Local Briefing

Friday, July 25, 2008

AGRICULTURE

Heavyweights to Lobby for More Biofuel

A group of the world's biggest agribusiness companies announced it will use lobbyists on Capitol Hill and national ads to build the case for fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, even as grain prices climb worldwide.

The biofuels industry has blossomed under federal mandates requiring the United States to increase alternative fuel usage by 2009. The mandates are under attack from groups who blame the new industry for rising food prices that have sparked riots and hoarding in several countries.

The newly formed Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy, formed by Monsanto, Archer Daniels Midland, Deere and DuPont, said producing more fuel without hurting food supply can be done by increasing agricultural productivity, an increase that would benefit the companies.

The alliance has a budget of several million dollars for the campaign, but it did not disclose the exact amount.

RETAIL

Honest Tea to Reach Western U.S.

Honest Tea, a Bethesda beverage company, said it reached an agreement with the largest Coca-Cola bottler to distribute its organic teas and juices in the Western United States. The agreement with Coca-Cola Enterprises comes several months after Honest Tea sold a 40 percent stake to Coca-Cola Co., a separate company.

WALL STREET

Foundation Coal Estimates Full-Year Earnings

Foundation Coal Holdings of Linthicum Heights, Md., guided its full-year earnings to a wide range that includes Wall Street's estimates. The company expects to earn $1.05 to $1.55 per share for the period. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect, on average, earnings of $1.26 per share for the year.

Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company