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$2.65 billion food delivery deal reached
Uber Technologies Inc. and Postmates Inc. announced that they have reached a definitive agreement under which Uber will acquire Postmates for approximately $2.65 billion in an all-stock transaction. This transaction brings together Uber’s global Rides and Eats platform with Postmates’ distinctive delivery business in the U.S. Read More ...
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Raley’s pivots to satisfy digital demand
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Students gain real world experience thanks to L&M internships
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New Whole Foods Market features 75 local growers
Whole Foods Market recently opened a new 35,000-square-foot store in East Austin, TX. Special features of the new East Austin store include: Produce department offering a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including selections from about 75 local growers throughout the year including fresh flowers, peaches and Read More ...
Retailer announces plans to rebuild
CUB and its franchise partner Jerry’s Foods announced its commitment to the Minneapolis community to rebuild its Broadway Avenue and Lake Street stores, both of which are owned by Jerry’s Foods. CUB also announced that while those two locations remain closed, CUB plans to open temporary community stores at each location to Read More ...
Sun World takes firm stance on IP rights breach
California-based variety development and licensing company Sun World International LLC has reached settlement of a dispute with a prominent Australian table grape producer (and associated entities) within the Sunraysia region. This follows breaches of Sun World’s intellectual property and contractual rights discovered Read More ...

Okray Family Farms Inc., located in Plover, WI, expects its potato volume to increase 10 percent this season when compared to 2011. The company has approximately 1,800 acres in potato production. “We grow principally Norkotah and Silverton russets, Red Norlands and Jelly and Augustas for yellows,” Corporate Secretary Richard Okray told The Produce News Aug. 20. “Okray Family Farms provides category management and replenishment to the retail sector. Very little of our product is used for foodservice or wholesale.”

Weather has not affected potato production this season. “Wisconsin weather, like most of the Midwest, has been bone dry all summer,” Mr. Okray commented. “We are blessed with OkrayOkray Farms Corporate Secretary Richard Okray with his neice, Gabrielle Okray, who joined the company last spring. (Photo courtesy of Okray Family Farms) a great aquifer, which has fed our 90 or so systems with adequate irrigation. Because we experience most of our quality problems when we have too much water, this year’s crop looks to be of excellent size and quality. The harvest began a couple of weeks ago and will wind up about October 15.”

Okray Family Farms markets potatoes primarily east of the Mississippi River. Some product is occasionally moved into Canada. According to Mr. Okray, transportation is always a challenge. “At last count, the Department of Transportation reported a severe shortage of licensed truck drivers in the United States,” he said. “This is apparent to all who ship goods, especially those of us in produce. Fresh food requires a rapid turnaround of inventory in our industry, and the trucking industry is an integral piece of that picture.”

Okray Family Farms offers a variety of packing options to meet customer demand. “Pack sizes continue to get smaller in response to smaller family size and increased consumer shopping frequency,” Mr. Okray stated. “Although pack sizes under three pounds are a small portion of sales, they are fast-growing, and their ring at the register speaks for itself.”

The company continues to make improvements to increase production efficiencies. “As always, we are committed to upgrading our farm and facilities on an ongoing basis,” Mr. Okray noted. “We have hired a new facilities manager, Mike Barker, to handle all storage and seed issues. He brings more than 20 years of experience in this field and is a fantastic addition.”

Mr. Okray’s niece, Gabrielle Okray, is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin. “Gabrielle joined our company this last spring,” Mr. Okray said. “She is working with food audits, food safety, forest crop management, website design and development, and promotion, to name a few.”

The company is also revamping its website with changes going live by the end of September. “It will [feature] a customer section including a live Spudcam to show customers the spuds we are running today,” he said. Recipes, consumer tips and general company information will also be available.

Market Watch

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Western growing regions getting hit by rain, cooler temps

floral pulse