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Alliance Retail Group expands to 630 members

Alliance Retail Group, Nashville, Tenn., said Tuesday the number of independent supermarkets it serves has risen to 630 in 19 states, with combined retail volume exceeding $ 3.5 billion.

ARG is a self-negotiating cooperative for members of Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., that specializes in vendor negotiations, advertising services and technology services for its members.


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According to Joe Wolf, ARG president, the alliance has added more than 130 stores since April, when it opened an office in Overland Park, Kan., to strengthen its position in Middle America. “That momentum continues to strengthen our negotiating position on behalf of our retailers,” he said.

At the time it opened the office, ARG said it represented 525 independent supermarkets in nine states with aggregated sales volume of $ 3 billion. The company was established in January 2004 with 56 stores supplied by AWG.

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Alliance for Food & Farming launches updated website

The Alliance for Food & Farming, a non-profit group founded to deliver credible information to consumer about the safety of fruits and vegetables, recently launched its newly updated website — www.foodandfarming.info.

“We’re working hard to raise the profile of our organization within the produce industry,” Matt McInerney, executive vice president of Western Growers and the current chairman of the Alliance for Food & Farming, said in a press release. “As part of that effort, we have revised and updated our website with some basic information about the Alliance and the work we do to assure consumers about the safety of fruits and vegetables.”

Executive Director Marilyn Dolan added that the goal of the Alliance for Food & Farming is to communicate honestly about important issues that can affect consumer confidence in fruits and vegetables.

“Experts around the world agree that eating more fruits and vegetables is the best thing we can do to reduce disease, prevent obesity and improve our health,” Dolan said. “But, consumers sometimes need to know more about organic and conventional fruits and vegetables so they can make the right shopping choices for themselves and their families. The Alliance for Food & Farming exists to help provide this information.”



According to Dolan, the Alliance for Food & Farming uses information from experts in science, nutrition and farming, and then offers facts and information about the safety of fruits and vegetables sold in the United States. The organization is voluntarily funded by both conventional and organic farmers and farming organizations.

“What is very unique about this group is that it is truly an alliance of other organizations from throughout the produce industry,” McInerney said, noting that Alliance membership is made up of over 50 organizations, including national and regional trade associations, commodity groups and individual grower-shippers.  

A list of the Alliance for Food & Farming board members is posted on the new website and includes the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association, the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, Northwest Horticultural Council and the U.S. Potato Board, along with Western Growers and nine other produce commodity groups. 





“When it comes to the issue of pesticide residues, we have made a some tremendous inroads in changing the way the media covers this important issue as part of an Alliance for Food & Farming initiative called Safe Fruits & Veggies launched in 2010,” said McInerney. “This has been one of the most successful educational outreach campaigns in the history of the produce industry and is a great example of how a united effort to fight back can make real change.”



In addition to the issue of pesticide residues, the Alliance also provides information on foodborne illness as well as other fruit and vegetable food safety issues. The new Alliance website provides an overview of the food-safety topics the group addresses and includes information about the benefits of Alliance membership and explains how to join the Alliance.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Alliance for Food & Farming launches updated website

The Alliance for Food & Farming, a non-profit group founded to deliver credible information to consumer about the safety of fruits and vegetables, recently launched its newly updated website — www.foodandfarming.info.

“We’re working hard to raise the profile of our organization within the produce industry,” Matt McInerney, executive vice president of Western Growers and the current chairman of the Alliance for Food & Farming, said in a press release. “As part of that effort, we have revised and updated our website with some basic information about the Alliance and the work we do to assure consumers about the safety of fruits and vegetables.”

Executive Director Marilyn Dolan added that the goal of the Alliance for Food & Farming is to communicate honestly about important issues that can affect consumer confidence in fruits and vegetables.

“Experts around the world agree that eating more fruits and vegetables is the best thing we can do to reduce disease, prevent obesity and improve our health,” Dolan said. “But, consumers sometimes need to know more about organic and conventional fruits and vegetables so they can make the right shopping choices for themselves and their families. The Alliance for Food & Farming exists to help provide this information.”



According to Dolan, the Alliance for Food & Farming uses information from experts in science, nutrition and farming, and then offers facts and information about the safety of fruits and vegetables sold in the United States. The organization is voluntarily funded by both conventional and organic farmers and farming organizations.

