Michael Jordan’s $8.9M win over Safeway could be bad for Jewel-Osco

Safeway has been ordered to pay Michael Jordan $8.9 million for the unapproved and unlicensed use of his name in a Dominick's ad that ran in a 2009 commemorative issue of Sports Illustrated honoring the athlete. Jewel-Osco and Jordan are expected to meet in court this December over one of its ads in the same issue, according to the Chicago Tribune.jordanMichael Jordan will receive $8.9 million for Dominick’s unauthorized use of his name in this 2009 ad.

Dominick’s reportedly claimed Jordan should only receive $126,900 for the unauthorized use of his name; however, Jordan’s estimate — $10 million — was much closer to the jury’s decision.

In a statement Jordan said he was pleased with the verdict. "No one — whether or not they’re a public figure — should have to worry about their identity being used without their permission.”

According to Jordan, the $8.9 million will be given to charity.

"This case was not about money, as I plan to donate the proceeds to charity,” Jordan said in the statement. "It was about honesty and integrity. I hope this case sends a clear message, both here in the United States and around the world, that I will continue to be vigilant about protecting my name and identity. I also hope the size of the monetary award will deter others from using someone else’s identity and believing they will only pay a small penalty."

United Fresh celebrates 20 years of member advocacy on Capitol Hill

This September, the United Fresh Produce Association will mark the 20th anniversary of the United Fresh Washington Conference. Formerly known as the United Fresh Washington Public Policy Conference, the association first formally brought members to Capitol Hill in 1995 to meet with government leaders in an effort to advance produce industry issues.united

Over the past 20 years, the conference has hosted a number of congressional influencers and administration officials. Conference attendees have welcomed every secretary of agriculture in addition to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez. Notable elected leaders Sen. Tom Harkin (IA); Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI); Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA); Sen. Pat Roberts (KS); Speaker of the House, John Boehner (OH); Rep. Sam Farr (CA); Rep. Collin Peterson (MN); former Rep. Dennis Cardoza (CA); former Rep. and now Agriculture Commissioner of Florida Adam Putnam (FL); and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee and war hero Robert Dole of Kansas have also addressed attendees. Conference history is currently playing a role in the 2016 presidential debate as candidates Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC) and former Sen. Rick Santorum (PA), both past speakers at the Washington Conference, have entered their bids for the Oval Office.

In 2001, Senator Tom Harkin introduced at the Washington Conference the concept of providing a “free fresh fruit and vegetable snack” for every student in the country. One year later, the 2002 farm bill included a four-state pilot program called the Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program. Today, this program is being used in all 50 states where over 4 million low-income elementary students receive a fresh fruit or vegetable snack every day at school. During the 2008, and most recently 2013 Washington Conference, industry attendees marched to Capitol Hill and successfully advocated for funding in the farm bill focusing on trade, research, pest and disease eradication, and market development resulting in the most significant investment of federal resources in the history of U.S. agriculture policy for the fruit and vegetable industry. Attendees have influenced important debates driving congressional direction on reauthorization of the Perishable Agriculture Commodities Act in the mid-1990s, mandatory country of origin labeling for fruits and vegetables (2002-08), and the modernization of our country’s food-safety laws with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2010.

Approximately 100 industry leaders attended the Conference in 1995. By 2005, an increased presence was felt when 280 attendees marched to the Capitol Hill. This year — 20 years later — United Fresh will accompany nearly 600 industry leaders in Washington, DC, to urge action from Congress on topics such as water, H-2A and nutrition.

"The Washington Conference has a long history of prompting action in Congress," Tom Stenzel, United Fresh’s president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. "With Child Nutrition Reauthorization in the balance, drought spreading it’s effect past California for a fourth consecutive season and critical H-2A rules on the table, it has never been more important then now for Congress to hear directly from fresh produce industry leaders how their votes will impact businesses and the industry overall.”

Although the event itself has only formally convened since 1995, United Fresh has been hosting an annual public policy event for nearly 70 years, since moving headquarters to Washington, DC, in 1943. Originally called the Congress of Committees, the annual event was a time for volunteer leaders of the association to come together in Washington to conduct business meetings and share their views with the nation’s political leaders. Today, the association’s volunteer leaders still meet at the Washington Conference to conduct association business prior to their participation in two days of policy education, networking with industry peers and meeting with their congressmen on Capitol Hill.

As the event continues to draw a larger constituency of produce industry leaders, United Fresh too expands the offerings of the event. Equally important to educating executives is the need to educate the up-and-comers of the industry. The Rising Leaders Seminar was created to do just that. For the second year, United Fresh is bringing in advocacy educators to share the ins and outs of engaging with Congress, industry leaders to emphasize the important role advocacy plays when businesses come together in support of an issue or solution, and forward thinking influencers to encourage the young professionals of our industry to stay informed, aware and engaged of what takes place in Washington.

This year, Washington Conference attendees will take part in strategic, face-to-face dialogue with key members of Congress, their staff and top regulatory officials. The event includes education sessions on today’s issues facing the industry and various networking activities with industry peers. Attendees will hear from General Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and NSA; a panel of school foodservice directors diving into the details of school lunch requirements; Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. David Valadeo, Rep. Rodney Davis and political personality Tucker Carlson.

Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program reports weather has been optimal for apples

Pennsylvania is the fourth-largest apple-producing state in the country. The 2010 apple crop provided more than $700 million to the state’s economy, with approximately $3 million coming from exports to places like Central America, Israel and India.

Pennsylvania’s apple orchards are rich in tradition, with sixth, seventh and even eighth-generation families owning and operating them today.eastapAn orchard in full bloom in Bedford County, PA. (Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program)

The Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program, or PAMP, is a commodity marketing program established in 1968. It is funded by Pennsylvania apple growers and governed by a board of directors composed of growers from various regions of the state and a representative from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

The program’s goal is to promote the sale and consumption of Pennsylvania’s fresh apples and processed apple products. PAMP works with Pennsylvania retailers, direct marketers, apple processors and apple shippers to provide point of sale, promotions, and marketing support across various distribution channels. A portion of PAMP’s annual budget is dedicated to horticultural and/or marketing research.

Julie Bancroft is the executive director of PAMP.

“Weather conditions in Pennsylvania have been optimal for growing an ideal crop,” she told The Produce News. “We expect to have a full, high-quality crop with excellent color and flavor.”

PAMP is also an active member in both the U.S. Apple Association and the U.S. Apple Export Council. Membership in these organizations allows apple growers, shippers, and processors in Pennsylvania the opportunity to work directly on issues and policies affecting the apple industry, both domestic and international.

“Our volume in Pennsylvania has remained steady for the past several years, and we anticipate the same for this year’s crop,” said Bancroft. “We will likely export around three percent of our fresh crop this year.”

In Sept. 2014, PAMP announced it is proud to support the “Produce for Better Health Foundation’s Fruits & Veggies — More Matters” health initiative.

“The initiative helps promote a healthy lifestyle through expert cooking advice using many delicious fruits and vegetables, including apples, easy-to-understand nutrition information and shopping tips that everyone can use,” Bancroft noted.

This year, PAMP will be continuing its “Pick PA Apples” billboard campaign.

“Our shippers will be offering a high-graphic Eastern Apples trip-wall bin for retail,” added Bancroft. “We’ve also created a new collateral piece that is a tabloid newspaper for kids that has fun educational activities to help them learn about apples and the healthy benefits that come from eating them regularly. This will be made available to our Farm Marketers and educators in the state.”

Southwind Farms fingerling potatoes shipping, favorable market expected

With packing and shipping operation in full swing, Heyburn, ID-based Southwind Farms' fingerling potato crop looks outstanding. The company reported excellent quality, consistent sizing and good yields. Southwind expects a favorable market and consistent demand for the season.fingerl

“Since the fingerling category is small, it is difficult to estimate national supplies, but reports indicate that there has been a decrease in acreage in Colorado, which may result in decreased availability for yellow fingerlings, also known as Russian Banana fingerlings,” Robert Tominaga, Southwind Farms’ partner, said in a press release. “This will definitely have a positive impact for our market. So far, the vibe is good and our customers are eager for the new crop. We are doing our best to make sure they have access the sizes, colors, and packaging types they need.”

According to Tominaga, the market looks to be above last year. The company hopes that holds throughout the season. Fingerling potatoes continue to be on the upswing for foodservice and in-home dining. Many foodservice operations and home chefs have turned to the specialty potato for ease of preparation, plating appeal and unique flavor profile.

In an August 19, 2015 “HuffPost Taste” article, it was noted that the highly acclaimed and former White House Executive Chef Frank Ruta touts fingerling potatoes on his menu at his new restaurant, The Grill Room, located in Capella Georgetown in Washington, DC.

“We are amazed when we Google fingerling potatoes and we see endless in-home recipes and foodservice menu features,” Tominaga said in the release. “It’s exciting and we hope that professional chefs and in-home cooking enthusiasts will look to Southwind Farms for quality fingerling potatoes. With years of farming experience and dedication, we produce a crop we love and we are so fortunate that America has fallen in love with fingerling potatoes too.”

Kings' new VP of produce and floral among key promotions

Kings Food Markets announced several promotions within its merchant departments this month, including the promotion of Arthur Goncalves to vice president of produce and floral.

Goncalves, an 18-year associate of Kings, began his career with Kings in store operations as an assistant store manager. He has steadily risen through the ranks of the company since, holding several positions in operations and center store merchandising, engineering, maintenance and construction, demonstrating his business acumen, integrity and initiative to drive the business throughout each role. Most recently, he progressed into perishables merchandising as director of seafood sales and merchandising. Under his leadership, the seafood department team was recognized as department of the year.AGoncalvesArthur Goncalves

“We are so proud to promote these key department leaders within our company,” Judy Spires, president and chief executive officer of Kings Food Markets, said in a press release. “Our employees continue to raise the bar year after year, constantly making us look ahead to what’s next, and I’m certain that we are even further positioned for growth and innovation in the future.”

In addition to Goncalves' new role with the company, Scott Zoeller, vice president of deli sales and merchandising, has been promoted to vice president of deli, meat and seafood. Zoeller has been with the company since December 2004, serving numerous positions throughout the deli and has built a successful team that has provided tremendous growth in the area of prepared foods, deli and cheese.

Rick Michener, director of in-store prepared foods and chef operations, has been promoted to director of seafood sales and merchandising. In just four years at Kings, Michener has held three positions in the business and operations divisions and has been instrumental in helping to bring new and creative concepts from vision to execution.