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RECENT HEADLINES

Weather conditions in Chile have been favorable for this season’s crops
Apart from some recent rains that affected cherry volumes, weather conditions have been favorable for this season. “We expect to see volume increases across all commodities, even cherries,” said Karen Brux, managing director of the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, North America, based in San Carlos, CA. The news is especially good because Chile saw large volume... Read more
North Bay Produce partners with the Produce Mom
The Produce Mom announced the addition of North Bay Produce Inc. to her family of trusted partners. North Bay offers its customers a year-round supply of a variety of fresh produce, thanks to its network of domestic and Latin American growers. “There’s so much culture represented in this company,” Lori Taylor, The Produce Mom, said in a press release. “Together... Read more
N.C. sweet potato production rises to meet demand
Consumer demand in the United States for sweet potatoes has risen by 40 percent since 2008. With exports rising exponentially during the same period, North Carolina, a leading state in sweet potato production, has increased its volume to meet the demand. “North Carolina’s growers and shippers have invested heavily in producing and marketing a quality product... Read more
J&J Family of Farms hires new president
J&J Family of Farms has hired industry veteran Chris Coffman to serve as its president and chief operating officer. In this new position Coffman will be leading the day-to-day operations for the company. Coffman, who has 24 years of experience in the produce industry, will be responsible for overseeing all J&J operation locations in Florida, Georgia,... Read more
adidas Group North America President Mark King will share insights on leadership during his upcoming session at the 2015 PMA Foundation Executive Leadership Symposium Jan. 21-23 Dallas. The program, held in partnership with Cornell University, offers senior executives the chance to harness new strategies and ideas to position their company for success in 2015.... Read more
SunFed backing up 'Perfect Produce'
EMPALME, SONORA — “Perfect Produce” is gracefully emblazoned on a towering black marble foyer wall at SunFed’s headquarters. The company’s stylish new black consumer packaging and corresponding industry t-shirts promote “Perfect Produce.” And promotions and packaging push “Perfect Cucumbers,” “Perfect Squash” or “Perfect Melons.”Showing SunFed’s new 'Perfect... Read more
Vision Produce expands chili pepper program
Vision Produce Co. has expanded its chili pepper program and announced the debut of its own grower direct deals that encompasses a year-round program with fields in Sinaloa, Sonora and Baja Mexico in addition to Southern California.  The first harvest was shipped the week of Dec. 8 and included Jalapeños, Pasilla, Serrano, Caribe and Tomatillo. In the... Read more
Watermelon supplies to pick up in January
NOGALES, AZ — A year ago in December there were plenty of watermelons to ship from northern Mexico. But the fall 2014 crop has run short because two August hurricanes struck Mexico’s west coast. “There will be a gap from now until the deal begins in Jalisco. This is projected for January,” said Chuy Lopez, president of Big Chuy Distributors & Sons Inc. “I... Read more
McClean named marketing director at Ocean Mist
Diana McClean, who formerly was in marketing at Tanimura & Antle in Salinas, CA, has joined Ocean Mist Farms as director of marketing. She will be based in the company's headquarters in Castroville, CA, and will report to Joe Feldman, vice president of sales and marketing.Diana McClean She replaces Kori Tuggle, who left Ocean Mist last month to join Church... Read more
Braga Fresh adds cauliflower to Josie’s Organics line
Organic cauliflower is the newest fresh vegetable Braga Fresh Family Farms has added to its sustainable, premium-quality, certified USDA organic line of produce: Josie’s Organics. Josie’s Organics cauliflower is currently available, both wrapped and naked. The wrapped product will allow retailers to take full advantage of the popular and award-winning Josie’s... Read more
National Mango Board gears up for its new era in 2015
As the year comes to an end, the National Mango Board is getting ready for its new era of development and transitions with Executive Director William Watson handing over the reins to Manuel Michel, the new executive director. The NMB is also armed with a new director of marketing, a new strategic plan, a new vision and new projects. Michel has been on board... Read more
Cub Foods donates to Susan G. Komen through Robinson Fresh program
Longtime Twin Cities grocer Cub Foods recently presented Susan G. Komen Minnesota with $30,134, which was raised through participation in Robinson Fresh’s MelonUp! Pink Ribbon watermelon program. The MelonUp! Pink Ribbon Watermelon program is a cause-marketing program that offers retailers, such as Cub Foods, the chance to give back to their local communities... Read more
Though the wet weather that has drenched California over the past week has snarled traffic and created flooding issues in some low-lying areas, it is basically all good for agriculture. From the Central Valley to the Central Coast to Southern California, growers have been smiling as the skies have opened up for the first time in seemingly years. “It’s pure water... Read more
Industry veteran Suzanne Wolter leaves Rainier Fruit Co.
Longtime Washington tree fruit marketer Suzanne Wolter has left Rainier Fruit Co. Dec. 3 after nearly 13 years as director of marketing. “It would have been 13 years in January,” Wolter told The Produce News Dec. 15. “I came on board shortly before the Washington Apple Commission dissolved its domestic marketing efforts, and I feel as though I built Rainier's... Read more
Mexican industry ripped by unbalanced LA Times series
EMPALME, SONORA – Mexico’s produce-export industry has been ripped in a four-part series that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 7-14. If there is any positive for Mexico’s fresh produce industry in the piece, the point is made that food-safety efforts are strong. But it is also indicated that growers care about safe food more than the well-being of their... Read more
Ruby Fresh pomegranate snack cups welcome addition to school lunch programs
Following introduction at this year’s PMA Fresh Summit Expo in Anaheim, CA, several school districts have added Ruby Fresh's two-ounce pomegranate aril snack cups to their lunch menus this fall. With recent initiatives to provide healthy snack alternatives at schools throughout the country, Ruby Fresh has developed a pomegranate aril snack cup for school lunch... Read more
Dragonberry celebrates 10 years of excellence
Dragonberry Produce celebrated its 10th anniversary with style and elegance at the River Place Hotel in Portland, OR, Dec. 6. “The intimate event was a small gathering of favorite friends, family, growers, customers and vendors,” Founder Amy Nguyen told The Produce News. “I took this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the successful partnerships... Read more
Years of reported infighting came to a head June 23, when Market Basket's board of directors fired Arthur T. Demoulas, president and chief executive officer. Weeks of employee and customer protests brought him back into the fold, and now he has completed his acquisition of the company. Demoulas and his family announced that as of 1 p.m. Dec. 12, they have completed... Read more
Aaron and Derek Johnson, who farm potatoes near Grand Forks, ND, will be sentenced in federal court on March 9 following their conviction on felony counts of conspiracy and making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency and law enforcement officials. A unanimous jury returned the guilty verdict in Fargo, ND, Dec. 11 after... Read more
FPFC crowd sets record at charity luncheon
The membership of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council and guests went beyond themselves as they set a new record for charitable donations at the annual December Holiday Charity luncheon held in Cerritos, CA., on Wednesday, Dec. 10. A total of $130,545 was raised for Caterina’s Club, an Orange County, CA, charity that focuses on providing a nightly dinner... Read more