The Latest Word — PMA webinar digs into top research from Center for Produce Safety
Millennial Nectar — Younger consumers drive growth of hard cider market
Confronting Challenges — TOMRA in search of solutions to pressing customer issues
Oodles of Noodles — Equipment manufacturers deliver new machines for new kinds of cuts
Big Data, Big Picture — Innovations in IoT help produce processors streamline business
- Brooklyn’s Baldor Builds Bigger Baldor Specialty Foods, in the Bronx borough of New York City, started up 16 years ago with only a “handful” of employees, said Michael Muzyk, company president. It has now grown to more than 600 employees and will soon be moving into a new, state- of-the-art distributing and processing plant.
- Building Breeds Through Biotech The use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) is growing every year, despite vocal opponents of the technology. But GM crops have the potential to be better for the environment and better for end users, said Sharon Bomer, the acting vice president of food and agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
- One Bad Apple
- A Year for Recognition Four generations of D’Amicos have grown mushrooms in southeastern Pennsylvania, and each generation has built upon the previous.
- Foodservice Falters The year 2008 won’t be remembered as a good one for the foodservice industry. Rising input costs in nearly every market combined with a tightening of credit in the financial sector brought about a rapid decline in sales for restaurant operators.
- Getting Excited About Fresh-Cuts
- Sustainable at Sysco Sysco is the largest foodservice distributor in the United States with sales of $38 billion a year. The company employs more than 8,000 sales and has more than 400,000 customers worldwide.
- Fresh-Cut Outperforms Whole Produce Retail sales of fresh-cut fruit products rose slightly in 2008, as did the average retail price for value-added fruit.
- Measuring Sustainability A group of produce buyers, shippers and industry trade associations are developing a verifiable sustainability index for the produce industry.
- Ready Pac’s New Vision Ready Pac Foods is a pioneer in the fresh-cut produce industry and over the 40 years the company has been processing fresh, ready-to-eat fruit and vegetable products, innovation has remained a key part of its success.
- Reinforcing Good Ideas
- Packaging Trends Packaging in fresh-cut produce can be as important as the product inside. The package not only acts as a preserving agent, often serving as a barrier for a modified atmosphere, it also serves as a marketing tool to attract first-time consumers and build a brand image.
- Presidential Politics
- Value-Added Apples Stemilt Growers Inc. made waves two years ago when it announced a new line of flavor-infused apple slices called AppleSweets. The Wenatchee, Wash.-based company has watched the apples fly off the shelves over the past year and is expanding the AppleSweets line to build on that success.
- Wal-Mart Sustainability Wal-Mart caused a stir throughout its supply chain when it announced the creation of a sustainability scorecard that would help the retailer meet its goal of a 5 percent reduction in packaging by 2013. Two years later, Wal-Mart is moving forward with its sustainable initiative with changes to the scorecard and by expanding the program to the global supply chain.
- Davy Crockett Economics
- Fresh Cut South of the Border In 2000, Fresh Cut magazine featured a two-year-old Mexican fresh-cut processor that was doing about $500,000 in sales. Eight years later – and 10 years after its founding – that company is doing $10 million in sales and building the Mexican fresh-cut market.
- Virus Complicates Foodservice Many college students rely on campus dining for a majority of their meals, but what does a university do when a disease is traveling through campus, and the dining rooms may be the source?
- Sustainability at Keystone Potato Products There’s no set definition for sustainability, although a number of organizations are working on certifiable definitions. In agriculture, it can mean reducing pesticides or eliminating leeching and runoff. In a fresh-cut plant, it can mean reducing waste in packaging or water use. Sustainability can also relate to the community a business is in – paying living wages or supporting local community groups. But at Keystone Potato Products and its owners, nearly every activity relates back to sustainable practices.
- The Best Risk Communication
- The Smile Factory When Allan Henderson began his entry into the world of fresh-cut apples slices in 2006, he found it a secretive place in which information was closely guarded and potential spies lurked everywhere. It wasn?t much like farming, where information flows fast and freely.
- Will Organic Growth Continue? For fruit and vegetable growers, shifting from conventional to organic production methods would take time, expense and education and require major changes in the way they grow produce. So the obvious question for them is whether organics is a passing fad they can ignore or an enduring feature of the future, something they need to adopt.
- Economic Slowdown According to the most recent consumer price index, fruit and vegetable costs are up about 6 percent, but growers, processors and distributors are scrambling to find ways to stay profitable. Rising fuel costs, changes in consumer buying habits and a general downturn in the U.S. economy have created a gloomy environment.
- Lydia’s Specialty Fruit In the early ’90s, Henry Chavez saw a need for cooling operations in San Luis, Ariz., so he started Spindle Cooling and Warehousing. As that company grew, he watched fresh fruit going through his warehouse to be shipped out and processed elsewhere.
- Recall Insurance When a recall occurs, processors and shippers are usually insured from product loss and the associated costs. But until now the grower hasn’t had that protection.
- The Grocery Shrink Ray
- COOL Is Coming By all indications, Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules covering produce will go into effect Sept. 30, but there’s no need to panic.
- Is Fresh-Cut Worth the Price?
- Public Relations
- Simply Singles Mann Packing Co.’s is almost synonymous with broccoli. That’s no surprise, as the Salinas, Calif.-based grower, shipper and processor is the world?s largest shipper of the vegetable. But the company also handles more than 30 different vegetables and Lori Koster, vice president of marketing, is excited about some of the new, non-broccoli items.
- Fresh Focus: How Local Foods are Defining a Town
- Not Just an Illusion Step inside the new lobby of Las Vegas-based Get Fresh Sales Inc., and you might think you’ve stepped into a trendy club.
- Trucks of the Trade Rising diesel fuel prices are driving trucking companies out of business and raising rates with additional fuel surcharges. But the trucking and produce industries are working with the Department of Transportation and other federal agencies to help growers and processors get their produce from the field and eventually to consumers.
- Chaining Chain Restaurants
- Expanding in Oxnard Duda Farm Fresh Foods has been growing, packing and shipping celery for more than 80 years, but as the demands of retail customers changed, the company branched out into fresh-cut celery products with them.
- Local Produce is More than a Fad
- Recall in Cantaloupes On March 22, FDA issued a rarely used import alert on Honduran-grown cantaloupe that the agency believed was contaminated with Salmonella litchfield, an uncommon strain of S. enterica.
- Supplying Houston’s Restaurants The coastal area of Texas is America’s “third coast,” and like the East Coast and the West Coast it makes huge contributions to the economy with its climate, beaches and ports. Houston’s Third Coast Produce takes its name from its geography, and the company only serves customers in the Houston metropolitan area.
- Being Red or Blue
- Cleaning Up an Industry Foodborne illnesses resulting from leafy green products have increased more than consumption over the past 35 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Country Fresh Since it’s founding in 1999, Country Fresh Inc. has experienced an annual growth rate of about 40 percent year over year. The fresh-cut processor started with one plant and 20 employees and has grown now to six processing facilities and more than 1,000 full-time and contract employees.
- Fresh Focus: Marketing Food Safety and Food Security Part II
- Keeping Leafy Greens Safe The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement released its first audit report since the group was formed in 2007. A total of 368 audits were conducted between July 23 and Dec. 31, 2007, on the farms of the 116 members. The results show promise in a voluntary, industry-led organization maintaining the safety of fresh and fresh-cut products.