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To address labor challenges, work smarter not harder
Ask produce and floral industry executives on the production side of the supply chain what keeps them up at night, and chances are that labor is at the top of their list of insomnia inducers. And for good reason. Labor consumes a significant amount of management time to hire, fire and take care of everything in between. It also is a significant expense in an... Read more
Fyffes launches Willy Wonka-inspired Golden Ticket hunt
Fyffes has launched its Willy Wonka-inspired social media campaign, the Fyffes Golden Ticket Hunt, an online scavenger hunt that encourages consumers to discover more about Fyffes. The month-long social media scavenger hunt gives participants the chance to win envy-worthy prizes while learning about Fyffes’ remarkable history, nutritious produce and Fyffes’... Read more
Giumarra anticipating excellent Vidalia volumes
Giumarra Southeast expects to offer promotable volumes of Vidalia onion this summer favorite, packaged in the Nature’s Partner brand. Shipments will begin the third week of April and continue through the end of July. “Growing conditions in south Georgia have led to a favorable outlook for this year’s crop,” Stu Monaghan, division manager... Read more
PEOPLE magazine published its first 50 Companies That Care list to recognize U.S. companies with 1,000 or more employees that demonstrate respect, compassion and concern for their employees, their communities and the environment. Wegmans Food Markets ranked sixth on the list and Publix ranked ninth. Wegmans Food Markets, a 92-store grocery chain on the East... Read more
Avocados From Mexico dominates SXSW social media chatter
Avocados From Mexico returned to South By Southwest with a happiness-fueled influencer campaign that drove widespread SXSW-related engagement. According to data from the social media monitoring company SimplyMeasured, AFM’s #AvoHappiness activities generated more than 90,000 mentions, which resulted in over 1.6 billion impressions for the “Always... Read more
When European and other settlers first came to what would become the Santa Maria Valley in the late 1700s, it didn’t look like it would eventually become an agricultural powerhouse. Scrub brush was the main crop in those days. Yet its fertile valley, close proximity to the cool breezes of the Pacific Ocean and its year-round temperate climate made its... Read more
I Love Avocados delivers heartfelt goodness
Promoting healthy eating while raising awareness of the wholesome goodness of avocados, I Love Avocados kicked off an ongoing promotional campaign with the Send Avocado Love #YouGotAvos event. For the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, a time when everyone deserves to receive a little extra love, I Love Avocados delighted its U.S.-based social community... Read more
Technical glitches have delayed the public opening of Amazon’s cashierless Amazon Go store, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company’s first brick-and-mortar grocery store, located in Seattle, was open to Amazon employees late last year and was expected to open to the public in early 2017. The 1,800-square-foot location is supposed to offer... Read more
Salvatore Zacchia, NY-area produce veteran and fixture with the EPC, dies at 58
Salvatore Zacchia, a veteran of the New York produce scene and a member of the board of directors of the Eastern Produce Council, died March 26 at the age of 58. Mr. Zacchia, a lifelong resident of Elizabeth, NJ, was the business manager of produce for RDD Associates, a Totowa, NJ-based firm that optimizes go-to-market sales and marketing strategies. His involvement... Read more
Gourmet Trading's Smurfberries return alongside new Smurfs movie
In anticipation of the release of Sony Pictures Animation’s Smurfs: The Lost Village, set to open in theaters April 7, Gourmet Trading Co. is once again bringing back the iconic characters to their packages of fresh blueberries. “We are delighted to be collaborating with Sony Pictures Animation to bring back Smurfberries,” Sana Kear, marketing... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited World Best Tropical LLC of Doral, FL, for failure to pay $341,917 to eight sellers for 45 lots of produce.  As a result of this violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, World Best Tropical LLC cannot operate in the produce industry until March 17, 2019, at which time it may reapply for a PACA... Read more
Chilean Fresh Fruit Association reaps benefits of another successful promotional season
This season is expected to set a new record for Chilean blueberry exports, and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association has seen ample opportunity to promote cherries, stone fruit and grapes. Karen Brux, managing director for the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, said that 87 percent of all cherry volume was shipped to China in the 2016-17 season. North America was... Read more
Dr. Oz corrects Tater Haters, prescribes potatoes
Fresh Solutions Network applauded the March 23 episode of "Dr. Oz," giving American’s “Permission to eat potatoes again,” noting that potatoes are “nutrient power houses” that pack about 100 calories per spud and have zero grams of fat. Dr. Oz opened his show handing potatoes out to the audience, correcting the misconceptions of... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture cited Fresh & Easy LLC of Riverside, CA, for failure to make full payment promptly in the total amount of $201,468 to 23 sellers for multiple lots of produce in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Subsequent to the complaint being filed Dec. 14, 2016, the USDA and Fresh & Easy LLC entered into... Read more
Rainier continues Boston Marathon sponsorship
Rainier Fruit is running with its continued partnership with the Boston Athletic Association as the official apple of the Boston Marathon. What began in 2016 as an effort to promote organic apples to a health-focused crowed has grown into a multi-year campaign focused on delivering healthy fruits and health-focused messages to consumers around the United States. “The... Read more
Jim Hunt, former president of Grant J. Hunt Co. and PMA, dies at 94
Grant J. (Jim) Hunt Jr., the former president of Oakland, CA-based distribution firm Grant J. Hunt Co. and a former president of the Produce Marketing Association, died at the age of 94. Mr. Hunt graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with a degree in agricultural economics in 1943. He joined Grant J. Hunt Co. in 1946 after his rehabilitation from... Read more
Target takes aim at 500-store redesign
Target Corp. has unveiled design elements for the company’s most ambitious store redesign to date, with plans for the first fully reimagined store to open in a Houston, TX, suburb this October. The redesign plans are part of the company’s commitment to invest billions of dollars over the next three years to reimagine hundreds of existing stores. The... Read more
Stellar Distributing continues to pump up volume of fig and kiwi supply
While figs and kiwifruit may not be the biggest markets, fans of these fruits are as loyal as they come, and Stellar Distributing has carved out a niche for satisfying these rabid consumers. “People who love figs and kiwi are crazy about them,” said Kurt Cappelluti, sales manager for Stellar Distributing. “That’s led us to keep finding... Read more
PMA adds Walmart SVP Shawn Baldwin to board of directors
Shawn Baldwin, Walmart Stores’ general merchandise manager and senior vice president of produce and global food sourcing, has been named to the Produce Marketing Association board of directors. Baldwin’s term begins effective immediately. He replaces Jim Corby, who has served PMA’s board since October 2016 and recently announced his retirement... Read more
Stemilt’s Rushing Rivers pears set to bring farm to store this spring
In 2014, Stemilt Growers' newly introduced Rushing Rivers pear brand hit produce department shelves, giving consumers the opportunity to learn where their pears came from. Stemilt is a long-time industry leader in pears and introduced the label to share the unique story of the two locales where its pears originate. Fast forward three years and the Rushing... Read more