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Giumarra introduces Fair Trade Certified hard squash from Mexico
Giumarra’s Nogales sales division announced that its organic and conventional hard squash is now Fair Trade Certified. The squash is grown in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico by José Carlos Coppel and his son, Juan Carlos Coppel, of Agroexport de Sonora S.A. de C.V. “We look forward to expanding our year-round support of the Fair Trade program with our grower Agroexport,” said John Corsaro, chief executive... Read more

Today's Headlines

What's New

Baldor spreads holiday cheer to Hunts Point neighbors
Thanksgiving dinner will be a little brighter for hundreds of Hunts Point families this season thanks to a special meal donation sponsored by Baldor Specialty Foods. In cooperation with the Bronx Community Board #2 and The Point Community Development Center, Baldor Specialty Foods, one of the Northeast’s leading distributors of fresh produce, reached out... Read more

Company Profile

Red Sun Farms prepping for the holidays with new packaging
At the New York Produce Show Red Sun Farms will be displaying its new holiday packaging for the upcoming season. “This packaging is a fun and festive way to celebrate the holidays while showcasing our fantastic and delicious Scarlet Pearl grape tomatoes and tricolor peppers,” said Jim DiMenna, president and chief executive officer of Kingsville, Ontario-based... Read more

People

J&J Family of Farms names director of grower development for its western division
J&J Family of Farms recently hired Mark Konstan as the director of grower development for its western division. Konstan brings more than 34 years of experience in the produce industry and 26 years of experience with national fresh produce company. For over 20 years, he worked at The Produce... Read more

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Todays Headlines

  • Giumarra introduces Fair Trade Certified hard squash from Mexico press release 2017-11-21 19:03:00

    Giumarra’s Nogales sales division announced that its organic and conventional hard squash is now Fair Trade Certified. The squash is grown in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico by José Carlos Coppel and his son, Juan Carlos Coppel, of Agroexport de Sonora S.A. de C.V. “We look forward to expanding our year-round support of the Fair Trade program with our grower Agroexport,” said John Corsaro, chief executive officer of the Giumarra Cos. “Fair Trade represents an important opportunity for us to work with...

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  • Retailer's produce program has kids going bananas press release 2017-11-21 13:30:00

    Big Y looks to make raising healthy children easier with the launch of its Kid’s Fruit Club program, where any child 12 and under can select a free piece of fruit to enjoy during their family’s shopping experience at special displays in every Big Y produce department and their Fresh Acres Market. Children’s nutrition has always been a key focus at Big Y, so this program is a natural extension of efforts already in place. “When it comes to encouraging children to eat well, it truly takes a...

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  • Strong SweeTango sales follow top billing in September press release 2017-11-21 13:00:27

    Retail scan data for the apple category shows that success for the SweeTango variety at retail nationwide continues to gain year over year. Debuted in 2010, SweeTango has made marked increases in volume and value each season as it gained a foothold as a consumer and retailer favorite. Neilsen scan data for September 2017 showed that SweeTango was the top ranked club variety, with volume coming in at 9.3 percent above 2016 and dollars up 13.3 percent. Average retail price for SweeTango for the...

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  • Instacart enters Canadian market press release 2017-11-21 11:00:00

    Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Instacart will work together to deliver groceries to Canadian homes, beginning in December. Loblaw has a network of nearly 2,500 stores and a large amount of click-and-collect grocery pick-up sites in Canada, now complemented by the option of home delivery. Instacart is a technology-driven, on-demand grocery delivery service, already serving more than 150 American markets. Online grocery orders from Loblaws, Real Canadian Superstore and T&T stores will be delivered by...

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  • Organic apple, pear demand continues to soar press release 2017-11-21 09:00:00

    Following an ideal growing season and a beautiful harvest, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers is seeing exceptional movement of all apple and pear varieties, with demand soaring in the organic category. Oneonta National Marketing Representative Brent Shammo said as demand for organics increases, the company continues to transition acreage to certified status. “We have seen outstanding growth in both organic pears and apples,” said Shammo. “This season we had our first year out of transition for...

