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Tajin-Nature’s Partner create joint promotion

Giumarra announced that it is joining with Tajin Seasonings for an exciting promotion featuring Nature’s Partner brand watermelons. The promotion will begin in early May with watermelons grown in Sonora, Mexico.

“We were looking for an innovative way to offer something new and different with our watermelons," Gil Munguia, division manager for Giumarra Nogales, said in a press release.natures partner tajin "We wanted a promotion that was cross-cultural and had a value-added element. Tajin Seasonings are the most popular seasonings for produce items in Mexico and in North America, and it was the perfect fit.”

To support the promotion and boost consumer interest and sales of Nature’s Partner watermelon with Tajin, the two companies are offering colorful co-branded bins and a specially designed label with a free Tajin seasoning packet.

The high-graphic bin artwork features a watermelon slice being seasoned with Tajin, as well as logos and social information for both Nature’s Partner and Tajin. The label features a .05-ounce Tajin packet on the front, and a $0.25 coupon on the back. The promotion and supporting materials are available throughout North America.

“Watermelon is one of the most popular fruits for use with Tajin Seasoning,” Juan Carlos Limon, marketing manager of Tajin USA, said in the release. “It creates such a unique, refreshing flavor. We are thrilled to be working with Giumarra and their watermelon program on this promotion, which is the first of its kind for us. We hope to continue to roll out more promotions generating excitement about healthy eating with produce and Tajin.”

The promotion is available through May and will be available again in fall 2016. Both Nature’s Partner and Tajin will feature new social media posts designed to drive interest and support the promotion throughout its duration.

“Tajin sales continue to grow and we’ve experienced over 30 percent compounded annual growth over the last five years. Our emphasis has been to increase healthy snacking with fruits and vegetables by seasoning with Tajin,” said Limon.

Costco receiving shipments of EFI-certified produce from Windset Farms

The Equitable Food Initiative, a nonprofit that brings together workers, growers and retailers to produce safer, more responsibly grown fruits and vegetables, announced that fresh fruits and vegetables labeled “Responsibly Grown. Farmworker Assured.” from Windset Farms are now available at select Costco locations in the northwest United States.windset

“At Windset Farms, we’re committed to providing consumers with the highest quality produce possible,” Jeff Madu, director of sales at Windset Farms, said in a press release. “This includes the value and quality throughout the entire food system made up of workers, growers, retailers and consumers alike. Our certification with EFI makes sure that our workers are receiving fair wages, benefits and safe working conditions.”

Windset Farms grows only non-GMO produce, including peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, strawberries, eggplant and endive. The Windset Farms Canadian facility in Delta, BC, is EFI’s first certified farm in Canada. EFI is working with the organization to certify other farms in the United States. The Delta facility produces peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.

For EFI, the Canadian facility posed a unique challenge, with English-, Punjabi- and Spanish-speaking workers. “EFI’s workforce development team is committed to providing tailored solutions for any operation,” Peter O’Driscoll, executive director at EFI, said in the release. “Our trainers collaborated with Windset to provide simultaneous tri-lingual interpretation, helping to bridge the gaps among different groups of workers. They now approach problem-solving activities together to keep the farm in compliance with EFI standards. This type of workforce development represents a big win for both Windset and EFI and shows that EFI is not just another certification.”

EFI’s multi-stakeholder approach to workforce development, certification and verification welcomes participation from across the produce industry. This includes retailers, growers, farmworker organizations and consumer advocacy groups. EFI standards include compliance indicators for labor conditions, food safety and environmental stewardship.

EFI has so far certified four produce facilities in the United States, four in Mexico and one in Canada, and it is working with other produce suppliers to achieve certification later this year.

Fairway files 'prepackaged' Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Fairway Group Holdings Corp., the parent company of Fairway Market, and certain of its subsidiaries have filed a joint prepackaged Chapter 11 plan of reorganization and filed voluntary petitions for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. The company said it intends to use the Chapter 11 process to facilitate a financial restructuring designed to restore Fairway to long-term financial health while continuing to operate in the normal course of business without interruption.fairway

"We believe that implementing this prepackaged plan is the best opportunity for Fairway to restructure its balance sheet on an expedited basis, strengthen its operations, retain jobs and create long-term value, while continuing to provide customers with the best food experience in the greater New York area," Jack Murphy, chief executive officer, said in a press release.

The company expects no interruptions to customer service throughout the process, and it said during the Chapter 11 process it expects to pay for purchases of goods and services in the ordinary course of business.

Fairway Group Holdings Corp. reached an agreement with its senior secured lenders holding more than 70 percent of the company's senior secured debt on the terms of a reorganization that will eliminate approximately $140 million of senior secured debt and provide financing to restructure the company's balance sheet. Fairway filed the prepackaged plan to implement the agreed upon restructuring.

In accordance with the plan, holders of general unsecured claims, including suppliers, employees, unions and all other trade creditors will receive payment in full on account of existing obligations in the ordinary course of business. Further, the five collective bargaining agreements between Fairway and each of the unions will be assumed under the prepackaged plan and remain in full force and effect. All of the company's outstanding shares of common stock will be cancelled.

As a part of the prepackaged plan, the company entered into an agreement with certain holders of the company's senior secured loans. Supporting lenders agreed to vote in favor of the company's prepackaged plan and exchange their loans for common equity and $84 million of debt of the reorganized company. All other prepetition creditors will not be impaired and will be paid in in the ordinary course.  Successful implementation of the proposed plan would result in a substantial conversion into equity of the company's $279 million of senior secured loans.

