I am pleased to report that union negotiations with our employees were conducted in a positive, productive way. We finished the settlement within seven months of the union vote, and the contract offer was accepted by our employees. We achieved total sales of $19,617,470 this year (including sales to The Wedge), a 14.3 percent increase over the prior year, at a margin of 18.75 percent, Our “additional income” category grew 34 percent over the prior fiscal year, a total of $612,719. Our growth indicates that we are fulfilling needs for both local producers and regional co-ops.
We started the “Roots for the Home Team” collaboration with the Minnesota Twins and Youth Farm, East Side Gardens and Emerge Home Grown Gardens this year. The project brought CPW much positive community feedback for bringing fresh local food to the ballpark.
In collaboration with The Wedge’s IT Department, we have a new software system at the warehouse to handle our ordering, inventory and customer orders. It became fully operational on March 1, 2012, and it has proven to be user-friendly for staff, yielding information quickly. The advantage of in-house software is that it can be developed to address our needs as the business changes.
Safety is always a concern for wholesalers, especially those in the food business. We are very proud that our annual rating with the Department of Transportation continues to be in their top tier. A major recall and multiple random inspections from both the USDA and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture have proven that the CPW staff and the systems we use provide a competent source of food safety and security for our customers. We set high bars for ourselves, to ensure we provide our staff and customers with safe food and a safe working environment.