Blog Archives

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico buying 3 Florida citrus producers

Alico Inc. said it is acquiring three Florida citrus producers, making the U.S. agribusiness one of the country’s largest suppliers of oranges. The company said that it is paying about $ 363 million for orange producers that will boost the company’s production to 10 million boxes of oranges a year, close to 10% of Florida’s annual output.

The deals, which include almost 28,000 acres of land, come at a difficult time for the citrus industry in Florida, the top supplier of U.S. oranges and orange juice. A bacterial disease—citrus greening—has devastated production and driven up prices of oranges, hurting demand for orange juice. U.S. sales for the once ubiquitous breakfast beverage fell to the lowest level in at least 16 years in the season that ended in September, according to Nielsen data.

The largest acquisition is of Orange-Co LP, which includes 20,263 acres. Alico will pay $ 274 million for the company, financing the deal with debt and a $ 97 million sale of its sugar-cane assets. Alico grows citrus and sugar cane, raises cattle, and manages land in Florida.

Alico also bought Gator Grove, a deal that closed in September and was financed with cash, and is buying Silver Nip Citrus, which is owned by 734 Agriculture LLC. A unit of 734 Agriculture, 734 Investors, is Alico’s majority shareholder.

To increase productivity, Alico will plant new trees on the land it has acquired, he said.

Sales of the juice continue to slump, however. U.S. consumers bought 37.05 million gallons of orange juice in the four weeks ended Oct. 25, down 9.4% from a similar period a year earlier, according to Nielsen data published in November by the Florida Department of Citrus.

An increase in Florida production, “if we could ever get there,” would help drive down prices and spur demand, said Jack Scoville, a vice president at brokerage Price Futures Group.

Source: wsj.com

Publication date: 12/4/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Is Bill Gates buying up farms in Vidalia? Documents and growers link Microsoft founder to recent sales

VIDALIA, GA — It has been rumored and discussed on the streets here for months that the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or Cascade Investment LLC, the Gates’ private trust located in Kirkland, WA, is actively seeking to purchase producing farms in the Vidalia area, renowned for its sweet onions and the center of that industry.

Already, two entities — Coggins Farms in Lake Park, GA, and more recently Stanley Farms and its subsidiaries in Lyons, GA — have been sold and, while the trail is murky, documents and interviews with other Vidalia-area growers link the purchases to Kirkland and seemingly to Gates.Gates-1Vidalia, GA, produces the most famous onion in the world. What growers here want to know is why Bill Gates seemingly wants to be in the sweet onion business — and why he apparently does not want that fact widely known. (Photo by Chip Carter)

The Produce News recently obtained a copy of a letter written by Stanley Farms General Manager Vince Stanley to vendors and suppliers dated Oct. 1 and headlined, “Re: Change of Ownership.” An included W-9 IRS form showed that while the business name of the operation is Stanley Produce Georgia LLC, the owner is the Mt. Hood Administration Trust, with a listed address of a post office box in Kirkland. There is no readily available information on the trust.

Stanley wrote, “On Oct. 1, Stanley Produce Georgia LLC purchased the interests of [Stanley Farms subsidiaries] Vidalia Valley, Manning Farms and Vidalia Onion Farms. Please accept this letter as notice of such a change. The Stanley Family wants to personally let you, our valued customer, know that the entire staff you have come to rely on will 100 percent stay in place and will only add quality folks to better serve you!”

One visitor to the Stanley Farms Facebook page posted two questions about the sale, the second of which read, “Is or has Bill Gates already bought your farm business via Cascade Investments…? Seems he already bought Coggins Farms awhile back.”

Neither post had received a reply as of Oct. 13, when The Produce News‘ queries regarding the sale began; by mid-day Oct. 14, both posts had been removed.

The Produce News contacted the Gates Foundation, Cottonwood AG (based in Naperville, IL and thought to be an agricultural assets management operation for Gates’ interests) and others Oct. 13, but there were no replies to requests for information or interviews.

Derek Yurosek of Cottonwood AG, whose name has been mentioned by several Vidalia growers as a participant in some of the proceedings and whose LinkedIn profile shows a Kirkland address, forwarded The Produce News‘ email seeking information to several other Cottonwood AG email addresses and others from Los Arboles Management LLC, which also has a listed address of a post office box in Kirkland, albeit a different one. His message atop the email simply read, “Please do not respond.” It is unclear whether Yurosek intended to copy The Produce News on that email.

