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Rain caused delay to Santa Maria deal
Weather is always a leading topic of discussion in any agricultural district, but this year — more than any time in almost a decade — rain has dominated the discussion in Santa Maria, CA, just as it has dominated the weather forecast. In fact, it was the number one topic up and down the state throughout January and February and into March. In mid-March, the... Read more
Tops invests in community with store renovations
Tops Friendly Markets LLC announced today that as part of its capital plan a major remodel of approximately $2 million dollars is being invested into its store located in Cheektowaga, NY. Expected to be completed in July of 2019, this remodel entails an expansion of the stores produce, bakery and deli/carry out café areas, which will now include seating. Shoppers... Read more
United Fresh Council Awards to honor outstanding individuals in the produce industry
New this year, United Fresh will honor five individuals for their outstanding work in sharing their expertise in different areas serving our produce industry. The honorees will be recognized from at the United Fresh Convention & Expo June 10-12 in Chicago. Awards will be presented in areas represented by United Fresh Expert Advisory Councils: finance... Read more
2019 Mexican grape crop up 25.6 percent
TUBAC, AZ -- Mexican grape growers expect to ship 22 million cartons of grapes this spring -- up 25.6 percent from 2018. The numbers were announced March 21 at the climax of the Mexico Table Grape Spring Summit. Marco Molina Sr., who presented the estimate in his role as the chairman of AALPUM, the Mexican table grape association, said that about 4 million... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Las Vegas-based Paradise Produce LLC for failure to pay $694,922 to 32 sellers for produce which was purchased, received and accepted in interstate and foreign commerce from February 2017 through November 2017.  This is in violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act.  As a result of these actions,... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Golden Kingdom Produce Inc., Utopia Produce Inc. and Moceri Food & Beverage Inc. each satisfied a reparation order issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Los Angeles-based Golden Kingdom Produce has met its obligations and is now free to operate in the produce industry. San (Bruce) Oh was... Read more
Meijer campaign earns awards
Meijer's marketing team won four awards at the American Advertising Federation of West Michigan’s annual ADDY Awards ceremony. The retailer’s in-house creative team in collaboration with its agency, The Distillery Project, earned accolades for the execution of various 2018 creative advertising campaigns. Awards include: Gold, Social Media Single Execution... Read more
California strawberry production plentiful for Easter and beyond
There has been quite a bit of rain in California this winter causing strawberry production for the first couple of months of the calendar year to lag behind last year’s production. But the industry is anticipating that the vast majority of the impactful weather will be in the rear view mirror when the calendar turns to April. “We are telling our customers to... Read more
Grupo Molina companies now one
RIO RICO, AZ -- Fresh Farms LLC and Visalia Produce have merged operations to create a single sales and distribution company called Fresh Farms. Effective April 1, Steve Biswell becomes the chief executive officer of Fresh Farms. He has been serving as the COO of Visalia Produce, which is located in Kingsburg, CA. Marco Molina Sr. heads Hermosillo-based Grupo... Read more
Kroger to sell off Pennsylvania-based division
The Kroger Co. and Peak Rock Capital announced a definitive agreement for the sale of Kroger's Turkey Hill business to an affiliate of Peak Rock Capital. Closing is expected during Kroger's first quarter. As part of the agreement, the Peak Rock Capital affiliate will continue to operate the Turkey Hill business out of its large Conestoga, PA, facility with its... Read more
United Fresh names 25 Retail Produce Manager Award honorees
Marking 15 years of recognizing exceptional retail produce managers, United Fresh Produce Association announced the honorees of its 2019 Retail Produce Manager Awards program. The group of 25 produce managers represents supermarket banners, commissaries and independent retail stores from 16 different states and two Canadian provinces. The winners will be honored... Read more
Tops produce managers heat up sales with healthy competition
While many of us hunkered down to get through the winter months, the produce managers at Tops Friendly Markets were heating things up with some healthy competition. During the month of February, associates across Tops’ three-state imprint were challenging one another to a produce Winner Wonderland-themed display contest in their produce department. Winners walked... Read more
Lane Southern Orchards multi-million dollar expansion
A $4 million renovation and expansion of Lane Southern Orchards’ existing packinghouse in Fort Valley, GA, is under way and planned to be complete for an early summer peach harvest. The expansion will double the capacity of the current packinghouse from 1.5 million to 3 million cases — or 23,000 25-pound boxes per day — in preparation for the 2019 peach season. The... Read more
The New England Produce Council and the Organic Produce Network announced that Brian Fleming of Stop & Shop Supermarket, Kevin Barry of Big Y Foods and Mark Jewell of Hannaford Bros. Supermarket will speak at the retailer roundtable on May 1 at the New England Organic Produce Conference being held at Gillette Stadium. “We are very excited these produce professionals... Read more
Driscoll’s Inc., a leading grower of berries based in Watsonville, CA, filed a complaint in federal court March 20 against California Berry Cultivars, a strawberry breeding company, as well as the company’s co-founder, Douglas Shaw, alleging patent infringement and conversion of Driscoll’s proprietary strawberry varieties. Plant patents and plant breeder rights... Read more
Raley’s family leadership continues
Raley’s announced the 2019 slate of officers for Raley’s Food For Families, which includes Jennie Teel-Wolter as board president and Heather Dubinetskiy as vice president of the board. Other approved officers include Raley’s executive team members Ken Mueller, chief financial officer; Kevin Konkel, chief operations officer; and Becca Whitman, senior manager of... Read more
Del Rey Avocado marketing receives national accolades
Almost two years ago Del Rey Avocado made a decision to completely redesign its website and enhance its marketing efforts to meet customer needs. Little did the company realize that its efforts in partnership with TMD Creative (based in Salinas and San Diego, CA) would lead to tremendous national recognition from multiple corners of the marketing profession. The... Read more
PhycoTerra brings sustainable farming to new level
Doug Ranno has worn many hats during his long career in the produce industry, having held leadership positions in retail at Raley’s and Wild Oats, as well as on the marketing and production side, with stints at Chiquita, Green Giant and leading the startup and sale of Colorful Harvest and working in Food Service at Harvest Sensations. But in his current role... Read more
Purcell, Armen among panelists at Future Food-Tech Summit
This year's Future Food-Tech Summit will kick off on March 21 in San Francisco when retailers, manufacturers and investors will gather for two days of seminars, discussion and networking. With a focus on innovation, the summit will host speakers and panelists from across the food industry with topics ranging from food systems to nutrition.John Purcell John Purcell,... Read more
Kroger announces second high-tech customer fulfillment center
The Kroger Co. and Ocado, one of the world's largest dedicated online grocery retailers, announced Groveland, FL, as the second location for one of their customer fulfillment centers. "Kroger is incredibly excited to construct one of our industry-leading customer fulfillment centers in Groveland, FL — a city west of Orlando — through our relationship with Ocado,"... Read more