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Potandon Produce a key sponsor for the Race to Feed the Hungry

The Idaho Falls Race to Feed the Hungry is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and Potandon Produce is partnering with Personal Best Performance, the event sponsor. As the largest monetary contributor to the Idaho Falls Community Food Bank, this event is critical to helping local Idaho families in times of need.

Every year on Thanksgiving Day, runners and walkers of all abilities take time away from their family events to join together as a community and raise awareness and money for the food bank.RTFH-Check-Presentation-10-Carly High of Potandon, Catherine Smith of the Idaho Community Foundation, Tom the Turkey and Michael Hays of Personal Best Performance.

In additional to sponsoring the event, Potandon Produce has also made a donation directly to the Idaho Falls Community Food Bank.  

Earlier this month, Michael Hays from Personal Best Performance was joined by Tom the Turkey at the Potandon office in Idaho Falls, ID, for a check presentation and meet and greet with the Potandon staff.

“Idaho Falls has been home to Potandon Produce since the company was founded," Ralph Schwartz, vice president of marketing, sales and innovation, said in a press release. "It’s a great place to work and we are honored to be part of a great event that truly helps local families."

Aldi names new CEO

Aldi Inc. announced that it has made a structural adjustment to its senior leadership organization in order to support the retailer’s further expansion both in the U.S. and internationally.

Jason Hart, who currently serves as president for Aldi U.S., has been promoted to a new role, effective April 1, 2015. Hart will become chief executive officer for Aldi U.S. and will be supported by Chuck Youngstrom and David Behm, who will continue in their roles of co-presidents for Aldi U.S.

Currently, Aldi is in the early stages of an accelerated strategic growth plan in the United States. Rising demand for Aldi is fueling significant expansion.

Aldi plans to open 650 new stores across the country, including expanding to Southern California, bringing its total number of U.S. stores to nearly 2,000 by the end of 2018. The expansion is expected to create more than 10,000 new jobs at Aldi stores, warehouses and division offices across the country.

Oppy's Anderson earns lifetime achievement award

At the 17th annual Friend of Chile Awards Luncheon, the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia honored accomplished business leaders, including John Anderson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Oppenheimer Group, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Anderson was acknowledged for several achievements, including Oppy’s status as the top North American importer of Chilean stone fruit, bringing millions of dollars in business through the ports along the Delaware River.John-with-M-Welch--M-StackMartin Welch, chief operating officer of emerging markets for Aramark; Senator Mike Stack, Pennsylvania lieutenant governor elect; and John Anderson, chairman, president and CEO of The Oppenheimer Group. As well, Anderson was officially documented in the state of Pennsylvania by Senator and Lieutenant Governor-elect Mike Stack as a person who has made a difference to the well-being of the people living and working in the state.

The awardees have charted new territory in the realm of international connections and business innovation between the United States and Chile. Benjamin Leavenworth, Consul of Chile, Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Sen. Stack joined the chamber in offering commendations to the honorees.

“For nearly 40 years, Anderson’s finely honed business instincts have left an indelible mark on a global industry, while building Oppy into a strong and successful produce marketing enterprise,” Ricardo Maldonado, executive director of the chamber, said in a press release.

The Oppenheimer Group currently utilizes all four major facilities on the Delaware River: Holt Terminal in Gloucester City, NJ; Tioga Marine Terminal and Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in Philadelphia; and the port of Wilmington, DE, to import grapes, berries, cherries, citrus, kiwifruit and stone fruit from Chile. In a typical year, the Oppenheimer Group receives 4.5 to 5 million cartons of Chilean produce through these port facilities.

Recently, Anderson was honored with the coveted 2014 BC CEO of the Year Award for a major private company. He was named Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Canada’s Pacific region in 2002, and in 2013 Anderson was recognized by the B.C. chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth with a Dealmaker of the Year Award.

Under his leadership, The Oppenheimer Group has been named as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies since 2001, and has been part of its esteemed Platinum Club since 2008.

The Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia is a non-profit, apolitical membership organization created to foster increased and improved commercial and trade relations between the Republic of Chile and the Greater Philadelphia region. The chamber brings together people and businesses with an interest in reaching this goal through participation in a variety of activities and programs.