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  • Maintaining premium quality a major focus of Big Idaho Potato Harvest Meeting Rand Green 2017-11-20 19:00:18

    FORT HALL, ID — The Idaho potato industry has built its reputation on the delivery of premium-quality potatoes, and growers and shippers in Idaho have worked hard over the years to deserve that reputation. As with any fresh produce, maintaining a high quality standard is more difficult in some seasons than others. The 2016 Idaho potato crop proved particularly challenging, as a short harvest window in which to bring in a record crop, an unusually cold winter following the harvest, and several...

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  • Farmington Fresh named exclusive U.S. provider of sliced Opal brand apples press release 2017-11-20 13:30:37

    Farmington Fresh, a leading provider of fresh sliced apples, oranges, pears and other fruits and vegetables to the foodservice industry and retailers, has reached an agreement with FirstFruits Marketing of Washington to be the exclusive U.S. provider of sliced Opal brand apples. Discovered in Europe in 1999 and grown exclusively in the United States by Broetje Orchards in Washington state, this apple is a cross between the Golden Delicious and Topaz varieties. "Farmington Fresh was inspired by the...

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  • Raley’s named Amaize Sweet Corn Retailer of the Year press release 2017-11-20 12:45:49

    In recognition of its comprehensive support of the Amaize Sweet Corn program, Raley’s was named 2017 Amaize Sweet Corn Retailer of the Year. Raley’s was the first retailer in the West to carry Amaize in 2012, and it has developed loyal consumer demand for Amaize through its enthusiastic support of the program across their company banners. This year, Raley’s promotions included produce manager training, point-of-sale signage, social media posts, local radio and a public relations strategy that...

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  • Colombian Hass in the US: supply security among other sustainable benefits press release 2017-11-20 11:13:24

    As the second-busiest container port in the United States, the Port of Long Beach in California received over 339,000 inbound TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units) last month, its busiest October in history. November, equally, could be marked as historic with the port receiving its first-ever container of Colombia-grown Hass avocados, destined for the fresh produce aisles of U.S. retailer Walmart. While the average consumer will give little thought to this fruit’s 3,752-nautical-mile journey, from...

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  • LGS Specialty Sales introduces Tiny Tim's Mini Avocados press release 2017-11-20 09:00:00

    LGS Specialty Sales, one of the leading importer and distributors of citrus and avocados is proud to announce the addition of mini avocados to the product round-up. Under the Tiny Tim’s label, these mini avocados are available to retailers starting this month.  Stemming from the Suavo Avocado family, Tiny Tim’s keep the creamy flavor profile of the larger hass avocados while reducing food waste with single-serving proportions. Tiny Tim’s are sourced from the most ideal growing regions of Mexico to...

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  • Produce industry legend Joe Procacci dies at 90 press release 2017-11-17 16:24:43

    Joseph G. Procacci, a produce industry legend known for reshaping the U.S. tomato market with Santa Sweets Grape tomatoes and UglyRipe heirloom tomatoes, has died. He was 90. At the early age of 8, Mr. Procacci began pedaling produce in the streets of Camden, NJ, from his father's pushcart. From those humble roots, Mr. Procacci became an industry giant, building a vertically integrated produce powerhouse that develops its own seeds, grows, packs, and distributes produce, and supplies roughly 10...

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  • Strong Q3 has Walmart optimistic about the future press release 2017-11-17 13:29:19

    Walmart hasn’t thrown in the towel against Amazon just yet. Aided by an increase in e-commerce and increased store traffic, the retail giant enjoyed its largest quarterly sales growth in almost 10 years. Total revenue for Q3 was $123.2 billion, an increase of $5 billion, or 4.2 percent. Online sales growth at Walmart U.S. remained strong, led by growth through Walmart.com. Net sales and GMV increased 50 percent and 54 percent, respectively. Shares are up 44 percent for the year, reaching an...

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  • Albertsons Cos. invests in Texas-based El Rancho Supermercado press release 2017-11-17 13:00:12

    Albertsons Cos., one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, has invested in El Rancho Supermercado, a Texas-based retailer that focuses on stores for Latino customers. El Rancho will continue to operate as an independent company headquartered in Garland, TX. "El Rancho has built a great business with its 16 Texas stores, and we're confident that we'll be able to leverage our combined expertise to better serve customers across the existing Albertsons Companies' and El Rancho store bases," said...

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  • TimeSavors veggie kits help consumers Eat Smart press release 2017-11-17 12:00:00

    Inspired by consumer demand for convenient, healthy and unique ways to serve fresh and delicious vegetable dishes, Eat Smart, a leading producer of fresh-cut vegetables and salads for the United States and Canada, is launching TimeSavors, a line of ready-to-cook fresh vegetable side dishes. The line’s three initial offerings — Cauliflower Gratin, Cauliflower Fried Rice and Green Bean Sauté — are on-trend, making it even easier for consumers to prepare and enjoy a restaurant-style side dish....

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  • SEPC to honor Dave Stornetta with its highest award Gordon M. Hochberg 2017-11-17 10:16:41

    The Southeast Produce Council will honor Dave Stornetta, president and founder of Produce Careers, with the 2018 Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Award, its highest honor, at the council's Southern Exposure conference and trade show, scheduled for March 1-3 in Tampa, FL. Stornetta's involvement with the Southeast Produce Council goes back a long way. He attended the council's first conference and trade show in 2004, in Lakeland, FL. And that's where he was introduced to Terry Vorhees, one of...

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  • Expensive shipments of tomatoes and heroin, broccoli and marijuana press release 2017-11-17 08:50:46

    U.S. Customs & Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered alleged heroin and marijuana valued at $2.4 million within commercial trailers hauling shipments of tomatoes and broccoli in two separate enforcement actions. On Nov. 14, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility encountered a white 2014 Kenworth tractor trailer hauling a shipment of tomatoes. After the conveyance was referred for a secondary...

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  • Registration for third annual Organic Produce Summit to open next week press release 2017-11-16 19:00:00

    Retailer and buying organization registration for the third annual Organic Produce Summit will open Nov. 20 on the OPS website. OPS 2018 is scheduled for July 11-12 at the newly renovated Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA. Following the overwhelming success of the previous two events, OPS 2018 will again feature a gala opening reception, a series of informative and engaging educational sessions, inspiring keynote presentations, a sold-out exhibit trade show and field tours for...

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  • Holiday cheer starts early at Whole Foods press release 2017-11-16 13:40:03

    Whole Foods Market and Amazon introduced new lower prices on best-selling grocery items and holiday staples at Whole Foods Market stores. In addition to various meat and seafood products, organic broccoli, one-pound organic salad mixes, organic russet potatoes and organic sweet potatoes are among the items with lower prices. “These are the latest new lower prices in our ongoing integration and innovation with Amazon, and we’re just getting started,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market...

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  • Vidalia onion pioneer W.J. Grimes dies at 84 Keith Loria 2017-11-16 12:22:53

    W.J. Grimes, owner of W.J. Grimes Farms and one of the founding fathers of the Vidalia sweet onion industry, died Nov. 3 at the age of 84 in his Helena, GA, home. Working at W.J. Grimes Farms in McCrae, GA, Mr. Grimes helped bring about controlled atmosphere storage, which was instrumental in allowing grower-shippers to extend their season. With this new method, Vidalia onions that were harvested in April and May could be stored throughout the summer and available much longer.UGA horticulture professor...

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  • Avocados From Mexico celebrates 20 years in the United States press release 2017-11-16 11:00:15

    Last night, Avocados From Mexico hosted a celebration like only one of America’s favorite fruits could — with a fiesta at the Mexican Cultural Institute featuring  the exclusive premiere of the Avocados From Mexico docu-series, Avocadoland, authentic Mexican cuisine and drinks crafted by PBS’ chef Pati Jinich, a panel discussion hosted by POLITICO and conversation with Ramon Paz-Vega, strategic advisor to the Association of Producers and Packers Exporters of Avocado in Mexico. The United States first...

