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Tighter window expected for California avocados
Despite some consumer media stories stating that California had a short avocado crop in 2016, the California Avocado Commission reported that last year’s harvest was above average in volume at 401.4 million pounds. It also delivered the third-highest California avocado crop value on record. However, for 2017 a smaller volume forecast will mean a tighter... Read more
Hy-Vee partners with Robinson Fresh to sell its Misfits ugly produce
To further combat the nation’s food waste issue, Hy-Vee Inc. recently began offering so-called “ugly” produce in nearly all of its 242 grocery stores. The retailer has partnered with Robinson Fresh, one of the larger produce companies in the world, to offer its unique line of Misfits produce. “Ugly” produce items are cosmetically... Read more
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed administrative actions under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act against American Fruit & Produce Corp. and Fresh & Easy LLC. American Fruit & Produce Corp., operating from Florida, allegedly failed to make payment promptly to 38 produce sellers in the amount of $2.8 million from April 2015 through... Read more
Ahold USA makes leadership changes
Ahold USA announced Don Sussman, president of the Stop & Shop New York Metro division, has been appointed executive vice president of merchandising at Ahold USA. In addition, Bob Yager will be rejoining the Stop & Shop New York Metro division as senior vice president and division lead, and Nick Bertram, Ahold USA’s senior vice president... Read more
Overall Red River Valley red potato season going surprisingly well
For those Red River Valley red potato growers who lost three-fourths of their crop to rain and subsequent fields that were too muddy to yield spuds for harvest, there isn’t much that can happen to make the 2016 crop a profitable venture. But, on average, Red River Valley red potato growers managed to harvest about two-thirds of a normal crop.Ted Kreis On... Read more
Walmart, one of the nation’s largest private employers with nearly 1.5 million associates in the United States, plans to create U.S. jobs and invest in local communities across the country. The investments in the coming year will support an estimated 34,000 jobs through continued expansion and improvement in the company’s store network, as well as... Read more
CMI says branded apples now in peak season
A new analysis of the apple category revealed that the late-winter and early-spring months represent the peak season for distribution and sales of the top branded apples. According to the study, expanded distribution of premium branded apples and aggressive retail promotions during this period drive consumers' transaction size, increasing overall apple category... Read more
Scuse nominated as Delaware secretary of agriculture
Delaware Gov.-elect John Carney announced Friday, Jan. 13, his selection of Michael Scuse as the state's next secretary of agriculture. Nominations to the governor's Cabinet must be confirmed by the Delaware Senate, and confirmation hearings are planned for Jan. 18 and Jan. 25, according to the announcement. Scuse, whose confirmation is expected, would... Read more
Stemilt honored with Civil Rights and Social Justice Award
Stemilt Growers and its founding family, the Mathisons, were given one of three 2017 Civil Rights and Social Justice Awards Jan. 14. The award was given by the city of Wenatchee, WA, and its Diversity Advisory Council during its annual Multicultural and Martin Luther King Jr. Festival. This is the 13th year that the Civil Rights and Social Justice Awards have... Read more
A year-long healthy eating-focused Produce for Kids campaign with Associated Wholesale Grocers Springfield Division launched Jan. 16 and will raise funds for Feeding America programs that benefit families and children within the AWG Springfield, MO, footprint. The program offers shoppers healthy meal solutions, registered dietitian-approved recipes and tips. The... Read more
Wisconsin potato industry positioned well for winter and spring shipping
Amid their winter potato shipping season, Wisconsin potato growers are enjoying a very positive season, according to Tamas Houlihan, executive director of the Antigo, WI-based Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. In a Jan. 11 telephone interview, Houlihan indicated that Wisconsin’s potato volume is down about 8 percent from the 2015 crop.... Read more
US Foods Holding Corp. has elected two new independent directors — Robert (Bob) Dutkowsky and Carl Andrew (Andy) Pforzheimer — effective Feb. 11. Dutkowsky is the chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors of Tech Data Corp., one of the world’s largest technology distributors. Prior to joining Tech Data Corp. in... Read more
Ahold, Verizon create 'smarter stores' at Stop & Shop, Giant and Martin’s
To better accommodate more than 3 million customers and 115,000 associates each week across 780 store locations, Ahold USA’s retail divisions, Stop & Shop New England, Stop & Shop New York Metro, Giant Landover and Giant Carlisle, embarked on a technology overhaul in collaboration with Verizon Enterprise Solutions to create a ‘smarter store’... Read more
White-hot purple produce trends
Purple produce was featured as a top 2017 food trend in national media including NBC’s Today, Fortune, Forbes, Food & Wine, Parade and Consumer Reports. Frieda’s Specialty Produce urges retailers, wholesalers and foodservice providers to take advantage of this purple buzz before it fades. Most of these reports mentioned by name Stokes Purple... Read more
2017 Organic Produce Summit on track
More than 100 retail buyers have already signed up for the 2017 Organic Produce Summit, which will be held in Monterey, CA, July 12-13. OPS Director of Operations Susan Canales told The Produce News in early January that registration for retailers and other buyers had been open for about a month while general registration will begin on Feb. 6 through the event’s... Read more
NEPC and Dole donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank
The New England Produce Council and Dole have donated $5,000 to the Greater Boston Food Bank. The council hosted a dinner meeting at the Greater Boston Food Bank Wednesday, Jan. 11, with Dole as the sponsor. The evening began with cocktails and tours of the food bank. Anthony Sattler, NEPC president, and Neil Kessler, Northeast region manager at Dole, presented... Read more
Mark Sutton elected to Kroger's board of directors
The Kroger Co. announced that Mark S. Sutton has been elected to the company's board of directors. Sutton is chairman and chief executive officer of International Paper, a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products. Prior to becoming CEO, he served as president and chief operating officer with responsibility for running... Read more
The board of directors of Empire Co. Ltd. announced the appointment of Michael Medline as president and chief executive officer of Empire and its wholly owned subsidiary Sobeys Inc. Medline will also serve on the board of directors of Empire. “Michael Medline is an outstanding Canadian retailer who brings a passion for the customer experience... Read more
For the past couple of years, truck rates in the produce sector have been fairly steady with very few periods when demand outpaced the supply of trucks and prices spiked. Of course, there are always a few situations exacerbated by holidays or weather when shortage have materialized, but those instances have been the exception rather than the rule. Discussing... Read more
National retail results mixed on pears, category is ripe with promotion opportunities
Stemilt Fruit Tracker’s analysis of November 2016 U.S. pear composite data from Nielsen is in, and results are mixed, with some retailers showing better sales performance than the same time frame in 2015, and others falling a promotion or two short of meeting the previous year’s average. Historically, November is a big month for pears across the... Read more