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RECENT HEADLINES

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference
At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast... Read more
Normal California kiwifruit crop expected as light Chilean season wraps up
The board of directors of the California Kiwifruit Administrative Committee, in a meeting July 23, approved an estimate for the total volume of California kiwifruit expected to be marketed from the 2014 harvest in the range of 6.8 million to 7 million seven-pound tray equivalents. In context, that would be considered “a normal production year,” according to... Read more
WASHINGTON — Early this morning, the Food & Drug Administration released four rewrites of the Food Safety Modernization Act rules, including some critical water quality and testing changes advocated by the industry to make produce safety regulations more workable. Stakeholders will have 75 days to dig deep into hundreds of pages of regulations on produce... Read more
With Mexico ending a bit early, Brazil and then Ecuador will be the main sources for mango supplies for the last third of the 2014 calendar year. Typically, Mexico lasts well into September overlapping the Brazilian deal, which usually gets underway in August and has an eight- to 10-week shipping window before greater volume from Ecuador hits the market in late... Read more
California date harvest running one to two weeks early with good quality
“The crop is starting early this year,” said Lori Cooper,  manager of the California Date Administrative Committee in Indio, CA, in an interview with The Produce News Sept. 3. It is running anywhere from seven days to 14 days ahead of normal, “depending on where you are in the valley.” The California Date Administrative Committee is a federal marketing... Read more
Retailers respond to ‘eat brighter!’ with resounding support
More than 40 retailers — representing more than 19,000 stores across the United States and Canada — support the ‘eat brighter!’ movement, and the fresh produce marketing initiative is growing both in support and offerings. Retailers have started to show strong backing for the initiative and the participating suppliers, and are eager to accept the "Sesame... Read more
Current foodservice trends are indicators for future retail mango movement
Jose Rossignoli, category general manager at Robinson Fresh, said future trends for mango movement at retail can be anticipated based upon current trends in the foodservice sector. “While mangos are a staple item in various cultures across the world, they are still gaining mainstream familiarity within the North American marketplace,” he told The Produce News.... Read more
Bi-Lo banners partner with Katie's Krops and Radio Disney
This fall BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores have joined Katie’s Krops to inspire parents and children to lead healthier lifestyles by eating more fresh produce. From Sept. 10 to Oct. 7, a percentage of every specially marked fruit or vegetable purchased will be donated to Katie’s Krops to support Katie’s dream of 500 gardens across all 50 states by... Read more
WP Rawl rides Kalemania to best-seller status, offers new kale products
PELION, SC — Kalemania began unofficially in January 2012, when Google searches for today’s superfood showed a sharp spike. Until then, kale was just another healthful, cabbage-like, leafy green vegetable. Just a small cloud on the horizon, kale was, no bigger than a man’s hand. But to the product development team at WP Rawl, here, kale was in their wheelhouse,... Read more
California Giant enters fall berry season
Autumn will begin just in time for California Giant Berry Farms’ fall strawberry crop from Santa Maria, CA, complementing the harvest still under way in Watsonville and Salinas. Typically this was considered the tail end of the season, but now with the added volume the company has fruit to support consumer demand for year-round fresh strawberries. The company... Read more
WASHINGTON — The United Fresh Produce Association met with federal lawmakers recently carrying a short list of must-haves at its Washington Conference, but the three-day meeting also delved into a list of regulations the produce industry is closely scrutinizing. The Food Safety Modernization Act's proposed regulation for sanitary transportation includes a provision... Read more
Food Lion is partnering with its customers to help solve hunger by launching specially marked Food Lion Feeds bagged apples for sale in its stores. The effort will help provide 1 million meals to feed families facing hunger in local communities across the grocer’s 10-state footprint. With the sale of each bag through Oct. 7, or while supplies last, Food Lion... Read more
Two new dehydration facilities in North Carolina to open, another possible
North Carolina is the nation’s leading grower of both sweet potatoes and tobacco, and two or possibly three new facilities opening Sept. 30 and in the second quarter of 2015 will build on both products to create new markets for farmers. The new companies will be located in Farmville and Nashville, and possibly Goldsboro, in eastern North Carolina where about... Read more
Love Beets unveils new branding as beet trend grows
Love Beets, a line of premium, all-natural, ready-to-eat beets, announced a company-wide rebranding campaign, featuring a fresh new look that more accurately reflects the brand's whimsical approach to preparing and eating beets. Its new, state-of-the-art packaging better aligns with its commitment to providing consumers with the best-tasting, highest-quality... Read more
Dave Howald joins Pear Bureau Northwest staff
Pear Bureau Northwest announced that Dave Howald has joined the company as the regional marketing manager responsible for the Western United States territory. Howald brings a 31-year history of retail marketing, merchandising and sales experience to the Pear Bureau, having lent his expertise to produce organizations including RFT Freshsource, the California... Read more
Domex Superfresh Growers launches apple recipe sweepstakes
Domex Superfresh Growers, a global leader in the growing and shipping of fresh apples, pears, cherries and apricots, continues to provide retailers with innovative tools to connect with consumers with the launch of a new social media promotion called “Your Awesome Apple Recipe Sweepstakes.” Domex will offer a suite of in-store and online partnership opportunities,... Read more
Kroger donates 50 million pounds of fresh food
The Kroger Co. donated more than 50 million pounds of fresh meat, produce, dairy and bakery items to local Feeding America food banks in 2013 through its groundbreaking Perishable Donations Partnership — enough bread, meat, cheese and produce to lay 3,700 miles of Kroger's classic deli sandwiches side-by-side from Washington, DC, through Houston to southern Oregon. This... Read more
New pouch bag for CMI's Sweet Gourmet Pears
With the fresh pear crop now being harvested, CMI has announced the national rollout of its new pouch bag for Sweet Gourmet Pears. Introduced on a test basis last year, the bag proved to be a hit with consumers, invigorating growth for pears, a category that has seen a slow but steady decline over several years.    “CMI saw an opportunity to reach... Read more
Pink Ribbon Produce supports National Breast Cancer Foundation, promotes healthy lifestyles
This October, Pink Ribbon Produce will continue its partnership with big names in the grocery industry to support the fight against breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Harris Teeter, Meijer and Price Chopper have once again joined together to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation by welcoming customers to take the Fresh Plate Challenge.... Read more
The Colombian Pavilion at the 2014 Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit Exposition will feature new opportunities for popular products, including avocado, goldenberry (uchuva), pineapple, herbs and limes. Visitors to the Colombia Pavilion will be able to meet with exporters as well as promotion representatives and learn more about the new developments... Read more