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Farm Fresh Produce ramps up bell peppers program, cabbage

Farm Fresh Produce ramps up bell peppers program, cabbage

Farm Fresh has 50 acres of peppers. Most of Farm Fresh’s produce is shipped to the East Coast, noted Ceccarelli, because their location in North Carolina gives them cheap freight costs when shipping to markets in the region. Ceccarelli noted that the season hasn’t been the best, but they’re busy providing for their customers.
 
“Peppers have been pretty good so far,” said Ceccarelli. “The market hasn’t been ideal, but we’re keeping our product fresh and our customers happy.”

Farm Fresh Produce is also in the thick of their cabbage program this year. Like with their peppers, Farm Fresh’s cabbage program is focused on East coast markets, which they can reach in about two days from their facilities in North Carolina.

“We’re going to do a lot of cabbage this year,” said Farm Fresh’s Steve Ceccarelli. They began harvesting Napa cabbage at the beginning of last month, and harvesting of regular green cabbage and Flathead cabbage began shortly after. The Napa variety is what Farm Fresh produces the most, with 70 acres dedicated to that kind of cabbage, while 30 acres are dedicated to the Flathead variety.

“We have an advantage from a freight standpoint,” said Ceccarelli. “It’s cheaper for us to ship to the East Coast and the Eastern part of Canada than it is for competitors who aren’t in this region.” Another big program for Farm Fresh is their line of sweet potatoes, which they also predominantly sell on the East Coast. Currently, Farm Fresh has grey, yellow and green sweet potatoes available.

For more information:
Steven A. Ceccarelli
Farm Fresh Produce
Tel: +1 910-508-8933
[email protected]
www.farm-fresh-produce.com

Publication date: 6/28/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Three new varieties of eastern bell peppers introduced

Gridiron, Blitz and Touchdown
Three new varieties of eastern bell peppers introduced

Sakata Seed America has introduced three new varieties of Eastern Bell Peppers expected to please growers and consumers alike. The three players – Gridiron, Blitz and Touchdown have been specifically bred to thrive in Eastern regions, and are sure to be a top draft pick.

Always striving for innovation, Sakata’s team of experts and analysts have been hard at work creating a line of bell peppers for the East with outstanding yield, adaptability, disease resistance, shelf life and flavor, and are proud to present their winning line-up. “From a development perspective, emphasis is placed on features and benefits for the complete customer chain, from growers to the final customer,” states Bryan Zingel, Senior Product Development Manager for peppers. Grower friendly, the bells deliver improved returns and satisfied customers.

To learn more about Eastern Peppers, including a pathology report and column by pepper-industry expert Kevin Ratchford, growers can also download the Eastern Bell Pepper Bulletin.

For more information:
Alicia Bush
Sakata Seed America, Inc.
Tel: +1 408-782-5391
Fax: +1 408-778-7768
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 12/23/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Bad start yet again for Israeli bell pepper

Bad start yet again for Israeli bell pepper

After a number of bad years, this season was looking to be better for Israeli bell pepper growers. The Russian boycott was to give the sector good export opportunities. But nothing could be further from the truth, says Frank Mosterd of Gilad. “It’s as if they switched to eating potatoes and carrots instead of bell peppers.”


Risky market
“Everyone thought it would be exceptional, but the opposite is true. Instead of being a very good market, the Russian market is very risky.” That’s what Frank Mosterd of Gilad says about the Israeli bell pepper export to Russia, which doesn’t seem to get off the ground. “The Russian economy isn’t going well, the rouble isn’t working in our favour, and demand is limited,” he explains. “Perhaps the period between the boycott and the Israeli season was too long.” Until a few weeks ago, prices were still reasonable in Russia, but meanwhile a lot of Israeli produce has been shipped. “The market is saturated.” The organic market is having a tough time as well at the moment. “We started out with reasonable prices, but currently the prices are also too low for the time of year.”


Third bad year in a row
For the Israeli bell pepper sector, this is the third, downright bad year in a row. “I was there last week,” Mosterd says, “and I haven’t spoken to a single optimistic grower.” Just like in the Netherlands, many cultivation companies are under water. “Quite a lot of growers are going bankrupt, and instead of those greenhouses being emptied, they’re bought by other growers.” Cultivation companies also rent out their greenhouses to other growers, or to export companies, and the acreage remains constant. “November and December have already been bad in recent years – we have to make our money in January, February and March. If that turns out badly, even more growers will have to quit.”


