Registration for SEPC's expanded fall conference opens May 23
The Southeast Produce Council will open registration on May 23 to its 2017 fall conference, which will feature a whole new look and platform with the addition of a full trade show and a focus on two key industry areas: organics and foodservice. Formerly known as the Southern Innovations Symposium, the annual event is now the Southern Innovations Organics &... Read more
Benefits of NAFTA explored at Viva Fresh panel discussion
AUSTIN, TX -- The Viva Fresh Expo was an ideal venue for the April 21 workshop, "The impact and future of NAFTA." Panelists from Mexico, Canada and the United States all presented overwhelmingly positive economic trade data to indicate that the North American Free Trade Agreement, put in place in 1994, has been extremely beneficial to this continent's agricultural... Read more
Albertsons promotes Jewel-Osco president to EVP of retail operations
Mike Withers, Jewel Osco division president, has been appointed executive vice president of retail operations for Albertsons Cos. Withers will lead the company’s east region operations, while Susan Morris, current executive vice president of retail operations, will lead the west region. Jim Perkins, executive vice president of retail operations special... Read more
Great table grape season ahead for MAS Melons & Grapes
A week or so from the start of Sonora’s table grape season, both Hermosillo and Caborca crops are heading up to a good season, with an estimated volume of 19 million cartons.    Generally, the Mexican table grape season starts the first week of May and lasts all the way through the first or second week of July, with varieties like Red Globe;... Read more
Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture
The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be the next secretary of agriculture. He was confirmed Monday, April 24 by a vote of 87 to 11. As head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Perdue will oversee roughly 100,000 employees and administer a budget of approximately $140 billion spread across multiple programs. He... Read more
Viva Fresh earns another 'bravo grande'
AUSTIN, TX – Viva Fresh continues to thrive in serving a produce industry need. The third annual Viva Fresh Expo in Austin April 20-22 attracted 2,000 attendees, according to Dante Galeazzi, the incoming president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association. TIPA is the creator and producer of the Viva Fresh Expo. “By... Read more
Organic Produce Summit names Fresh Direct co-founder as keynote presenter
David McInerney, co-founder of Fresh Direct, a leading online fresh food grocer delivering directly to the doors of consumers in greater New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro areas, has been announced as the fourth keynote presenter for the Organic Produce Summit 2017 in Monterey, CA. Fresh Direct is recognized as one of the pioneers in e-commerce/direct-to-consumer... Read more
Mann Packing introduces single-cut leaf line to Canada
Mann Packing has introduced the company's new leaf lettuce line to Canadian markets. Previously under the Simply Singles banner, the new Single Cut line includes Better Romaine, Better Green Leaf, Better Red Leaf and the company’s proprietary Better Burger Leaf lettuces. The Better Burger Leaf is perfect for sandwiches, burgers and wraps. It has the crunchy... Read more
Desert melon deal getting under way
Ideal growing conditions and a much wetter year has produced an excellent spring crop of cantaloupes and other melons from the West, with production expected to start the last week of April and be in full swing in May. Barry Zwillinger, sales manager at Legends Produce in Scottsdale, AZ, said the conditions have actually led to a “normal” start for... Read more
Side Delights gets in the game with Athletic Performance Promotion
Fresh Solutions Network LLC announced the Side Delights Athletic Performance Promotion program targeting athletes and sports fans. The theme Potatoes Fuel Performance promotes the potato’s taste, nutritional value and ability to positively affect athletic performance. The program provides shoppers with information on potato nutrition as well as pre- and... Read more
Diazteca enters organic mango business
Diazteca will be offering a substantial volume of organic mangos this summer. Rod Diaz, marketing director of the firm, which is headquartered in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, said the firm will be shipping organic Tommy Atkins, Atualfo, Kent and Keitt varieties from May until the end of August. To become Primus-certified to U.S. Department of Agriculture organic... Read more
The Kroger Co. received notice of an unsolicited "mini-tender" offer by TRC Capital Corp. to purchase up to 4 million Kroger common shares at a price of $28.70 per share in cash. The offering price was 4.24 percent below the closing price per share of Kroger's common shares on April 13, the last trading day before the offer was commenced. Mini-tender offers... Read more
Giant/Martin's campaign helps provide approximately 3.8 million meals
Customers and associates at Giant Food Stores and Martin’s Food Markets donated $631,473 during the annual in-store Bag Hunger campaign held in February and March in all stores to support local and regional food banks in four states. “We are committed to the fight against hunger in our local communities,” Tom Lenkevich, Giant/Martin’s... Read more
Strong start expected for Coachella Valley grape deal
A gap in grape supplies, a later start than last year and perhaps a small drop in production are all combining to give Coachella Valley grape grower-shippers a very optimistic view of their upcoming season. With a mild winter and spring, the grapes are taking a bit longer to mature this year — more in line with historical averages — and it does not... Read more
Volunteers are a core component of any trade association or nonprofit organization, and the Produce Marketing Association and the Center for Growing Talent by PMA aren't exceptions. Each year, more than 400 volunteers donate their time, talent and voice to advance the global fresh produce and floral industries. While April 23-29 marks National Volunteer Week... Read more
Uesugi Farms produces in the desert while leafy greens move to Central California
Uesugi Farms, a leading year-round producer of peppers, green beans and sweet corn, is preparing to harvest in the Coachella Valley in Southern California. In the spring, trucks hit the roads to transfer leafy green growing operations from the deserts in Yuma, AZ, and Imperial County and the Coachella Valley, CA, to the more temperate climate on the Central... Read more
Albertsons Cos. announced Wayne Denningham, executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been appointed to the new role of president and COO. Bob Miller remains chairman and chief executive officer, a role he has held since April 2015. Denningham will continue to lead store operations with added oversight of marketing and merchandising, supply chain,... Read more
Tour de Fresh raises nearly half-a-million dollars for salad bars
Since its inception in 2014, the Tour de Fresh cycling event, presented by The California Giant Foundation, has raised nearly half-a-million dollars to support Salad Bars to Schools. Combined fundraising totals to-date is $435,000, placing 192 salad bars in schools across the country and providing tens of thousands of students the opportunity to choose fresh... Read more
Paul Kneeland to join Gelson's Markets
Longtime produce retailer Paul Kneeland is leaving Ahold USA's Fresh Formats LLC in Parsippany, NJ, to join Gelson's Markets in Los Angeles. His last day at Ahold's will be Friday, April 21. Kneeland's title at his new company will be senior director of produce and floral. Gelson's Markets, founded in 1951, has 25 stores in the Southern California area, according... Read more
Black Gold Farms set for an early start of Texas red potatoes
The 2017 crop of Texan red potatoes from Black Gold Farms is looking remarkable this season. Thanks to the excellent planting and growing conditions, harvest is set to start a little bit earlier than last year. “We are excited when we get in the field a little early to start off our fresh supply of quality red potatoes for the year,” Lorenzo Segura,... Read more