US: Walmart has started a new venture with the city of Chicago to build dozens of new stores over the next five years, creating 12,000 jobs and helping to eradicate food deserts. Walmart has been encouraged to get involved in the Chicago Community Investment Partnership to help combat the City's double-digit commercial vacancy rate and 11.4% unemployment rate.

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation plan to commit $20m in the next five years. This will include an annual donation of 1.2 million meals to Chicago residents and 200,000 meals for kids this summer.

Whole Foods Market has taken over an acre in Virginia to develop a community garden that will supply a store nearby. Produce grown in its first on-site, field-to-store garden will initially will be used for prepared foods and the store's salad bar.

BRAZIL: Nestlé is sailing a supermarket barge down two Amazon river tributaries as it competes with Unilever to reach emerging-market customers cut off from branded goods. The world's largest food company will send a boat with 1,076 sq ft of supermarket space on a journey to 18 small cities and 800,000 potential consumers on the Para and Xingu rivers in Brazil.

GERMANY: Metro Cash & Carry Germany is to cut 900 jobs by merging its operations with those of wholesaler C+C Schaper. The depots of both will continue to trade under their current brands but C+C Schaper's Hanover depot will be merged with Metro's.

Metro will also close three of its depots and sell another. Metro claimed to have halted its declining sales one year after it started its turnaround programme for Metro Cash & Carry Germany. The company said it was on track to meet its earnings target of 150m by 2012 and would modernise 12 of its remaining depots.

BANGLADESH: All 250 garment factories at one of Bangladesh's main manufacturing zones have been shut down after violent protests by workers who want three times the current minimum wage of £17 a month. Some of the factories affected supply clothing to Walmart and Carrefour.