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Mission Produce Inc. announced its staggering growth agenda in Colombia, including plans to ramp up avocado production within the next two years. This news comes as no surprise, since Mission Produce announced its partnership with Cartama in 2017. Cartama is one of Colombia’s largest avocado growers.colom

“Colombia will provide us with an added source of year-round, high-quality fruit,” said Mission Produce’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Barnard. “Our goal is to plant an additional 1,000-1,500 hectares of avocado trees in Colombia. This fruit will supply our domestic and international markets such as the United States and Europe. We will also continue partnering with Cartama to support volume and growth. We are replicating our vertically-integrated, cutting-edge business model in this country.”

There is a reason why Mission Produce looks toward Colombia with high expectations. This perfectly situated South American country is an ideal source for producing avocados because of its growing conditions, market accessibility and logistical abilities. “Colombia is unique in that it offers a year-round supply of fruit. Our country will act as strong source for global avocados in the coming years,” added CEO of Cartama Ricardo Uribe.

In addition, Mission Produce is a platinum sponsor of the World Avocado Congress hosted in Medellin, Colombia, next week. “The World Avocado Congress brings
people together to explore ideas and support the booming avocado category,” said Jim Donovan, senior vice president of global information and industry affairs. “We are looking forward to connecting with professionals in Colombia -- a country that will further the many opportunities that lie ahead for our industry.”

Stop & Shop has introduced a fresh new look at 21 Suffolk County stores on Long Island. The new look comes with a $133 million capital investment to improve the in-store experience for local customers, with a focus on delivering more fresh, healthy, and convenient options, plus lower prices on items throughout the store. Stop & Shop employs over 8,000 associates on Long Island and has added approximately 350 part-time associates, while also promoting nearly 100 associates to full-time positions as part of this initiative and its efforts to enhance the customer experience.toeioiejeoijeoijeoije

“The remodeling of our Long Island stores is a key milestone in our journey to refresh the Stop & Shop brand for the future and to strengthen our position as market leader,” said Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid. “We’re excited for local customers to enjoy the changes we’ve brought to Long Island like even more fresh produce, lower prices and new solutions to help make things easy for our customers get their shopping done and get back to what matters most.”   

Part of the Reimagining Stop & Shop strategy, a multi-year initiative to refresh the brand’s 400-plus stores across the Northeast, Long Island is the second market to unveil Stop & Shop’s new look, following 21 stores that were remodeled in 2018 in the Hartford, CT, market.

While updates vary by store location, highlights of the 21 newly refreshed Stop & Shop stores include the following:

  • Expanded produce sections with more organic items as well as items grown locally on Long Island like corn, tomatoes, and squash from nearby farms.
  • More prepared foods including stir fry stations, sushi bars, hot bars, and meats like brisket and pulled pork smoked right in-store, which make it convenient to pick up freshly made meals to go.
  • Wide selection of local and craft beers like Montauk Ale and South Hampton Brewing. Select stores also offer interactive beer kiosks, making it easy for customers to make delicious pairings with their food.
  • In-store cafes offering smoothies, coffee, treats, and free WiFi. It’s a place for the community to gather or for customers to stay and dine-in.  
  • Dedicated Italian sections with ethnic specialties including pasta, sauce, and olive oil and vinegar fustis to fill your own bottles.
  • Increased selection of specialty cheeses including local, freshly made Lioni mozzarella items, plus domestic and imported olives available to mix and match on our olive bars.
  • Convenience cases filled with the essentials – milk, bread, butter, and eggs – located right by check out so customers can quickly grab the most-needed items, without having to walk the entire store.
  • Faster checkout with Stop & Shop’s SCAN IT! mobile app. The app turns your smartphone into a scanner so you can scan and bag items as you put them in your cart. New, frictionless checkout means you can simply scan a barcode on your mobile phone at any register to complete your payment – and get on your way.   
  • Same Day Online Pick-Up so orders placed online at Peapod.com can be picked up at the store as soon as four hours later.
  • Great value with new, lower prices on items throughout the store.

Medellín, Colombia, the “city of eternal spring,” will host the IX World Avocado Congress Sept. 23-27. A highly anticipated industry event, the WAC has convened every four years since 1987. It brings together business leaders, academia and key innovations in a unique global exchange.wac

The organizers of the WAC 2019, Corpohass and Agrilink, invited the World Avocado Organization to host the first ever International Marketing Session as part of the IX WAC, setting the stage for continued growth in the years to come. The session will focus on the marketing activities and influences of the world’s largest avocado markets, including the United States and Europe, as well as the top emerging market, Asia (China and Japan).

Xavier Equihua, chief executive officer of WAO and president of the Peruvian Avocado Commission, has the distinct privilege of serving as chairman of the WAC’s first International Marketing Session. “I am honored to lead the International Marketing Session during congress this year. It is our commitment to excellence and a passion for transformation, that has defined the sales of the world’s favorite superfood over the past decade,” said Equihua.

Chairman of the IX WAC Juan David Mondragon added, “The World Avocado Congress takes great strides to ensure our commitment to bringing new and engaging ideas to our industry, as well as an emphasis on technological advances and trends. This International Marketing Session will be one of the highlights of our congress this year as we forge the future of the avocado industry.”

Along with Chairman Equihua, keynote speakers during the International Marketing Session include top executives from some of the most noteworthy and innovative global avocado producers, including the chairman of WAO, Zac Bard; President of Avocados from Mexico Alvaro Luke; and Tim Spann, research director of the California Avocado Commission.

