The year is 5021 and the scene is a unique weather station high on a hill in a very remote area of the country. The people at this particular weather station do not predict the weather. Instead, they control it. It hasn?t rained in two months, so growers send a special request to the station for some precipitation. The order is for two inches of rain.
Feed the Children, a nonprofit humanitarian relief organization, recently received a large donation of shelf-stable "Mori-Nu? tofu from Morinaga Nutritional Foods in Torrance, CA, for tsunami relief in Southeast Asia. Susan Bucher, director of marketing for Morinaga Nutritional Foods, said that the pallets of aseptically packaged, protein-rich silken tofu will be distributed to victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami that struck Indonesia.
Nearly 600 members of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and friends met at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa Jan. 15 for the group?s annual dinner-dance. The event was the forum used to introduce Pat McDowell of Perimeter Sales & Merchandising as chairman of the board for 2005.
The International Fresh-cut Produce Association has announced the addition of two nationally recognized business motivators " a best-selling author and a comedic entertainer " to headline the ExecTrends sessions at its upcoming Fresh-Cut Expo 2005, set for April 14-16 in Phoenix.
SALINAS, CA " NewStar Fresh Foods LLC, based here, began shipping two-crown broccoli the week of Jan. 10. The company introduced the two-crown broccoli at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit 2004 in Anaheim, CA, in October. The rollout follows the company?s introduction of a three-crown broccoli in August.
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.