It will be hard to move potato prices upward before “all the doors are shut” and the storage facilities of the Red River Valley are full, said Paul Dolan, the manager of Associated Potato Growers Inc., located in Grand Forks, ND. On Sept. 17 he noted “the market is weak on ‘a’s’. The demand has been so-so. The ‘b’ deal has been good. But number-one a and two-a sizes have had poor prices since Aug. 1.” In mid-September, Associated Potato Growers was “still marketing”... Read more
Wayne E. Bailey says sweet potato use is across the board today and growing strong
Mother Nature continually sends the message out to produce growers about who’s in charge. The recent hot and dry weather in North Carolina, a good example, has slowed harvests by a week to 10 days. George Wooten, president of Wayne E. Bailey, a leading producer of sweet potatoes in Chadburn, NC, told The Produce News that he believes the total volume once harvesting is completed by Nov. 5 will be slightly less or about the same as a year ago.        Far... Read more
Sweet potato yields up for Quail H Farms
The sweet potato harvest is already underway at Quail H Farms LLC, located in Livingston, CA. “Harvest conditions have been perfect. We are about 35 to 40 percent into it and anticipate finishing up somewhere around Halloween,” said Sales Manager Larelle Miller on Sept. 21. “Quality has been excellent and so has the size.” Larelle MillerMiller said the company cut back on planted acreage in some areas and “aggressively went after additional ground where water... Read more
Cody Rose, commodity manager for Country Sweet Produce, said this year’s sweet potato crop is promising. “The crop is looking really good,” he told The Produce News in late September, adding that yields and quality are just where they should be. Rose said he expects sizing to increase as the season progresses. The company is located in Bakersfield, CA, growing and marketing conventional and organic California produce. In addition to sweet potatoes, Country Sweet... Read more
Marketing Plus hires Claudia Nicolaou as business development director
Marketing Plus has hired Claudia Nicolaou, an accomplished agribusiness marketer with over two decades of experience in the industry, as its business development director. Since 1993, Nicolaou has worked in nearly every aspect of the produce marketing and foodservice industries — as an independent broker, a restaurateur and as sales director for a well-respected grower-shipper.  Her extensive experience includes business-to-business marketing, retail... Read more
Ready Pac to provide job opportunities for refugees
Ready Pac Foods Inc. said it will open its employment doors for refugees relocating to the United States from the current crisis in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The fresh foods company has committed to train and hire refugees from among the 10,000 Syrian refugees expected from the recent White House announcement. As part of the training, Ready Pac Foods will provide practical resources and expertise to a number of positions within its manufacturing business. Additionally,... Read more
Red Sun Farms showcasing organic line and new top-seal option
Red Sun Farms, headquartered in Kingsville, ON, has enjoyed tremendous growth and expansion over the past few years. In addition to expansions at its Mexico and U.S. facilities, the company headquarters is currently under construction for yet another expansion. Most exciting, said Jim DiMenna, company president, is that Red Sun Farms is now shipping certified organic greenhouse-grown vegetables from all three facilities. “We’re now able to supply our customers... Read more
Westmoreland Farms looking forward to PMA Fresh Summit
Westmoreland Farms is looking forward to sharing new and exciting information with visitors at the PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta. Jimmy Coppola, director of marketing for the Leamington, ON-based greenhouse grower, said it will be promoting all new environmentally friendly packaging at the event. “We will be showcasing this new packaging line made from biodegradable paper trays, recyclable flow wrap, poly bags and more,” said Coppola. “The flow wrapped trays are... Read more
NatureFresh to showcase innovative merchandising units at PMA
NatureFresh Farms continues to promote its innovative merchandizing tools at trade shows this year, including the TomBox and TomBar, both of which will be showcased at the PMA Fresh Summit in Atlanta in October. Chris Veillon, director of marketing for the Leamington, ON-based greenhouse grower, said the company will also showcase its Grape Tomato Machine at event. “NatureFresh is a partner in the eat brighter! campaign,” said Veillon. “We will have... Read more
Windset Farms continues support for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Windset Farms has announced that it will once again be partnering with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Over the last three years, Windset has helped raise over $100,000 to the CBCF and hopes to continue its fundraising efforts. Going into its fourth year, Windset Farms will again be actively present with a company team at the CIBC Run for the Cure, held on Sunday, Oct. 4. It will also be donating over 5,500 pounds of Concerto grape tomatoes and Fresco mini... Read more
