Green Giant completes national network of fresh herb facilities

Green Giant Fresh has completed its national network of fresh herb packing facilities. These locations extend the company's ability to deliver premium fresh herbs around the country from certified local and regional farms.GROUP-GGF-Herbs-Pouches

“These strategic locations mean better efficiencies and shorter lead times, adding to the products’ shelf life, retailer profits and consumer satisfaction,” Jamie Strachan, Green Giant Fresh chief executive officer, said in a press release. “Our local and regional certified farms supply local herbs when possible, and draw from common regional farms to deliver year-round supplies.”

In addition to its original herb farm near Chicago, Green Giant Fresh packs and ships its line of 15 farm-fresh herbs from Saco, ME, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles and Salinas, CA. This national coverage ensures the freshest herbs available year-round across the United States and Canada. Additionally, Green Giant Fresh has the most extensive line of pouch herbs combined with a complete line of clamshell herbs. Organics, private label and foodservice packs are also available through this common footprint.

"I've worked for a number of major fresh herb companies over the past 25 years, and I’m confident we’re poised to deliver on our mission of consistently delivering quality fresh herbs year-round,” Vern Meyer, general manager of Green Giant Fresh herbs, said in the release.

Giant Eagle shuttering discount banner

Giant Eagle, one of the nation’s larger food retailers and distributors, announced that it will discontinue operations of its  discount grocery chain throughout western Pennsylvania and northeast Ohio.cents All eight of the company’s Good Cents Grocery + More locations will cease operations by the close of business on Thursday, March 26.

“While our Good Cents locations initially gained popularity, numerous business and economic factors have made it difficult to continue to successfully deliver the shopping experience customers have come to expect from Good Cents,” Dan Donovan, Giant Eagle spokesperson, said in a press release. “We greatly appreciate the loyalty and patronage we have received since the stores’ openings.”

The discount chain focuses on lower operating costs, "without compromising quality or a clean and safe shopping environment," Donovan said in the release.

The company is working to identify open positions at other area Giant Eagle Inc. locations for those interested in continuing employment.


Picabo Street addresses Southern Roots luncheon

ORLANDO, FL — Picabo Street, World Cup Alpine skier and Olympic gold and silver medalist, spoke Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Southern Roots luncheon, one of many events of the Southeast Produce Council's 2015 Southern Exposure conference and trade show, Feb. 26-28, here at the Caribe Royale All Suite Hotel & Convention Center.

Southern Roots is the council's leadership program for women in produce, chaired by Teri Miller of Delhaize America, who is also first vice president of the council and chairperson of Southern Exposure 2015.Roots1890sPicabo Street (right), World Cup Alpine skier and Olympic gold and silver medalist, with Teri Miller, first vice president of the Southeast Produce Council and chairperson of Southern Exposure 2015.

"The goal of Southern Roots is to cultivate and enrich leadership and exchange among women and produce," Miller told close to 150 women gathered for the luncheon. "It's about exchanging information."

Miller also noted that the vision of the new program is to be "the premier women's networking organization in the produce industry by encouraging and facilitating meaningful connections that help each of us to grow professionally and personally."

With that vision in mind, Street, who has won numerous Olympic and World Championship medals — including the 1998 Olympic gold medal in the Super G — talked about her skiing career and some of her friendships over the years.

"Women find a way to make friendships," she said. "We need to share with one another.

"Now I'm a mom," she added, "and I teach my kids to have good thoughts about others," since "compassion is contagious."

Beyond her accomplishments in skiing, Street has worked hard to make an impact on children and people of all ages. She is the founder of Picabo's Street of Dreams Foundation, whose mission is to help children achieve their dreams.

Rawl honors employees, customers at 90th anniversary celebration

IMG 5424W. P. Rawl family members and employees assembled for a group photo to memorialize the firm’s 90th anniversary at a reception Feb. 26 at the Southeastern Produce Council’s Southern Exposure show in Orlando, FL.

ORLANDO, FL — About 80 employees and customers of W.P Rawl & Sons Inc., a greens grower, packer and shipper in Pelion, SC, gathered here Feb. 26 in a family reunion atmosphere to celebrate the company’s 90th anniversary. The event was held in conjunction with the Southeastern Produce Council’s Southern Exposure show.

“We’re honored to call you partners,” Ashley Rawl, a vice president of the family-owned company, told the assembled crowd.  He said the anniversary “brought a lot of memories — hard times and good times — and you all helped us.” He noted employees with years of service to the company, including a trio with a total of 100 years with the company.

Rawl said the family still continues its founder’s tradition of gathering each Christmas Eve for oyster stew. New developments also abound, he said, including expanded fields in South Carolina and Florida, a new processing line that will double the processing capacity and new vegetable products coming to market.  

A video reviewed the history of the company, and photos tracing its 90 years were posted around the reception room, with photo albums also on tables throughout the hall.

FPAA dedicates salad bar to Ariz. school

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas announced the dedication of salad bar equipment to San Cayetano Elementary School in Rio Rico, AZ, as part of the Let’s Move Salad Bars 2 School program. The dedication occurred Feb. 17 at the San Cayetano Elementary School and included school representatives, members of the FPAA and Rep. Raul Grijalva.

The program was launched in 2010 with the mission of improving access in schools to fresh fruits and vegetables for children across the United States. Many school districts are unable to afford the basic equipment needed to successfully implement a salad bar program as part of their daily food offerings. 

Research shows that incorporating salad bars into school lunches increases the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Through positive, frequent experiences with fresh produce, children can better incorporate healthy eating choices into their diets for life. 

The FPAA represents U.S. companies that are involved in the growing, harvesting, and distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables. The association is headquartered in Nogales, AZ, the largest port of entry for fresh produce exported from Mexico into the United States. The donation of the salad bar was made possible through generous sponsorship from the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association, and through the program, the FPAA and the Custom Brokers had previously donated a salad bar to Lincoln Elementary School in Nogales. 

“As the largest private employer in Santa Cruz County, many of the families in our area are involved in selling fresh fruits and vegetables across North America,” Lance Jungmeyer, president of the FPAA, said in a press release. “We feel this partnership between the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program, the FPAA, the Nogales U.S. Customs Brokers Association and our local school districts is an important way to bring home the importance of fresh produce for the children in our community. This is a great way to incorporate healthy eating into their diets and also to showcase the important work many of their parents do in the fresh produce industry.”