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Braga Fresh to ship 'Josie's Organics' line from T&A's Yuma facility

Braga Fresh Family Farms announced that beginning in November, its full line of "Josie's Organics" fresh vegetables will be cooled and shipped at Tanimura & Antle's cooling facility in Yuma, AZ.

In addition to providing even more convenience to both Braga Fresh and Tanimura & Antle customers by consolidating loads of "Josie's Organics" with Tanimura & Antle's quality conventional program for one-stop logistics and shipping,Mike-AntleMike Antle Braga Fresh is promoting Tanimura & Antle's renowned service and expertise to existing and new customers.

"Tanimura & Antle is one of the most respected leaders in the fresh produce industry," Rod Braga, president and chief executive officer of Braga Fresh Family Farms, based in Soledad, CA, said in a press release. "Like us, they're also third-generation farming families with the highest standards for quality and service, so we see this opportunity as a perfect fit for 'Josie's Organics,' our customers and Tanimura & Antle customers."

rod bragaRod Braga"Braga and Tanimura & Antle have always been innovative and committed to quality," Mike Antle, executive vice president and partner of Salinas, CA-based Tanimura & Antle, added in the press release. "Offering this added convenience is a way for both companies to demonstrate our commitment to premium service and helping our customers."

The "Josie's Organics" line of fresh vegetables, certified organic by CCOF and available year-round, includes broccoli, sweet baby broccoli, celery, celery hearts, cilantro, parsley, kale, chard, collards, romaine hearts, romaine, green leaf, red leaf, spinach, beets and radishes.

Ruby Fresh to showcase Jewels Grab-N-Go Aril Cups at PMA Fresh Summit

Pomegranate arils are all dressed-up in new Ruby Fresh Grab-N-Go Aril Cups for the 2014 PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA, Oct. 17-19.rubyfresh

Ruby Fresh is showcasing its new line of Ruby Fresh Jewels Grab-N-Go Pomegranate Aril Cups at this year's PMA Fresh Summit Booth No. 602. The Jewels cups are one of 20 products that have been selected as a finalist for the 2014 PMA Impact Award: Excellence in Packaging.

These new products are available in four- and 5.3-ounce Grab-N-Go snack cups in handy two-pack and four-pack options. Ruby Fresh Jewels Aril Cups will make it a breeze to take the sweet and tangy arils anywhere. The re-sealable lid allows for on-the-go snacking, perfect for adults and kids alike.

"We are so incredibly excited to be releasing our complete line of Jewels Grab-N-Go Pomegranate Aril Cups just in time for this year's PMA Fresh Summit," David Anthony, domestic sales for Ruby Fresh, said in a press release. "The complete line of Jewels snack cups are an impressive addition to our product offering. The positive response we are receiving is overwhelming."

Ruby Fresh is serving up samples of yogurt and granola parfaits topped with Ruby Fresh Pomegranate Arils to kick-start each day at PMA. To show the versatility and curb the afternoon munchies, attendees can also taste a satisfying guacamole with a pomegranate twist.

In addition to the Jewels Pomegranate Aril Cups, Ruby Fresh will also be showing its new two-ounce aril cups designed specifically for school lunch programs. From these two-ounce snack cups to the 16-ounce foodservice packs, Ruby Fresh Pomegranate Arils are available in a variety of pack styles and sizes.

Let's Move! Executive Director Sam Kass to join Fresh Summit 'eat brighter!' town hall

Sam Kass, executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, will join a panel of industry members Oct. 17 at the 'eat brighter!' town hall, part of a series of workshop sessions being featured at this year's PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim, CA.

The session will be moderated by Todd Putman, chief commercial officer of Bolthouse Farms, and will also feature Derrick Jenkins, vice president of produce and floral at Wakefern; Robert Verloop, executive vice president of marketing at Naturipe; and Donna Bogia, director of information and customer service at PMA.

The town hall is designed to discuss the 'eat brighter!' movement, which offers the fresh produce industry royalty-free access to Sesame Street character images and was forged by the Partnership for a Healthier America, which works with the private sector and PHA Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama to make healthy choices easier for busy parents and families.

Kass and the panelists will recognize those companies that have already committed to supporting the program and will encourage the industry's continued efforts to change the way they market healthy foods to kids. 'eat brighter!' branded produce and retail point-of-sale materials will also be on display.

"We're thrilled to have Sam join us as a panelist on Friday afternoon," Cathy Burns, PMA president, said in a press release. "His commitment to this movement is inspiring. As an industry, we've got a responsibility to help change the conversation around fruits and vegetables. We have the right product, now we need to come together and use the tools we have, in this case unprecedented royalty-free access to Sesame Street character images, to help drive fresh produce into kids' daily routine. I encourage attendees to come prepared with questions and ready to learn how this movement may be incorporated into their own go-to-market strategy."

The 'eat brighter!' town hall will be held on Friday, Oct. 17 from 12:45 to 2:15pm in room 213AB of the Anaheim Convention Center, immediately following the annual State of the Industry presentation. For more information on this education workshop and others offered at Fresh Summit, visit www.freshsummit.com.

Sambrailo to launch Go Greener! packaging for organic produce at PMA Fresh Summit

Sambrailo Packaging will use the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit to introduce its new Go Greener! clamshells, the latest packaging innovation for organic growers.Sambrailo-Go-Greener-1-lb-F

Made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET from clear and green beverage bottles, the green translucent color of Go Greener! clamshells will capture the attention of organic consumers on the retail shelf.

Go Greener! clamshells are the first green packaging for organic berries on the market. The manufacturing process is unique in that Sambrailo Packaging is recycling and reusing green plastic flake from green beverage bottles, which would otherwise go into landfills or be shipped overseas for use in other hard plastic goods.

All of the materials in Go Greener! clamshells comply with Food & Drug Administration, Association for Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers and Canadian regulations for recyclability. In the past, there has not been a reuse for these green plastic beverage bottles in the United States, according to the company.

"More than 33 million pounds of green plastic could be reused in one year," Sara Mailhot, product development manager for Sambrailo Packaging, based in Watsonville, CA, said in a press release. "This statistic is hypothetically based on all CCOF-certified organic strawberry growers in the U.S. and Mexico using the Go Greener! one-pound clamshells for one year, so the real potential could far exceed this number as sales grow and the product line increases."  

The Go Greener! clamshells are currently available in three configurations: the Mixim Classic one-pound friction-lock; the one-pound LV button-lock; and the six-ounce LV (5x5). These sizes are ideal for strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, but can be used for other organic produce items as well.

Recyclable film labels applied with a water-soluble adhesive are also available, making Go Greener! packaging solutions even more appealing to organic consumers.

23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie stores set to close

Bi-Lo Holdings will be closing 23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie stores due to poor performance. These locations, most of which will be shuttered on or before Nov. 19, represent less than 3 percent of the total store base.

“With much of our attention during the last two years placed on merging 207 Bi-Lo and 480 Winn-Dixie stores, and integrating 163 acquired Delhaize America stores, we purposely delayed what is normally an ongoing process of reviewing our network of stores,” Julianne Roberts, who handles corporate communications, told The Produce News.

On Friday, Oct. 3, “We notified associates and local community leaders of 23 Bi-Lo and Winn-Dixie grocery stores that we have made the difficult decision to close those stores due to underperformance,” she said. “While closing underperforming stores is never easy for any retailer, we look forward to opening more than 25 new and remodeled stores during the remainder of the fourth quarter of 2014.”

The store closures are spread out across six of the eight states in which Bi-Lo Holdings operates: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina.