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Northwest blueberry production meets skyrocketing demand
Blueberries in the Northwest are on a roll. “Being a part of the blueberry industry over the years has been like riding a rocket ship,” said Bryan Ostlund, administrator of the Oregon Blueberry Commission. Indeed, there has been record-breaking season after record-breaking season. Oregon shipped 134 million pounds of blueberries last season and Washington,... Read more
ShopRite launches annual locally grown campaign
ShopRite has announced the launch of its highly anticipated, annual locally grown campaign. This year’s program features expanded partnerships with local farmers, and a dietitian-driven focus on the health and wellness benefits of fresh produce. “We’re thrilled to announce that this year’s locally grown program is going to be bigger than ever before,” said Derrick... Read more
Reaction to Chinese garlic tariff varies between domestic producer and importer
For domestic garlic producers, the 25 percent tariff that was recently added to the cost of all garlic from China is great news. It’s not as great for importers of Chinese garlic. In May, Christopher Ranch Vice President Ken Christopher said that the company was “very excited about (the tariff) right now.” He added that the increased duty on imported Chinese... Read more
H-E-B accelerates investment in digital with new tech hub
H-E-B announced the opening of its Eastside Tech Hub — the retailer’s state-of-the-art office for its growing team of Austin, TX-based H-E-B employees, as well as the new headquarters for Favor, the Austin-based on-demand delivery company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of H-E-B. Complementing its existing H-E-B digital team at H-E-B’s headquarters in San Antonio,... Read more
Oppy shipping Ocean Spray branded berries
With consistent supplies of high-quality Northwest blueberries from June through September, Oppy will be shipping organic and conventional fruit in Ocean Spray branded six-ounce, pint, 18-ounce and two-pound packs. Oppy is the exclusive supplier of Ocean Spray blueberries, as well as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and cranberries. “This year, we’re... Read more
Fresh from the Start gearing up for Maine broccoli season
Fresh from the Start, a division of Andrew & Sons in Westhampton Beach, NY, is set to kick off the season for Maine broccoli. “We prepare for this crop all year,” said Eric Scannelli, senior vice president of sales at the company, which is located at the eastern end of Long Island. “We begin preparing the fields immediately following harvest and work with... Read more
Smart & Final strikes out on its own
Smart & Final Stores Inc. and First Street Merger Sub Inc., an entity controlled by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, announced the successful completion of the acquisition of the outstanding shares of common stock of Smart & Final. “As we turn the page to the next chapter in our almost 150-year history, we are excited to again work with Apollo... Read more
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visits Mushroom Capital of the World
On May 30, mushroom industry leaders and other agricultural sectors rolled out the red carpet to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for a roundtable discussion related to issues regarding their operations. The event, held at Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett Square, PA, was hosted and organized by the American Mushroom Institute, headquartered... Read more
Garland Food is primed for a strong finish to 2019
For more than 25 years, Garland Food has enjoyed a stellar reputation for providing the Southeast, Northeast and Puerto Rico with the finest garlic products available. Today, the company supplies its customers with garlic that is grown all over the world. Juan Pablo Lozano, a business associated partner of the Miami-based company, said Garland works with growers... Read more
Eating out, taking out, picking up and eating in: Growth expected for foodservice at retail
Restaurants are expanding online ordering and curbside pickup, while convenience stores are stocking fresh produce for busy and health-minded consumers. Driving these changes are millennial shoppers. According to Nielsen, millennials make up 26 percent of shopping households and are the future front-runners in generational spending power. The millennial shopper... Read more
Sprouts names new CEO
Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. announced that Jack L. Sinclair has been appointed as the company’s chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors, effective June 24. “We are extremely excited to have Jack Sinclair as our new chief executive officer following a thorough search and selection process by the board of directors,” said Joseph Fortunato,... Read more
Industry Viewpoint: How food marketers can leverage locally grown produce
It’s summertime, the living is easy — and so is the opportunity to merchandise locally grown, in-season produce. Now that growing and harvesting season is in full swing across most of the country, the time is ripe to leverage fruits and vegetables sourced from nearby farms and orchards outside of perennial growing areas like California, Arizona and Florida.... Read more
Bee Sweet Citrus shipping domestic and imported citrus
True to its no-gap policy, Bee Sweet Citrus is still rolling out a handful of domestic citrus varieties while the company's imported product begins to trickle in. "While our imported product has already begun to make an appearance, our team still has domestic Navels, lemons and grapefruit available for our consumers," said Bee Sweet Citrus Sales Representative... Read more
Walmart to pay $282.7 million to resolve criminal investigation
Walmart has entered into a global settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities & Exchange Commission that resolves a more than seven-year investigation into the company’s compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Through the settlements, Walmart has agreed to a combined payment of $282.7 million. These agreements relate... Read more
NWPB announces registered dietitian toolkit
The National Watermelon Promotion Board announced a newly developed “Wide World of Watermelon Registered Dietitian Toolkit.” The toolkit offers resources tailored for specific RD practice areas including media and communications, school nutrition, retail and supermarket, sports dietetics, private practice and foodservice. “Dietitians are trained in nutrition... Read more
Albertsons elevates its store checkout experience
Albertsons Cos. is empowering consumers with fast and convenient in-store checkout experiences by implementing Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions’ self-checkout systems. By leveraging Toshiba’s focus on front-end store optimization, Albertsons Cos. expects checkout times to speed up — from wait time in line to payment — to improve operational throughput and reduce... Read more
As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed an administrative complaint under the PACA against Southern Produce Distributors Inc.  The company, operating from North Carolina, allegedly failed to make payment promptly... Read more
CMI's Northwest cherry season starts strong
The second week of CMI Orchards’ Northwest cherry harvest is under way and off to a strong start. CMI released a new report highlighting some of the biggest opportunities of the season ahead. Steve Castleman, vice president of sales at CMI Orchards, said he is thrilled with the eating quality and appearance of CMI’s crop this year. “Our cherries ripened up a... Read more
President of Scheid Produce, Paul H. Scheid Jr., dies at 89
Paul H. Scheid Jr., president of Scheid Produce Inc., died on June 3 after a lengthy illness. He was 89. Mr. Scheid was a fruit and vegetable wholesaler located in Millersville, PA. Mr. Scheid was the son of Paul H. Scheid Sr., who founded Scheid Produce the same year as his son’s birth, in 1929. Mr. Scheid grew up learning the family business, which at first... Read more
As part of its efforts to enforce the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act and ensure fair trading practices within the U.S. produce industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a complaint under PACA against Wayne Bailey Inc. and Wayne Bailey Produce Co. LLC.  The companies, operating from North Carolina, allegedly failed to make payment to... Read more