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Strong tomato market should carry into January
The fresh tomato market had prices well into the mid-$20s and beyond in early December, and experts expect the demand-exceeds-supply situation to last through the end-of-the-year holiday season. “It’s no mystery, said Joe Bernardi of Bernardi & Associates, a broker specializing in tomatoes from virtually every point of origin. “Florida typically provides... Read more
As of Friday morning, Dec. 8, more than 150,000 acres in four counties in Southern California had burned with the major fires still not contained and high winds still advancing those fires. The largest and most damaging fire has been burning in Ventura County since Monday night, Dec. 4. Reportedly, it started on Ojai Road near an avocado grove. The fire, fanned... Read more
Fresh foods drive consumer shopping options
Whether in store or online, shoppers like to have options when it comes to where they purchase their everyday groceries and supplies. Shopping and hopping from store to store go hand-in-hand for today's consumers as new research and insights from Acosta — a leading full-service sales and marketing agency in the consumer-packaged goods industry — shows that 76... Read more
Former U.S. trade negotiator laments current situation
Uncertainty is the enemy of robust U.S. foreign trade, unfortunelty that is the current situation. At least that is the view of Darci Vetter, the former chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative. Vetter worried that as the United States looks inward, the rest of the world continues to negotiate trade deals filling any gaps there might be. Vetter... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Lucas Trading Co. LLC, operating out of St. Charles, MO, for failure to pay for produce. The USDA also imposed sanctions on two produce businesses -- Unified Ltd. and AOM International Food LLC -- for failure to pay reparation awards issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. Lucas... Read more
Double Diamond Farms grows organic sector in Canada
Double Diamond Farms is expanding its acreage this season with the launch of an organic cucumber facility in Kingsville, ON. This development will significantly increase Double Diamond’s organic production and the growth and distribution of additional certified organic items will follow, according to company officials. “The demand for organic produce has increased... Read more
Truck rates remained strong following the Thanksgiving holiday with no letup in sight as the mandatory electronic logbook regulation is slated to take effect later this month. “There aren’t enough drivers right now and that’s not going to change with electronic logging coming in soon,” said Len Epley of Banks Brokerage Co. Inc., based in Gilbert, SC.  “It’s... Read more
 New parent company for Ahold Delhaize's U.S. businesses
Ahold Delhaize announced the creation of Ahold Delhaize USA, to be effective Jan. 1. Ahold Delhaize USA will be the parent company for all of Ahold Delhaize's U.S. companies, including its local brands, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant, Hannaford, Giant/Martin's and Peapod, as well as Retail Business Services, a U.S. shared services company providing support... Read more
What’s in a name? Ask Walmart
Reflecting its growing status as an omni-channel retailer Walmart announced plans to change the company’s legal name from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. to Walmart Inc. effective Feb. 1, 2018. The name change chiefly demonstrates the company’s growing emphasis on serving customers seamlessly however they want to shop: in stores, online, on their mobile device, or through... Read more
Stemilt, Peirone Produce announce Apple Cup Winners
For the second straight year, Peirone Produce and its partner retailers located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana teamed up for an Apple Cup competition. Unlike the annual football game between University of Washington and Washington State University where the most points win, this Apple Cup was focused on the biggest increase of actual apple sales, both... Read more
Village Farms, Produce for Kids team up for the holidays
Village Farms and Produce for Kids have teamed up this holiday season to bring consumers a multi-faceted campaign focusing on holiday fun for the whole family. The two have partnered to create a blog and four recipes that offer consumers a simple, easy and delicious way to incorporate fresh produce into their holiday menu. They will also be collecting market... Read more
Viva Fresh Expo's return to San Antonio highlights Rio Grande Valley as a produce hub
The Viva Fresh Expo, hosted by the Texas International Produce Association, will return to the JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa in San Antonio April 5-7. In its fourth year, the expo has consistently catered to sold-out crowds and attracted buyers from major regional and national retailers. The success of this regional event is due largely to the growing... Read more
Loblaw expanding online grocery platform, hits milestone
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. announced the expansion of its Click & Collect service into Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, opening its 200th location in Canada. The first of its kind in the Atlantic, customers can shop for all of their groceries online, then schedule a convenient time at their local Atlantic Superstore to pick up their order without having to leave their... Read more
A complaint was filed against Fred Meyer Inc. in Mason County (Washington) Superior Court on behalf of Nancy Green of Shelton, WA, by the Seattle law firm Marler Clark. The complaint claims that pre-cut cantaloupe purchased was contaminated with Salmonella Newport bacteria. Green became ill after consuming pre-cut cantaloupe on Nov. 1, and within 24 hours began... Read more
HAB names new chairman, executive committee
The Hass Avocado Board has elected a new executive committee, including a new chairman, after Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s appointment of new board members to the HAB. Chairman Chris Henry from Del Monte Fresh Produce is stepping down after two years of service in this role, and will be replaced by Scott Bauwens, a California producer of Hass avocados... Read more
Year of Jicama on the horizon
Supermarket shoppers will be perusing the produce aisles in search of new flavors and food experiences in 2018. Brick-and-mortar retailers with the right item mix can take advantage of this experiential path to purchase in ways that no online shop can offer. Frieda’s Specialty Produce calls out five draws — jicama, Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit, Fresh... Read more
Two tons of drugs found in avocado pulp shipment
U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers at the Laredo Port of Entry recently seized a significant amount of alleged marijuana in a shipment of frozen avocado pulp.  The seizure occurred on Wednesday, Nov. 29, when a CBP officer at World Trade Bridge referred a 2000 Freightliner tractor trailer hauling a shipment of frozen avocado pulp for a secondary... Read more
Kroger making changes in the Northwest
Kroger will be making changes in the Northwest. The company is shuttering Main & Vine store, a fresh-focused concept store launched last year in Gig Harbor, WA. Main & Vine is expected to close on or about January 9. Additionally, QFC, a division of The Kroger Co., is offering home delivery at a majority of its stores in both Puget Sound, WA, and... Read more
The Washington State Department of Health announced a Salmonella outbreak involving pre-cut watermelon, cantaloupe, or fruit mixes containing watermelon or cantaloupe. Sixteen people from Washington and two individuals from Oregon have been diagnosed with Salmonella. DOH is working with state and federal partners to determine the source of the fruit,... Read more
Colorado hoping NAFTA can open more of Mexico to spuds
With ongoing efforts in research projects, successes with newer varieties and encouragement from some governmental quarters, 2017 is closing out as a year of accomplishments for the Colorado potato industry. And it’s also been a good year for the national potato with one of the San Luis Valley’s potato veterans serving as the National Potato Council’s president,... Read more