Business Briefs – August 26, 2019

Banana Industry on Alert After Disease Arrives in Colombia

LA GUAJIRA, Colombia (AP) – The banana industry is on high alert after a dreaded fungus was confirmed in Colombia. The finding is alarming because Latin America is a major exporter of bananas. For years, scientists have said the fungus that has already hit Asian countries would continue spreading and that the industry needs to find a new banana variety that’s resistant to the disease. While many types of bananas are produced around the world, most the ones that are exported are Cavendish varieties.

As Summit Ends, Macron Expresses Hope for U.S.-China Deal

BIARRITZ, France (AP) – With clouds growing over growth, French President Emmanuel Macron ended the Group of Seven summit Monday with a sparse declaration committing leaders of half the world’s economy to “open and fair global trade and the stability of the global economy.” The declaration lands amid uncertainty caused by the U.S.-China trade conflict that has slowed trade among nations and held up industrial production and investment.

KFC Partners With Beyond Meat

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – It’s finger lickin’ fake chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken plans to test a plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings Tuesday at one of its restaurants in Atlanta. Depending on customer feedback, the chain could expand the test to other markets.

Kraft Heinz Brings Back Former CFO Amid Struggles

CHICAGO (AP) – Kraft Heinz Co. is bringing back its former chief financial officer amid accounting problems and falling sales. Paulo Basilio, 44, joined H.J. Heinz as CFO in 2013 and remained in the job after the company’s 2015 merger with Kraft. He most recently served as Kraft Heinz’s chief business development officer. He replaces David Knopf, 31, who will return to Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital. 3G and investor Warren Buffet engineered the Kraft Heinz merger in 2015.

20,000 AT&T Workers Are on Strike Across the Southeastern U.S.

(The Dallas Morning News) – AT&T workers across the southeastern U.S. went on strike beginning at midnight Saturday alleging AT&T management engaged in unfair labor practices during contract negotiations.

The strike involves more than 20,000 employees of Dallas-based AT&T that are unionized under the Communications Workers of America — a union representing workers in telecom, media, airlines and other lines of work.

One Empty Chair at G-7 Climate Meeting: Trump’s

BIARRITZ, France (AP) – U.S. President Donald Trump skipped a discussion on climate with other world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in France — then claimed to “know more about the environment than anyone.”

Mr. Trump left an empty chair as global power brokers debated Monday how to help the fire-stricken Amazon and reduce carbon emissions.

“I’m an environmentalist,” Mr. Trump told reporters, even as he celebrated America’s oil and gas wealth.

Environmental activists declared the summit a failure, marching to demand tougher global emissions rules and more aid for the Amazon.

Toxic Gas, EPA Silence Prompt Concern Near Georgia Factories

ATLANTA (AP) – Residents near two Georgia plants which have emitted toxic gas say they’re furious that the government did not alert the public about a federal report on potential health dangers.

Hundreds of people packed two recent town hall meetings in Marietta and Covington, where the two companies use ethylene oxide to sterilize medical devices.

The meetings followed news stories about a 2018 report that identified Census tracts near the two businesses where residents could face health risks.