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Allegiance Retail Services holds annual holiday food show

allegiance1398EDISON, NJ — A large number of industry people gathered Thursday, July 17, for Allegiance Retail Services LLC's annual holiday food show, held here at the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center.

"Close to 600 people will be coming in and out during the course of the day," Victor Savanello, the Iselin, NJ-based cooperative's director of produce and floral, told The Produce News as the show was getting started.

All aspects of the supermarket were represented at the annual show, including meat, dairy, deli, frozen, bakery and, of course, fresh produce. This year's show featured about 250 booths, according to Savanello.

Elena Alfano, Chris Visone and Jill Mazer of Earthbound Farm displayed some of the company's products.

Record crowd attends FPFC Expo

6-WonderfulThe Fresh Produce & Floral Council held its annual Southern California Fresh Produce and Floral Expo on Tuesday, July 15 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA, where a record 1,500 attendees enjoyed the festivities.

There were approximately 200 booths and more than 200 companies exhibiting. Among the highlights during the day-long event was a keynote address by Captain Richard Phillips, who was portrayed by Tom Hanks in the popular “Captain Phillips” movie. Kent Kuwata of Smart & Final received the FPFC’s Norman H. (Buz) Bolstad Produce Award while Alice Grazziani of Gelson’s was honored with the FPFC Floral Achievement Award.

Seth Pemsler and Kent Beesley of the Idaho Potato Commission flank Captain Phillips, the featured speaker at the FPFC Expo, who signed autographs at the IPC booth.

George Tanimura's 100th birthday celebration

193George Tanimura of Tanimura & Antle celebrated his milestone centennial birthday this weekend. Family, business partners and friends joined together to honor Tanimura at a gala dinner, which was held at the Tanimura & Antle home ranch. Eight skydivers jumped from 8,000 feet, streaming smoke trails and colorful banners on their way down to greet the event's 600 guests. Taiko drummers entertaind the crowd, and after dinner there was a video tribute, as well as a 15-minute fireworks display.

George Tanimura hitting the Taiko drum, signifying the start of the party.

STEP-UPP class visits Philadelphia and New Jersey produce areas

stepupp1325The Southeast Produce Council's 2014 STEP-UPP class visited produce facilities and farms July 8-11 in the Philadelphia and southern New Jersey areas as part of its ongoing learning experience for class members to develop a greater understanding of the industry.

The Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals is spearheaded by Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh, who serves as chairperson, and Tom Page, retired from Supervalu, who serves as vice chairperson. The 2014 class is the fourth class in the program.

Frank Manfredi, president of Manfredi Cold Storage in Kennett Square, PA, and Tom Verbitski, regional operations manager for North America, East, at Oppenheimer in Newark, DE. Manfredi Cold Storage was the first facility that the 2104 STEP-UPP class visited.

Watermelon Night a success

QUEEN--MASCOTCHARLESTON, SC — In a game that began and ended with watermelon, the Charleston RiverDogs snapped an eight-game losing streak July 5 at Riley Park here by defeating the Rome, GA, Braves, 9-1 in South Atlantic League action.

South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh E. Weathers inaugurated a new tradition at Watermelon Night by rolling out the first watermelon rather than throwing out the first ball. He followed the melon roll-out with the traditional baseball pitch, a blazing fastball strike to the catcher.