Mother Nature has been a cooperative lady in the Pacific Northwest, and the region's producers are anticipating a good cherry season for the highly prized fruit in 2014. It's 80 days and counting for Domex Superfresh Growers in Yakima, WA.
Wish Farms is offering a year-round supply of conventional and organic strawberries and blueberries. With the Florida strawberry season completed, focus has turned to the California strawberry season and Florida blueberry season.
Wish Farms grows strawberries in Salinas and Santa Maria. This will be the first year of growing organic strawberries in California.
"In addition to the expansion of our California strawberry program, our Florida blueberry volume is really starting to pick up," Gary Wishnatzki, president of Wish Farms, said in a press release. "We've also put resources into increasing our packing capabilities this year."
In an effort to develop fresh and relevant content, Wish Farms plans to launch a series of recipe videos as a component to its consumer outreach campaign. Seasonal how-to berry recipes will be featured on the company’s YouTube channel and promoted across all social media outlets.
Produce Alliance LLC, one of the larger produce management services companies in the United States, leverages its national distribution and grower-shipper network to lead an annual philanthropic campaign benefitting one of Chicago’s premiere Children’s Hospitals.
Jan. 26, 2014 marked the 17th annual “Aon Step Up for Kids challenge” at the Aon Center, one of Chicago’s tallest buildings. Participants climbed 80 flights of stairs to raise money for children and families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. This year, the event had over 3,000 climbers and raised over $700,000. Produce Alliance lead all teams with over $35,000.
The Produce Alliance/Ruby Robinson team consisted of 45 employees and their families, with additional sponsorships coming from distributors and suppliers across the country.
Fundraising proceeds will be directed to K.I.D.S.S. for Kids, an affiliated organization of Lurie Children’s Hospital.
“In year one, we had 125 people climb. Today we have over 3,000. We are extremely proud of everyone involved and want this to be a $1 million event for the hospital,” said Robert Feldgreber, chief financial officer and general counsel for Produce Alliance/Ruby Robinson, as well as a founder of K.I.D.S.S. for Kids.
Domex Superfresh Growers continues to innovate with use of GPS-equipped tractors as technology moves from the drawing board to the orchard. Use of GPS allows the tractor to create a planting line within an inch of accuracy. A specialized plant platform pulled behind the tractor opens the ground so trees can be planted within the trench created. Holes are then closed up using small blades and rolling drums.
California Giant Berry Farms has teamed up with the local D-League Basketball Team for the Golden State Warriors this season and launched a kids club to promote health and fitness to fans.
The partnership with the Santa Cruz Warriors D-League team resulted in significant recruitment in less than a month before it was even publicized, and California Giant berries were quickly named the official fruit of the SC Warriors.
This health- and fitness-based sponsorship program along with a local junior chefs program being launched this summer serves as the foundation for a national messaging program focused on helping kids enjoy a health and fitness based lifestyle.
"Making exercise and eating healthy fun for kids is the key to really building healthy habits on a long-term basis," Cindy Jewell, director of marketing for Watsonville, CA-based California Giant, said in a press release. "We are using our own community to develop pilot programs for kids that we can ultimately launch across the country."
New pages are being developed on the website, as well as social media connections and national contests.
Each month during basketball season, players spend court time with local kids aged 5-12 teaching basketball skills, but more importantly mentoring the young fans on how to enjoy exercise and the importance of being active. They all sit down at the end of each skills clinic and enjoy California Giant berries as a replenishing snack.
"Moms have approached me each time to thank us for being part of a positive influence in the community and for providing kids their favorite berry snacks as a reward for the workout on the court," Jewell added in the press release.
The company created a video using footage from kids clinics, which is shown on the big screen at the arena before each home game to encourage membership in the kids club:
Once basketball season is over, California Giant will continue to work with the Warriors staff to keep kids engaged during the summer with clinics and games on the court, trips to California Giant berry fields, and other activities to keep the California Giant brand top of mind with kids and their families as well as keeping them active.
Each of the local activities developed promoting kids' health and fitness will be the foundation for refining and developing a national messaging campaign to continue to build brand trust and loyalty for "California Giant" brand berries.