It has been a relatively steady summer with regard to the transportation situation, but you can’t talk to a produce truck broker without the topic of electronic logging devices being brought up. “We’ve had a fairly steady situation this summer,” said Robert Silva, who runs the Salinas, CA, office of A.T.S., which is headquartered in Visalia,... Read more
Dallas Fresh Food Association is created
The Dallas Fresh Food Association is holding a preliminary membership drive with a social event in Dallas on Sept. 13. Michael Grinstead of The Grinstead Group said that his firm was among seven in the Dallas area to create the organization. At the meeting, a schedule of bi-monthly luncheons will be presented to prospective members.Michael Grinstead The association... Read more
Agriculture Capital Hires Darren Filkins as president
As sustainable real asset investor Agriculture Capital positions itself for accelerated growth, the company has appointed Darren Filkins to its leadership team as president of its Dinuba, CA-based operations subsidiary. In Filkins' role, he will have oversight over Suntreat sales and marketing, Central Valley farming operations, Tree Source Nursery, and AC Foods... Read more
It is an ongoing problem in the United States. Tons of aesthetically unappealing (yet completely edible) produce is thrown away by retailers every year. Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chief executive officer, talked to the Wall Street Journal about what Kroger does with its “unsellable” produce as well as the company’s effort to cut down on food... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited Accel Services LLC, operating out of Valley Cottage, NY, for failure to pay $452,292 to 19 sellers for 58 lots of produce. The produce was purchased, received and accepted in interstate commerce from September 2014 through January 2016. As a result of this violation of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities... Read more
The value of mushrooms produced in the United States hit an all-time high last year of $1.22 billion, riding on the recognition of mushrooms as a major food trend combined with the increasing popularity of The Blend, according to a report released Aug. 21 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. Additionally, production... Read more
The Summer 2017 issue of United’s Fresh Insights for Foodservice report, a quarterly publication from United Fresh showcasing the latest innovations in fresh produce use in foodservice, as well as the creativity of chefs and foodservice operations in incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables to create flavorful and vibrant menus, is now available. The... Read more
Walmart has improved in the food segment. Brett Biggs, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said during Walmart’s Aug. 17 quarterly earnings call that the company’s food categories delivered its strongest quarterly comps in five years. Biggs attributed the increase to solid customer traffic and slight market food inflation. In the... Read more
Idaho potato harvest kissed by the solar eclipse
Just days before the 2017 Idaho potato harvest commences, 308,000 acres of America’s favorite vegetable will be blanketed by the solar eclipse, a rare occurrence when the earth, moon and sun line up perfectly, blocking the sun from the earth’s view. While millions of tourists flock to Idaho to witness the morning sky go dark for approximately two... Read more
Ciruli Bros. revamps strategy, adds seasoned veteran
RIO RICO, AZ — Quiet sourcing expansion for Ciruli Bros. LLC has been widespread. To date, divergent products marketed by the firm are loosely connected only by their ownership. Brothers and co-owners Chuck and Chris Ciruli refer to those separate growing and packing entities, which are spread across the Americas, as “silos.” The brothers... Read more
Trump immigration plan a nonstarter for South Carolina
When President Trump approved an Aug. 2 proposal that would slash immigration by half within a decade by limiting the ability of citizens and legal immigrants to bring family members into the country, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina immediately declared it a non-starter. “South Carolina’s number one industry is agriculture and tourism... Read more
Though California has been harvesting its new crop of garlic for the past couple of months, there has been no significant downward pressure on price and it doesn’t appear to be in the cards. Bill Christopher, chief executive officer of Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, CA, said garlic has actually been in short supply for most of the time over the last couple... Read more
Mission Produce launches Minis avocado bags
Oxnard, CA-based Mission Produce has developed a new bag design for extra small avocados. Dubbed with the name Minis, the package features a consumer-friendly design. Small avocados tumble across a green background beneath a bold Minis label. Mission said its Mini avocados are “small but mighty.” They can be used in a variety of recipes... Read more
Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Co. boards of directors announced a consolidated management structure to lead both companies moving forward. “Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply are sister cooperatives that service the same constituencies,” Chairman of the Sunkist board of directors Gerald Denni said in a press release. “A... Read more
A private equity firm, Rotunda Capital Partners, on Aug. 15 finalized a deal to acquire a majority interest in Indianapolis-based IF&P Foods LLC. IF&P is the parent company of Indianapolis Fruit, Piazza Produce and Garden Cut. The partnership will allow IF&P’s companies “to focus on growth and excellence in continuing to provide superior... Read more
Walmart’s new OTIF policy raises concerns
Early next year, Walmart is planning to enact a new “on-time, in-full” (OTIF) program that could be very difficult — and very costly — for some fresh produce suppliers to meet. According to sources, initially the new policy was articulated in a company blog and has since been shared with suppliers privately. It has also been written about... Read more
In response to statements made by Loblaw and Metro about the cost impact of Ontario's impending minimum wage hike, Unifor, Canada's largest union in the private sector, with 310,000 members across the country, said big, profitable grocery retailers are probably best positioned to absorb the increase and could realize economic gains. "Instead of viewing the boost... Read more
Something off with Price Chopper's new produce program
Price Chopper/Market 32 is now offering a unique line of Misfits produce in 15 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. This line of produce offers customers more fruit and vegetable variety at a lower cost while helping to reduce produce waste. Misfits, a program provided by Robinson Fresh, helps connect consumers to tasty but misshapen fruits... Read more
SEPC Southern Innovations to give attendees something to chew on
Registration is still open for the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, which is taking place Sept. 28–30 at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort on Hilton Head Island, SC. This three-day event will encompass abundant opportunities to experience the SEPC’s four pillars: networking, innovation, community... Read more
Braga expands Josie’s Organic line with packaged Belgian-style leeks
Braga Fresh, a third-generation farming family, has recently launched its new packaged organic Belgian-style leeks under the Josie’s Organics label featuring its signature blue polka dot packaging. The company said Josie’s Organics packaged Belgian-style leeks are the special ingredient in many recipes or that perfect side dish to any meal. These... Read more