RECENT HEADLINES

Keys to boosting cherry sales
Cherry professionals in the Pacific Northwest talked with The Produce News about category management insights that can translate to increased fruit sales at retail. James Michael, vice president of marketing-North America for Washington State Fruit Commission/Northwest Cherry Growers, said he hopes to see steady momentum as cherries hit retail shelves. “That’s... Read more
NMB partners with National Women’s Soccer League
The National Mango Board announced that mangos are the official superfruit of the National Women’s Soccer League. All season long the NMB is partnering with premier teams and athletes to showcase the nutritious fruit at sampling events with player appearances, giveaways, social media engagement and much more. The NMB’s consumer PR and marketing program is designed... Read more
Catania Worldwide and Stellar Distributing set to provide their own figs year-round
In early April, The Produce News reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service authorized the importation of Mexican figs into the United States, effective March 30, 2015. The final requirement for importing to the United States was to certify the irradiation facility, which was done in late April.Stellar Distributing’s... Read more
While the agriculturally rich Rio Grande Valley has been spared the brunt of the most recent storms and flooding in Texas, nine months of above-average rain has taken its toll in the fresh produce growing areas, with many acres having already been lost. “We’ve had 60 inches of rain from the fall through the spring,” said Jimmy Bassetti, president of J&D... Read more
Fairway launching smaller-format store
Fairway Market will be opening the prototype of its new store model in Brooklyn, NY. The location will have a smaller footprint and lower cost structure than Fairway's existing stores with the same broad offering of fresh, specialty, organic and conventional products. "We are excited about the announcement of the new Fairway Market located in a densely... Read more
Houweling’s acquires Colorado-based Sun Valley Farms
Delta, BC-based greenhouse grower and marketer Houweling's Nurseries Ltd. has acquired Loveland, CO-based Sun Valley Farms Inc. The deal sees Houweling's Tomatoes expand its sales and service in key Mountain States, and is well aligned geographically to Houweling's new state-of-the-art greenhouse production facility in Mona, UT.Tomatoes growing in a Houweling's... Read more
WASHINGTON — When the Food & Drug Administration implements the Food Safety Modernization Act, don’t charge any user fees, offer education and technical assistance to any sized sector and let industry help in drafting the guidance documents. These were some of the suggestions offered by the Produce Marketing Association in its 19-page comments to the FDA... Read more
As part of its agreement with the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food to promote the integration of more fresh Quebec‐grown produce in the hotel, restaurant and institutional sector, the Quebec Produce Marketing Association continues its successful partnership for a second year with the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ, the... Read more
Favorable conditions contribute to early start, excellent quality for South African citrus
Excellent weather conditions in South Africa have contributed to an earlier citrus harvest in the western and northern Cape regions of South Africa, resulting in earlier arrival of citrus to the United States. Containers carrying easy peelers and Navel oranges were scheduled to arrive at the port of Newark in New Jersey over the next two to three weeks, according... Read more
The Pacific Maritime Association voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new labor contract with dockworkers. And representatives from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union agreed to ratify the new agreement on May 22, officially ending an 11-month disagreement. The final provisions of the contract, reached in February of this year, improved the arbitration... Read more
Mexican mango crop could be record breaker
All indications are that the 2015 spring-summer mango season is shaping up to be a record breaker. The short supplies of 2014 are long forgotten as suppliers are reporting a flood of mangos in the marketplace and unbelievable volumes shipping each week. The Mexican season began at the end of January and will run until September with a projection of approximately... Read more
AFM to share 2015-16 plans and programs at United Fresh 2015
Avocados from Mexico will be sharing new program and details at the upcoming 2015 United Fresh Show June 8-10 in Chicago.  With approximately 1.5 billion pounds of imports in the United States and over 70 percent market share, AFM will be showcasing its new 2015-16 programming, which will be anchored in a new... Read more
Amid discussions by a state water agency that agricultural users with senior water rights would soon face significant cutbacks, a group of California farmers have voluntarily agreed to a 25 percent reduction in water use in exchange for no further cuts this year. The voluntary plan was approved May 22 by the California State Water Resources Control Board with... Read more
FPAA finalizes educational lineup for 2015 fall convention
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas has finalized an exciting list of speakers for its 47th annual Produce Convention & Golf Tournament.  The convention will be held Nov. 5-7 in Tubac, AZ, located just north of the largest port of entry for fresh fruits and vegetables from Mexico. The speakers and valuable education sessions will be held Thursday,... Read more
Haggen donating 1 million pounds of food to local food banks
Continuing a long history of giving back to the communities it serves, Haggen Pacific Southwest is donating more than 1 million pounds of food to local food banks from the 100 new stores the West Coast regional grocery chain is converting throughout California, Arizona and Nevada this spring. Haggen’s donation represents more than 833,333 meals to help feed the... Read more
Mann Packing introduces Golden Roasteez
Mann Packing, a leader in ready-to-use fresh vegetables, is introducing a new item for foodservice operators: Golden Roasteez fresh-cut golden beets. Mann’s Golden Roasteez are peeled and cubed fresh golden beets with all waste removed, ready for kitchen use — specifically roasting. The golden variety of beets does not bleed like red beets; and mechanized cutting... Read more
Allegiance, Foodtown name new president
Allegiance Retail Services LLC and Foodtown Inc. announced that John Derderian has been named the new president of the companies, effective June 1. Derderian, who is currently vice president of sales, marketing and member development for Allegiance, will succeed Michael Stolarz, who will remain as a senior executive advisor to Allegiance, its board of managers... Read more
Florida company launches single-ear corn pack
Next Level Fresh LLC, based in Belle Glade, FL, announced the launch of its “Fresh Life Harvest” whole ear sweet corn pack, complete with a chili pepper-lime seasoning. Developed by Next Level Fresh’s managing partner, Daniel Whittles, the whole ear sweet corn pack is one of the company’s initial products and enables sweet corn lovers to satisfy a craving for... Read more
New Apio salad kits to capitalize on federal dietary recommendations
New federal dietary guidelines recommending less meat and the ongoing consumer quest for healthy meal options are driving retail sales of alternative protein sources. Apio Inc. is at the forefront of the plant-based protein movement with three new single-serve Plant-Powered Protein Salad Kits — BBQ Ranch, Super Caesar and Yogurt Curry — available in June from... Read more
Instacart expanded delivery service to Miami, its 16th city, covering most of the metro area. Customers can order from Whole Foods Market, Costco, Winn-Dixie and BJ'S Wholesale Club as well as Petco stores and have everything delivered by Instacart in as little as one hour. Instacart customers do not need a Costco or BJ's membership to shop from those stores. "We... Read more