Ag education center, Rancho Cielo, launched in Salinas area
Rancho Cielo, a comprehensive learning and social services center for underserved youth in Monterey County, CA, has broken ground on a new agricultural educational effort that will help provide the produce industry with trained technicians. Called the Ted Taylor Agricultural Center at Rancho Cielo Youth Campus, the 27,000-square-foot facility will give area... Read more
Winter rains bring spring supply gaps, high prices for California vegetables
You reap what you sow, and currently a lack of winter sowing has resulted in minimal reaping leading to very high prices for many Western vegetables. Longtime vegetable salesman Mark McBride of Coastline Family Farms has seen a thing or two during his career, but he does not recall ever seeing a situation when virtually every item is in short supply.Abundant... Read more
William Farmer, former president of Fairway Foods, dies
MINNEAPOLIS — William (Bill) Farmer, former president of Fairway Foods, a Minnesota-based grocery wholesaler, died at age 81 on April 11 in Northfield, MN. Mr. Farmer was raised in Champaign, IL, joined the Navy after high school, and served in the Seabees in Spain and Africa. Following his honorable discharge, he worked as a Sunbeam bread deliveryman... Read more
Oppy’s spring apple line features Chilean Ambrosias
As tastebuds turn to fresh-crop apples, Oppy will increase volumes of Chilean Ambrosia, with first arrivals planned for mid-May. “Ambrosia is a top performer in the premium apple space in both volume growth and dollar sales,” said David Nelley, Oppy’s vice president of categories, who points to the advantage of stocking new-crop premium apples,... Read more
AFM and Qdoba team up for Cinco de Mayo promotion
As Cinco de Mayo continues to grow with more people hosting their own celebrations, Avocados From Mexico and Qdoba Mexican Eats are teaming up to help guests throw the ultimate Cinco de Mayo party. Now through May 31, fans can enter the Fiesta Del Fuego sweepstakes by following @AvosfromMexico on Twitter, tweeting the avocado or chili pepper emoji at AFM and... Read more
Whole Foods honors Supplier Award winners
Whole Foods Market has revealed the winners of its annual Supplier Awards, the company’s highest honor for producer partners that embody its mission and values. Out of thousands of Whole Foods Market suppliers nationwide, fewer than 100 have received one of these distinguished awards. Rainier Fruit Co. was honored as Supplier of the Year and for excellence... Read more
North Shore Living Herbs announces Chris Wada as new marketing manager
North Shore Sales & Marketing has hired Chris Wada as its new marketing manager. Wada brings a wealth of experience to the Southern California-based hydroponic greenhouse grower of fresh living herbs and microgreens.  Wada spent the majority of the last nine years at Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC, where he was instrumental in elevating the company... Read more
First 2017 shipment of Chilean citrus bound for U.S. market
Chile’s first 2017 shipment of clementines to the United States departed from the port of Valparaiso during Week 15 — a week earlier than the previous season — serving as the official start of the Chilean citrus season, which runs through October. Roughly 191 tons of clementines (12,260 boxes) are on their way to the United States, with 89... Read more
In preparation for the fall 2017 commercial launch of nonbrowning Arctic apples, Okanagan Specialty Fruits has added produce industry veteran Jeanette De-Coninck-Hertzler as sales manager and Denise Everett as communications specialist. “With the commercial launch of nonbrowning Arctic apples coming this fall, it is the perfect time to add highly skilled... Read more
CPMA’s Passion for Produce participants headed to Toronto
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association announced the 18 participants for the 2017 Passion for Produce program at the CPMA Annual Convention & Trade Show in Toronto, May 9-11. Passion for Produce was created by CPMA in 2010 as an added value to members and to provide rising stars in the produce industry with the opportunity to accelerate their professional... Read more
MountainKing's backyard grilling promotion returns
MountainKing Potatoes’ popular summertime merchandising promotion, touting the ease of adding its high-flavor varieties to the backyard cookout, is back for 2017. MountainKing’s Get Grilling summer promotion, now available through Labor Day, features the company’s 1.5-pound Steak House Roasters, three-pound Steak House Golds, four-count Steak... Read more
CMI Encore Promotion for Jazz and Pacific Rose apples
CMI Orchards, one of Washington State’s premier apple growers, reported huge successes with its spring Season of Flavor promotion, which included customer favorites Ambrosia, KIKU, Kanzi, Jazz and Pacific Rose apples. CMI's Season of Flavor program kicked off in early March and has spurred creative apple retail displays across the nation. To celebrate... Read more
California stone fruit on target for good season
California does not appear to have an especially big crop of stone fruits this year, and combined with production problems in the Southeast, that very well could make for a tighter-than-usual marketing situation. It has been reported that 90 percent of the South Carolina peach crop was destroyed by a devastating freeze, and other production areas in the Southeast... Read more
Meijer expands in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
The first two Meijer stores in Michigan's Upper Peninsula are set to open May 18. These new supercenter are two of seven new stores Meijer is opening in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin this year. The company has also opened a new 192,000-square-foot supercenter in Greenfield, WI. The new Upper Peninsula stores recently began receiving merchandise... Read more
Registration for SEPC's expanded fall conference opens May 23
The Southeast Produce Council will open registration on May 23 to its 2017 fall conference, which will feature a whole new look and platform with the addition of a full trade show and a focus on two key industry areas: organics and foodservice. Formerly known as the Southern Innovations Symposium, the annual event is now the Southern Innovations Organics &... Read more
Benefits of NAFTA explored at Viva Fresh panel discussion
AUSTIN, TX -- The Viva Fresh Expo was an ideal venue for the April 21 workshop, "The impact and future of NAFTA." Panelists from Mexico, Canada and the United States all presented overwhelmingly positive economic trade data to indicate that the North American Free Trade Agreement, put in place in 1994, has been extremely beneficial to this continent's agricultural... Read more
Albertsons promotes Jewel-Osco president to EVP of retail operations
Mike Withers, Jewel Osco division president, has been appointed executive vice president of retail operations for Albertsons Cos. Withers will lead the company’s east region operations, while Susan Morris, current executive vice president of retail operations, will lead the west region. Jim Perkins, executive vice president of retail operations special... Read more
Great table grape season ahead for MAS Melons & Grapes
A week or so from the start of Sonora’s table grape season, both Hermosillo and Caborca crops are heading up to a good season, with an estimated volume of 19 million cartons.    Generally, the Mexican table grape season starts the first week of May and lasts all the way through the first or second week of July, with varieties like Red Globe;... Read more
Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as secretary of agriculture
The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be the next secretary of agriculture. He was confirmed Monday, April 24 by a vote of 87 to 11. As head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Perdue will oversee roughly 100,000 employees and administer a budget of approximately $140 billion spread across multiple programs. He... Read more
Viva Fresh earns another 'bravo grande'
AUSTIN, TX – Viva Fresh continues to thrive in serving a produce industry need. The third annual Viva Fresh Expo in Austin April 20-22 attracted 2,000 attendees, according to Dante Galeazzi, the incoming president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association. TIPA is the creator and producer of the Viva Fresh Expo. “By... Read more