HQ searched

Ahold's corporate headquarters were searched last week by the public prosecutor in Amsterdam. 

The prosecutor said the investigation related to the consolidation of a number of Ahold's global joint ventures. 

Ahold has been under investigation by the Dutch and US authorities since accounting irregularities emerged at its US Foodservice business earlier this year. 

Dollar trials 

US grocer Kroger is to trial a dollar store format at two of its locations in the Houston area. 

At each outlet Kroger has converted 500 sq feet into a dollar store with a separate entrance and offering food, clothing, greetings cards and party supplies all priced $1. 

Terror alarm 

The US National Association of Convenience Stores has voiced concerns about proposed bioterrorism legislation requiring detailed records to be kept of all food stocks. 

NACS argued there was no mechanism to efficiently share the information required throughout the food distribution chain. 

Retailers would have to manually record the lot and code number for every food item they received. It would take thousands of hours and the costs would put retailers out of business, said Allison Shuman, NACS director of government affairs. 

IAWS stake 

Irish food group IAWS has bought a 22% stake in Swiss-based Hiestand, which specialises in gourmet confectionery and breads, for E26m. Hiestand supplies frozen bakery goods to the retail and foodservice market in the UK and continental Europe as well as Asia and Japan. 

Taking water 

Russian brewer Baltika ­ an arm of Baltic Beverages Holding and a joint venture between Carlsberg and Scottish & Newcastle ­ is to produce bottled water for Russia and the Far East. 

Its main markets in Russia will be Moscow, St Petersburg and Central Russia. 

Banishing bias 

Wal-Mart Stores in the US is to include gay people in its anti-discrimination employment policy. Wal-Mart said "Our continued growth requires us to be one of the more desirable employers around."