MONTEREY, CA — Perhaps stretching the definition a bit, the Organic Produce Summit featured back-to-back-to-back-to-back keynote speeches during its educational session, each with the unmistakable theme that organic produce sales continue to rise and this trend is no fad. Longtime organic pioneer Tonya Antle, co-founder and executive vice president of... Read more
Meijer's spring Simply Give campaign set a record with more than $3 million -- or 33 million meals -- to stock the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest, making it the most successful campaign in the program’s nine-year history. The spring success came on the heels of a record $1 million donation to the program during the Meijer LPGA Classic for... Read more
After early ads, pear sales flow like Rushing Rivers
With a new pear crop nearing for Stemilt Growers in Washington state, the long-time pear leader is urging retailers to jump start their pear categories by planning the first round of Rushing Rivers pear ads for early September back-to-school timing. The Northwest pear crop is expected to be down slightly over last year, yet important to promote early and often... Read more
Coombs, DeVries honored by FPFC; NFL legend details his keys to success
ANAHEIM, CA — Bill Coombs of DLJ Produce and Lane DeVries of The Sun Valley Group were honored with the annual produce and floral achievement awards, respectively, by the Fresh Produce & Floral Council at its Southern California Expo, held July 18 at the Disneyland Hotel, here.FPFC Expo attendees lined up at the Idaho Potato Commission booth for a chance... Read more
The Salad Revolution will not be televised
With the theme Salad Revolution, Mann Packing will launch two new salad blends at the PMA Foodservice Expo in Monterey, CA, July 30. RomaBlend and Red RomaBlend both feature a combination of chopped Romaine and Mann’s popular Arcadian Harvest petite mature lettuce leaves, resulting in salad mixes with more loft, texture and interest than either chopped... Read more
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association announced that exhibitor registration is now open for CPMA 2018, the 93rd annual convention and trade show. The theme will be Live Healthy. Eat Fresh! CPMA 2018 will be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Vancouver from Tuesday, April 24 to Thursday, April 26. Exhibit space is limited and selling fast. Exhibitors... Read more
Loblaws imperfect produce program on ice
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is expanding its no name Naturally Imperfect line of products to include frozen blueberries, strawberries, mixed berries, mixed fruit and mangos. With these new items, Loblaw now offers 14 products under its no name Naturally Imperfect line, making it more affordable for Canadians to buy produce. Launched in March 2015, no name Naturally Imperfect... Read more
Second annual OPS full of excitement and passion
MONTEREY, CA — The 2017 version of the Organic Produce Summit, held July 12-13, here, exceeded the already-high expectations that were the result of the experience delivered at the inaugural event one year earlier.  Attendance was up, more companies exhibited, more retailers walked the show and the educational sessions were lively, to say the... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses — B&V Solutions LLC, Gourmet Home Food Inc., Ayotlan Produce LLC and Tejada’s Produce Corp. — for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted... Read more
FirstFruits Marketing of Washington, a leader in organic apples and exclusive distributor of the Opal apple, recently completed the installation of a brand new packingline and automated palletizing system at its flagship facility at Broetje Orchards in the heart of its growing acreage in Prescott, WA. The new additions improve the handling of fruit to ensure... Read more
Kansas City, KS-based Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. announced the sale and future closure of its Fort Worth, TX, division. The company will consolidate the remaining Fort Worth business into what it described as its "more efficient and productive" Oklahoma City distribution center. The transition is expected to be completed by Oct. 31. "This consolidation... Read more
Chris Veillon named to top marketing post at Pure Flavor
Building on consistent year-over-year growth, greenhouse grower and marketer Pure Flavor announced the addition of Chris Veillon to the company’s executive leadership team as chief marketing officer. “As we continue to grow our retail and foodservice business, we needed to strategically evolve our marketing direction to support our premium line of... Read more
Giumarra debuts Bright Bites mandarins at FPFC expo
Giumarra announced the launch of its new Bright Bites brand mandarins at the Fresh Produce & Floral Council’s Southern California Expo Jul. 18. “Mandarins are the top seller in the citrus category and show no signs of slowing down,” Kellee Harris, western region business director for Giumarra, said in a press release. “We are pleased... Read more
Atomic Torosian, managing partner at Crown Jewels, dies at 67
Atomic Torosian, founder and managing partner of Crown Jewels Produce Co. LLC in Fresno, CA, died July 7 after a bout with pancreatic cancer. He was 67. Mr. Torosian, whose involvement with produce stretches back to his childhood days on the family farm, was born Nov. 7, 1949, in Fresno and spent his entire career based in the Fresno area, although he traveled... Read more
Baker & Murakami Produce gets greenbacks for going green
In an ongoing two-pronged effort that both lessens its carbon footprint and saves in energy costs, Baker & Murakami Produce LLLP has increased efficiencies at its onion packing facility in Ontario, OR. The merger of Baker Packing and Murakami Produce, both major onion shippers in the Treasure Valley of Idaho-Eastern Oregon, was made public several months... Read more
Roaring success leads Food Lion to expand local produce program
Locally sourced products are a key part of Food Lion's heritage, and that strong relationship with close-to-home producers is at the center of the U.S. brand's Local Goodness marketing and merchandising campaign. Launched in North Carolina in 2016, the campaign is being expanded this year to three other states: Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. "With market... Read more
Dog days of summer drive high demand for Artisan Organics peaches and nectarines
As the industry enters in the latter half of the summer, Stemilt Growers is preparing for another successful summer fruit season, with harvest of its organic apricots continuing along and organic peaches and nectarines on the horizon. Stemilt, which has farmed organically since 1989, suggests retailers take advantage of its brightly colored and bursting-with-flavor... Read more
Wonderful Pistachios announced a new marketing alliance with Live Nation, one of the larger live entertainment companies, and expanded its portfolio with select professional baseball teams nationwide to reach fans while they’re enjoying this summer’s most popular events. “With everyone enjoying concerts and America’s favorite pastime... Read more
Retailer implements organic and fair trade produce program
Inserra Supermarkets ShopRite Inc. of Mahwah, NJ, continues to demonstrate its commitment to community, nutrition and sustainable food systems through the introduction of a comprehensive produce program with Taste Me, Do Good*. The Taste Me, Do Good* organic fair trade line of produce items provides Inserra shoppers with premium-quality, flavorful and nutritious... Read more
Country music star Brooke Eden headlines 2017 SLV Potato Fest
National country music artist Brooke Eden headlines this year’s San Luis Valley Potato Festival on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Ski Hi Park Arena in Monte Vista, CO. This is the first year the festival’s concert has been held at the arena, according to organizers. Colorado Potato Administrative Committee Marketing Administrative Assistant Savannah Schlaufman... Read more