GloriAnn contributes nearly $40,000 in charitable donations

As the holiday season approaches, GloriAnn Farms and partner Five Crowns Marketing are getting into the giving spirit. After two months of promotions, GloriAnn Farms announced this year’s charitable contributions totaled just shy of $40,000. For the third year in a row, donations were made to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.sweeco

In partnering with both of these organizations, GloriAnn Farms and Five Crowns Marketing have run promotions with retailers to draw attention to these important causes. For every case of sweet corn sold to participating retailers during the month of August, GloriAnn Farms made a donation to the IFHF — totaling almost $19,000.

“The IFHF is today addressing a critical need: helping service members suffering the effects of traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions," David Winters, president of IFHF, said in a press release. "The IFHF is addressing this need head-on by building a series of diagnosis and treatment centers to provide care for these wounded heroes. Thank you for your generous support and your concern for our wounded heroes in uniform and their families. Together we are helping to repay the debt all Americans owe them for their selfless service to our nation.”

Benefiting NBCF, the same was true for the Corn for the Cause campaign during the month of October. Through the sales of sweet corn to participating retailers, over $21,100 was donated to the NBCF. “For three years, GloriAnn Farms and Five Crowns Marketing’s support of our mission to help women now has impacted thousands facing a diagnosis of breast cancer,” Janelle Hail, NBCF co-founder and chief executive officer, said in the release. “The funds they’ve raised this October will help us provide life-saving early detection services for those in need in all 50 states.”

In addition to receiving thanks from the organizations themselves, consumers also shared their thoughts with GloriAnn Farms regarding support of such worthy causes. “We received some really positive feedback from people via our social media platforms and website this year,” said Katie Veenstra, director of marketing for GloriAnn Farms. “Many people are affected by breast cancer in one way or another and we all owe thanks to our Armed Forces, so these are two causes that most everyone can connect with and are happy to support.”

“GloriAnn Farms and Five Crowns Marketing strongly believe in giving back to the community, and being able to make these donations to such worthy organizations is truly an honor. Year after year, we are proud to continue our partnerships with both IFHF and NBCF,” Mark Bacchetti, president of GloriAnn Farms, said in the release. “We hope these partnerships will thrive for years to come!”

Will Obama's immigration reform package serve as a catalyst for legislation?

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced sweeping new executive actions on immigration reform Thursday that will likely set up the White House for a battle with the Republican-controlled Congress, but the produce industry hopes it will serve as a catalyst for a legislative fix.

During his prime-time televised speech, Obama criticized the House for failing to hold a vote on the Senate-passed bill, which he called a compromise.

obama President Obama delivered an address to the nation on immigration, from the East Room of the White House, Nov. 20, 2014. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza) "Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law?" he asked.

"Now, I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law," he continued. "But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as President — the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me — that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just," he said.

The package of executive actions the White House range from shifting more resources to the border to creating a new mechanism for undocumented workers who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years to work legally to providing portable work authorization for high-skilled workers to creating a new task force to look at visa modernization.

The package, however, does not address fixes to the guest worker program the national agriculture industry relies upon.

The speech prompted outcry from Republicans.

"The American people want both parties to focus on solving problems together, they don't support unilateral action from a president who is more interested in partisan politics than working with the people's elected representatives," said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).

Produce groups said they hoped the latest development would engage Congress on the issue, rather than focus lawmakers on a short-term response.

"We cannot yet assess the full impact of the president's actions on agriculture, but we know this: Congress must reassert its constitutional authority to make laws and pass immigration reform legislation critical to the needs of our industry and the nation," Western Growers President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Nassif said in a statement prior to the address. "Some in Congress will argue that the president's action must be met with a legislative response to block bad policies, but preventing the implementation of executive actions alone is not enough. These actions by the president should also serve as a catalyst for Congress to lead by passing meaningful immigration reform legislation."

The Agriculture Workforce Coalition also reiterated the need for Congress to act on immigration reform.

"As we look forward to the start of the new Congress in January, we strongly urge the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, Congress and the administration, to come together and pass legislation that both deals with the reality of the current agricultural workforce and recognizes the need for a new, market- based visa program to meet farmers' future labor needs," it said in a statement.