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RECENT HEADLINES

Chile looking forward to better year for fruit exports
ANAHEIM, CA — An early-October freeze in fruit-growing regions in Chile is not expected to have a significant impact on export volume, according to officials at the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association and the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association, known commonly by the acronym ASOEX. Meeting with The Produce News during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit... Read more
Acquisition gives Mack Farms additional acreage in Florida
Mack Farms Inc. is increasing its Florida potato and watermelon acreage and expanding into other fresh produce items with the purchase of a south Florida produce operation. The Lake Wales, FL-based Mack Farms recently acquired Eagle Island Farms in Okeechobee, FL. Eagle Island grows and ships cabbage, potatoes, sweet corn and sweet onions from about 2,000 irrigated... Read more
Food Lion announced that Meg Ham has been named president of Food Lion effective Nov. 1. She succeeds Beth Newlands Campbell, who is leaving the company for personal and professional reasons. "We are extremely pleased to tap into internal talent to ensure a seamless transition of Food Lion operations to Meg Ham," Kevin Holt, chief executive officer of Delhaize... Read more
With California’s coastal and San Joaquin Valley vegetable deals winding down prior to the volume coming on in the desert deals, many items are in a demand-exceeds-supply situation that could remain in effect through Thanksgiving. On Monday, Oct. 27, the Iceberg lettuce market hit $20 f.o.b. and there is every indication it could go much higher over the next... Read more
Domex Superfresh Growers launches 'Share Your Perfect Pear' sweepstakes
Domex Superfresh Growers, a global leader in the growing and shipping of fresh apples, pears, cherries and apricots, has launched a new social media and in-store promotion called "Share Your Perfect Pear" sweepstakes. Domex Superfresh Growers will offer retailers a suite of in-store and online partnership opportunities, including ready-to-post social content,... Read more
After more than two years without access to China for Washington Red and Golden Delicious apples, USDA's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service officially announced reinstatement of market access for apples from Washington state to China, effective immediately. Shipments of Washington apples to China stopped in August of 2012, when the Chinese government... Read more
The Environmental Working Group, best known for lambasting fresh produce with its annual "Dirty Dozen" list, has released a new food database and smart phone app that recommends eating the same produce it has been railing against for years. The "Food Scores" app rates about 80,000 foods on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being the best and 10 the worst. Only 18 percent... Read more
Jim Formisano, lifelong member of NJ produce industry, was 64
James Anthony Formisano, a lifelong member of the fresh produce industry, died Oct. 2 of liver cancer at his home in Buena, NJ. He was 64 years old. Mr. Formisano, known as Jim, was born Jan. 27, 1950, in Hackensack, NJ, but moved to the southern part of the state when he was 2 years old, according to his sister Carol Swendsen. He was raised in Buena, graduated... Read more
San Francisco Market holds opening of new building
On Oct. 22, the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market marked what is being called the first phase of an expansion project with the opening of a brand new 85,000-square-foot state-of-the-art produce and food distribution facility. The warehouse and office structure, which sits on 3.4-acre site on Rankin Street adjacent to the 50-year-old market, will house several... Read more
Wegmans holds kale-tasting event
All Wegmans stores will be holding a "Love Kale" tasting event Saturday, Nov. 1 to highlight the vegetable's versatility, flavor and health benefits. Kale-inspired foods will be distributed throughout the store, allowing each department to feature its own kale-centric recipe, loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. “Kale tastes great in so many different... Read more
On the heels of news that billionaire Bill Gates is likely behind the purchase of two south Georgia farms comes news that another investment group linked to the Microsoft founder recently paid almost $28 million for more than 4,500 acres of farmland in Suwanee County, FL, a major vegetable production area in the northern part of the state. There are also unsubstantiated... Read more
10 tons of watermelon served at Marine Corps Marathon
At 92 percent water and chock full of nutrients, watermelon is a naturally hydrating food fit for the finish line. That’s the message National Watermelon Promotion Board, along with its entourage of watermelon queens from National Watermelon Association and mascot J. Slice, shared during the Marine Corps Marathon festivities in Washington, DC, Oct. 24-26, where... Read more
Richard (Dick) Adam Sr., who grew vegetables in California's Santa Maria Valley for more than 50 years, died at his home Thursday, Oct. 23. He was 84. The fourth-generation grower farmed with his brother Jack until 1994, when he and his sons struck out on their own. At Adam Bros. Family Farms, the fifth generation continues to grow broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce,... Read more
ANAHEIM, CA — Thinking ahead and not trying to imitate past successes was the common theme of the two breakfast keynote speakers during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit, held Oct. 17-19, here. Complacency, repetition and protecting what you have achieved are three “traps” that businesses fall into, admonished Jeremy Gutsche, founder of Trendhunter.com... Read more
Fresh Summit exhibitors donate 217,667 pounds of produce to help Orange County families
Following the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit Convention & Expo held Oct. 17-19 in Anaheim, CA, exhibitors donated 217,667 pounds of produce to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Over the past decade, PMA exhibitors have donated more than 2.9 million pounds of fresh produce to communities in need in the United States. PMA Fresh Summit... Read more
ANAHEIM, CA — Perhaps the most well-attended workshop session during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention was the Oct. 17 meeting to analyze the latest proposals concerning the Food Safety Modernization Act. Most of the participants seemed relieved — judging by reactions and questions — as FDA Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Foods Mike Taylor... Read more
Chiquita Brands International Inc. and the Cutrale-Safra group announced a definitive merger agreement under which Cutrale-Safra will acquire all outstanding common shares of Chiquita for $14.50 per share in cash — approximately $1.3 billion, including the assumption of Chiquita’s net debt. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014 or early 2015,... Read more
CMI cherry snacking pouch wins PMA Impact Award
CMI was one of the five winning companies recognized for excellence in packaging. Its Go-Go Fresh cherry snacking pouch bag was one of 67 entries submitted by 56 companies. In addition to CMI, winners were Earthbound Farm for its PowerMeal Bowls, Fresh Solutions Network for its Side Delights potato pouch bags, Mucci Farms for its New Pint tomato packaging and... Read more
Roundy’s George Hurst honored as 2014 Mango Retailer of the Year
The National Mango Board has honored George Hurst of Roundy’s Supermarkets as its 2014 Mango Retailer of the Year. Each year, the NMB selects four Model Mango Retailers, one from each region of the United States. All of these retailers are honored for their dedication to supporting the growth of the mango category. The winner was announced at the NMB’s Mango... Read more
Walmart Canada launches Half Your Plate program
Walmart Canada has joined Half Your Plate, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association's healthy eating campaign designed to get Canadians of all ages to eat more fruits and veggies to improve their health. After a successful launch on social media this summer, Half Your Plate is now making its way onto produce packaging and into retail stores across Canada. “We... Read more