Natural Grocers, a 61-year-old family-run chain, will stake its claim this September as the official "Organic Month Headquarters." The company, which sells only 100 percent USDA Certified organic produce, will host an educational push for the entire month of September, which is nationally recognized as "Organic Harvest Month."
"Since we added produce racks to our stores in 1989 we have sold only organically grown produce. When the USDA finally established an officially recognized and regulated Organic standard in 2000, all the produce we sold already met that standard," Kemper Isely, Natural Grocers' co-president, said in a press release. "Other major grocery chains have recently begun to include organic options, but none of them sell exclusively 100 percent organic produce like we do. Our decision to sell only organic produce from the start is based upon our core founding principles of providing consumers with the highest quality product choices that are good4u, good for the environment and good for the economy. Claiming the title, 'Organic Month Headquarters' is our way of showcasing our commitment to organic produce and our customers."
For Organic Harvest Month, Natural Grocers' September will offer free organic apples for the first 400 customers at each Natural Grocers location on Sept. 1. It will also offer free classes where customers can learn about the benefits of choosing organic foods along with easy ways to incorporate organic vegetables into their everyday meals, including healthy tailgating options. A class titled "Fall in Love with Organics" will offer one winner at each class the chance to take home $50 for organic shopping in the store, and a bag full of 100 percent organic produce valued at $50. A second class titled "Elevate Your Tailgate," will offer healthy tailgating options for football fans.
The company will also provide free meal planners and recipes that educate customers on how they can incorporate more organic vegetables into their diets in an affordable way, as well as Sampling Saturdays each weekend with opportunities to sample a variety of organic produce.
An original song and video by Grammy Award-nominated Eco-Hip Hop artist DJ Cavem will also be part of the celebration. The song will be accompanied by a series of downloadable tips from DJ Cavem and Alkemia Earth on how to get your family to fall in love with eating more vegetables.
ReedTMS Logistics, a leading asset-based third-party logistics provider, is celebrating 20 years of business this month. Two decades of experience has helped to transform the company from a small startup to a leading organization within the logistics industry.
Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Tampa, FL, ReedTMS offers high-quality brokerage and freight management services along with private fleet services. In 2013 the company relocated to a 34,160-square-foot building to accommodate its growing staff. The facility included five acres of land, which ReedTMS repaved so company drivers can park their trucks and trailers onsite, resulting in more career opportunities for Florida-based drivers. To date, it has also grown to six branch offices across the United States.
The company was founded by Mark R. Reed with the promise of striving to provide the highest-quality service at all times. Today, ReedTMS remains a privately owned business that employs more than 220 people. The company continues to specialize in addressing the transportation needs of shippers throughout North America.
In celebration of embarking on a third decade of business, ReedTMS will be executing numerous promotional initiatives throughout this month in support of the 20th anniversary. The company will be hosting an event for all employees on Aug. 25 on-site to show gratitude to the staff that has made this journey possible.
“We at ReedTMS are extremely thankful to our many customers for being with us as we reach this milestone,” Jason Reed, chief executive officer, said. “Their feedback has shaped our company throughout the years, and their faith in our ability to support them has sustained us. We look forward to continuing to serve our valued customers for many years to come.”
Taylor Farms, in partnership with Labor of Love, gave thanks to two automated harvesting crews for their service to the agriculture industry this week. The automated Romaine harvester was introduced by Taylor Farms in 2009 and provides an ergonomically correct working environment to harvesting crews.
Taylor Farms employees and Labor of Love representatives caravanned out to a Romaine field in Watsonville, CA, to surprise the 34-person field crew with breakfast burritos during their 8 a.m. break. Each crewmember received a thank you letter from Taylor Farms along with a $20 Walmart gift card.
“At Taylor Farms people are the key to our success,” Christina Barnard, director of marketing Taylor Farms Retail, said in a press release. “Showing appreciation and support for their dedication and hard work is the foundation of our family culture.”
The hands-on effort, launched by the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, already reaches millions of people in surrounding communities. Labor of Love was established to gain awareness about the important contributions that farmworkers bring to our industry.
“Labor of Love is dedicated to thanking farmworkers for their service to the agriculture industry within our community,” Jenna Hanson Abramson, owner of Mavelle Media, said in the release. “We've had the opportunity to thank thousands of fieldworkers and share their stories with millions... way beyond Yuma and the Salinas Valley. It feels great to be able to partner with companies like Taylor Farms to show gratitude for these men and women because they work so hard and are always so appreciative when we surprise them in the fields. They deserve it."
The Labor of Love program will continue through September, highlighting different farm workers and their companies each week. In addition to the breakfast, stories will be shared and random acts of kindness in the fields will be under way.
Frieda’s Specialty Produce, based in Los Alamitos, CA, has debuted the first retail package for watermelon radishes, showing off the radishes’ vibrant internal color and with recipe ideas right on the bag.
Restaurants and food bloggers have already grabbed onto the more visually impactful watermelon radish — from thinly shaved onto a salad to quick-pickled for trending vegan/vegetarian grain bowls, poke (Hawaiian raw fish rice bowl), and bahn mi (Vietnamese sandwiches). The Huffington Post Food section recently featured radish recipes that include pickled and roasted radishes.
The one-pound stand-up pouch provides solutions for retailers by eliminating confusion about the PLU, extending the product shelf life, and moving more radishes off the shelf. Frieda’s signature branding also stands out in the refrigerated rack so it is easy to merchandise.
“The watermelon radish is truly a hidden gem of the produce department — most shoppers don’t know about its beautiful color on the inside just from looking at it on the shelf,” Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, said in a press release. “Our pouch showcases what these gorgeous radishes look like on the inside, which not only attracts the attention of shoppers, it also educates them about the product with serving suggestions on the back.”
Watermelon radishes are available from Frieda’s in 12 one-pound pouches and in 10-pound bulk.
As SunFed continues to grow its one-stop-shop for retail partners, the company is now shipping vine-ripened Perfect Romas, with Grape and Beefsteak tomatoes, joining the Perfect Produce lineup this fall.
“We are constantly working to improve and elevate our year-round program across the U.S. and Canada,” Eduardo Herbst, tomato sales manager, said in a press release. “With our recent expansion in McAllen, Texas, and long-time headquarters in Nogales, Arizona, we are able to reach our East Coast and West Coast partners with ease, less travel time and a high-quality product with maximum radiant freshness.”
These new items complement SunFed’s full line of Perfect Produce offerings, which include squash, Bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, limes and specialty melons.
The cooler temperatures resulted in lower yields at the beginning of the season, but the longer and warmer days have volumes bouncing back. The tomato quality is very high this year, with abundant flavor across the board for all Perfect Produce items.
While packaging for the Grape and Beefsteak tomatoes has not yet been revealed, SunFed debuted its Perfect Romas concept, designed by Brett Burdsal, the company’s vice president of marketing.
“Produce is bought with the eyes and Romas have a firm, radiant appearance that we wanted the packaging to showcase while also highlighting the SunFed branding that is all the rave across North America’s produce departments,” Burdsal said. “SunFed has long been known for quality and delivering just-picked freshness, so I had room to go beyond the picture of the product that you can see in the bag.”
The concept was inspired by the very famous advertisements of Bernard Villemot and the fashion illustrations of Rene Gruau. SunFed set out to create very simple and easy-to-reproduce, clean art that would grab the attention of the consumer while at the same time complement the Roma tomatoes.