“What is very unique about this group is that it is truly an alliance of other organizations from throughout the produce industry,” McInerney said, noting that Alliance membership is made up of over 50 organizations, including national and regional trade associations, commodity groups and individual grower-shippers.  

A list of the Alliance for Food & Farming board members is posted on the new website and includes the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association, the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, Northwest Horticultural Council and the U.S. Potato Board, along with Western Growers and nine other produce commodity groups. 





“When it comes to the issue of pesticide residues, we have made a some tremendous inroads in changing the way the media covers this important issue as part of an Alliance for Food & Farming initiative called Safe Fruits & Veggies launched in 2010,” said McInerney. “This has been one of the most successful educational outreach campaigns in the history of the produce industry and is a great example of how a united effort to fight back can make real change.”



In addition to the issue of pesticide residues, the Alliance also provides information on foodborne illness as well as other fruit and vegetable food safety issues. The new Alliance website provides an overview of the food-safety topics the group addresses and includes information about the benefits of Alliance membership and explains how to join the Alliance.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Alliance for Food & Farming launches updated website

The Alliance for Food & Farming, a non-profit group founded to deliver credible information to consumer about the safety of fruits and vegetables, recently launched its newly updated website — www.foodandfarming.info.

“We’re working hard to raise the profile of our organization within the produce industry,” Matt McInerney, executive vice president of Western Growers and the current chairman of the Alliance for Food & Farming, said in a press release. “As part of that effort, we have revised and updated our website with some basic information about the Alliance and the work we do to assure consumers about the safety of fruits and vegetables.”

Executive Director Marilyn Dolan added that the goal of the Alliance for Food & Farming is to communicate honestly about important issues that can affect consumer confidence in fruits and vegetables.

“Experts around the world agree that eating more fruits and vegetables is the best thing we can do to reduce disease, prevent obesity and improve our health,” Dolan said. “But, consumers sometimes need to know more about organic and conventional fruits and vegetables so they can make the right shopping choices for themselves and their families. The Alliance for Food & Farming exists to help provide this information.”



According to Dolan, the Alliance for Food & Farming uses information from experts in science, nutrition and farming, and then offers facts and information about the safety of fruits and vegetables sold in the United States. The organization is voluntarily funded by both conventional and organic farmers and farming organizations.

“What is very unique about this group is that it is truly an alliance of other organizations from throughout the produce industry,” McInerney said, noting that Alliance membership is made up of over 50 organizations, including national and regional trade associations, commodity groups and individual grower-shippers.  

A list of the Alliance for Food & Farming board members is posted on the new website and includes the Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association, the California Grape & Tree Fruit League, Northwest Horticultural Council and the U.S. Potato Board, along with Western Growers and nine other produce commodity groups. 





“When it comes to the issue of pesticide residues, we have made a some tremendous inroads in changing the way the media covers this important issue as part of an Alliance for Food & Farming initiative called Safe Fruits & Veggies launched in 2010,” said McInerney. “This has been one of the most successful educational outreach campaigns in the history of the produce industry and is a great example of how a united effort to fight back can make real change.”



In addition to the issue of pesticide residues, the Alliance also provides information on foodborne illness as well as other fruit and vegetable food safety issues. The new Alliance website provides an overview of the food-safety topics the group addresses and includes information about the benefits of Alliance membership and explains how to join the Alliance.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Alliance outlines success against ‘Dirty Dozen’ list at FPFC Luncheon

CERRITOS, CA — Representatives for the Alliance for Food & Farming detailed the success they have had combating negative stories about fruits and vegetables at the June 19 luncheon meeting of the Fresh Produce & Floral Council in Southern California, here.

Marilyn Dolan, executive director of the Alliance, discussed the strategy the organization has used against the “Dirty Dozen” report issued by the Environmental Working Group each year.

1-MattMatt McInerney, executive vice president of Western Growers Association and chairman of the board of the Alliance for Food & Farming, with David Miroglio of Marzetti, and Marilyn Dolan, executive director of the Alliance for Food & Farming.EWG has been taking government statistics about pesticide residues and issuing what they call the “dirtiest” fruits and vegetables. It made no difference that each of the fresh products still had residue levels well below what is allowable, and would take the daily consumption of inordinate amounts for any negative impact whatsoever.

