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FOUNDED IN NYC • 1897 Vol. 119, No. 19 September 5-19, 2016 VISIT WWW.THEPRODUCENEWS.COM FOR THE LATEST INDUSTRY UPDATES Hit the nail on the head R E TAIL V IEW BY TIM LINDEN Is an online presence a crucial survival strategy for supermarkets? Amazon’s grocery business con- tinues to grow and the firm recently opened a brick-and-mortar store in Seattle to serve largely as pick-up spot for online orders. Walmart is clearly making an aggressive play in that space as it just recently agreed to acquire Jet.com, one of the fast- est-growing e-commerce companies in the United States. Clearly the race is on to appeal to younger generations and capture the supermarket sales that are going to move to the digital space. Executives at MyWebGrocer, a firm that offers an online presence to retailers, believes the line has been drawn in the sand. “Grocers who do not enter the online grocery space and find ways to compete now risk getting caught in the crossfire and losing business down the line,” said Senior Vice President Barry Clogan. Colleague Joseph Lee, global senior vice president of commerce and marketing, agreed, telling The Produce News Lee that offering “a digital experience for your customers is essential for the future growth of any grocer.” Whether it be a one- or two-store independent, a regional chain or a national grocer with thousands of CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 At the Quebec Produce Marketing Association’s 69th annual convention, held Aug. 18-21 in Montreal, Francois Van Winden and Nadia Cadinal of Veg Pro International square off in a competition to be the first to hammer a nail into a log during an Ok- toberfest-themed reception. See story and additional photos beginning on page 26. Photo by John Groh. Avocados From Mexico goes big for the Month of the Guac A new promotion kicks off tailgating season and makes fall the season for guacamole Avocados From Mexico, the No. 1 selling avocado in the United States, is going big for National Guac Month by bringing both retailers and consumers even more reasons to fill up their dip bowls with fresh, flavorful guac during the months of Sep- tember and October. In addition to special in-store dis- plays, huge consum- er incentive offers will be launched to support the demand of avocados this fall season. AFM’s newest campaign, For the Love of Guac, seeks to fully charge every September cele- bration, from Hispanic Heritage Month and Labor Day to National Guacamo- le Day (Sept. 16) and the kick-off of fall football by launching its first-ever national BOGO offer — buy one Avoca- do from Mexico and get one free. “For the Love of Guac” will pro- mote and distribute over 2 million BOGO coupons through three differ- ent vehicles. First is a national Catalina in-store coupon tar- geting consumers of bulk and bagged avo- cados at the register. Second, Coupons. com will feature the BOGO offer on the website and digital coupons will also be sent to 5 million SuperSaver email subscribers. And third, a full-page FSI + CONTINUED ON PAGE 44 Circulation Audited By FOUNDED IN NYC • 1897 THE BUSINESS PUBLISHERS AUDIT, INTERNATIONAL New York, NY The Produce News (ISSN 0032-969X) is published semi-monthly; except for three issues in May, August, September , four in October and one in December $85 per year by The Produce News, 800 Kinderkamack Road, Suite 100, Oradell NJ 07649. Call (201) 986-7990. Periodicals postage paid at Oradell NJ 07649 and additional post offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Produce News, PO Box 349, Congers NY 10920-0349 Produce leaders to gather at United Fresh Washington Conference as election nears BY JOAN BYRD n WASHINGTON — Leaders in the fresh produce industry will be attend- ing United Fresh Produce Association’s Washington Conference and asking Congress to act on school nutrition changes this year, while laying the groundwork for other policy must- haves just weeks before a presidential election. The popular annual conference, scheduled for Sept. 12-14, which attracts key administration officials and elected leaders, will host education sessions on immigration, trade, nutrition and food safety this year. The election is likely to be a major focus this year as United Fresh will host for the first time two former U.S. Department of Agriculture officials who served opposing political parties to debate a range of hot button issues. As for the annual march on Capitol Hill, members will have dual messages. “We will see what we can get finished this year,” as there is talk of the Senate moving the Childhood Nutrition Reau- thorization bill during the lame duck FOR INDUSTRY UPDATES VISIT WWW.PRODUCENEWS.COM session, said Robert Guenther, senior vice president of public policy at United Fresh. Increasing children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a top priority, and Congress will only be in town for a few weeks before leaving to campaign and perhaps returning for a lame duck session after the election. But produce leaders will also be setting the stage for the next admin- istration, particularly on immigration reform. “We cannot afford to let Congress or the next president off the hook from addressing immigration reform,” Guenther told The Produce News. United Fresh members will be asking Congress to fix the H-2A guest worker program, with “a bigger eye on reforming” the agricultural worker sector, he added. Guenther will moderate an educa- tional session for attendees on the need for urgent fixes to labor shortages with Chalmers R. Carr III, owner and presi- dent of Titan Farms LLC; Frank Gasper- ini, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Council + CONTINUED ON PAGE 42