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RECENT HEADLINES

Karen Pool Carlson, who paved the way for women in the produce industry, dies at 77
Karen Ruth Pool Carlson, a female trailblazer in California's produce industry, died April 7 following a long illness. She was 77. Ms. Carlson was born in Salt Lake City and relocated to Bakersfield, CA, where she resided for 40 years. She first began her produce career in 1972 at Tenneco West, where she worked as a marketing manager for 14 years. After that,... Read more
Clifford Produce, a longtime produce marketer based in Ruthven, ON, has apparently closed its doors. On April 22, the Fruit & Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation in Ottawa issued an expulsion notice regarding Clifford Produce Sales Inc. The memo stated, "Clifford Produce Sales Inc., 1593 Essex County Rd. # 34, Ruthven, ON, Canada, N0P 2G0, has been... Read more
PMA president touts healthy eating at FPFC meeting
CERRITOS, CA — Nearly 300 Southern California produce professionals turned out April 23 for the Fresh Produce & Floral Council's membership luncheon, held at the Sheraton Cerritos Hotel, here. Guest speaker for the event was Catherine Burns, president of the Produce Marketing Association, who spoke on an array of subjects ranging from emerging retail trends... Read more
CAC launches snacking campaign
As part of on-going efforts to encourage expanded California avocado consumption, the California Avocado Commission launched a new snacking campaign featuring dozens of avocado snack ideas. The program includes retail programs, public relations, social media, email and online communications. "It's time to bring more snacking opportunities to the produce department,"... Read more
Wegmans to build two stores near Richmond, VA
Wegmans Food Markets Inc. confirmed that the family-owned supermarket chain plans to build two stores in the suburbs of Richmond, VA. The stores will be similar in size and design to Wegmans’ current Virginia stores, which range in size from 120,000 to 140,000 square feet. “Over the years, we have had countless requests to open a Wegmans store in the Richmond... Read more
Liberty Fruit attains highest food-safety rating
Liberty Fruit Co. Inc. has earned the highest-possible food-safety rating, according to Scott Danner, the firm's chief operating officer. "We have passed the SQF 2000 Level 3 certification," Danner told The Produce News April 21. "This is the highest food-safety certification one can achieve." Beyond offering Liberty Fruit customers the highest-possible confidence... Read more
Martori adopts new food-safety program for cantaloupes
SCOTTSDALE, AZ — This spring, Martori Farms, headquartered here, is fully activating a new type of food-safety program for packing cantaloupes. The process, which employs a hot water shower to clean pathogens from the melons' rough skin, looks to address critical food-safety issues that were ultimately related to the crevices in cantaloupe rinds.Stephen Martori... Read more
Grower Direct Marketing off to an early start with MonsterCots
Grower Direct Marketing, a Stockton, CA-based grower-shipper, is off to an early start with its MonsterCot crop. The Monstercot, a large-sized clingstone fruit, is generally sweeter than traditional apricots and produces fruit earlier than most other varieties. This timing allows for retailers to promote Monstercots to their customers at the earliest point of... Read more
Legend Produce begins domestic harvest of Origami cantaloupe
Legend Produce, a leading U.S. melon supplier, has begun harvesting the popular Origami cantaloupes, which will be available through October. The characteristics and advantages of the Origami, including high Brix, thin rind, small cavity and great flavor, have made it one of the more popular melon varieties. As part of its domestic program, Legend Produce,... Read more
The Military Produce Group is showing its commitment to the environment by using reusable plastic containers from IFCO Systems for the shipment of fresh produce to dozens of commissaries. The Military Produce Group, which supplies fruits and vegetables to commissaries in the southern United States, is moving to RPCs from corrugated boxes for several commodities.... Read more
Wakefern Food Corp. unveils new Elizabeth, NJ, warehouse
The ribbon is cut at Wakefern's newest warehouse facility in Elizabeth, NJ, during an April 17 ceremony.Making a return to its roots, Wakefern Food Corp. celebrated the opening of its new Elizabeth, NJ, warehouse with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 17. “We are proud to be back in Elizabeth,” Joe Sheridan, Wakefern president and chief operating officer,... Read more
National Watermelon Association rolls out industry-branded bin for retail display
Working with a handful of growers and shippers, two major paper manufacturers and the National Watermelon Promotions Board, the National Watermelon Association has created a new bin that it hopes will gain traction at retail as the primary vehicle to represent the watermelon industry. NWA calls the new bin a “marketing vehicle that will sell more watermelons... Read more
Six leaders of the Texas produce industry will be honored April 28 at the 2014 Texas Produce Hall of Fame Banquet. The Produce Hall of Fame was established in 1988 and has since presented 134 living and posthumous awards and 17 Scott Toothaker Awards to men and women who have contributed a large part of their lives to the betterment of the Texas produce industry. The... Read more
Seven of the country's most exciting chefs and foodservice professionals representing an array of culinary styles and backgrounds will be honored this June as part of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program. Sponsored by PRO*ACT LLC, and now in its seventh year, the program honors chefs and their companies for their innovative and influential... Read more
The Kroger Co. announced that Timothy Massa will be promoted to group vice president, human resources and labor relations. He currently serves as vice president of corporate human resources, talent development. In this expanded role, Massa will take responsibility for labor relations when Paul Heldman, executive vice president, secretary and general counsel,... Read more
Del Campo introduces high-flavor ‘t’mates’ cocktail tomato
After reaching commercial production volume, Del Campo Supreme announced it is now offering its “t’mates” brand cocktail tomatoes. Del Campo, based in Nogales, AZ, debuted t’mates at the PMA Fresh Summit in October, giving buyers a sneak peek at this new item. Known for their well-balanced tomato taste and deep crimson color, Del Campo has the exclusivity to... Read more
Gourmet Trading’s Calif. blues start early
Gourmet Trading Co. is preparing for an early start of its California blueberry season and began packing in mid-April. Larger California blueberry volume will translate to increased promotions for Gourmet Trading Co. and its customer base. Marketing Manager Chloé Varennes said the company markets blues throughout North America as well as Europe, Asia and Australia. Along... Read more
Meissner named senior vice president of sales and marketing at Amerifresh
Tim Meissner has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing for Amerifresh, a leading produce marketer to the retail grocery and foodservice industries, based in Scottsdale, AZ. He is responsible for Amerifresh's retail, foodservice and international sales and marketing efforts. Most recently, Meissner served as supply chain officer and chief operating... Read more
Vision Produce Co. in Los Angeles has named Allan Acosta vice president of operations at its Phoenix branch. Acosta, who has more than 14 years of procurement and production experience in produce, will partner with John Caldwell, Vision Produce Co.'s vice president of sales and procurement. Most recently, Acosta was senior crop manager-tropical fruits for Ready... Read more
Rivermaid Trading Co., a Lodi, CA,-based cherry and pear packer, has installed a GP Graders AirJet Defect Grader in its Lodi facility. The 40-lane cherry line is the largest ever installed by GP Graders. Patrick Archibeque, chief executive officer of Rivermaid, and his team traveled extensively last year to evaluate all the cherry grading machines and software... Read more