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  • Tanimura & Antle launches 'Artisan of Entertaining' promotion press release 2017-11-16 09:00:00

    Employee owned family farm, Tanimura & Antle, announced this week the launch of a web-based fall consumer promotion to fuel their Thanksgiving holiday pull of Artisan Lettuce and Artisan Romaine called “The Artisan of Entertaining.” From Nov. 7-28, the company is offering consumers the opportunity to win one of 25 prize packs by downloading an eBook of six fall-themed recipes that feature Tanimura & Antle Artisan Romaine and Artisan Lettuce.    Through two of the supporting blog partners,...

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  • IPC retail display contest to award Sun Valley resort vacation in sweepstakes drawing press release 2017-11-15 17:00:00

    The scenic slops of Sun Valley, ID, will provide the perfect vacation setting for one lucky entrant in the Idaho Potato Commission’s 2018 retail display contest. The Idaho-bound vacation winner, to be selected in a random drawing among all contest participants, will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip for two to spectacular Sun Valley, ID, including four nights and five days at the Sun Valley Lodge, meals and taxes, plus $500 in Sun Valley gift cards — an approximate total retail value of $6,200....

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  • Southeast Produce Council teams up with Food Marketing Institute press release 2017-11-15 14:35:00

    After a successful workshop collaboration at the SEPC’s Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, the Southeast Produce Council has announced that it will be teaming up with the Food Marketing Institute to present its signature research, The Power of Produce, at Southern Exposure 2018, March 1-3 in Tampa, FL, which holds an impressive attendance record of over 500 buyers and 2,000 suppliers servicing the southeastern markets with fresh produce. This innovative union will result in the...

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  • Record Kanzi apple harvest launches 2017 season press release 2017-11-15 14:00:00

    A record Kanzi apple harvest has growers thinking big about conventional and organic new crop opportunities. CMI Orchards, one of only two U.S. growers licensed to grow Kanzi, is projecting a total increase of 120 percent for the coming season — this includes a 400 percent increase in organic Kanzi. Applewood Orchards, Inc. the second Kanzi grower located in Michigan, reported an even larger production jump of over 150 percent of conventional apples. Nielsen supermarket scan data shows Kanzi was...

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  • Food Lion Feeds launches 'Holidays Without Hunger' campaign Maggie Giuffrida 2017-11-15 13:00:00

    Food Lion believes ending hunger is the reason to give this holiday season, and the grocer is making it easy and affordable for its customers in its more than 1,000 stores to help families in need through its Food Lion Feeds "Holidays Without Hunger" campaign Nov. 15 through Dec. 19. Through the campaign, customers can purchase and donate a specially-marked "Holidays Without Hunger" food box for $5, while supplies last, or make a cash donation at checkout. Food Lion Feeds is partnering with...

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  • Organic demand continues to soar at Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers press release 2017-11-15 11:00:00

    Following an ideal growing season and a beautiful harvest, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers is seeing exceptional movement of all apple and pear varieties, with demand soaring in the organic category. Oneonta National Marketing Representative Brent Shammo said as demand for organics increases, the company continues to transition acreage to certified status. We have seen outstanding growth in both organic pears and apples,” Shammo said recently. “This season we had our first year out of transition...

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  • Publix promotes new officers press release 2017-11-15 09:08:06

    Due to Publix’s growth, expanding initiatives and increased efforts surrounding innovation, Publix CEO & President Todd Jones announced new officer positions, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Randy Barber, 55, will be promoted to vice president of industrial maintenance and purchasing. He is currently director of industrial maintenance. In this new officer role, Barber will be responsible for industrial maintenance, facilities purchasing and manufacturing supply purchasing. Publix’s fresh retail business...