While the Gates connection is still just rumor to some, others claim more intimate knowledge of the dealings.

“I’ve actually met with them,” said one well-placed grower who asked to remain anonymous.

Gates’ agricultural interests are well-known. He has been an active and ongoing crusader in developing countries, helping provide locals with means of improving subsistence farming operations.

What everyone in Vidalia would like to know is why Gates seemingly wants to be in the sweet onion business — and why he apparently does not want that fact widely known if that is indeed the case.

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

New Guidebook Advises Consumers on Safely Buying, Preparing, Cooking and Storing Food

The nonprofit food-safety watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has published a consumer guide to avoiding foodborne illness with the latest science-based advice on how to shop, prepare, cook and store food safely. Written by Sarah Klein, CSPI’s senior food safety attorney, “From Supermarket to Leftovers” is available exclusively from NutritionAction.com.

Much of the responsibility for keeping food safe lies with farmers, ranchers, processors, chefs, and other industry professionals. But consumers have a key role to play to keep themselves and their families safe.

Klein calls this “defensive eating” and says that “From Supermarket to Leftovers” was inspired by the conflicting — and sometimes downright wrong — advice consumers get about food safety from raw milk to irradiated food to ”pink slime” to rinsing holiday turkeys. The new guide is an aisle-by-aisle tour of what risks lurk in the supermarket and in home kitchens and refrigerators, with a detour at restaurants, and some special life-saving tips for pregnant women, children, and the elderly.

Along with other information, Klein includes the following consumer advice in the guide:

  • What should be the last item to put in your cart? The seafood counter is typically in the middle of the supermarket, not near the registers. But fish is the last thing you should put in your cart. Klein says it’s better to do a little backtracking at the supermarket than risk spoiled seafood.
  • What produce to seek out and what to avoid. Fresh produce, such as spinach, lettuce, and tomatoes, has been linked to dangerous outbreaks of Salmonella and E. coli. But Klein says you should still eat lots of fruits and veggies since the health benefits far outweigh the risks. Avoid raw sprouts unless you want to cook them. Buy local or organic if sustainability (or taste) is important to you — but bacteria don’t know the difference between local farms or big agribusiness.
  • Which additives are safe and which are dangerous? Many processed foods in supermarket center aisles are filled with additives that have long chemical names. Most of them, even the hard-to-pronounce ones, are perfectly safe. However, Klein recommends avoiding 17 questionable additives, including artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium; artificial food dyes such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40; and preservatives such as potassium bromate, propyl gallate, sodium nitrite and TBHQ.
  • What’s the deal with dairy? Avoid raw, unpasteurized milk at all costs. Happily, it’s unlikely you’ll find it at the supermarket, and it is illegal to ship raw milk across state lines in order to sell it. Avoid soft or unpasteurized cheeses if you are pregnant or immune-compromised.
  • How to avoid antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” in meat and poultry? More than three-quarters of the most important antibiotics are used not in human medicine but in animal production, including to speed growth and to compensate for crowded living conditions. That promotes the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that make some foodborne illnesses harder to treat. Look for labels that state, “No antibiotics administered: USDA process verified,” or, “USDA organic.” For all meat and poultry, use a plastic bag to handle and wrap packages at the store.
  • What about “pink slime” and irradiation? Lean finely textured beef, or LFTB, made with technology that pulls the last bits of muscle meat clinging to the bones of carcasses, became known as “pink slime.” It may sound unsavory, but it’s no less safe than the rest of the burger (which is risky enough). Only one large supermarket chain (Wegmans) sells irradiated meat. Klein says that’s unfortunate because, until other means are implemented, that technology can make ground beef safer and save lives.
  • Are steaks safer than ground beef? Generally. Surface bacteria on steaks are typically killed by the high heat of cooking. One important exception are steaks or roasts that are mechanically tenderized, where tiny blades or needles can bring surface bacteria to the interior of the cut of meat. Another exception involves the use of an enzyme known as transglutaminase, colloquially known as “meat glue.” That lets hotels or other institutional food service providers bind one small piece of meat to another — creating the illusion of a larger, more expensive steak.
  • How to minimize cross-contamination in the kitchen? Have multiple cutting boards for different purposes. At a minimum, use one for produce and two more for raw and cooked meats. Sanitize sponges in the dishwasher or microwave and replace them frequently. Don’t bother rinsing raw meat and poultry. Studies have shown bacteria splashing up to six feet around the sink during rinsing.

