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The United Fresh Produce Association and Western Growers Association have entered into a formal marketing agreement to jointly promote the Western Growers Shield, a first-of-its-kind insurance program specifically designed to protect food companies from recall liability. “This program represents an innovative solution to a critical bottom line issue facing... Read more
Mexico City earthquake leaves Centro de Abasto unharmed
As Sept. 20 rescue efforts revealed more than 250 deaths in Mexico City on the day after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake centered in nearby Puebla, preliminary indications were that those in and supporting the Mexican produce industry escaped without major negative effects. Calls into Mexico City were not connecting early on Sept. 20, but responses by email indicated... Read more
The Kroger Co. announced a new, national effort aimed at ending hunger in the communities Kroger calls home and eliminating waste across the company by 2025. "No family in a community we serve should ever go hungry, and no food in a store we operate should ever go to waste," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. Across the United States, 42 million... Read more
After a transformational 23 years of emphasizing the fresh in fresh produce, SunFed is evolving once again with the appointment of Craig Slate as the company’s president and CEO. Co-Founder Danny Mandel, the company’s most recent president and CEO, has retired, effective Aug. 31. “I am proud to have Craig carry our company’s passion,... Read more
Stop & Shop's HowGood news is great for produce
Stop & Shop grocery stores in Massachusetts have partnered with HowGood, an independent research organization dedicated to bringing transparency to the shopping experience. Now Stop & Shop customers can benefit from HowGood’s extensive research and easily identify food products that meet rigorous environmental and social benchmarks. Using the simple... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on two California produce businesses — Fontana Wholesale and Mpgwest — for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Mpgwest LLC,... Read more
IGA names president and CEO
John Ross, current president of Inmar Promotion Network, has been named president and chief executive officer of IGA Inc., succeeding current IGA Chairman, President and CEO Mark Batenic. Ross will begin his tenure mid-October, working closely with Batenic during the transition. Batenic will remain chairman of the board until his retirement Dec. 31, 2018,... Read more
Cleanup from Hurricane Irma a daunting task
Major hurricanes like Irma take a major toll on farmland, even when it’s very early in the season. When Irma scathed the western side of Florida in early September, plantings in North Florida were in their early growth stage in greenhouses intended to protect them. Other young plants were already planted in fields, typically covered with plastic that protects... Read more
New leadership at Rice Fruit Co.
Ben Rice and Brenda Briggs are the new leaders of Rice Fruit Co. At the company’s Sept. 14 board of directors meeting Rice was elected president, succeeding his father, David Rice. Briggs, vice president of sales and marketing, assumed the leadership of sales at the company earlier this year when John Rice stepped back from his duties. Ben Rice and Briggs... Read more
A very berry boost for organic sales
For retailers looking to boost organic sales focus should be placed on berries and packaged salads. In an educational seminar prior to the opening of the New England Produce Council show entitled Excellence in Organic Merchandising, Matt Seeley, chief executive officer of the Organic Produce Network, emphasized that berries and packaged salads were driving organic... Read more
Pure Palm now shipping fresh crop Medjool dates
Pure Palm Produce, a Bakersfield, CA-based grower that specializes in California-grown Medjool dates, is now shipping fresh crop from the Coachella Valley. “The 2017 Medjool Date Harvest is under way in California’s Coachella Valley,” said Ben Antongiovanni, president of Pure Palm Produce. “This year’s harvest was about 10 days... Read more
Publix honored for food-safety innovation
Food Marketing Institute presented its inaugural Food Safety Innovation Award in conjunction with the International Food Protection Training Institute to Publix Super Markets Inc. for demonstrating a commitment to the advancement of food protection through performance, practice, creation, sustainability and leadership. “We created this award to recognize... Read more
In 2016, Peru represented 40 percent of the world’s supply of asparagus and about 43 percent of the total U.S. import dollar value. These numbers have remained fairly consistent over the past five years, though typical market fluctuations have occurred. Peru continues to maintain fairly steady supplies of product into the United States the entire year,... Read more
Potato Lovers Month display contest gets new partner, more chances to win
The Idaho Potato Lovers Month display contest, which the Idaho Potato Commission has been running annually for more than a quarter of a century, is a major component of the organization’s retail promotion programs, and it has been successful beyond initial expectations. During the early years, “we were lucky if we hit 1,000” entries in the... Read more
Scaring up sales with spooky foods
Frieda’s Specialty Produce is encouraging retailers to summon shoppers to the produce department with a spooky foods display featuring out-of-this-world fruits and vegetables, along with traditional fall pumpkin and squash. “Halloween is the perfect time to showcase your tropical fruits and specialty vegetables as shoppers will be looking for unique,... Read more
Dole Food is exploring a sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. Based on comparable companies, WSJ suggested that Dole could be worth $2 billion. In an email to The Produce News, William Goldfield, director of corporate communications at Dole, said the company had no comment to offer regarding the potential sale. Citing people... Read more
ShopRite expands produce offerings in Wholesome Pantry line
ShopRite is expanding its Wholesome Pantry line of organic and better-for-you products as part of its continuing mission to provide customers with a larger variety of great tasting organic and “better for you” products at affordable prices. Included in the expansion are organic salads and greens, organic baby carrots and organic grape tomatoes. Since... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Moza LLC, operating out of Moscow, PA, for failing to pay a $24,165 award... Read more
Industry consultants team to help business owners sell
Two produce industry consulting leaders have joined forces to benefit owners who want to sell their companies. The new service brings the longtime industry track records of Julie Krivanek of Krivanek Consulting Inc. and Steve Grinstead of The Grinstead Group to owners who want to get the most value for their businesses. The senior advisers offer a two-part,... Read more
Divemex bumps up organic pepper offerings
Organic peppers from Divemex’s brand new greenhouse facility in Ahualulco, Mexico, made their debut last week, opening a season that promises increased organic offerings and continued high quality from the innovative greenhouse grower. Thanks to the warmer climate in its central Mexico location, the Ahualulco greenhouse complex complements Divemex’s... Read more