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PEOPLE

J&J Family of Farms names director of grower development for its western division
J&J Family of Farms recently hired Mark Konstan as the director of grower development for its western division. Konstan brings more than 34 years of experience in the produce industry and 26 years of experience with national fresh produce company. For over 20 years, he worked at The Produce Exchange, where he gained significant experience working with growers to help them develop their programs to increase volume and quality of their commodities. Konstan... Read more
Stemilt’s food-safety manager given SQFI Distinguished Service Award
Stemilt’s food-safety and scheduling manager, Eva Lauve, has been recognized by the Safe Quality Food Institute with its Quality Achievement Award. Lauve, who has spent her entire 40-year career with Stemilt, was named recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, which is given to an individual who has freely shared time and expertise throughout the industry in the areas of food safety. The awards were given out at the 2017 SQFI International Conference,... Read more
Whole Foods' John Mackey joins The Students For Liberty board
John Mackey, Whole Foods Market chief executive officer and co-founder, joined the Students For Liberty board of directors. Mackey is a strong supporter of free markets and author of “Conscious Capitalism.” He was recognized as the SFL alumnus of the year in 2013. Mackey said that he's excited to work closely with SFL on spreading liberty across the globe. "When I co-founded Conscious Capitalism, few thought the term could be reclaimed. However, thanks... Read more
Rayne Thompson promoted at Sunkist, FGS
As part of the recently announced shared management structure of Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Co., Rayne Thompson has been promoted to vice president of government relations and public policy. In this role, Thompson will oversee both Sunkist and Fruit Growers Supply interests relative to state, federal and trade policies.Rayne Thompson “Rayne has been pivotal in helping Sunkist navigate the ever-changing statutory and regulatory requirements that... Read more
Lisa Cork joins PMA's board of directors
With a career spanning more than 30 years in fresh produce, former Californian and now New Zealander Lisa Cork of Fresh Produce Marketing Ltd. accepted a nomination to join this year’s Produce Marketing Association board of directors. Most recently a member of both the PMA’s global development committee and demand creation strategic planning task force, her global experience, ability to think strategically and ask questions that challenge the status... Read more
Fresh fruit sales changes at Sunkist
Sunkist is beginning this year’s citrus season with a new sales management structure, promoting Chris Gordon to managing director of fresh fruit sales and Jose Fu to director of sales operations. “Chris Gordon joined Sunkist in 2000 after more than a decade working on the packinghouse/exchange side of the business,” said Sunkist and FGS President and Chief Executive Officer Russell Hanlin.Chris Gordon “His in-depth knowledge of all Sunkist’s... Read more
Chamberlains named 2017 Pillars of the FPAA
TUBAC, AZ — Jimmy and Sylvia Chamberlain were recognized as the 2017 Pillars of the FPAA Nov. 3 for their long and distinguished leadership within the industry and FPAA. According to FPAA, the annual award is “given to those who have volunteered their time and effort to the industry, as well as demonstrated innovation and integrity throughout their career.”2017 winners of the Pillars of the FPAA award, Jimmy and Sylvia Chamberlain, are flanked... Read more
Recognition: Mike Aiton leaves legacy of 50 years of service
Like so many before him, Mike Aiton entered his food industry career rather inconspicuously as a box boy at his hometown grocer. But more than 50 years later, he has retired after leaving his mark on several different facets of the industry. He begins his story as one of the first baby boomers to come into this world. “I was born nine months and one week after my father returned from World War II,” he said. He calls his childhood uneventful, as his... Read more
The new generation at E. Armata wants to be just like generations prior
E. Armata Inc. has operated in the produce industry for more than a century. In recent years the company has completely renovated its facility, located on the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market in Bronx, NY, to near-futuristic conditions — not the least of which are its elegant offices — under the guidance of company President Chris Armata and his brother, Paul Armata, who is vice president and secretary. The renovated facility is not the only move... Read more
Ann E. Ziegler, senior vice president and chief financial officer of CDW Corp., has been appointed to join US Foods Holding Corp.'s board of directors effective Jan. 1, 2018. “Ann is a highly accomplished senior executive with nearly 30 years of leadership experience across multiple industries, including technology, consumer packaged goods, and the food industry,” said Pietro Satriano, president and chief executive officer of US Foods. “Her background... Read more