“From Supermarkets to Leftovers” also provides tips on how to pack safe lunches, how to avoid excess mercury from seafood, how to store and safely thaw breast milk, and how to avoid foodborne illness during the holidays or after power outages.

Food Safety News

Buying livestock products: What’s on the consumer’s mind?

A look around the local grocery store might show images of consumers reading meat labels or checking the expiration date on a gallon of milk. Each consumer has a set of values when making food purchases, and the level of importance placed on each value by consumers allow for food producers and distributors to better meet the needs of their end user.

A recent nationwide online survey of U.S. consumers by Kansas State University found that freshness and safety were the most important values consumers placed on buying popular livestock products — milk, ground beef, beef steak and chicken breast. The findings for livestock-specific products were consistent with prior research examining consumers’ general food values.

Ted Schroeder, professor and livestock economist for K-State Research and Extension, worked with other faculty and graduate students in the Department of Agricultural Economics on this research. Schroeder said as consumers make decisions to purchase food products, they might think about taste, underlying production practices, concerns they have about production, safeness, freshness, quality and price, to name a few.

“It’s about a host of things that might go through consumers’ minds as they purchase a product,” he said. “As you compile those into a list, how do they rank? And, do they rank the same for different products?”

Details of the study

The prior research by Lusk and Briggeman in 2009 found that safety, nutrition, taste, price and natural were the top five values consumers desired out of the 11 total values assessed for general food products. Schroeder and his graduate students wanted to see if similar results could be found when consumers considered buying specific livestock products.

“We wanted some diversity among those (livestock) products,” said Garrett Lister, a K-State graduate student who worked on the study. “We also wanted them to be specific, which is why we kept them in the livestock sector.”

The popular products they chose to examine included milk, ground beef, beef steak and chicken breast. The 11 food values they chose to examine included freshness, health, hormone-free/antibiotic-free, animal welfare, taste, price, safety, convenience, nutrition, origin and environmental impact. These are similar to the general food product study, aside from a few modifications that apply to livestock products. Adding freshness was one of those modifications.

“There’s more issues with spoilage in some of these livestock products than food in general,” Lister said.

A total of 1,950 people responded to the livestock products survey, which was a big jump from the 176 respondents included in the prior general food product survey. This was mainly due to the online nature of the livestock products survey versus the mailed method of the general food products survey, said Marcus Brix, another K-State graduate student who worked on the study.

Safety was the most important value in the general food products study, and it was either first or second most important for milk, ground beef, beef steak and chicken breast. Freshness was the other top value for livestock products. In contrast, the values of environmental impact, animal welfare, origin and convenience were less important for the livestock products, and this was also comparable to the prior research.

Price fell in the middle of the list, Lister said. This was because some consumers valued price as one of their key components in making a decision on what foods to buy, while others felt it was less important.

Brix said economists often presume that price is the most important factor in choice, because price is an important driver of purchase behavior. Researchers tend to assume food is going to be safe when purchased at a retail outlet. However, consumers in general don’t necessarily have that presumed trust in food safety.

“A majority of consumers still question some things about their food,” Brix said. “If they think that one product is more safe than another at a different price point, they are going to be less responsive to the price and more responsive to the product freshness or safety of said product.”

Needs in the industry

Consumers want products that deliver a high-quality eating experience, Schroeder said, and this study, as well as prior research, reflects that.

“Freshness, nutritional components and health attributes are desirable, and consumers absolutely demand a product that is safe,” he said. “These are messages we’ve been saying for a long time, and they’ve shown up remarkably strong across all four of these particular products.”

The social values, including animal welfare, environmental impact and origin, for example, aren’t irrelevant, Schroeder said. Some segments of society hold those as more important than others, but overall they aren’t the major drivers that lead the average consumer to purchase a particular product.

