza topping -- into their vehicles to smuggle across the border. With U.S. cheese being as little as a third the price it is in Canada, drivers are making $1,000 to $2,000 a trip, according to numerous sources."

Campbell Soup to close 2 US plants, eliminating more than 700 jobs -- Campbell Soup Co. is closing two U.S. plants and cutting more than 700 jobs as it looks to trim costs amid declining canned soup consumption. The world's largest soup maker said Thursday that it will close a plant in Sacramento, Calif., that has about 700 full-time workers. The plant was built in 1947 and is the company's oldest in the country. It also has the highest production costs of Campbell's four major U.S. soup plants.

"65% of the contiguous US is still in moderate to extreme drought, up from 64% the week before."
Rising Food Costs: How The Drought Will Increase Your Grocery Bill -- This year's drought has been the worst since the 1950s. Farmland that was scorched by July was truly desiccated a month later, as the intensity of the disaster worsened rather than abated as the summer progressed. (39% of the contiguous U.S. was in "severe" to "extreme" drought at the end of August.) Even with rains courtesy of Hurricane Isaac, and some heavy downpours this month, there has been little overall respite, since the recent rains soaked areas not affected by the drought. According to last week's Drought Monitor Report issued by the USDA, the National Drought Mitigation Center, and the Western Regional Climate Center, 65% of the contiguous US is still in moderate to extreme drought, up from 64% the week before.

No more archives?
Budget Cuts to Archives Put History Out of Reach -- The Georgia Archives, which holds both historical curiosities and virtually every important state government document ever created, is about to become nearly impossible to visit. In November, a round of government budget cuts will reduce the staff to three, one of them the maintenance man. Thousands of documents that pour in every month are likely to languish because no one will be available to sort through them, archives officials said. People who view accurate and open government records as the bedrock of democracy are outraged.

- Sheena Moore

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