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In the Trenches: Don’t give up on Romaine lettuce
My favorite sport has always been Major League Baseball. My favorite team is the New York Yankees, but they can really frustrate me at times, especially during a long losing streak. Sometimes I just want to give up on them, but after staying away for a few games, I’m back supporting the team again. The Romaine lettuce recall that occurred this past November... Read more
Raley’s names new president and CEO
Raley’s announced the elevation of Keith Knopf to president and chief executive officer. Knopf has served in an executive position since joining the organization in 2015, beginning as chief operating officer and expanding his role to president over a year ago. Michael Teel, owner of Raley’s, will continue as chairman of the board. “Keith is a strong leader who... Read more
Avocados From Mexico available in record numbers for the Big Game
Despite reports to the contrary, there will be plenty of guacamole as U.S. imports of Mexican avocados are at record levels and will continue to be so as we approach the Big Game, Sunday, Feb. 3. The United States received a record 71.9 million pounds for the week ending Jan. 13, 2019; January imports of Mexican avocados are projected to reach 217 million pounds,... Read more
Pacific Rose apple shines at Crane Family Orchards
Packing a large majority of the Pacific Rose apples grown in the United States, Crane Family Orchards is especially proud of this season’s crop, which is shipping now. In 1912 when George Crane planted the orchard’s first trees in Brewster, WA, he may never have imagined that his great-great-granddaughters would specialize in a unique Splendour-Gala cross that... Read more
Summer Citrus from South Africa mourns founder Gerrit van der Merwe Sr.
Summer Citrus from South Africa honored the legacy of its founder and a well-respected South African citrus grower, Gerrit van der Merwe Sr., who died suddenly on Dec. 19. In 1999, shortly after South African citrus growers started exporting limited volumes to the United States, Mr. van der Merwe strongly advocated for a “model of collaboration” with growers.... Read more
Viva Fresh promotes Mexico-Texas region
Viva Fresh was born almost five years ago and continues to evolve as an intimate regional produce show. We made the focus on Texas and the products that cross our borders. Our growth is tied to providing specific resources to retail and foodservice so good decisions can be made. Our original goal was to increase demand for fresh produce and that remains on trend... Read more
FSGA expects strong Florida strawberry season
The Florida Strawberry Growers Association reported in December that the state’s strawberry season started off slow with moderate volume, but still expects some good news for growers by the time the season ends early in 2019. “The fields look good, but it has been warm and the fruit started out small,” said Sue Harrell, director of marketing for the... Read more
Meijer looking to fill nearly 1,000 openings
Meijer has begun hiring more than 900 employees for three northeast Ohio supercenters in Avon, Mentor and Stow. The family-operated retailer announced the first Cleveland-area stores are expected to open in late spring, expanding its presence after more than 37 years in the Buckeye State. “Foundations are set, floors are poured, and the walls are up at each... Read more
Wisconsin potato growers optimistic despite severe weather
“While 2018 will go down as one of the most challenging on record for the Wisconsin potato crop, I was encouraged and impressed with the positive outlook displayed by Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association members,” said Tamas Houlihan, executive director of WPVGA. “I was struck by the resolve shown by our members, who remained upbeat and optimistic... Read more
Loblaw president expands responsibilities
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. announced that Sarah Davis will assume expanded responsibilities in her role as president. In addition to day-to-day oversight of Loblaw's business performance, she adds full responsibility for the company's 13-member management board, and expands her direct-reporting lines with the addition of finance and human resources. Davis continues to... Read more
Mann Packing rolls out new veggie breakfast bowls
At the October 2018 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in Orlando, FL, Mann Packing Co. introduced its newest items under its Nourish Bowls category. The additions to the line focus on breakfast eating occasions. Following the introduction of the concept in October, the Salinas, CA-based company began its marketing campaign and the product line began... Read more
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association is ready to support the introduction of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. The SFCR officially came into effect Jan. 15. The purpose of the SFCR, as described by the CFIA, is to “make our food system even safer by focusing on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe... Read more
Stop & Shop sending produce in self-driving grocery vehicles
Stop & Shop will launch driverless grocery vehicles in the greater Boston area beginning this spring. The vehicles will bring a selection of Stop & Shop produce as well as meal kits and convenience items directly to customers so they can shop right at their doorsteps. Part of an engagement with San Francisco-based startup Robomart, the vehicles will... Read more
General registration for OPS 2019 now open
General attendee registration for the fourth annual Organic Produce Summit is now open on the OPS website.  OPS 2019, dedicated exclusively to bringing together organic fresh produce, growers and shippers with retailers and buying organizations across the globe, is slated for July 10-11 at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA. “The response from... Read more
Kroger CEO on the future of retail
The Kroger Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen recently offered five predictions for the future of retail, saying that it won't go away, it will be both digital and physical, it will offer new solutions to customers, it will be purpose-driven and it will disrupt the ad industry. McMullen provided his outlook on the future of retail at the... Read more
Blue Book Services’ free Know Your Commodity app is now available. The app provides essential information for sourcing and shipping produce including good arrival guidelines, product availability, U.S. grades, storage and packaging and more. “The Know Your Commodity app is a great resource for those who sell, buy, and transport fresh produce. From açai to zucchini,... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Farmers Best of NYC Inc., operating out of Brooklyn, NY, for failure to pay for produce. The company failed to pay $610,685 to 11 sellers for produce that was purchased, received and accepted in interstate commerce from February 2016 through October 2016.  This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities... Read more
Stater Bros. names new SVP of retail operations
Stater Bros. Markets announced the promotion of Keith Thomas to the position of group senior vice president of retail operations. In his new position, Thomas will continue to lead the company’s retail operations and training departments, and be responsible for overseeing the entire operations of all 172 Stater Bros. supermarkets.  He will also become a... Read more
Farm Fresh Greens a key to nutrition and wellness
WP Rawl, a premier grower, processor and shipper of leafy greens, is launching a new campaign for 2019: Farm Fresh Greens. Targeting millennials as well as baby boomers, the year-long campaign was designed to provide guidance for incorporating leafy greens into different lifestyles as well as educating consumers where produce comes from. Positioning itself as... Read more
Reducing Plastic: A priority for Inspired Greens
Inspired Greens living lettuce has made it a priority to reduce the use of plastics since its inception. Operating since June 2017, Inspired Greens has reduced its plastic impact by packaging its living lettuce in a sleeve rather than the domed clamshell. Across North America it has been traditional for greenhouse lettuce to be sold completely encased in a plastic... Read more