For the past several years, the Alliance, which is mostly made up of industry associations, has been proactively challenging the list with facts and research projects. Its efforts have even caused the EWG to issue a statement that consuming fruits and vegetables – both organic and conventional – is a more healthful strategy than consuming fewer fruits and vegetables because of any concern about pesticide residues.

While the attention to the list by the Alliance initially resulted in an increase in the number of reputable news organizations publicizing the EWG list, in the past couple of years fewer and fewer news organizations with national following have devoted any news space to the story.

Matthew McInerney, executive vice president of Western Growers Association, who is chairman of the board of the Alliance, detailed the structure of the Alliance and made a subtle plea for increased financial involvement by others in the industry.

He said the Alliance is often the go-to organization when food-safety issues concerning fruits and vegetables are in the press.

In fact, the organization was founded more than 20 years ago during the Alar apple scare involving that growth regulator, Washington State apples and Meryl Streep, who actively campaigned against the use of that product.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Produce Alliance leads fundraising campaign for children’s hospital

chinewProduce Alliance LLC, one of the larger produce management services companies in the United States, leverages its national distribution and grower-shipper network to lead an annual philanthropic campaign benefitting one of Chicago’s premiere Children’s Hospitals.

Jan. 26, 2014 marked the 17th annual “Aon Step Up for Kids challenge” at the Aon Center, one of Chicago’s tallest buildings. Participants climbed 80 flights of stairs to raise money for children and families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. This year, the event had over 3,000 climbers and raised over $ 700,000. Produce Alliance lead all teams with over $ 35,000.

The Produce Alliance/Ruby Robinson team consisted of 45 employees and their families, with additional sponsorships coming from distributors and suppliers across the country.

Fundraising proceeds will be directed to K.I.D.S.S. for Kids, an affiliated organization of Lurie Children’s Hospital.

“In year one, we had 125 people climb. Today we have over 3,000. We are extremely proud of everyone involved and want this to be a $ 1 million event for the hospital,” said Robert Feldgreber, chief financial officer and general counsel for Produce Alliance/Ruby Robinson, as well as a founder of K.I.D.S.S. for Kids.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

New business alliance for innovative fruit storage technology

AgroFresh and Van Amerongen:
New business alliance for innovative fruit storage technology

AgroFresh, a fully owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and a global business unit of Dow AgroSciences LLC, and Van Amerongen CA-Technology, an international leader in controlled atmosphere equipment, are pleased to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent for a business alliance to market a new technology for Advanced Control Respiration (ACR) that will combine new equipment and control systems with a comprehensive set of fruit quality management services.


Yvonne Harz-Pitre from AgroFresh and Erwin Salomon from Van Amerongen

“We are pleased to join forces with Van Amerongen,” said José Soares de Pina, President of AgroFresh. “Van Amerongen is renowned for its continuous strong investment in R & D, designed to bring the latest innovative CA technologies to the market. Their knowledge and the reliability of their systems, programs and equipment make them an excellent choice for this alliance. The combination of Van Amerongen’s equipment technology with AgroFresh’s vast experience in post-harvest disorder control, fruit quality and shelf life extension will bring unique synergies and benefits to the fresh produce industry, adding significant value to our customers’ operations.”

“Through this alliance, Van Amerongen benefits from AgroFresh’s global channel, market strength and broad post-harvest expertise. The industry will get real benefits from this business arrangement, as AgroFresh will contribute to optimize the results in terms of fruit quality maintenance and waste reduction,” said Wim van den Berg, CEO of Van Amerongen.  

The innovative ACR technology will be commercialized globally as an AgroFresh brand, and will undergo significant market validation in the upcoming 2014/2015 seasons.

For more information:
Yvonne Harz-Pitre
Agrofresh
Mobile : +33 6 75086597
Email: [email protected]
or
Erwin Salomon
Van Amerongen
Mobile: +31 6 208483 24
Email: [email protected]

 

Publication date: 2/11/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Speciality crop farm bill alliance supports 2014 agricultural act

Speciality crop farm bill alliance supports 2014 agricultural act

In a letter to Capitol Hill, The Speciality Crop Farm Bill Alliance (the Alliance) encouraged the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass the conference report for the Agricultural Act of 2014. The Alliance represents more than 120 speciality crop organizations from across the country.

