RECENT HEADLINES

Ahold's Fresh Formats EVP resigns
Ahold USA has announced that Bhavdeep Singh, executive vice president of Fresh Formats, has made the decision to resign from the company. Bhavdeep Singh Scott Miller, senior vice president of operations, will oversee the Fresh Formats team on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is announced. At the end of May, veteran produce retailer Paul Kneeland... Read more
Michigan blueberry harvest kicks off with ceremonial first pick
The Michigan blueberry harvest is once again about to launch into full swing, and local growers are working long hours to ensure that the blueberries are picked, packed and available to consumers, retailers, restaurants and food manufacturers throughout the country. Michigan continues to rank among the top states in highbush blueberry production with its growers... Read more
Appeals judge sides with Georgia Commissioner Black in Vidalia onion pack and ship date case
Though the decision was delayed until after this year’s fresh Vidalia onion season came and went, a Georgia state appeals court judge ruled June 30 that Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black does indeed have the authority to set a mandatory pack and ship date for the official state vegetable, reversing lower court rulings. The question of just when a Vidalia... Read more
Dust Bowl rainmakers could not have done a finer job bringing on precipitation in rain-starved Colorado during this past spring. “We started in May with a rain cycle,” said Dick Wolfe, Colorado's state engineer. “Things really turned around.” He said conditions during March were not as snowpacked as is typical for the Centennial State. “We were way behind,”... Read more
Church Bros. #ImperfectVeg program reduces food waste and water usage
Church Bros. is activating a new program to help reduce food waste and water usage; the company is calling its part of this emerging food trend #ImperfectVeg. The idea is to sell edible fresh produce items that were previously discarded or not harvested and rotated back into the soil because they did not meet industry standards for cosmetic attributes.Vince... Read more
Brutally cold winter perfectly wonderful for New Jersey peaches
Few will forget the nearly unrelenting past winter that delivered storm after storm across the Northeast. For some, however, those frigid temperatures were a blessing, notably the New Jersey peach crop. Pegi Adam, director of communications for the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, told The Produce News that the cold put the trees into a sound dormant stage,... Read more
Southeastern Grocers to donate all profits on Fourth of July to Wounded Warrior Project
Southeastern Grocers, parent company of BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, announced that on Saturday, July 4, all profits generated at its grocery stores will be donated in support of Wounded Warrior Project’s Independence Program. The Independence Program is designed to help warriors who need to rely on their families and friends for support due... Read more
US Foods re-launches company following failed merger
Following the termination of the merger agreement between US Foods and Sysco Corp., US Foods has launched its “Just Taking Off” campaign, which it said officially marks the beginning of the company’s re-launch as an even stronger force in the foodservice industry. “Throughout the unique environment of the past 18 months, we’ve continued to serve our customers... Read more
Lidl, which operates nearly 10,000 stores throughout Europe, is pushing forward with its plans to expand into the United States. The company will open a new regional headquarters and distribution center in North Carolina's Alamance County. It plans to invest more than $125 million in the project over the next three years. Last month Lidl announced that its... Read more
Fresh From the Start set to kick off Maine broccoli deal
When Fresh From the Start kicks off its annual Maine broccoli deal in mid-July, it marks the culmination of a full year of dedication and hard work. “Our Maine broccoli program is a full-year investment, not just the summer months,” said Eric Scannelli, senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Riverhead, NY-based company, which operates as a division... Read more
United Fresh’s Stenzel, Gombas and Guenther appointed to USDA advisory committees
Tom Stenzel, United Fresh’s president and chief executive officer, along with Dave Gombas, senior vice president of food safety and technology, and Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy, have been appointed by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to serve on federal agriculture advisory committees.Tom... Read more
At this year’s annual PMA Foodservice Conference in Monterey, CA, the PMA Foundation For Industry Talent will host the Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament in honor of produce industry veteran Joe Nucci. The tournament, now featured on a new day (Thursday, July 23) will be held at the Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course. The Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament... Read more
Seald Sweet launches Kiddie Clem citrus packaging
In full swing with its summer citrus season, Seald Sweet has launched its Kiddie Clems line of packaging for its easy-to-peel clementines. The new high-graphic packaging with colorful, kid-friendly graphics is the next move following the success of the company's "Mandarina’s" brand sweet Mandarins packaging, which was launched in the summer of 2014. Seald Sweet... Read more
Peapod delivering farm-fresh produce to customers' doors
Peapod.com, a leading online grocer, is making it even easier to enjoy fresh and local seasonal produce by offering a new Peapod Local Farm Box. Throughout the summer, Peapod customers in various areas will have the opportunity to order a box of produce from local farms. Peapod customers will be able to order Peapod's Local Farm Box by early July. Each box will... Read more
The Kroger Co. announced that Mike Ellis, president and chief operating officer, has retired. He took on his most recent role at Kroger Jan. 1, 2014; however, he has been with the company for 40 years. Kroger said his successor will be named at a later date. Ellis joined Fred Meyer in 1975 as a parcel clerk at age 16, and went on to serve in a series of... Read more
Whole Foods fires back at claims of overcharging
Whole Foods has denied an allegation by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs that it was knowingly overcharging customers via improper price labeling. In a June 30 email to its customers and a post on its website, the retailer said that any errors were unintentional and that the claim that it was “systematically overcharging” its customers is “completely... Read more
Sunlight's grapes get boost from weather, now shipping
Early-season green and red seedless grape varieties are exceptional this year and shipping now, under Sunlight International’s "Pretty Lady" brand for the summer promotion. Despite the drought, this crop already has high Brix levels that are expected to increase, along with excellent size and brilliant flavor, making for a vintage year for Sunlight International.... Read more
Meijer commits $100 million to locally grown produce
As Meijer continues to expand across the Midwest, its commitment to purchasing local produce has also grown to represent an annual economic impact of nearly $100 million. “Meijer has a longstanding commitment to buying locally grown produce when available as long as the quality meets our high standards,” Jerry Suter, vice president of fresh merchandising... Read more
Phil Pisciotta Jr., a longtime produce industry veteran, died at his home surrounded by family June 28. He was 87. Mr. Pisciotta was born Oct. 16, 1927, in Kansas City, MO, and attended Wentworth Military Academy, after which he and his wife, Mary Louise, were stationed in Japan following World War II. Mr. Pisciotta began his career at Pisciotta Fruit &... Read more
Del Taco teams up with CAC to offer fresh sliced avocados
Del Taco, a leader in the Mexican quick service restaurant category, has announced that it has teamed up with the California Avocado Commission to provide customers with fresh, sliced avocado this summer. Available at participating restaurants beginning June 4, the California state fruit will be featured in Del Taco’s new Epic Grilled Chicken Avocado Burrito... Read more