Improvement
For the coming weeks, Mosterd is expecting improvements. “The market is slowly starting to recover again. Also because of the holidays, we are shipping more now.” Since Friday, there’s been a bit more demand. That means prices of around 7.00 Euro for red and yellow, and 8.5 Euro for orange, per 5 kg box. “From Spain, not a lot of oranges are coming. That’s when you see buyers switching to Israeli produce.” But if there aren’t any shortages, it’s hard for Israel to gain a foothold in Europe. “Just like last year, you see the programmes for packaged bell peppers in Spain, which is the main reason for the limited demand for Israeli bell peppers in the Netherlands.” A pity, actually, Mosterd remarks. “Because the upside is that the quality is really top notch this year.”


For more information:
Gilad Produce
Tel: +31 174 518 530
Fax : +31 174 528 502 
Frank Mosterd
Mob: +316-2255 6700
www.giladproduce.com

Publication date: 12/17/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish grower and exporter Avi Ben-Zion was murdered on Monday. The perpetrators were Palestinian car thieves. They pulled him out of the car and hit him with an iron bar. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.


Soldiers of the Duvdevan elite unit arrested three Palestinian suspects. Ben-Zion’s wife and four daughters are convinced that the motive was nationalistic: Avi Ben-Zion was murdered because he was a Jew. “Otherwise they would have just taken his car.” His family decided to donate his organs. Avi Ben-Zion was 63 years old.

Avi Ben-Zion had been working as a bell pepper grower in the Jordan Valley since 1976, where Palestinian inhabitants have taken over through the years. He cultivated around 60 hectares of bell peppers, and a few hectares of grapes. In addition, the company sold cherry tomatoes and exotic fruit. His wife Niva worked in fig sales, and handled the bell pepper business. Last month, we visited her in Israel.

David Elhayani of the Jordan Valley Regional Council remembers him as “a great man, humble, modest and a farmer through and through.” According to neighbours, Ben-Zion worked with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian workers, all of whom he treated equally and with respect.


Pieter de Ruiter of 4 Fruit Company knew Avi since 2007, and formed a special bond with him. “He was a really friendly man. It’s unbelievable that this had to happen to him. Where his colleagues in the Jordan Valley carried a weapon, he consciously chose not to do so, because he thought this radiated aggressiveness. My wife is also Jewish, so there was a connection there right away. I wasn’t allowed to go to Israel without my wife, and they always visited us together as well when they were in the Netherlands. The four of us also went on trips to Jordan and Koper. When there was a small business conflict, he immediately tried to find a solution in a mild and friendly manner. When his daughters were serving in the army and didn’t get good food, he drove 200 kilometres to bring them nice food, he was that kind of man!”

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish grower and exporter Avi Ben-Zion was murdered on Monday. The perpetrators were Palestinian car thieves. They pulled him out of the car and hit him with an iron bar. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.


Soldiers of the Duvdevan elite unit arrested three Palestinian suspects. Ben-Zion’s wife and four daughters are convinced that the motive was nationalistic: Avi Ben-Zion was murdered because he was a Jew. “Otherwise they would have just taken his car.” His family decided to donate his organs. Avi Ben-Zion was 63 years old.

Avi Ben-Zion had been working as a bell pepper grower in the Jordan Valley since 1976, where Palestinian inhabitants have taken over through the years. He cultivated around 60 hectares of bell peppers, and a few hectares of grapes. In addition, the company sold cherry tomatoes and exotic fruit. His wife Niva worked in fig sales, and handled the bell pepper business. Last month, we visited her in Israel.

David Elhayani of the Jordan Valley Regional Council remembers him as “a great man, humble, modest and a farmer through and through.” According to neighbours, Ben-Zion worked with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian workers, all of whom he treated equally and with respect.


Pieter de Ruiter of 4 Fruit Company knew Avi since 2007, and formed a special bond with him. “He was a really friendly man. It’s unbelievable that this had to happen to him. Where his colleagues in the Jordan Valley carried a weapon, he consciously chose not to do so, because he thought this radiated aggressiveness. My wife is also Jewish, so there was a connection there right away. I wasn’t allowed to go to Israel without my wife, and they always visited us together as well when they were in the Netherlands. The four of us also went on trips to Jordan and Koper. When there was a small business conflict, he immediately tried to find a solution in a mild and friendly manner. When his daughters were serving in the army and didn’t get good food, he drove 200 kilometres to bring them nice food, he was that kind of man!”

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish bell pepper grower Avi Ben-Zion murdered in cold blood

Jewish grower and exporter Avi Ben-Zion was murdered on Monday. The perpetrators were Palestinian car thieves. They pulled him out of the car and hit him with an iron bar. He was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday.


