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RECENT HEADLINES

The weather throughout the country has had a profound impact on the vegetable market over the last month, and it’s not done yet. Experts say that as the East thaws out and demand picks up, the market is firming up and over the next month or so supply gaps could materialize. Douglas Schaefer, president of EJ’s Produce Sales Inc. in Phoenix, said he knows the... Read more
Giumarra's Carmen pears offer unique flavor, convenient size
Giumarra Wenatchee is in its second season of marketing Carmen pears, and the variety continues to offer flavor and value to customers. The pears, sold in single-layer cartons, load on both the East Coast and the West Coast and are available until the end of March from Giumarra Wenatchee. “This is the second season we have offered the Carmen pear and have... Read more
Potandon Produce celebrates 20 years
March 1 marked 20 years of business for Potandon LLC, one of the larger marketers of fresh potatoes and onions in North America. Today Potandon Produce is the sole provider of potato and onion products for Green Giant Fresh. It also grows products for "Klondike Brands," "Sunfresh," "Potandon Produce" and "The Valley" labels. The company began in the early 1990s... Read more
Ambrosia jumps into the top 10 of apples
Pushed by national promotions and a 25 percent increase in distribution, Ambrosia apples are riding a retail wave all the way to the cash register. Over the past 13 weeks, a record 14,022 supermarkets put Ambrosia on the shelves for consumers. As a result, Nielsen data shows Ambrosia ranked No. 9 in total dollars among all apple varieties during this period,... Read more
SpartanNash Co. has promoted two executive vice presidents to key positions within the company. Dave Staples, SpartanNash's current executive vice president and chief financial officer, has been appointed chief operating officer, and Derek Jones, executive vice president of food distribution, has been promoted to president of wholesale and distribution operations.... Read more
WASHINGTON — Lifting tariffs as high as 40 percent on U.S. fruits is one of the reasons the Obama administration is advocating for the Trans Pacific Partnership, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said recently. U.S. trade negotiators are trying to hammer out the biggest trade deal on the TPP with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New... Read more
Southern Specialties shipping Florida blueberries
Southern Specialties has started shipping Florida-grown blueberries in six-ounce "Southern Selects" clamshells. This year’s blueberry crop will include Farthing, Flicker, Chickadee and Meadowlark varieties. Florida blueberries, Southern Selects blackberries and premium Adelita variety raspberries are distributed from the company’s Pompano Beach, FL, distribution... Read more
Documentary touts honeybee rebound
ORLANDO, FL — “Save the Queen,” a documentary video on the disappearing honeybee and Colony Collapse Disorder, brought the good news about the apparent rebound in bee colonies in recent years as efforts were mounted to stem the losses. Bee pollination is worth $15 billion to the U.S. farming industry, the documentary by Edwin Stepp revealed in one of its first... Read more
Ahold USA announced the departure of Joe Kelley, president of the Stop & Shop New England division, effective March 2. The company said he has resigned from his position to pursue other career opportunities. Don Sussman, division president of Stop & Stop New York Metro, will also oversee the Stop & Shop New England division on an interim basis. Sussman,... Read more
Quebec-based Savoura files for bankruptcy
On Thursday, Feb. 5, major creditors of the Savoura trademark, which claims to be the largest greenhouse tomato producer in Quebec, asked the court to appoint a receiver under the Bankruptcy & Insolvency Act. The company, founded under the name Les Serres du St-Laurent Inc., and headquartered in Portneuf, QC, began in business in 1988 headed by the Gosselin... Read more
Primus Group Inc. announced the sale of its auditing division to Javier Sollozo, the former director of auditing operations at PrimusLabs. The sale of the auditing division has been in the works for over a year and was prompted by a new requirement of the Global Food Safety Initiative’s Benchmarking Committee in response to Azzule Systems’ request to re-benchmark... Read more
Sakata touts diverse offerings of heart-healthy broccoli
As a continued supporter of the American Heart Association, Sakata is doing its part to promote a heart-healthy America. "Sakata is proud to breed quality genetics for a laundry list of healthy fruits and vegetables, but there is one cardiovascular superfood for which they are most recognized: broccoli," the company said in a press release.Sakata's Centennial... Read more
Southern Exposure 2015 smashes attendance records
ORLANDO, FL — The Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure 2015 drew more people than ever before, setting records for over all attendance as well as for participation by the retail and foodservice sectors of the fresh produce industry. Last year's Southern Exposure saw over all attendance of 1,748, of which 361 were from the retail and foodservice sectors,... Read more
California's San Joaquin Valley growers may face a second year of receiving no water from the Central Valley Project — an unprecedented situation. The Bureau of Reclamation announced its initial 2015 water supply allocation for California's Central Valley. It will be re-examined on a monthly basis as the water year progresses, but this year started with Northern... Read more
GMO 'Arctic' apple company sold
Okanagan Specialty Fruits, the agricultural company behind the newly approved GMO "Arctic" brand apple, has been acquired by Intrexon Corp. The acquisition comes less than two weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture deregulated the GMO apples. "We are committed to bringing better versions of consumers' favorite fruits to their grocery stores and kitchens,... Read more
Retail panel addresses current issues at Southern Exposure
ORLANDO, FL — Will produce departments expand to correspond with increased sales? Is a separate section for organic produce or home delivery of groceries the wave of the future? Where do you learn about new produce items? How can we reduce shrink in produce or overcome consumer fear of genetically modified produce? These and other burning questions were posed... Read more
Green Giant completes national network of fresh herb facilities
Green Giant Fresh has completed its national network of fresh herb packing facilities. These locations extend the company's ability to deliver premium fresh herbs around the country from certified local and regional farms. “These strategic locations mean better efficiencies and shorter lead times, adding to the products’ shelf life, retailer profits and consumer... Read more
Giant Eagle shuttering discount banner
Giant Eagle, one of the nation’s larger food retailers and distributors, announced that it will discontinue operations of its  discount grocery chain throughout western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio. All eight of the company’s Good Cents Grocery + More locations will cease operations by the close of business on Thursday, March 26. “While our Good Cents... Read more
Rawl honors employees, customers at 90th anniversary celebration
W. P. Rawl family members and employees assembled for a group photo to memorialize the firm’s 90th anniversary at a reception Feb. 26 at the Southeastern Produce Council’s Southern Exposure show in Orlando, FL. ORLANDO, FL — About 80 employees and customers of W.P Rawl & Sons Inc., a greens grower, packer and shipper in Pelion, SC, gathered here Feb. 26... Read more
Picabo Street addresses Southern Roots luncheon
ORLANDO, FL — Picabo Street, World Cup Alpine skier and Olympic gold and silver medalist, spoke Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Southern Roots luncheon, one of many events of the Southeast Produce Council's 2015 Southern Exposure conference and trade show, Feb. 26-28, here at the Caribe Royale All Suite Hotel & Convention Center. Southern Roots is the council's... Read more