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Coachella Valley expecting excellent year because of superior winter weather
California grape industry veteran John Harley, who has seen a thing or two over his 35 years in the industry, said “the stars are perfectly aligned for the Coachella Valley deal this year.” Speaking specifically of grapes, the Anthony Vineyards sales manager said, “It looks like we are going to have a very good crop this year — especially on greens. For whatever... Read more
Northwest pears plentiful with excellent quality
Spring is well under way and U.S.-grown pears continue to be merchandised and promoted at retailers across the country. Pear shippers have plenty of inventory of high-quality winter pears: Bosc, Green d’Anjou and Red d’Anjou. Picked unripe, these pear varieties are stored in controlled atmosphere facilities, suspending the fruit until it is brought to ambient... Read more
The world’s most advanced avocado network
Mission Produce Inc., a leading producer and distributor of fresh Hass avocados, revealed today its elevated identity termed the “world’s most advanced avocado network.” The company sharpened its brand by creating a new website among other improvements. These changes better embody the company’s international reach and showcase the Mission... Read more
Village Farms features fresh spring recipes
Village Farms is offering consumers two new delicious and beautiful recipes for their spring table this year. The recipes feature two of Village Farms’ most loved tomato varieties, Maverick Mix and the 100 percent authentic Heavenly Villagio Marzano. “We are focused on bringing the fun into food this year,” said Helen L. Aquino, director of corporate brand... Read more
Giant Food launches produce prescription pilot program
Giant Food, a leading greater Washington, DC, regional grocery chain, announced its participation in the Produce Rx pilot program in partnership with local nonprofit DC Greens to give customers better access to healthy food. Through the program, customers who are Medicaid beneficiaries through AmeriHealth Caritas DC and who are currently experiencing a diet-related... Read more
$6 million shipment of meth and melons — mostly meth
U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility seized $6.1 million worth of methamphetamine that was concealed within a commercial shipment of fresh melons. CBP officers assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility referred a commercial shipment of honeydew melons for further... Read more
J&D Produce looks to maximize sales with HoneySweet consumer campaign
As part of a commitment to raising awareness of its proprietary HoneySweet onion brand, J&D Produce is announcing a new consumer marketing campaign during the 2019 Viva Fresh Expo featuring nutrition coach and dietitian blogger Stacey Mattinson, whose whole foods approach to health and wellness has been featured in Shape, Women’s Health, Weight Watchers and... Read more
Viva Fresh buyer attendance up again
“We are thrilled with how Viva Fresh is shaping up,” Bret Erickson said of the 2019 Viva Fresh Expo. Attendance numbers for retail and foodservice buyers at the annual meeting, held April 25-27 this year, will be up, Erickson noted. “It’ll be another record breaking year on the buying side. We’re on track to have an excellent show,” he said. Erickson is a steering... Read more
Tops investing $40 million in fresh-focused renovations
As part of a $40 million capital improvement program, Tops Friendly Markets is investing back into a number of its stores with several major floor-to-ceiling interior renovations and updated exterior facades, landscaping and parking lots. These stores will remain open during their respective renovation projects. Stores will be remodeled to highlight the fresh... Read more
Roarin’ March readies apples for stronger prices
The apple season continues to roar along and Stemilt’s latest Fruit Tracker Fast Facts analysis is proof of strong category performance in March 2019. According to Nielsen scan data, apples made up 8.2 percent of fresh produce sales on average in the U.S. between Feb. 24 and March 30. The volume of apples was down 1.8 percent year-over-year and dollars were up... Read more
Tomato Suspension Agreement to be a hot topic at Viva Fresh Expo
The 2019 Viva Fresh Produce Expo will host a workshop on Friday, April 26 focusing on the Tomato Suspension Agreement, an item that has become a hot topic during the last six months.  Moderated by Dante Galeazzi, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, a panel of experts will review the history of this agreement... Read more
STEP-UPP class tours variety of facilities in Georgia
ATLANTA — The Southeast Produce Council's 2019 STEP-UPP class hit the road the second week in April to visit a variety of farms, packinghouses and other facilities in the state of Georgia, part of the program's ongoing learning experience for class members to develop a greater understanding of the fresh produce industry. The 11 members of the 2019 class on the... Read more
Metro division president retires, successor named
François J. Coutu will retire as president of the Jean Coutu Group Inc., a division of Metro Inc., effective May 31. Alain Champagne will succeed Coutu as president of the Jean Coutu Group. “Having devoted most of my professional life to the Jean Coutu Group and seeing how the combination with Metro is now well on track to ensure its sustainability over time,... Read more
Organic Produce Summit poised for continued expansion
The fourth annual Organic Produce Summit is scheduled for July 10 and 11 in Monterey, CA, with a bigger show, a dynamic educational lineup, more than 200 retailers and an expected crowd of 1,500-1,600 attendees. “This is our fourth year and we understand what people are looking for,” said Matt Seeley, founder of the show and chief executive officer of the Organic... Read more
Western Growers launches interactive AgTech Innovation Directory
Western Growers has officially launched an interactive directory that acts as a marketplace for agricultural technology (agtech) startups. The Western Growers AgTech Innovation Directory allows users to identify, research and connect with startup companies that are developing technologies and innovations to solve the biggest issues facing the agriculture industry.... Read more
CAPCO founders die within days of each other
Central American Produce Co., a leading importer of fruits and vegetables from Central America, based in Pompano Beach, FL, announced the recent deaths of founders David and Jean Warren. Mr. Warren died April 15 less than a month before his 103rd birthday, and Ms. Warren died eight days prior, at the age of 94. The couple founded Central American Produce Inc.... Read more
Smart & Final to be acquired by Apollo — again
Smart & Final Stores Inc. has entered into a definitive merger agreement with certain investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Managemen LLC. Apollo will acquire all the outstanding shares of Smart & Final's common stock for approximately $1.1 billion. Smart & Final was previously owned by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo from... Read more
Cal-Organic Farms to ship fresh crop organic potatoes
Cal-Organic Farms, a leading producer of organic vegetables based in Bakersfield, CA, started shipping freshly harvested, new crop red and gold potatoes to customers in the United States and Canada the week of April 15. The company’s organic russet and rainbow fingerling varieties are set to follow in early June. A division of Grimmway Farms, Cal-Organic is... Read more
Retailers encouraged to ‘Get with the Program’ as Zespri’s season begins
Zespri is launching the season with new packaging and a national consumer campaign reaching more consumers than ever with its “Let Your Taste Wander” campaign, with several in-store elements to help drive traffic at retail. Additionally, Zespri’s retail trade campaign, “Get with the Program” encourages retailers to meet with Zespri’s market development managers... Read more
Kroger expands autonomous grocery delivery
The Kroger Co. and Nuro, a robotics company transforming local commerce, have launched their autonomous grocery delivery service in Houston, TX, the second market for Kroger and Nuro's delivery service, and the first public use of Nuro's self-driving fleet in the city. Kroger and Nuro's innovative service provides a new type of delivery service option for Houston... Read more