Topics presented during the International Marketing Session include how the CAC became the pioneer of avocado marketing as the first marketers of avocados in the world, the challenges that the World Avocado Organization faces marketing avocados effectively in 14 different languages, and how to maintain a robust and invigorating avocado market through the summer months.

The Avocados From Mexico brand has announced its new avocado-centric concessions officially coming to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens with the debut of “TACOS por fAVOr,” which provides fans with an inventive avocado taco menu to enjoy during all of the stadium's events, including Miami Dolphins games.TacosPorFavor Logo

From Avo Mojo Chicken Tacos and Avo Pork Carnitas Tacos to a bespoke sauce bar and fresh guacamole and chips, those dining at Hard Rock Stadium can indulge in their avocado cravings at multiple “TACOS por fAVOr” locations: two side-by-side stands on the main concourse level at Northwest Section 214 and an inline stand on the club level of the venue. The new concession stands join multiple AFM-branded guac carts located on the stadium’s suite level.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Hard Rock Stadium to deliver fresh, innovative avocado menu items to fans at this incredible venue,” said Alvaro Luque, AFM president and chief executive officer. “This is the second phase of Avocado From Mexico’s flagship concession program and we’re honored to bring delicious avocado taco dishes available at TACOS por fAVOr to the Miami market.”

As consumers continue to seek out a wide range of tasty foods, stadiums across the U.S. are responding with a variety of fresh menu innovations. Given the success of its AvoEats stand in Dallas, AFM tested this new taco concept at Hard Rock Stadium during the Miami Open tennis tournament, in partnership with Centerplate, the stadium’s foodservice operator. It was such a massive success that plans to open a full concession stand this September were formed. A terrific market for fresh produce, Miami’s Hard Rock stadium sold over 25,000 tacos during this two-week activation period.

Hard Rock Stadium is a global entertainment destination that serves as home to the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Open, University of Miami football, Orange Bowl, Super Bowl LIV and the 100th season of the NFL, 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship, major concerts, international soccer matches and a host of world-class events. The facility completed a $755 million, multi-year renovation privately funded by Managing General Partner and Chairman of the Board Stephen Ross to transform the iconic venue into the best Miami has to offer in world class fare, art, culture and an elevated guest experience.

“This partnership is a great way for us to elevate consumers’ dining experiences by having Avocados From Mexico readily available at Hard Rock Stadium. There’s no better way to watch the events at the arena than with a taco or chips and guacamole in-hand, and we’re excited for fans to enjoy the options at TACOS por fAVOr,” said Stephanie Browder, associate director of foodservice at AFM.

IMG Citrus, a family-owned, vertically integrated citrus grower-packer-shipper in Vero Beach, FL, has added a $1.5 million investment to its packinghouse processing line, a state-of-the-art electronic fruit grader, the “Global Scan 7” manufactured by MAF Roda Industries in France.

The new sorter has the ability to precisely capture 120 images per fruit and up to 120 fruit per second in high definition. At a processing speed of 7,200 fruit per minute, the Global Scan 7 has the capability to process a total of 864,000 pictures per minute. It then analyzes the images against specific criteria such as percentage of blemish, weight, color, shape, and density concluding with 99 percent accuracy.salMichel Sallin

“Our customers will greatly benefit from this technology because of much better consistency from carton to carton and from fruit to fruit,” said Michel Sallin, IMG Citrus president.

Based on how the product compares to the set criteria, it is routed to respective marketplaces. The sorter will improve the overall quality of fruit through the identification and elimination of late blooms, which are not as sweet or juicy, as well as greening fruit.

“In a Greening environment, it is important to protect the superior taste of Florida grapefruit and eliminate the few outliers,” said Sallin. “To be successful in the fresh business, each piece of fruit needs to bring happiness to our consumers. Not many products have the privilege to be considered to be the best in the world, and it is IMG Citrus’ mission to protect this reputation of Florida grapefruit.”

IMG Citrus recently acquired Emerald Grove in St. Lucie County, renamed to be Happy Food grove after its consumer brand. This acquisition makes IMG Citrus one of the largest growers of Florida grapefruit and an important player in the industry. The dedication to the citrus industry through investments such as the Global Scan 7, shows its dedication to fresh Florida citrus and helps bring excitement to the industry.

“We are excited to bring the latest technology in packinghouse equipment into our facilities,” said Todd Haffield, packinghouse director at IMG Citrus. “We have been known for having great tasting fruit, and this expansion allows us to bring more of it to the market. We believe in the future of Florida citrus, and our investment in the Global Scan 7 shows just that.”

The increased precision of fruit grading is critical to IMG Citrus’ ability to fully understand crop characteristics in order to enhance decision making and crop management. The Global Scan 7 also adds efficiency to its packing process while simultaneously decreasing cost. IMG Citrus has also learned that internal quality of grapefruit is better measured with density, color, and shape than with a Brix sensor, allowing the elimination of late blooms and greening fruit. With today’s enhanced technology, IMG Citrus once again is on the forefront of bringing state-of-the-art equipment to its packinghouse as it continues its commitment to customers by providing consistent taste and quality.

The addition of the MAF Globalscan 7 will increase long-term value for IMG Citrus’ stakeholders. With the introduction of this new, state-of-the-art technology, IMG Citrus can ensure a product with the consistent taste attributed to Florida citrus, fruit after fruit.