In conjunction with its filing, the company is seeking approval to enter into a $55 million superpriority secured debtor-in-possession credit facility and a $30.6 million letter of credit facility to cover outstanding letters of credit, which will be provided by certain of the company's existing senior secured lenders. The proposed DIP financing will help support Fairway's reorganization plans and enable normal post-petition operation of its business, including timely payment of employee wages, benefits and other obligations on an uninterrupted basis.  In addition, the company has also secured a commitment from its current lenders to convert the amounts extended under the DIP loan to an exit loan.  Fairway has also filed a number of customary first day motions with the bankruptcy court to support ongoing operations.

The Big Idaho Potato Truck rolls out for fifth national tour

Back by popular demand, the world’s largest potato on wheels is traveling across the country promoting Idaho’s most famous agricultural product, the Idaho potato. While on its journey, the Big Idaho Potato Truck will help dozens of charities better serve their communities through its charitable program, “A Big Helping.”ipcpo

“The Big Idaho Potato Truck has become the cornerstone of the Idaho Potato Commission’s marketing program,” Frank Muir, president and chief executive officer of the Idaho Potato Commission, said in a press release. “By promoting the truck in our national advertising campaign, participating in events with hundreds of thousands of attendees and making stops at key retail and foodservice operations, we’ve been able to engage millions of consumers of all ages across the country.”

During its seven-month tour, the truck will travel approximately 28,000 miles and be heralded as the main attraction in several parades and festivals across the country, including Thunder Over Louisville in Kentucky, the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC, Portland, OR’s Rose Festival Starlight Celebration and the Sea Fair Festival in Seattle.

In November, the truck will participate in what will be its most unique and head-turning event yet. It will be part of the entourage of vehicles transporting the 60-foot Capitol Christmas Tree from Payette National Forest in Idaho to Washington, DC. The Big Idaho Potato Truck will deliver hundreds of ornaments made by Idaho schoolchildren and participate in local events scheduled to take place along the cross-country journey.

The Tour

There are numerous ways for folks to follow the 2016 Big Idaho Potato Truck Tour and plenty of opportunities to see it in person:

  • is the Truck’s official website that has a calendar listing all the Truck’s stops.
  • provides a live feed of the oversized spud, allowing visitors to see where it is any time of day.
  • Social media channels will continue to provide spud lovers with direct interaction with the Tater Team, the threesome that travels with the Truck, and the latest news on the tour: Facebook: Big Idaho Potato Tour; Instagram: @bigidahopotato; Twitter: #bigidahopotato; Vine: bigidahopotato.

The Tater Team

The Tater Team is made up of three people who love to travel — especially in a giant spud. Ellis, an experienced Tater Team member, is on board for his fourth tour and travels the globe when he’s not working with the IPC. Adam, a second-year truck veteran, is an outgoing Boise native who brings his fitness degree on the road. And “Larry the Driver” was the truck’s very first driver and has hundreds of tales from the road to share.

The TruckThe Big Idaho Potato weighs more than six tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho potatoes). After being seen by hundreds of millions of Americans, the most frequently asked question is still, “Is it real?” If it is, the Big Idaho Potato would make 30,325 servings of mashed potatoes; could make more than 1.4 million (1,455,570) french fries; and would weigh 1,102 times more than the largest potato ever grown, which clocked in at 11 pounds.

To date, the Truck has visited 48 states (all but Hawaii and Alaska), traveled through more than 3,000 towns and cities, and traveled 100,000 miles since its 2012 launch celebrating the 75th anniversary of the IPC. The Big Idaho Potato Truck was built by Chris and Sharolyn Schofield of Weiser, ID, with the help of a few specialized contractors. The truck took a full year to design and build.

A Big Helping

The Big Idaho Potato Truck tour has always had a charitable component to it, and now in its second year, “A Big Helping” is the truck’s way of assisting local charities across the country. During its seven-month tour, the truck’s management team will identify local charities to receive a $500 donation via a Signature Board that’s set up at the events the truck visits. Past recipients have included food banks, children’s hospitals and animal shelters.

“We already know that the truck brings smiles to people wherever it goes but now it’s also helping people and that feels pretty good,” said Muir.

Record cherry crop predicted in British Columbia

As summer grows closer, so does the abundance of summer fruit from the orchards of BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, and for the second consecutive year consumers will see and taste the fruit early.

Because of another early and very warm spring, BC Tree Fruits cherries will be in stores in early June in ample supply. With a record 12 million pounds estimated for this season, consumers will have an abundance of the juicy and sweet cherries to enjoy over the summer months.

The 12 million pounds of BC Tree Fruits cherries estimated for this season is up from the 10.5 million pounds from 2015. For the rest of the summer fruit coming from Okanagan orchards, BC Tree Fruits is estimating an increase in tonnage of approximately 20-25 percent across other commodities.

“Mother Nature has provided our growers with very warm spring days leading up to bloom resulting in another early start to the summer fruit season this year,” BC Tree Fruits Marketing Manager Chris Pollock said in a press release. “We expect to start harvesting early-season varieties of BC Tree Fruits cherries in early June, with the fruit hitting retail shelves very soon after.”

The primary market for BC Tree Fruits cherries remains western Canada and the United States. The remainder is marketed and sold to key offshore markets through the partnership with Sutherland S.A. Produce Inc.