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Canada Organic Trade  Association makes major strides with European Union on equivalency arrangements
Following five years of negotiations, the European Union Regulatory Committee on Organic Production voted on the expansion of the current scope of the Canada-EU Organic Equivalency Arrangement March 2. Processed products with imported ingredients certified in accordance with Canada’s organic legislation will now be covered under the agreement. In a press... Read more
As soon as June 27, 2016, avocados from any Mexican state will be allowed into the United States, as long as packers follow a systems approach for shipping and the protocol has been certified. On Feb. 5, 1997, the U.S. Department of Agriculture first allowed limited shipments of Mexican avocados into the United States.  Initially, those shipments had to... Read more
A new grocery store offering a one-of-a-kind experience in Quebec officially opened its doors in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent. After more than 32 years on Keller Boulevard, the Duchemin Family has realized a dream — and met the hopes of customers — by moving its store a few streets away from where it first set down deep roots in the neighbourhood. The... Read more
Hannaford to sell fruit and vegetable Misfits
Hannaford Supermarkets has started selling some produce items that are less-than-perfect looking — along with the beautiful fruit and vegetables for which it is known — in the Albany, NY, area. Called "Misfits" produce, these items may be slightly discolored or not uniform in size; in some instances they have an unusual shape or bump. The food is... Read more
California new potato crop finding good demand
The two big stories out of California’s Kern County potato deal this year are that there is a fairly good market and there are no russet potatoes. The russet deal, which was the core of the California fresh potato industry for decades, has been in decline for 20 years and finally it is no more. A survey of the acreage revealed no russet acreage this year.... Read more
Cherry marketing insights for retailers
With the approaching Northwest cherry season, two tree fruit producers are urging retailers to flesh out the details of their programs to ensure maximum rings at the register. Steve Lutz, Columbia Marketing International’s vice president of marketing, is looking for a shorter peak window during the 2016 cherry season. He provided a chart that shows retail... Read more
Top-performing Envy apple returns to the market next week
Oppy offers Envy apples from New Zealand and Chile from June through September, and the wait is almost over. The New Zealand Envy apple crop is on the water. Envy sales nearly doubled in volume between 2014 and 2015, and its dollar contribution increased by over 120 percent, growing faster than all other premium apples in both measures, according to FreshLook... Read more
Weis Markets has entered into an agreement with Mars Super Markets Inc. to purchase five Mars stores in Baltimore County. According to a report in The Baltimore Sun, Mars will close its remaining grocery stores July 31 as a result of declining sales. Weis intends to complete its purchase in late July. Once the purchase is complete, Weis Markets will operate... Read more
Whole Foods opens first store under 365 banner
The first 365 by Whole Foods Market location opened today in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake, and it offers 5,000 square feet of produce with an extensive selection of organic and conventionally grown fruits and vegetables. Another key feature is “veg valley,” an enclosed area for chilled produce. Two other 365 by Whole Foods Market stores will... Read more
Monsanto rejects Bayer's $62 billion offer, but open to talks
Monsanto has rejected Bayer's $62 billion offer, saying its board of directors unanimously viewed the Bayer AG proposal as incomplete and financially inadequate. Monsanto, however, did say it is open to continued and constructive conversations to assess whether a transaction in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be achieved. “We believe in the... Read more
WASHINGTON — A new study by the National Academy of Sciences finds no substantiated evidence of human health risk from genetically engineered crops, nor did it find "conclusive cause-and-effect evidence" of environmental problems. However, NAS called resistance to current GE characteristics in crops a major agricultural problem. Researchers examined nearly... Read more
Giumarra now offering Certified Organic vegetables
The Giumarra Cos.' Los Angeles wholesale operation, Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co., recently added Certified Organic vegetables to its product line. The new organic line includes lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, beets, chard and kale, along with a variety of specialty vegetables, greens and herbs.Chuck Anunciation, division manager of Giumarra Bros.... Read more
Big Y and partners award $110,000 to local farmers
Big Y, which operates stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts, along with Local Farmer Award and the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, awarded 47 local farmers $2,500 each to make physical infrastructure improvements to their farms. Along with the support of sponsors, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and MGM Springfield, farmers have already... Read more
Arrow Farms of New York has paid a $15,000 civil penalty for slow pay violations relating to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. To settle a complaint, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Arrow Farms of New York entered into a consent decision in which the company agreed to pay a $15,000 civil penalty for failing to make full payment promptly to... Read more
Organic Trade Association activities in full gear this year
The Organic Trade Association has a lot going on this year. In early March a record-setting crowd of more than 650 organic visionaries, activists and business executives gathered in Anaheim, CA, for the Organic Center’s Annual Benefit Dinner. Attendees enjoyed an organic feast, caught up with old friends, made new ones and celebrated the science of organic.... Read more
Northwest cherry growers eyeing 20.5 million box crop
A Round One projection for the 2016 Northwest cherry crop has been compiled by the 22-person Northwest Cherries Field Estimate Team. According to data, the first estimates indicate that a total of 20.5 million 20-pound equivalent boxes are expected to be produced during the 2016 cherry season. “As always, it is important to note that this Round One estimate... Read more
Mushroom recipes abound on heels of the Mushroom Council’s The Blend campaign
The Mushroom Council set off a virtual recipe storm when it launched The Blend initiative a couple of years ago. The project calls for a portion of meat protein to be replaced with mushrooms, resulting in less fat and calories and higher nutrition and flavor. Mushroom producers jumped on the opportunity to participate, and chefs and consumers are following suit. Kathleen... Read more
Supervalu one step closer to Save-A-Lot spin-off
In July Supervalu announced it was exploring a potential separation of its Save-A-Lot segment. As part of that process it had begun preparations to allow for a possible spin-off of Save-A-Lot into a stand-alone, publicly traded company. Now that is one step closer to becoming a reality. Supervalu has successfully completed the amendment of its $1.5 billion... Read more
Tom Lange Family of Cos. joins Peoria Public Schools for A to Z Salad Bar Celebration
Last week Becky Wilson, Tom Lange Family of Cos. vice president of operations, and Bre Macomber from Tom Lange Family of Cos. joined third and fourth grade students from Franklin Primary School at the school’s A to Z Salad Bar Celebration and Fruit & Veggie Pep Rally. The event, organized in part with the United Fresh Start Foundation, showcased... Read more
SEPC golf tournament raises $85,000 for two good causes
GREENSBORO, NC -- The Southeast Produce Council raised $85,000 to help two organizations at its third annual Terry Vorhees Charity Golf Classic, held May 17-19 at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center, here. The two beneficiaries, which each received $42,500, were the Produce for Better Health Foundation and Victory Junction. The Southeast Produce Council... Read more