view current print edition




IMG 5150The Fresh Produce & Floral Council held a relatively low-key retirement dinner for Roger Schroeder in Southern California on Feb. 10. Schroeder, a longtime board member and three-time FPFC chairman of the board, retired from Stater Bros. Markets in early January after a 55-year career in produce retailing. He previously was with The Vons Cos. and Hughes Family Markets. While he acquiesced to a retirement dinner, he asked for no speeches, gifts or fanfare. For the most part, the audience complied.


Roger Schroeder with Patty Knoll of Temkin International, Cheryl Kennick of City of Hope and Marty Craner of B&C Fresh.

IMG 8346The NGA Show, Feb. 11 -14 at the Mirage in Las Vegas, featured a wide array of first-time and veteran exhibitors within the PMA Pavillion. Prior to the expo floor opening on Monday, Feb. 12, a breakout session called Freshen Up Produce Promotions & Events to Grow Your Business was held. The Idaho Potato Commission, the Watermelon Promotion Board, Lowe’s Market and Avocados from Mexico emphasized the value displays and promotions provide for increasing produce sales.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, the National Grocers Association and Clarion Events announced a joint venture as Clarion Events plans to take an equity stake in the NGA Show. The partnership will add significant resources that will enable new growth within the NGA Show, said Peter Larkin, president and chief operating officer of NGA.

Bill Purewal and Harpreet Purewal of PureFresh Sales.

01-Cathy---1CERRITOS, CA — Nearly 300 produce professionals packed the ballroom at the Sheraton Cerritos hotel for the Fresh Produce & Floral Council Membership Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 8. Luncheon emcee Paul Kneeland, senior vice president of produce and floral for Gelson’s Markets, introduced guest speaker Cathy Burns, chief executive officer of the Produce Marketing Association. Her talk ranged from futuristic innovations on the horizon for produce to retail and foodservice trends that will change the way people shop and eat to the importance of Millennials and Generation Z in helping to shape the future of the produce industry.

Emcee Paul Kneeland of Gelson’s Markets, featured speaker Cathy Burns of the Produce Marketing Association and FPFC Chairman Alfonso Cano of Lucky Stores.

IMG 8239The 103rd New Jersey Agricultural Convention & Trade Show once again co-located with the New Jersey Vegetable Growers Association and the New Jersey Blueberry Association. The event was held Feb. 6-8 at the Harrah’s Resort and Waterfront Convention Center in Atlantic City, NJ.      

The event highlight was an appearance by newly elected Governor Phil Murphy, who addressed a packed room at the New Agricultural Society Luncheon on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Other highlights of the event included the Agriculture Address by Secretary Douglas Fisher during the opening session and a produce buyer panel discussion.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy addressed the audience at the New Jersey Agricultural convention luncheon as Douglas Fisher, secretary of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, looks on.

DSC 6282The New England Produce Council held its annual dinner dance gala — with the theme Magical Garden — at the World Trade Center/Seaport Hotel in Boston Saturday, Feb. 3. Each year, members, spouses and guests gather for the evening of dining and dancing. NEPC members brought their dancing shoes for fun, but also collected new socks to be distributed to Boston area shelters. Last year's sock drive was extremely successful with more than 600 pairs of socks for men, women and children donated at the event.

Debbie Loche of Roche Bros., Raquel Mello of Hapco Farms, Beth McGuire of JOH, Tom Murray of Roche Bros., Theresa Nolan of The Nolan Network and Laura Sullivan of the New England Produce Council.