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New CGTbyPMA program prepares university seniors to be 'Rooted to Succeed'
Top university students likely don't think of the fresh produce and floral industry as a career choice unless they grew up around agriculture, and that's especially true for students in non-agriculture majors that are in high demand in today's industry. To help prepare more students to begin successful careers in the industry, Center for Growing Talent by PMA... Read more
AFM opens Culinary Innovation Center in Dallas, will launch Avocado University in early 2018
DALLAS -- Avocados from Mexico is bringing the magic of Michoacan to the eighth floor of its headquarters, here, with the grand opening of its Culinary Innovation Center. AFM held a reception Sept. 20 to commemorate the opening, where Chef Mark Garcia, director of foodservice marketing for AFM, and Chef Kent Rathbun, a four-time James Beard Award nominee and... Read more
Ahold produce sales to get a healthy boost
Healthy Savings, a Minnesota-based healthy lifestyle program focused on improving diets, will expand its retail network this October with the addition of Ahold USA’s brands, including Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover and Giant/Martin’s. Healthy Savings programs are sponsored by health plans, government... Read more
Meijer's Misfits program off to a monstrous start
Meijer offers a unique line of Misfits produce that helps connect shoppers to tasty but cosmetically-challenged fruits and vegetables at a reduced price. Delivered daily to 235 Meijer stores across the Midwest, the packaged fresh produce may be discolored, scarred or odd-sized, but offers the same taste, freshness and quality of other produce the retailer carries. The... Read more
Plant-based tuna to hit Whole Foods sushi cases
Whole Foods Market will now offer Ahimi, a plant-based alternative to raw tuna, in select sushi venues in Los Angeles and New York. Ahimi, created by Ocean Hugger Foods, is made from tomatoes and umami-rich ingredients to replicate the taste and texture of ahi tuna.   “A tasty, vegan option for raw tuna is at the intersection of a few major trends,... Read more
IPC's new commissioner is first woman to represent potato growers
At the 2017 Idaho Grower Shippers Association meeting in Sun Valley, ID, the Idaho Potato Commission announced the appointment of Mary Hasenoehrl of Gross Farms, the first female to represent potato growers. Randy Hardy of Hardy Farms and Nick Blanksma of Legacy Farms were also sworn in to serve second three-year terms. “I’m looking forward to working... Read more
Efficiency is generally good for businesses, but changes meant to streamline decision-making at Amazon-acquired Whole Foods could hurt local suppliers. Starting in 2018 the retailer plans to change the way it allows companies to sell and market products in stores, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. At the core of the change is a shift toward a... Read more
Albertsons acquisition sets the stage for meal kit service
Albertsons Cos. announced the acquisition of Plated, a premier meal kit service. This move advances a shared strategy to reinvent the way consumers discover, purchase and experience food. Plated will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertsons Cos. In teaming up with Plated, Albertsons Cos. adds a meal kit company with leading technology and data capabilities,... Read more
  Tanimura & Antle expands Artisan Family with Artisan Dew Drop cabbage
Tanimura & Antle has launched a new and exciting addition to its Artisan Family of products: Artisan Dew Drop cabbage. Over the past year, the company’s in-house product development team has been testing the item at various growing locations to assure year-round availability and has now increased the volume of the program. The Artisan Dew Drop cabbage... Read more
Production to spiral out of control at Veggie Noodle Co.
Veggie Noodle Co. has completed construction on a custom-designed, 42,300-square-foot facility with five times the production capacity of its current operation. The new building will employ over 250 people locally and is a SQF level 3 food production facility, meeting the highest level of comprehensive implementation of food safety and quality management as... Read more
The United Fresh Produce Association and Western Growers Association have entered into a formal marketing agreement to jointly promote the Western Growers Shield, a first-of-its-kind insurance program specifically designed to protect food companies from recall liability. “This program represents an innovative solution to a critical bottom line issue facing... Read more
Mexico City earthquake leaves Centro de Abasto unharmed
As Sept. 20 rescue efforts revealed more than 250 deaths in Mexico City on the day after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake centered in nearby Puebla, preliminary indications were that those in and supporting the Mexican produce industry escaped without major negative effects. Calls into Mexico City were not connecting early on Sept. 20, but responses by email indicated... Read more
The Kroger Co. announced a new, national effort aimed at ending hunger in the communities Kroger calls home and eliminating waste across the company by 2025. "No family in a community we serve should ever go hungry, and no food in a store we operate should ever go to waste," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. Across the United States, 42 million... Read more
After a transformational 23 years of emphasizing the fresh in fresh produce, SunFed is evolving once again with the appointment of Craig Slate as the company’s president and CEO. Co-Founder Danny Mandel, the company’s most recent president and CEO, has retired, effective Aug. 31. “I am proud to have Craig carry our company’s passion,... Read more
Stop & Shop's HowGood news is great for produce
Stop & Shop grocery stores in Massachusetts have partnered with HowGood, an independent research organization dedicated to bringing transparency to the shopping experience. Now Stop & Shop customers can benefit from HowGood’s extensive research and easily identify food products that meet rigorous environmental and social benchmarks. Using the simple... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on two California produce businesses — Fontana Wholesale and Mpgwest — for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry: Mpgwest LLC,... Read more
Cleanup from Hurricane Irma a daunting task
Major hurricanes like Irma take a major toll on farmland, even when it’s very early in the season. When Irma scathed the western side of Florida in early September, plantings in North Florida were in their early growth stage in greenhouses intended to protect them. Other young plants were already planted in fields, typically covered with plastic that protects... Read more
New leadership at Rice Fruit Co.
Ben Rice and Brenda Briggs are the new leaders of Rice Fruit Co. At the company’s Sept. 14 board of directors meeting Rice was elected president, succeeding his father, David Rice. Briggs, vice president of sales and marketing, assumed the leadership of sales at the company earlier this year when John Rice stepped back from his duties. Ben Rice and Briggs... Read more
A very berry boost for organic sales
For retailers looking to boost organic sales focus should be placed on berries and packaged salads. In an educational seminar prior to the opening of the New England Produce Council show entitled Excellence in Organic Merchandising, Matt Seeley, chief executive officer of the Organic Produce Network, emphasized that berries and packaged salads were driving organic... Read more
Pure Palm now shipping fresh crop Medjool dates
Pure Palm Produce, a Bakersfield, CA-based grower that specializes in California-grown Medjool dates, is now shipping fresh crop from the Coachella Valley. “The 2017 Medjool Date Harvest is under way in California’s Coachella Valley,” said Ben Antongiovanni, president of Pure Palm Produce. “This year’s harvest was about 10 days... Read more