The Produce News has learned that Rick Eastes, who was named vice president of sales and marketing for Fruit Patch Sales LLC in Dinuba, CA, Dec. 8, 2008, the exclusive sales agent for Fruit Patch Inc., is no longer with the company.
It is the third change in management at the Fruit Patch sales organization in two years.
The change comes just six weeks after the naming of Scott Wallace as president and chief executive officer of Fruit Patch, replacing Glen McClaren who had been named president in August 2007 and who had shortly thereafter brought in John Forry and Dewey Forry Jr. to head the Fruit Patch sales organization.
Mike Crookshanks, a salesperson with Fruit Patch, confirmed that Mr. Eastes was no longer with the company and said that Fruit Patch would be looking for a new sales manager. He referred all other inquiries to Mr. Wallace who was not immediately available for comment.
Mr. Eastes told The Produce News Aug. 26 that he had no comments "at this time."
A long-time industry veteran, Mr. Eastes started his produce career at Heggblade Marguleas and subsequently spent many years with The DiMare Co. and then with David Oppenheimer Co. He also worked with Sunkist Growers Inc. and, most recently, with Ballantine Produce Co. Inc. in Reedley, CA, before joining the Fruit Patch organization.
C&S Wholesale Grocers has appointed Christopher Brown as senior vice president of independent sales, effective Sept. 29. According to the company, this appointment underscores C&S’s commitment to its independent customers and reflects its plans to continue to grow its independent business.
“It is incredibly exciting to be joining a company like C&S...
POM Wonderful, a leading premium refrigerated juice company and purveyor of pomegranates, is powering up the produce aisle with new Antioxidant Super Teas. The new line includes Pomegranate Lemonade Tea, Pomegranate Sweet Tea and Pomegranate Honey Green Tea. POM's top-selling Pomegranate Peach Passion White Tea will join the new Antioxidant Super Teas with a...
BENSON, NC — North Carolina's sweet potato harvest, still in full swing at mid-September, is back to normal, and none too soon. After two years in a row of below-average acreage planted due to weather, the 2014 crop is growing on 66,000 acres. That's the USDA estimate cited by Sue Johnson-Langdon, executive director of the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission,...
Following the recent opening of its new distribution facility and the addition of a long-time fresh berry expert, Veg-Fresh Farms announced the expansion of its business and the launch of the new consumer label, Crystal Cove Berry Farms.
Sourcing strawberries from throughout Mexico and California's fertile berry-growing regions, Crystal Cove Berry Farms will...
If conditions remain as expected, Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. believes the 2014 global industry cranberry crop will be between 11.2-11.6 million barrels, down from the 2013 global industry record crop of 12 million barrels. The company expects its grower-owners to deliver 6.6-7 million barrels, which is down from the 7.2 million barrels delivered in 2013.
It’s a non-stop harvest in the vineyards as Jakov P. Dulcich & Sons’ Green and Red Emerald, Scarlet Royal, Autumn Royal, Autumn King, Luisco, Crimson, Vintage and Red Globe grape varieties are being picked and packed. Due to the hot summer, the brix are up, the crunch is strong and the taste is exceptional.
“Overall, the grape eating quality is at premium...
The National Mango Board has announced the winners of the Mango Mania Display Contest and reports an increase of 138 percent mango volume among participating stores compared to the same time last year.
The contest is designed to help stores boost mango sales, while showcasing creativity and educating shoppers about mangos. This year, for the first time, the...
Chiquita Brands International Inc. and Fyffes plc have approved a revised agreement for the proposed combination of the companies. Under the terms of the amended agreement, Chiquita shareholders are expected to own approximately 59.6 percent of ChiquitaFyffes, an increase from 50.7 percent under the previous agreement.
The companies have also increased the termination...
Snack it Forward LLC announced the launch of Sunkist Fruit 2.0, a new line of natural and healthy freeze-dried fruit that will be unveiled by Snack it Forward under license from Sunkist Growers Inc. at the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit Oct. 17–19 in Anaheim, CA. Following Fresh Summit, Fruit 2.0 will be rolling out to grocery, convenience and...
Atlas Produce and Distribution Inc., a shipper of 100 percent natural strictly California-grown dates, announced that the 2014 date harvest is under way.
"The quality once again is looking excellent," Robert Dobrzanski, president of Atlas Produce, said in a press release.
The California drought condition is a major concern for all of the agricultural community,...
Crunch Pak, a sliced apples specialist, will debut several items at the 2014 PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim.
Crunch Pak’s booth (No. 3084) will highlight the variety and scope of the company’s products available and feature its newest items, including the NBA Fit Snacker, which will be sold in Walmart stores this basketball season.
NBA Fit Snackers contain sliced...
Avocados from Mexico will be sharing the love at the upcoming Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Convention & Exposition Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, CA.
With over 1 billion pounds of imports in the United States and 70 percent market share, AFM will be unveiling its "Made with Love" campaign, which showcases the love and dedication that goes into carefully...
Procacci Bros. Sales Corp. announced the expansion of its tropical and ethnic produce program and the launch of its new "Feliz" premium brand of items.
The company said it is seeking to increase its growth in the category in response to the changing demographics and demands of consumers in the United States.
Procacci's operation will now include a strategic...
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced up to $31.5 million in grants are available to test new ways to make fruits and vegetables more affordable to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants.
News of the program launch drew immediate praise by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and the United Fresh Produce Association.
Beneficial rains over the Red River Valley in late August and early September were setting the stage for good harvest conditions of the region’s red potato crop.
Ted Kreis, marketing and communications director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, MN, added that good harvest conditions, including a softening of the northern...
YOUNG HARRIS, GA — The Southeast Produce Council launched its new leadership program for women in produce with a reception Friday afternoon, Sept. 26, during the council's annual fall conference, Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, here in the scenic mountains of north Georgia.
The program, called Southern Roots, was announced June 30 by the council...
Bernard Joseph Imming, the former president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Association, which is now known as the United Fresh Produce Association, died Sept. 23 at the age of 94.
In April 1948, Mr. Imming was employed by the United Merchandising Institute in Kansas City, MO, as an instructor in retail merchandising. He...
Potatoes and onions are seen as classic commodity crops by many growers, who place too much emphasis on growing and harvesting their products as inexpensively as possible so that they can sell at lower prices.
While that approach may work for some, Fresh Solutions Network sees the equation differently. FSN feels that only focusing on squeezing down costs can...
California pomegranate growers have confirmed that the popular Wonderful variety has now achieved the deep red color and high sugar for which it is justly famous.
Tom Rouse at PomWonderful said that he has been patiently waiting for the Wonderful variety to reach maturity.
"We expect promotable quantities in a full range of sizes, by Oct. 8-10," he said in...
A longtime PMA Fresh Summit exhibitor, Frieda's Specialty Produce challenges this year's attendees to "Eat One Fruit A Day That Scares You," and to try jackfruit, the scary-looking fruit that smells and tastes amazing.
Samples of jackfruit will be available at Frieda's booth (No. 2830) both days of the PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA, on Oct. 18-19.