Kyla Oberman joins Tanimura & Antle as director of marketing
With a continued commitment to growth and innovation, Tanimura & Antle has announced Kyla Oberman as its director of marketing.  Oberman takes on this new role from her most recent position of director of marketing at Naturipe Farms where she has worked since 2010.  At Tanimura & Antle, Oberman will oversee and manage the company’s brand identity, marketing initiatives and communications program, working closely with Jeffrey Jackson, chief... Read more
The Eastern Produce Council has announced the addition of Mike Maxwell, president of Procacci Bros. Sales of Philadelphia, to its executive board. Maxwell has taken on the role of secretary, which was previously held by Sal Zacchia, who passed away this spring. Other members of the EPC’s executive team are Vic Savanello of Allegiance Retail Services, president; Marianne Santo of Wakefern Food Corp., first vice president; George Moskal of GVM Consulting,... Read more
Giorgio's Threlfall to retire, successor named
Brian Threlfall, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Giorgio Fresh Co., will retire at the end of the year. Greg Sagan, current vice president of sales and marketing, has been appointed to succeed Threlfall beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Threlfall, who joined Giorgio in 1987, was instrumental in establishing Giorgio as a major player in the fresh mushroom business. When Threlfall joined Giorgio, the company had no involvement in the fresh mushroom market... Read more
Kevin Leap joins GreenFruit Avocados as director of sales and marketing
Mexican avocado marketer GreenFruit Avocados announced that industry veteran Kevin Leap has been appointed director of sales and marketing. Leap has 27 years of experience in the produce industry, working in a variety of sales and marketing roles at well-known companies like WestPak Avocados, Dulcinea and Ready Pac. Most recently, he was director of business development at Frieda’s Specialty Produce, based in Los Alamitos, where he continued to oversee its... Read more
Ippolito International has added John Landa to its growing sales team. Landa, most recently with Dole in Salinas, CA, brings 20 years of produce industry experience to Ippolito. He began his career working on the brokerage side with Fresh Network, and also worked stints at New Star (sales/leaf commodity manager) and Tanimura & Antle, (cauliflower and broccoli commodity manager). At Dole he handled vegetable sales before moving sales covering the full line of... Read more
Jewel-Osco's Michael Vesely named Mango Retailer of the Year
The National Mango Board named Michael Vesely of Jewel-Osco as the 2017 Mango Retailer of the Year. The award was announced during the NMB’s Annual Mango Industry Reception on Oct. 20 during PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo. Present at the award ceremony were mango industry leaders, including many of Jewel-Osco suppliers and several NMB board members.Paul Calas, Michael Vesely, Scott Bennett and Eric Haacker of Jewel-Osco. The Mango Retailer... Read more
Prime Time's Mike Aiton to retire after 40-plus years in the produce industry
After nearly five decades in the produce industry, Mike Aiton, director of marketing at Prime Time International, will retire Nov. 1. He has been a valued member of the Prime Time team since 2009 and will be missed by many in the industry. “Mike is very well liked in the agriculture community and he’s known throughout the produce industry as a true professional,” said Mike Way, managing partner of Prime Time International. Aiton’s expansive... Read more
Erik Carrillo joins Exp Group as director of foreign affairs
North Bergen, NJ-based Exp Group LLC continues to evolve along with the strong and growing demand for tropical produce. The growth phenomenon is obvious in produce aisles and on foodservice menus across the nation. Anthony Serafino, vice president of public relations, and a second-generation family member, said, “We absolutely feel that tropical items have and continue to become regular within the typical A to Z produce items.” Exp Group’s newly... Read more
Two key sales hires at J&J Family of Farms
J&J Family of Farms recently hired David Guzi as senior vice president of sales and Mike Strickland as director of sales for its Western division. Guzi brings 35 years of experience in the produce industry to J&J Family of Farms. He has been the senior leader of sales teams at Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc., Central American Produce and at Rosemont Farms. His most recent role in his career provided him the opportunity to be the general manager, responsible... Read more
Brothers Produce Houston makes executive changes
Brent Erenwert of Brothers Produce Houston has stepped away from his role as president of the company to become its chief innovation officer. Rick Sanders is now the president and general manager and Don Governale is the vice president of sales and operations. Erenwert is a 19-year produce industry veteran. In his new role he will focus on the future avenues of growth for the company. One of the early projects he has created is a new procurement division focusing... Read more