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South Carolina hosts EPC dinner meeting

epc4480CARLSTADT, NJ — As it has for decades, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture hosted the April dinner meeting of the Eastern Produce Council.

The meeting, held Tuesday evening, April 25, at Il Villaggio, here, was the 46th year that South Carolina has sponsored an EPC meeting, according to EPC President Vic Savanello, senior director of produce and floral at Allegiance Retail Services LLC. "That's just outstanding," he said in his welcoming remarks to the well-attended meeting.

Kurt Zuhlke (center) of Kurt Zuhlke & Associates with Joe Atchison and Tom Beaver of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.

Martin Eubanks, the state's assistant commissioner of agriculture, was the emcee for the state's presentation.

Lori Anne Carr of Titan Farms spoke about peaches, noting that the severe mid-March freeze in parts of the state would mean a sharp reduction in production. She said that there would be "little to no volume in May, limited volume in June," and "shippable volume" in late July and August. "We hope to come back strong next year," she stated.

Kori Davis of Jerrold A. Watson & Sons LLC spoke about vegetables. Gilbert Miller of Clemson University and president of the South Carolina Watermelon Association spoke about melons, saying that while "there's a lot of time between now and harvest, the crop is looking very good this year." Matt Cornwell, a marketing specialist with the SCDA, spoke about merchandising.

In a longstanding tradition at the April meeting, Eubanks introduced the EPC's new directors and slate of officers. Savanello begins his second two-year term as president; Marianne Santo of Wakefern Food Corp. begins her second two-year term as first vice president; George Moskal of GVM Consulting begins his first term as second vice president; and Rob Goldstein of Genpro Inc. begins his first term as treasurer. The office of secretary is currently vacant.