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Produce industry legend Joe Procacci dies at 90
Joseph G. Procacci, a produce industry legend known for reshaping the U.S. tomato market with Santa Sweets Grape tomatoes and UglyRipe heirloom tomatoes, has died. He was 90. At the early age of 8, Mr. Procacci began pedaling produce in the streets of Camden, NJ, from his father's pushcart. From those humble roots, Mr. Procacci became an industry giant, building... Read more
Strong Q3 has Walmart optimistic about the future
Walmart hasn’t thrown in the towel against Amazon just yet. Aided by an increase in e-commerce and increased store traffic, the retail giant enjoyed its largest quarterly sales growth in almost 10 years. Total revenue for Q3 was $123.2 billion, an increase of $5 billion, or 4.2 percent. Online sales growth at Walmart U.S. remained strong, led by growth... Read more
Albertsons Cos. invests in Texas-based El Rancho Supermercado
Albertsons Cos., one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, has invested in El Rancho Supermercado, a Texas-based retailer that focuses on stores for Latino customers. El Rancho will continue to operate as an independent company headquartered in Garland, TX. "El Rancho has built a great business with its 16 Texas stores, and we're confident that we'll be... Read more
TimeSavors veggie kits help consumers Eat Smart
Inspired by consumer demand for convenient, healthy and unique ways to serve fresh and delicious vegetable dishes, Eat Smart, a leading producer of fresh-cut vegetables and salads for the United States and Canada, is launching TimeSavors, a line of ready-to-cook fresh vegetable side dishes. The line’s three initial offerings — Cauliflower Gratin,... Read more
SEPC to honor Dave Stornetta with its highest award
The Southeast Produce Council will honor Dave Stornetta, president and founder of Produce Careers, with the 2018 Terry Vorhees Lifetime Achievement Award, its highest honor, at the council's Southern Exposure conference and trade show, scheduled for March 1-3 in Tampa, FL. Stornetta's involvement with the Southeast Produce Council goes back a long way. He attended... Read more
Expensive shipments of tomatoes and heroin, broccoli and marijuana
U.S. Customs & Border Protection Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered alleged heroin and marijuana valued at $2.4 million within commercial trailers hauling shipments of tomatoes and broccoli in two separate enforcement actions. On Nov. 14, CBP officers assigned to the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility... Read more
Registration for third annual Organic Produce Summit to open next week
Retailer and buying organization registration for the third annual Organic Produce Summit will open Nov. 20 on the OPS website. OPS 2018 is scheduled for July 11-12 at the newly renovated Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA. Following the overwhelming success of the previous two events, OPS 2018 will again feature a gala opening reception, a series of... Read more
Holiday cheer starts early at Whole Foods
Whole Foods Market and Amazon introduced new lower prices on best-selling grocery items and holiday staples at Whole Foods Market stores. In addition to various meat and seafood products, organic broccoli, one-pound organic salad mixes, organic russet potatoes and organic sweet potatoes are among the items with lower prices. “These are the latest new lower... Read more
Vidalia onion pioneer W.J. Grimes dies at 84
W.J. Grimes, owner of W.J. Grimes Farms and one of the founding fathers of the Vidalia sweet onion industry, died Nov. 3 at the age of 84 in his Helena, GA, home. Working at W.J. Grimes Farms in McCrae, GA, Mr. Grimes helped bring about controlled atmosphere storage, which was instrumental in allowing grower-shippers to extend their season. With this new method,... Read more
Avocados From Mexico celebrates 20 years in the United States
Last night, Avocados From Mexico hosted a celebration like only one of America’s favorite fruits could — with a fiesta at the Mexican Cultural Institute featuring  the exclusive premiere of the Avocados From Mexico docu-series, Avocadoland, authentic Mexican cuisine and drinks crafted by PBS’ chef Pati Jinich, a panel discussion hosted... Read more
Tanimura & Antle launches 'Artisan of Entertaining' promotion
Employee owned family farm, Tanimura & Antle, announced this week the launch of a web-based fall consumer promotion to fuel their Thanksgiving holiday pull of Artisan Lettuce and Artisan Romaine called “The Artisan of Entertaining.” From Nov. 7-28, the company is offering consumers the opportunity to win one of 25 prize packs by downloading... Read more
IPC retail display contest to award Sun Valley resort vacation in sweepstakes drawing
The scenic slops of Sun Valley, ID, will provide the perfect vacation setting for one lucky entrant in the Idaho Potato Commission’s 2018 retail display contest. The Idaho-bound vacation winner, to be selected in a random drawing among all contest participants, will enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip for two to spectacular Sun Valley, ID, including four nights... Read more
Southeast Produce Council teams up with Food Marketing Institute
After a successful workshop collaboration at the SEPC’s Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, the Southeast Produce Council has announced that it will be teaming up with the Food Marketing Institute to present its signature research, The Power of Produce, at Southern Exposure 2018, March 1-3 in Tampa, FL, which holds an impressive attendance... Read more
Record Kanzi apple harvest launches 2017 season
A record Kanzi apple harvest has growers thinking big about conventional and organic new crop opportunities. CMI Orchards, one of only two U.S. growers licensed to grow Kanzi, is projecting a total increase of 120 percent for the coming season — this includes a 400 percent increase in organic Kanzi. Applewood Orchards, Inc. the second Kanzi grower located... Read more
Food Lion Feeds launches 'Holidays Without Hunger' campaign
Food Lion believes ending hunger is the reason to give this holiday season, and the grocer is making it easy and affordable for its customers in its more than 1,000 stores to help families in need through its Food Lion Feeds "Holidays Without Hunger" campaign Nov. 15 through Dec. 19. Through the campaign, customers can purchase and donate a specially-marked... Read more
Organic demand continues to soar at Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers
Following an ideal growing season and a beautiful harvest, Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers is seeing exceptional movement of all apple and pear varieties, with demand soaring in the organic category. Oneonta National Marketing Representative Brent Shammo said as demand for organics increases, the company continues to transition acreage to certified status. We have... Read more
Due to Publix’s growth, expanding initiatives and increased efforts surrounding innovation, Publix CEO & President Todd Jones announced new officer positions, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Randy Barber, 55, will be promoted to vice president of industrial maintenance and purchasing. He is currently director of industrial maintenance. In this new officer... Read more
Retailers and brands cannot afford to become complacent about the strategic role that delivery plays in their eCommerce strategies according to new research. Half of all shoppers will abandon online shopping baskets if delivery choices on offer are unsatisfactory and 60 percent will buy their goods from one online retailer over another if they offer more convenient... Read more
Raley’s refreshed Ready-To-Go meals
Driven by trending flavors, fruits and vegetables, Raley’s has expanded its Ready-To-Go meal options (first launched in 2010) with new sizes, flavors and packaging. The program now includes 32 different meals, all made with fresh, premium ingredients that can be found in the fresh deli department in grab-and-go displays. “Our customers are in for... Read more
NEPC dinner dance set for Feb. 3
The New England Produce Council's annual dinner dance gala is set for Saturday evening, Feb. 3, 2018, at the World Trade Center/Seaport Hotel in Boston. The Magical Garden Dinner Dance will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Last year's gala drew about 230 people, and "we're looking to have a similar attendance" at the upcoming event,... Read more