Today’s quick hits, Feb. 24, 2023

Living off tips: Federal officials have recovered more than a quarter of a million dollars in back pay for 93 waiters in Florida who were denied wages at a chain of Mexican restaurants and forced to live off tips instead. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Food inflation near 8 percent: Food prices will rise 7.9 percent this year after a 9.9 percent increase in 2022, with fats and oils, cereals and bakery products, and sugar and sweets leading the way. (USDA)

Mexico leapfrogs Canada: Mexico will displace Canada this year as the second-largest U.S. ag export customer, behind China, further cementing its position as the nation’s largest food and ag trade partner, with combined imports and exports of $74.4 billion. (USDA)

More water for California farmers: Central Valley farmers should expect to receive 35 percent of their water allocations this year, after both the Bureau of Reclamation and California’s Department of Water Resources said they would increase water deliveries. (San Joaquin Valley Sun)

Child labor penalties: The Labor Department fined a McDonald’s franchise operator more than $92,000 in civil penalties after an investigation found he had illegally hired 154 14- and 15-year-olds to work long hours at his seven McDonald’s locations. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Surge in renewable diesel: Production of renewable diesel soared to 1.5 billion gallons in 2022, a 72 percent increase from 2021, and it is expected to continue to expand this year. (Ocean Park)