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Organic Produce Summit to feature new consumer data and analysis
New consumer data and analysis related to increased organic fresh produce sales from a pair of the industry’s leaders will be featured as part of an educational session at the fifth annual Organic Produce Summit, in Monterey, CA. Laura Batcha, president of the Organic Trade Association, will discuss research done in conjunction with the Natural Marketing Institute... Read more
PCN launches new red mandarin brand
Pro Citrus Network announced the debut of MandaRosa, a new brand of proprietary variety red-fleshed mandarins, exclusively offered by PCN. MandaRosa mandarins are a natural cultivar of a Tarocco Blood orange and clementine, also known as the Mandared variety, and are officially the world’s first patented pigmented, seedless mandarin. Originally created in Italy,... Read more
USMCA brings clear roadmap for the future
Today, President Trump signed the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, marking a major milestone for trade among these three close neighbors. As I attended the signing ceremony this morning at the White House, I was reminded that finalizing this agreement has not been easy or without controversy, but is based on compromise and consensus across many views. Passing... Read more
Hugh Branch, sweet corn giant, dies at 95
Hugh H. Branch Sr., founder of Hugh Branch Inc. and a 60-year produce industry veteran, died Jan. 23. He was 95. Mr. Branch was known as a pioneer, a foresighted leader and an innovator. In 1957, with the help and encouragement of his beloved wife, Barbara, and brother, Julian, Hugh founded a firm that grew to be one of the largest marketers of vegetables... Read more
New president takes the reins at SpartanNash
SpartanNash announced David W. Sisk will join the company as president of its MDV military division based in Norfolk, VA, effective Feb. 3. SpartanNash Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Kathleen Mahoney has served as president, MDV and CLO since May 2017, and she will continue to serve in her role as EVP and CLO. MDV is a leading distributor of... Read more
Grimm families establish Center for Agricultural Business in largest gift ever to CSU Bakersfield
The board of trustees of the California State University approved the establishment of the Grimm Family Center for Agricultural Business at CSU Bakersfield, made possible by an extraordinary endowment created by Barbara Grimm-Marshall and Kari Grimm Anderson that reflects their abiding commitment to the future of the region’s leading industry.The Grimm family... Read more
Lucky's files for Chapter 11 as it sells off and closes stores
Less than a week after the company said it would close at least 32 of its 39 locations, Lucky's Market filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  Prior to the filing the company identified several potential purchasers, including Aldi, which entered into an asset purchase agreement for certain store leases. Publix has been reported as another company... Read more
California Giant Berry Farms stands with industry on sustainable packaging resolutions
In January 2019, California Giant Berry Farms partnered with Measure to Improve as part of a growing commitment to becoming a True Zero Waste Certified company, with an array of new sustainability initiatives set forth for the years to come. However, its sustainability journey didn’t start there. The berry company’s sustainability initiatives have been led by... Read more
Apeel giving citrus fruits a longer shelf life
Following the successful launch with Apeel avocados, EDEKA and Netto now plan to market Apeel oranges and clementines, which will lead to less food waste throughout the supply chain, saving millions of gallons of water and metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the coming months. The EDEKA Group is extending its commitment to fighting food waste. Apeel produce... Read more
Hy-Vee acquisition to expand Dollar Fresh banner in Iowa
Hy-Vee Inc. has agreed to acquire six former Shopko locations in Iowa that will re-open under the Dollar Fresh brand by late summer. In the upcoming weeks, several former Shopko locations will begin renovations to open as Dollar Fresh stores by late summer. The former Shopko buildings in Hampton, Cresco, Oelwein, Waukon, Dyersville and Vinton are all part of... Read more
Sweet Karoline ba, ba, blackberries make their market debut
A new year begins with a new variety for berry growers at Alpine Fresh Inc. and Berry Fresh LLC.  Their Sweet Karoline blackberries are making their market debut after seven years of research, development and market testing. The berry variety is distinguished for the remarkably sweet taste found in each and every berry. “We believe that once the consumer... Read more
Changes at BrightFarms to support retailers
BrightFarms, a leading supplier of locally grown salads for supermarkets, has expanded its customer team to support retailer partners. Abby Prior will lead BrightFarms’ customer growth team as senior vice president of sales and marketing, overseeing brand and category growth at partner retailers. Since joining BrightFarms in 2015, Prior has been integral to... Read more
Fry's Food Stores co-founder dies at 92
Charles (Chuck) Fry, co-founder of Fry's Food Stores — now a Kroger subsidiary — died Jan. 20. He was 92. Mr. Fry and his brother, Don, founded Fry's Food Stores in 1955 in Richmond, CA. Mr. Fry was described as a visionary, and he and his brother grew their grocery store chain from one to many, always striving for great quality at a good price. They eventually... Read more
Syngenta helping growers save the season with strong start
A little disease at the start of a season can threaten a field’s economic viability by season’s end — when a small percentage of blemishes can wreak havoc on a potato grower’s potential payout. Syngenta said its Vibrance Ultra Potato seed treatment gives growers the disease-fighting strength they need to start the season strong. Vibrance Ultra Potato recently... Read more
Strong Colorado storage potato prices, quality
Colorado’s storage potato quality remains strong and prices are also very good, according to Jim Ehrlich, executive director of the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee. In Colorado, 2019 potato tonnage produced was less than the previous year, so shipping volumes have been conservative. “We’re a little behind last year’s shipping rate,” Ehrlich said. Colorado... Read more
Instacart launches new product for grocers
Instacart, a North American leader in online grocery, announced the launch of Instacart Meals — a new grocery meals product that powers easy ordering, delivery and pickup of made-to-order food. The launch marks Instacart's move into grocery meal delivery, helping retailers bring more in-store aisles and experiences online for customers across North America. The... Read more
Jazz apples to energize shoppers, sales
Jazz apples are set to energize shoppers across North America, with a fitness-forward promotion to spark healthy habits, boost workouts and build excitement around the brand. Energize is a super-refreshing shopper contest from Jazz that launched the week of Jan. 20 and runs through February. When shoppers visit jazzapple.com/us/win-with-jazz , submit Jazz proof... Read more
Hy-Vee makes executive changes
Longtime Hy-Vee executive Jay Marshall has been elevated to the position of vice chairman for the grocery chain, the latest step in his 38-year career with Hy-Vee. The company also announced the retirement of Brett Bremser, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. With Bremser’s retirement, current Hy-Vee Executive Vice President Darren Baty... Read more
As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the Department of Agriculture has imposed sanctions on three produce businesses for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued... Read more
Moxxy wins award for sliced apples bags, apple sauce labels
Moxxy Marketing has been awarded a silver Davey Award from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts for its work on the Peterson Farms Treats brand of sliced apples and apple sauce for school foodservice programs. Moxxy developed a line of whimsical sliced-apple bag designs for school lunchrooms to feature throughout the year including winter, back-to-school,... Read more