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Legend Produce begins domestic harvest of Origami cantaloupe
Legend Produce, a leading U.S. melon supplier, has begun harvesting the popular Origami cantaloupes, which will be available through October. The characteristics and advantages of the Origami, including high Brix, thin rind, small cavity and great flavor, have made it one of the more popular melon varieties. As part of its domestic program, Legend Produce,... Read more
The Military Produce Group is showing its commitment to the environment by using reusable plastic containers from IFCO Systems for the shipment of fresh produce to dozens of commissaries. The Military Produce Group, which supplies fruits and vegetables to commissaries in the southern United States, is moving to RPCs from corrugated boxes for several commodities.... Read more
Wakefern Food Corp. unveils new Elizabeth, NJ, warehouse
The ribbon is cut at Wakefern's newest warehouse facility in Elizabeth, NJ, during an April 17 ceremony.Making a return to its roots, Wakefern Food Corp. celebrated the opening of its new Elizabeth, NJ, warehouse with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 17. “We are proud to be back in Elizabeth,” Joe Sheridan, Wakefern president and chief operating officer,... Read more
National Watermelon Association rolls out industry-branded bin for retail display
Working with a handful of growers and shippers, two major paper manufacturers and the National Watermelon Promotions Board, the National Watermelon Association has created a new bin that it hopes will gain traction at retail as the primary vehicle to represent the watermelon industry. NWA calls the new bin a “marketing vehicle that will sell more watermelons... Read more
Six leaders of the Texas produce industry will be honored April 28 at the 2014 Texas Produce Hall of Fame Banquet. The Produce Hall of Fame was established in 1988 and has since presented 134 living and posthumous awards and 17 Scott Toothaker Awards to men and women who have contributed a large part of their lives to the betterment of the Texas produce industry. The... Read more
Seven of the country's most exciting chefs and foodservice professionals representing an array of culinary styles and backgrounds will be honored this June as part of the United Fresh Produce Excellence in Foodservice Awards Program. Sponsored by PRO*ACT LLC, and now in its seventh year, the program honors chefs and their companies for their innovative and influential... Read more
The Kroger Co. announced that Timothy Massa will be promoted to group vice president, human resources and labor relations. He currently serves as vice president of corporate human resources, talent development. In this expanded role, Massa will take responsibility for labor relations when Paul Heldman, executive vice president, secretary and general counsel,... Read more
Del Campo introduces high-flavor ‘t’mates’ cocktail tomato
After reaching commercial production volume, Del Campo Supreme announced it is now offering its “t’mates” brand cocktail tomatoes. Del Campo, based in Nogales, AZ, debuted t’mates at the PMA Fresh Summit in October, giving buyers a sneak peek at this new item. Known for their well-balanced tomato taste and deep crimson color, Del Campo has the exclusivity to... Read more
Gourmet Trading’s Calif. blues start early
Gourmet Trading Co. is preparing for an early start of its California blueberry season and began packing in mid-April. Larger California blueberry volume will translate to increased promotions for Gourmet Trading Co. and its customer base. Marketing Manager Chloé Varennes said the company markets blues throughout North America as well as Europe, Asia and Australia. Along... Read more
Meissner named senior vice president of sales and marketing at Amerifresh
Tim Meissner has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing for Amerifresh, a leading produce marketer to the retail grocery and foodservice industries, based in Scottsdale, AZ. He is responsible for Amerifresh's retail, foodservice and international sales and marketing efforts. Most recently, Meissner served as supply chain officer and chief operating... Read more
Vision Produce Co. in Los Angeles has named Allan Acosta vice president of operations at its Phoenix branch. Acosta, who has more than 14 years of procurement and production experience in produce, will partner with John Caldwell, Vision Produce Co.'s vice president of sales and procurement. Most recently, Acosta was senior crop manager-tropical fruits for Ready... Read more
Rivermaid Trading Co., a Lodi, CA,-based cherry and pear packer, has installed a GP Graders AirJet Defect Grader in its Lodi facility. The 40-lane cherry line is the largest ever installed by GP Graders. Patrick Archibeque, chief executive officer of Rivermaid, and his team traveled extensively last year to evaluate all the cherry grading machines and software... Read more
Despite years of effort by numerous organizations to help the public understand the pros and cons of consuming different types of dietary fats, a new survey by the Hass Avocado Board reveals that most Americans are still unclear about the definition and role of "good" and "bad" fats. In the HAB survey of more than 1,000 adults, nearly half (42 percent) of people... Read more
In the trenches: Drive produce sales with leading-edge items
Are your produce sales vs. a year ago kind of flat? If so, then it may be time to take a good wise look at where your operation has been for the past five years and where it now needs to start heading. After doing that, plan on how you will start turning those flat sales around. The past few years have been an experience of dramatic changes for the majority... Read more
Onion harvest in state’s Imperial Valley expected to start late April
With favorable weather during the growing season, onion growers in California’s Imperial Valley are expecting good yields, good size and good quality this year. Anticipating start dates for harvest in truckload volumes range from April 21 to May 1, although some early harvesting had already begun as of the second week of April. “As you drive through the valley... Read more
The head-turning, jaw-dropping Great Big Idaho Potato Truck is back on the road for its third consecutive cross-country tour with a new message for women: Take care of your heart. The five-month 2014 Big Idaho Potato Truck Tour kicked off in Boise, ID, with waves, cheers and hugs from the students of Riverside Elementary School and salutes from soldiers at the... Read more
Braga Fresh expands organic offerings with new sleeved celery and celery hearts
Braga Fresh, based in Salinas, CA, is now offering sleeved celery and celery hearts under its sustainable produce brand, "Josie's Organics." "We are proud to expand our offerings of fresh, sustainable produce to help retailers meet growing consumer demand for organic vegetables," Rod Braga, president and chief executive officer of Braga Fresh, said in a press... Read more
Dole doubling the love during 2014 tour
Building on the success of last year's Peel the Love tour, when 107,703 recipe samples made from Dole bananas were handed out at 147 tour stops at supermarkets, special events and other local venues, Dole is doubling its efforts this summer with two tours. At the request of retailers and consumers nationwide, Dole and Blue Diamond Almond Breeze are launching... Read more
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving ahead with a new pilot program to test the impact of opening up the popular school fruit and vegetable program to canned, frozen or dried fruits and vegetables. Schools selected to participate in USDA's Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program are reimbursed for providing free fresh fruits and vegetables during... Read more
In December, the U.S. Customs & Border Protection successfully investigated a Chinese garlic dumping case, and ultimately stopped Jinxiang Hejia Co. from shipping the product into the United States. Through its investigative work, Customs discovered that the firm was not just shipping its own garlic into the United States but that other Chinese producers... Read more