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RECENT HEADLINES

Riveridge continues 2013 automated vacuum harvester test
This fall Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., based in Sparta, MI, will continue a successful vacuum apple harvester test launched in the 2103 season. An Aug. 21 company press release indicated that the pilot test last season ran for six-weeks. This showed “significant promise in several areas… and the company has plans to expand its use of the equipment again... Read more
Produce Mom promotes school salad bars on Indy TV
The ever-active “Produce Mom”, Lori Taylor was scheduled to raise awareness for the national school salad bar initiative on live Indianapolis television on Aug. 21. According to a press release on that morning, Taylor was slated for the IndyStyle program on WISH-TV 8. Taylor is The Produce Mom for The Produce Mom LLC, which is a subsidiary of Indianapolis Fruit... Read more
Kragie: Orderly marketing will ensure retail, consumer satisfaction with kiwifruit
Chris Kragie, vice president of Western Fresh Marketing Services Inc. in Madera, CA, is urging California kiwifruit growers to hold off on their harvests until the fruit reaches a soluble solids content of 7.0, thereby ensuring the best product quality for retailers and a good eating experience for consumers. Conditions, he went on to say, should be optimal for... Read more
Michigan’s apple growers will harvest approximately 28.74 million bushels of apples this year, according to the official crop estimate announced Aug. 22 at the USApple Outlook meeting in Chicago. This estimate is in line with the 2013 crop, which was a record size crop of 30 million bushels. “Michigan’s growers, packers and shippers are ready to get their apples... Read more
The National Mango Board is moving forward with its Ripe and Ready to Eat mango program — a program aimed to provide U.S. consumers with a quality fruit that is ripe and ready to eat by the time of purchase. The NMB has done extensive research that shows that ripe fruit has higher acceptance rates within consumers. The RRTEMP gives mangos a marketing advantage,... Read more
With harvest currently underway, representatives of the Northwest pear industry have officially updated their initial projections for the 2014 fresh pear crop yield. Reports of a crop of excellent quality have been confirmed from all corners of the pear-growing regions in Washington and Oregon, and the updated projection is showing a crop larger than previously... Read more
Food Lion has unveiled a new, easier shopping experience for customers in 31 stores in the greater Wilmington, NC, market. The stores are the first in the Food Lion chain to receive remodels as part of the grocer's new "Easy, Fresh and Affordable...You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day" strategy, which was announced earlier this year. "Since announcing our new... Read more
With a total crop volume at only 60 percent of a year ago, the California avocado season is winding down as Mexico gears up to fill demand. Ron Araiza, director of sales for Mission Produce Inc. in Oxnard, CA, told The Produce News Aug. 20 that California was expected to send around 6 million cartons of fruit to market this week and reduce its volume by around... Read more
The value of domestic mushroom production topped $1 billion for the fourth year in a row, according to a recently issued U.S. Department of Agriculture report. The 899 million-pound crop from 2013-14 broke last year's record value by $12 million. The strong demand for mushrooms increased the value of the Agaricus crop to $1.05 billion from more than 882 million... Read more
Pacific Trellis announces changes at Dulcinea Farms
Pacific Trellis Fruit, the Fresno, CA-based distributor of grapes and tree fruit, announced it will implement some changes at Dulcinea Farms, which it purchased earlier this year. Key among those changes is the departure of John McGuigan, manager of Dulcinea, who will leave at the end of August. "John, a 25-year veteran of the produce industry, has been... Read more
Potato sales for U.S. growers pose interesting questions. Eighteen percent of the crop is exported, but statistics on domestic potato consumption create a mystery, according to Mike Carter, co-chair of the domestic marketing committee for the U.S. Potato Board and a member of the board's executive committee. Carter, who is also the chief executive officer of... Read more
Baloian Farms partners with Michigan growers for locally grown squash product
Capitalizing on the growing popularity of the locally grown trend, Baloian Farms, based in Fresno, CA, announced a partnership with Michigan growers to offer retailers their sauté kits with locally grown squash. This value-added product features yellow and green squash with a seasoning packet included. Understanding the importance of offering locally grown products... Read more
Tozer Seeds announced that it has entered into exclusive marketing agreements with six companies to grow and market Kalettes, the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid. The companies that have entered into the marketing agreement with Tozer for Kalettes are 4Earth Farms, Classic Salads, Mann Packing, Ocean Mist Farms, Southern Specialties and WP Rawl. As part of... Read more
Watsonville Coast Produce celebrating 40 years
Watsonville Coast Produce, a distributor of a full line of produce items, based in Watsonville, CA, is celebrating its 40th year in business this fall and will hold a festival next month to recognize those that have contributed to its success. "Hard work, loyal employees and partners working together" are what Gary Manfre, a partner in the business, attributes... Read more
CMI named as a finalist for PMA Impact Award in packaging
Columbia Marketing International has been named as a finalist for the 2014 PMA Impact Awards in Excellence in Packaging for their innovative single-serving cherry package. The Produce Marketing Association reported that 56 companies entered 67 products for consideration. Twenty packaging submissions have been chosen by the Impact Award committee as... Read more
Limoneira Co., a leading agribusiness based in Santa Paula, CA, with prime agricultural land and operations, real estate and water rights in California and Arizona, announced that it has made an investment in Rosales S.A, a citrus packing, marketing and sales operation in La Serena, Chile. Through its wholly owned Chilean subsidiary, Limoneira Chile SpA, Limoneira... Read more
Gary Roselli joins Allegiance Retail Services
ISELIN, NJ — Allegiance Retail Services LLC announced Aug. 18 the addition of Gary Roselli as category manager for produce and floral. In this position, he will focus on managing merchandising programs and recommending new initiatives and strategies for meeting sales and profit goals. Gary RoselliRoselli's 15-year career in the supermarket industry began in... Read more
Unique potato varieties showcased at Sunrain open house
Some 60 different "unique and proprietary" varieties of potatoes shared the limelight at an Aug. 13 open house at .Sunrain Varieties LLC in Idaho Falls, ID. The company, which was formed about six years ago as a partnership of Potandon Produce LLC in Idaho Falls and Toronto-based Earth Fresh, specializes in development of potato varieties of all sorts and the... Read more
The summer transportation season was active with good, strong rates at numbers allowing truckers to make a decent living. At least that was the view of a couple of New York truck brokers surveyed on the subject in mid-August. “May, June and July were super busy,” said Lance Dichter of LD Logistics, based in the Bronx, NY. “August has fallen off a bit but we... Read more
Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, Food and Drug Administration, will present the keynote address Wednesday, Sept. 10 at the Breakfast General Session of The Washington Conference. Deputy Commissioner Taylor will provide an update on the FDA’s rulemaking for the Food Safety Modernization Act. FDA has proposed several rules... Read more