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In the third quarter of 2019, it’s looking as though most of the chaos that formed the story of 2018 has subsided. That doesn’t mean it is business as usual. There are plenty of questions unanswered as it relates to how transportation and logistics will impact produce shippers in the immediate future — From the agricultural exemption for hours of service more... Read more
Industry Viewpoint: The future is bright for independent retailers
The National Grocers Association has been the voice of the independent supermarket industry for nearly 40 years. Together, we have had the honor of working at NGA for over a decade. After an extensive national search, NGA’s board of directors announced that Greg Ferrara was selected as the new president and chief executive officer of NGA. On Sept. 1, I officially... Read more
Peruvian onions could be strong sellers at retail level
While Vidalia onions have set the standard for sweet onions grown in the United States, it’s not the only place where they are coming from. Peru, which is about to harvest its onions for the 2019 season, is currently the second-largest supplier of onions to the U.S., with more than $50 million coming into the country in the last year — trailing only Mexico in... Read more
As summer winds down, Giltner looks forward to uptick of trucking market
A typical summer usually sees a tightening of the transportation market, as shippers across the country jockey for available trucks to haul their loads. This summer, however, has been anything but typical. “It’s been decades since I’ve seen the transportation market as slow as it is now,” said Mark Durfee, general manager of Giltner Inc., based in Twin Falls,... Read more
Mushroom Council extends blended burger reach with ‘Taste America’ tour sponsorship
The Mushroom Council’s new sponsorship of the James Beard Foundation’s 2019-20 Taste America culinary pop-up series will take the blended burger to cities nationwide over the next several months for local tasting experiences.Chef Fiore Moletz, chef/owner of Burgh’ers Brewing in Pittsburgh. Now in its seventh year, Taste America is a 20-city culinary tour, giving... Read more
Food Lion to expand grocery pick up next week
Food Lion is expanding its “Food Lion To-Go" grocery pick up service to 25 additional stores beginning Aug. 19. The launch of this new, convenient service enables Food Lion to continue to deliver on its promise to ensure an easy, fresh and affordable grocery shopping experience, and it allows customers to order and pick up their groceries in as little as an... Read more
United Fresh announces 2020 Convention Committee
With a commitment to continue growing value for both exhibitors and attendees, four leaders from different segments across the industry have committed to co-chair the United Fresh 2020 Convention & Expo Committee. The event will take place June 16-19, 2020 in San Diego, CA. The 2020 Convention Committee co-chairs are Paul Kneeland, executive director of fresh... Read more
Autumn offers organic fruit opportunities
Apples are always a great organic option for retail promotions especially as the new crop is harvested. There are also some other choices coming into play this fall including grapes, pomegranates, persimmons and Asian pears. Sunview Marketing International, based in Delano, CA, is one firm that will have a healthy lineup of organic grapes this fall. That lineup... Read more
Walmart, Instacart expand grocery delivery across Canada
Walmart Canada and Instacart announced the national expansion of their relationship, which will bring on-demand grocery delivery services from nearly 200 Walmart stores across Canada in as fast as an hour. The expansion builds on a successful 17-store pilot in the greater Toronto area and Winnipeg, which has been strongly embraced by Walmart customers. Instacart’s... Read more
Mushroom producers face rising costs
American Mushroom Institute has reported that U.S. mushroom growers are facing rising costs. The Avondale, PA-based organization represents growers, processors and marketers of cultivated mushrooms in the U.S., as well as industry suppliers worldwide. The combination of issues contributing to the rising prices includes climate volatility, continued labor issues,... Read more
OGS looks at booming hemp marketplace and organic soil risk
A pair of educational sessions devoted to reducing organic soil risk and an examination of the burgeoning hemp marketplace have been announced as part of the 2019 Organic Grower Summit educational program, slated for this December in Monterey, CA. The two newly announced education sessions are part of an extensive OGS educational program designed to inform and... Read more
Ken Martin, Rio Grande Valley citrus veteran, dies at 77
Ken Martin, a citrus farmer and businessman, who spent most of his life in the produce business in McAllen, TX, died Aug. 7, at the age of 77 while in Napa, CA. Mr. Martin was born in southwest Missouri and grew up on his family’s dairy farm. He went to Southwest Baptist College and then later to Dallas Mortuary College, after which he became a funeral director... Read more
Apeel Sciences brings industry leaders into its supplier network
Apeel Sciences, one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies and a CNBC 2019 Disruptor 50, announced its supplier partnerships, enabling a consistent year-round supply of Apeel avocados, limes, asparagus and apples for U.S. retailers and consumers. This growing network of innovative grower-packer-shippers are committed to using Apeel’s plant-derived... Read more
Sobeys eliminates plastic bags by January 2020
Sobeys Inc. will remove plastic grocery bags from all Sobeys grocery stores by the end of January 2020. The change will take 225 million plastic grocery bags out of circulation at Sobeys’ 255 locations across Canada each year. The move represents an important first step in the retailer’s journey towards eliminating unnecessary plastic from grocery stores. Starting... Read more
Fresh Gourmet launches new sourcing program for packaged produce
Fresh Gourmet Co. has launched Grower Direct, a new sourcing program. This turnkey offering for retailers makes the process of ordering premium packaged produce simpler and more efficient. In the past, retailers have ordered packaged produce through various growers, creating a complex and fragmented process. With the Grower Direct program, retailers gain a simplified,... Read more
Hy-Vee to test new drive-thru online order pickup concept in Twin Cities
MINNEAPOLIS — Hy-Vee recently received city approval for a new three-lane, drive-thru, online order, pickup kiosk at its New Hope, MN, store, which also happens to be the Iowa-based company’s first location to open in the Twin Cities market since 2015. “This is the community where it kind of all started for Hy-Vee in the Twin Cities,” said Hy-Vee Real Estate... Read more
Dayka & Hackett launches environmentally friendly grape packaging
Dayka & Hackett announced the availability of its newly designed Eco-Tote for table grapes. The unique paper used in the Eco-Tote is bio-degradable, compostable and recyclable. The colorful design appeals to environmentally conscious consumers and those just looking for a fresh approach to how they purchase grapes. The move to environmentally friendly packaging... Read more
House of Carbs: the Big Idaho Potato hotel mashes competition
From ABC-TV’s popular morning show "Live with Kelly & Ryan" to People magazine to USA Today, the Big Idaho Potato Hotel made international news within hours of its launch on Earth Day. Eight years ago, the six-ton potato created by the Idaho Potato Commission, made headlines when it rolled out of Boise on a flat-bed trailer with a mission to promote Idaho’s... Read more
Kroger cuts waste, keeps food out of  landfills
The Kroger Co. announced the company's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste efforts reduced its supermarket food waste footprint — the overall food waste it produced — by 9 percent in 2018, creating measurable improvements in its retail operations and more environmentally-conscious associates. Kroger's progress was outlined in its 2019 Environmental, Social and Governance... Read more
The Quebec Produce Marketing Association announced the signing of an annual partnership agreement with Desjardins, a financial institution with the same enthusiasm and confidence it has in the potential of the Quebec fruit and vegetable industry’s next generation. The one-year partnership agreement is designed to support the development of the NextGeneration... Read more