Though harvested in an eight to 10-week period, typically in September and October, fresh California dates are marketed year-round. D.J. Ryan, sales and operation manager of SunDate LLC in Coachella, CA, said a very important discovery was made several years ago that has extended the shelf life of the fruit. “After four or five months in cold storage, there is a bit of caramelization of the fruit,” he said. “You can see the sugar start to form on its edges. ... Read more
San Miguel Produce celebrating National Kale Day with Give ‘em Kale campaign
San Miguel Produce Inc., makers of Cut ‘N Clean Greens, will celebrate National Kale Day Oct. 7 with its second annual Give ‘em Kale campaign. Last year, San Miguel Produce hit the streets of Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, handing out 3,000 bunches of free kale to green up Southern California’s morning commute. Kale is still the high-profile, media darling, superhero vegetable of building a healthier America. After a successful first year, San Miguel... Read more
Baldor DC has expanded rapidly since opening a year ago. The company’s facility is located in Jessup, MD, and it is managed by Bill Hodge. Hodge told The Produce News that business has been very positive since its start. “Our growth has been tremendous, our product mix is strong and we have the ability to hold inventory,” said Hodge. “Our customers are being serviced in a timely fashion. This year we have increased our line of local products from Maryland and... Read more
Champion West expands scope of Champion Produce Sales
The purchase of Giant Produce in Parma, ID, earlier this year has proven a sound move for Champion Produce Sales, according to John Wong and Dwayne Fisher, CPS principals. In June the two men said bringing Giant, renamed Champion West, under Champion Produce ownership would increase efficiency, with that facility set to produce 400 loads of onions during the season. Champion West, which underwent upgrades and started running 2015 onions on Sept. 1, is being used... Read more
Setton Farms expanding pistachio category
Setton Farms is expanding its pistachio category by promoting a variety of value added items. Joseph Setton, a principal in the company, said the firm’s five naturally flavored pistachios include Salt & Pepper, Jalapeno, Garlic Onion, Chipotle BBQ and Chili Limon. “These are available in seven-ounce stand up film bags,” said Setton. “Our premium Dark Chocolate Pistachios launched last summer in a five-ounce resealable stand-up bag with a variety of display... Read more
Turbana-Sendik’s partnership benefits Feeding America
For the third year in a row, Turbana will participate in Sendik’s Food Market “7 Days, 7 Ways to Save” promotion to benefit Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, a local food bank that feeds over 330,000 people a year. Every Wednesday until Nov. 11, Sendik’s shoppers will be able to purchase two Fyffes pineapples for $4 and Turbana bananas for 39 cents. Turbana and Sendik’s will donate 50 cents to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin for every two Fyffes pineapples purchased.... Read more
Giorgio Fresh introduces two new very special mushroom products
Specialty foods are out in front in sales today, and produce professionals attribute the increased demand to numerous factors that include the health and nutritional aspects and great flavors. In the case of mushrooms, the growing demand is also attributed to the Mushroom Council’s “The Blend” initiative, which encourages replacing a portion of meat protein with mushrooms. The result is reduced calories, increased flavor and added nutrition. Giorgio Fresh is in... Read more
In Kansas City on Labor Day 1965 Richard (Spud) Haun launched the Dick Haun Potato Co. On Labor Day 1990 — 25 years later — he sold the company to his son, David Haun. The firm was renamed Haun Potato Co. On the firm’s 50th anniversary, and as the 2015 calendar has now rolled past Labor Day, David Haun can claim that he’s owned the company longer than his father. From his office in Shawnee Mission, KS, David Haun said Sept. 22, “We like to brag that we’re a full-service... Read more
Harris Teeter, Titan Farms join to donate 34,000 pounds of peaches to help feed hungry people
Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc. and Titan Farms in Ridge Spring, SC, have donated more than 34,000 pounds of peaches to North Carolina food banks to help feed the hungry in local communities. Harris Teeter, a subsidiary of The Kroger Co. based in Matthews, NC, operates 235 stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, five other states and the District of Columbia. Titan Farms is a leading East Coast peach grower located in Ridge Spring, SC.Titan Farms peaches, sold... Read more
Promotions, packaging jazz up California Giant winter berries program
California Giant Berry Farms is gearing up for movement of its imported berries. “We will begin importing blueberries in the next month from Argentina, then from Chile,” said Vice President of Marketing Cindy Jewell. “We will also be importing strawberries and blackberries during the winter months. I am not aware of any adverse weather. We look forward to great quality and sizing from these districts as they come into production and have several varieties planted.”California... Read more