OAKLAND, CA " Bananas, the most popular produce item in the United States, have a new player on the scene: Fair Trade-certified bananas from Uniban, a Colombia-based grower association.
The bananas are coming in through Turbana Corp., Uniban?s U.S. marketing arm based in Coral Gables, FL. The first shipments came in to the United States the week of Jan. 10.
Cary Crum, sales manager at D.J. Forry Co. in Reedley, CA, has announced that he is leaving Forry to start his own marketing company, Green Tree International Inc., in partnership with John Rast, owner of Rast Produce Co. Inc. in Visalia, CA.
The new company will be located in Visalia and will focus initially on developing marketing contracts with table grape growers in California and on building a year-round table grape program that includes imported product from Mexico, Chile and possibly Peru, Mr. Crum said.
?We are going to kick off our consumer advertising campaign? for California avocados "right before Super Bowl," Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for the California Avocado Commission, told The Produce News Jan. 6.
Consumption of avocados during Super Bowl weekend is traditionally heavy, and since it comes just about the time that the new-crop California Hass harvest gets going in earnest, it is a good time to begin building interest in the new crop.
River Ranch Fresh Foods LLC in Salinas, CA, announced the appointment of Mike Alliman to the position of chief financial officer.
Mr. Alliman will be responsible for all accounting and finance activities of the company, including grower accounting, payables, receivables and financial reporting.
A certified public accountant who holds a master of accountancy with an emphasis in cost accounting, Mr. Alliman reports directly to Jim Lucas, CEO and president.
WASHINGTON " U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman has been named to take over as head of the United Nations Children?s Fund, starting May 1.
?Her qualifications are outstanding," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said of Secretary Veneman, who has headed USDA since 2001.
The outgoing secretary will be in charge of more than 7,000 people spanning 157 countries who respond to the needs of children, ranging from running massive child immunization campaigns to mobilizing aid in disasters such as last month?s devastating Indian Ocean tsunami.
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, CA " Pride of San Juan, a leader in the gourmet lettuce, herb and edible flower businesses, is well along the path of expanding its headquarters, here.
PSJ is expanding its headquarters from 55,000 square feet to 170,000 square feet. Expansion of its Yuma, AZ, facility from 45,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet was completed Nov. 20.
?We needed to go along with the growth we?ve had," said Joe Feldman, vice president of sales and marketing. "The bar keeps being raised for food safety and quality."
A steady consumer demand for broccoli has led growers to offer the commodity in a number of forms and packages.
Maggie Bezart, vice president of marketing for Castroville, CA-based Ocean Mist Farms, said that the company has a "conservative increase? in broccoli acreage in Coachella, CA, this winter.
?There?s a higher demand on crowns," Ms. Bezart said. As a result, Ocean Mist is striving to increase its yields. More of Ocean Mist?s size 18 packs are going to shrink wrap to meet consumer demand, she said.
ST. LOUIS -- Monsanto Co. announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Seminis Inc. for $1.4 billion in cash and assumed debt, plus a performance-based payment of up to $125 million payable by the end of fiscal year 2007.
A major snowstorm that hit the Northeast Jan. 22-23 caused some disruption in the produce trade in Philadelphia, New York and Boston, the latter being particularly affected as up to three feet of snow fell in areas north and east of the city.
Ferdinand S. Duda, chief executive officer of the agribusiness A. Duda & Sons Inc., based in Oviedo, FL, has announced his retirement from full-time employment with the family-owned business, effective Jan. 1.
Mr. Duda has been elected to serve as chairman of the board of directors and will continue to work on special projects for the company on a consulting basis.
Joseph A. Duda will succeed his brother as chief executive officer and continue to serve as president.