The Alliance applauded the conference report and leadership of the House and Senate Agriculture Committee as, “The most significant government investment ever into the competitiveness of speciality crop producers and industry members, with support for research, pest and disease prevention, state block grants, child nutrition, trade, and more.”  

The Farm Bill conference report includes an overall increase in investment of 55 percent over 2008 Farm Bill funding levels in critical produce industry initiatives and programs, including the State Block Grant Program, speciality Research Initiative, a new fruit and vegetable incentive grant program for SNAP recipients, the pest and disease prevention program along with maintaining funding in the Market Access Program and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

“The Alliance has been steadfast in urging Congress to pass a five-year Farm Bill that continues a strong investment in speciality crop agriculture,” said Alliance Co-Chair Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. “We appreciate the dedicated efforts of the House and Senate agriculture committee leadership in bringing forward a bill that will put more nutritious produce in schools, provide critical research funding to fight citrus greening and other invasive plant pests and diseases, and help us to expand markets for our crops. Along with key reforms, this bill includes programs that will allow farmers to continue to put safe, healthful fruits and vegetables on Americans’ tables.”

Alliance Co-Chair John Keeling, executive vice president & CEO of National Potato Council, agrees. “After years of effort, America’s fruit and vegetable growers are eager for a farm bill that supports producers, helps families put healthy meals on their tables, and assists local economies in retaining and growing jobs. We look forward to this final vote so that speciality crop producers can get back to what they do best: growing high-quality fruits and vegetables for America and the world,” said Keeling.

Alliance Co-Chair Tom Nassif, CEO & president of Western Growers Association explains that the federal government is an important partner for change. “The federal government becomes an invaluable partner in food production when it invests in science and research that increases food safety, reduces our dependence on natural resources, increases the consumption of fresh produce and provides healthy, fresh snacks to those children least able to afford them,” said Nassif.

The Agriculture Act of 2014 will be brought before the House of Representatives today for a final vote. Then later this week, the Senate will also bring the Farm Bill up for a final vote before sending it to the President for his signature.

For more information, visit www.strongeragriculture.org.

 
 

Publication date: 1/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

EPC-NEPC bring together produce trade at inaugural ‘Alliance Event for the Industry’

GROTON, CT — The inaugural “Alliance Event for the Produce Industry” was held Sept. 17-18 at the Marriott Mystic Hotel & Spa, here, attracting 130 attendees for an educational forum co-sponsored by the New England Produce Council and the Eastern Produce Council, featuring presentations by the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association.

The opening day opened with a morning tour of Lyman Orchards, located in nearby Middlefield, CT.

StenzelSilbermannCaldwellTom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association, and Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, were on hand Sept. 17 as their organizations played key roles in the educational sessions of the inaugural joint meeting of the Eastern Produce Council and the New England Produce Council, held Sept. 17-18 in Groton, CT. (Photo by Tad Thompson)The formal program opened Sept. 17 with a luncheon, followed by United’s chief executive officer, Tom Stenzel, presenting a “Washington Update.” Stenzel then moderated a panel comprised of Douglas Fisher, secretary of agriculture for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and Steven Reviczky, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.   These agriculture leaders discussed topics of concern to United and the produce industry.

A second afternoon panel, discussing the use of produce in northeastern school foodservice programs was moderated by Andrew Marshall, United’s policy and grassroots manager.

The Sept. 18 schedule opened with Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of PMA, introducing the association’s food safety leaders, Bob Whitaker and Jim Gorny.

Whitaker and Silbermann both encouraged produce industry leaders to take aggressive action in their own businesses, as opposed to passively waiting for someone else to address the industry issues and disseminate simple answers to solutions.

Whitaker, who is PMA’s chief science and technology officer, closed his comments showing a picture of a beautiful little boy who died of food poisoning. He reminded the audience that what may seem casual decisions they make involving food-safety ramifications can mean life and death decisions. He noted that it is the young and old who are at greatest risk of food-borne illness.