Soldiers of the Duvdevan elite unit arrested three Palestinian suspects. Ben-Zion’s wife and four daughters are convinced that the motive was nationalistic: Avi Ben-Zion was murdered because he was a Jew. “Otherwise they would have just taken his car.” His family decided to donate his organs. Avi Ben-Zion was 63 years old.

Avi Ben-Zion had been working as a bell pepper grower in the Jordan Valley since 1976, where Palestinian inhabitants have taken over through the years. He cultivated around 60 hectares of bell peppers, and a few hectares of grapes. In addition, the company sold cherry tomatoes and exotic fruit. His wife Niva worked in fig sales, and handled the bell pepper business. Last month, we visited her in Israel.

David Elhayani of the Jordan Valley Regional Council remembers him as “a great man, humble, modest and a farmer through and through.” According to neighbours, Ben-Zion worked with hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian workers, all of whom he treated equally and with respect.


Pieter de Ruiter of 4 Fruit Company knew Avi since 2007, and formed a special bond with him. “He was a really friendly man. It’s unbelievable that this had to happen to him. Where his colleagues in the Jordan Valley carried a weapon, he consciously chose not to do so, because he thought this radiated aggressiveness. My wife is also Jewish, so there was a connection there right away. I wasn’t allowed to go to Israel without my wife, and they always visited us together as well when they were in the Netherlands. The four of us also went on trips to Jordan and Koper. When there was a small business conflict, he immediately tried to find a solution in a mild and friendly manner. When his daughters were serving in the army and didn’t get good food, he drove 200 kilometres to bring them nice food, he was that kind of man!”

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Salmonella concerns trigger Bell pepper recall

Orange County Produce is recalling red and green Bell Peppers after a random sample tested positive for Salmonella.

The recall is limited to three lots (Lot # SB 7 920, 923, 924) containing 1,208 25-pound cartons of peppers. No illnesses have been reported to date.

The lots were distributed to farmer’s markets and wholesale foodservice within Southern California Sept. 21-24. The product was shipped in cases under the “OC Harvest” labels.

The product is typically sold to retail, foodservice and farmer’s market level in bulk weight and has no retail packaging associated with it. All retail suppliers directed to immediately remove and destroy any remaining product in their inventories.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Bell Peppers Recalled due to Salmonella Risk

Orange County Produce is voluntarily recalling fresh red and green bell peppers after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised that a random sample of the peppers had tested positive for Salmonella.

The recall is limited to three lots (Lot # SB 7 920, 923, 924) containing 1,208 25# cartons of peppers. They were distributed to farmer’s markets and wholesale food service in Southern California Sept. 21-24.

The product was shipped in cases under the OC Harvest labels but is typically sold without retail packaging associated with it. All retail suppliers that received the affected lots were notified and directed to remove and destroy any remaining product.

Consumers who may have purchased the peppers between Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 should contact the store, restaurant or farmers market where they bought them and ask if the product was from affected lots. If so, the customer should discard or return any unused peppers to that store for a refund.

Orange County Produce has ceased distribution and harvest of product from the implicated field and the FDA, the California Department of Public Health and the company are continuing their investigation into the source of the contamination.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

Food Safety News

Taco Bell to Cancel Kids’ Menu

Mexican-style restaurant chain Taco Bell says it will begin phasing out its children’s menu, and will no longer have one by January.

The company announced Monday that it will no longer offer separate options for kids, but will instead incorporate its crunchy taco, soft taco, bean burrito and other kids’ items into its regular menu. And with the children’s menu will go the toys that currently accompany those meals.

The company says it made its decision based on the fact that the funds currently dedicated to kids meals and toys could pack more punch elsewhere.

“We’ve got people dedicated to sourcing the toys, buying the toys, licensing the toys, shipping the toys,” CEO Greg Creed told the Huffington Post. “There are resources in the organization dedicated to this which we can reallocate to things that I think will grow the business and also be more consistent in our positioning.”

The company is the first major fast food chain to eliminate its children’s menu, it announced in a press release Monday; however Jack in the Box stopped including toys with its kids’ meals in 2011.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest praised Taco Bell’s move: “Taco Bell is taking a constructive step forward by no longer using toys to encourage kids to pester their parents to go to that restaurant,” said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the consumer group, in a statement Monday.

“We urge McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and others to follow Taco Bell’s lead and stop using toys or other premiums to lure kids to meals of poor nutritional quality,” Wootan continued.

Taco Bell is owned by YUM! Brands, which also operates KFC. The fried chicken chain will keep its kids menu.

Food Safety News