Gorny, PMA’s vice president of food safety and technology, was scheduled to speak about the Food Safety Modernization Act during the afternoon session on Sept. 18. The closing session also was scheduled to feature a retail and foodservice panel.

An optional golf event was available on the afternoon of Sept. 18 at Lake Isles near Foxwoods Resort & Casino.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

EPC-NEPC bring together produce trade at inaugural ‘Alliance Event for the Industry’

GROTON, CT — The inaugural “Alliance Event for the Produce Industry” was held Sept. 17-18 at the Marriott Mystic Hotel & Spa, here, attracting 130 attendees for an educational forum co-sponsored by the New England Produce Council and the Eastern Produce Council, featuring presentations by the Produce Marketing Association and United Fresh Produce Association.

The opening day opened with a morning tour of Lyman Orchards, located in nearby Middlefield, CT.

StenzelSilbermannCaldwellTom Stenzel, president and chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association, and Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, were on hand Sept. 17 as their organizations played key roles in the educational sessions of the inaugural joint meeting of the Eastern Produce Council and the New England Produce Council, held Sept. 17-18 in Groton, CT. (Photo by Tad Thompson)The formal program opened Sept. 17 with a luncheon, followed by United’s chief executive officer, Tom Stenzel, presenting a “Washington Update.” Stenzel then moderated a panel comprised of Douglas Fisher, secretary of agriculture for the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, and Steven Reviczky, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.   These agriculture leaders discussed topics of concern to United and the produce industry.

A second afternoon panel, discussing the use of produce in northeastern school foodservice programs was moderated by Andrew Marshall, United’s policy and grassroots manager.

The Sept. 18 schedule opened with Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of PMA, introducing the association’s food safety leaders, Bob Whitaker and Jim Gorny.

Whitaker and Silbermann both encouraged produce industry leaders to take aggressive action in their own businesses, as opposed to passively waiting for someone else to address the industry issues and disseminate simple answers to solutions.

Whitaker, who is PMA’s chief science and technology officer, closed his comments showing a picture of a beautiful little boy who died of food poisoning. He reminded the audience that what may seem casual decisions they make involving food-safety ramifications can mean life and death decisions. He noted that it is the young and old who are at greatest risk of food-borne illness.

Gorny, PMA’s vice president of food safety and technology, was scheduled to speak about the Food Safety Modernization Act during the afternoon session on Sept. 18. The closing session also was scheduled to feature a retail and foodservice panel.

An optional golf event was available on the afternoon of Sept. 18 at Lake Isles near Foxwoods Resort & Casino.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

French alliance aims to double production area within 15 years

Kiwi and stonefruit
French alliance aims to double production area within 15 years

At last week’s Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong Prim’land and Fruits-Union announced an alliance between the companies.

Fruits-Union represents almost 60 growers in the Rhône Valley, covering 500 hectares, the company specialises in stone fruit and also kiwi and apples. Prim’land specialises mainly in kiwi fruit with 750 hectares and also has vegetables and apples, they represent 350 growers.

Vincent Faugier from Fruits-Union explained, “This is a new way of working, Primland is a major company it is also better way of working. Until now we have done some kiwifruit but mostly stone fruit. The French market is good at the moment but we aim to double production and so need to open new markets.”

The company will have joint management for kiwi collection for the South-East of France. By forming this alliance the two companies hope to utilise the increased packhouse availability, Jean Baptist Pinel from Prim’land says the packhouse situated in the Rhône Valley will mean that growers are closer to the packing facilities and also to the customers which will reduce the company’s carbon foot print and reduce the logistics involved.

A 10-member Strategic Committee will be formed by management from each entity to conduct a stone fruit and kiwi fruit planting development programme among the producers from Lorifruit and SCAAP Kiwifruit.

The alliance aims to double production areas within 15 years and is calling for further partnerships in the future.

“We want to develop the sales of stone fruit especially into markets such as Eastern Europe and Russia, this is a win-win situation,” according to Jean Baptiste Pinel. “We are very happy to be able to make this announcement here in Hong Kong.”

For more information:
Jean Baptist Pinel
Prim’land
Tel: +33 55 89 00 995

Vincent Faugier
Fruits-Union
Tel: +33 47 56 15 505

Publication date: 9/17/2013
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


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