Understanding some of these consumer food value preferences helps the food industry know where to focus its marketing and production energy to ensure that high-quality eating experience.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Good growing weather, bad buying weather combine for depressed markets

One California shipper said it a “classic example of beautiful weather out here (California) combining with terrible weather in the East to produce cheap low markets.”

David Cook, sales manager for Deardorff Family Farms, Oxnard, CA, said “we have had gorgeous weather for weeks on end. It seems our winter came during a two week period in early December and it has been beautiful ever since.”

He said that has led to better than usual supplies and East Coast movement that is down a bit because of the terrible weather.

Concurring was Mark McBride, who sits on the sales desk for Coastline in Salinas, CA. “The last 10 days we have hit 70 degrees with no rain or cold. These are ideal growing conditions. Coupled with the Arctic Vortex and all the other storms in the East that are resulting in schools closings and white outs everywhere, we are seeing demand disrupted and shipments delayed.”

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, McBride said he expects the supply exceeds demand situation to remain in effect until normal weather patterns return to both coasts. As he was speaking to this reporter, the Los Angeles area was basking in 80 degree temperatures with lots of sunshine, while New York City was 18 degrees with snow showers. “Anytime you have the two halves of the country doing that, we are not going to have good markets,” he said, quipping that the reverse is what causes good markets.

McBride said cauliflower prices were fairly good for the first two weeks of the new year, but by the third week they had dropped down to the $ 10 f.o.b. mark, which still created a high spot on the sales board. Many other staple items, including iceberg lettuce, romaine, leaf items, celery and broccoli were selling well below the double digit level into deep red number territory.

One of the few strong items was peppers, which are mostly coming from Mexico through Nogales, AZ, at this time of the year. Mike Aiton, marketing manager at Prime Time Sales LLC, Coachella, CA, said cold weather early in the Mexican growing season has delayed heavy production of peppers. He added that cold weather in Florida also hampered production of peppers from that region. “Usually we are not sending a lot of peppers to the East Coast at this time of year but this year we are,” he offered.

Aiton does not expected a big jump in volume until early February and even then, the strong market could continue, especially for the colored peppers. He explained that because of the lack of green peppers and the good market for that product during most of January, a lot of growers were harvesting their colored peppers while they were still green to capitalize on the high prices. Consequently, the volume of the reds, yellows and oranges will probably lag behind a bit once volume picks up.

Cook said strawberries were one item that seemed to be taking advantage of the good weather to produce good numbers and a good market. January is always an iffy month for California producers as cold weather and rain can often impact the new crop. But the aforementioned warm weather was producing some beautiful berries with a market in the $ 18 to $ 20 range.

Baja California, San Diego, Orange County and Oxnard are the points of origin for West Coast berries this early in the season and all four areas were experiencing good weather and good supplies. “I expect the market to stay in this range through Valentine’s Day,” said Cook.

That holiday always creates a good pull for berries, especially stem berries which can return a very good price for shippers. “After Valentine’s Day, volume should pick up and we will probably see the price start to come down,” said Cook.

Decreased supplies of Florida strawberries also were having an impact. Cook said supplies from Florida appeared to be lighter than usual at this time of year.

.

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

Publix Buying 7 Bi-Lo Stores

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here on Friday said it has agreed to acquire seven Bi-Lo stores in the Charlotte, N.C., area, continuing a shake-up in the region. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The announcement came a day after Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter agreed to buy 28 Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina and Georgia from Piggly Wiggly Carolina.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“Publix has a strong financial foundation that allows us to aggressively grow throughout existing markets and our new Charlotte Division,” said Ed Crenshaw, chief executive officer, Publix, in a statement.

Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings, Jacksonville, Fla., said his company — which is also in the process of acquiring 165 stores from Delhaize Group — “will continue to fine-tune” its store network.

Publix said grand opening dates for the seven Bi-Lo stores locations will depend on the scope of the remodels.

William Blair acted as financial advisor to Bi-Lo Holdings. K&L Gates LLP and Driver, McAfee, Peek and Hawthorne L.P. are acting as legal advisors.

The Bi-Lo stores that Publix will acquire from Bi-Lo Holdings include:

8120 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte.

12810 York Road, Charlotte.

9815 Rose Commons Drive, Huntersville, N.C.

158 Hwy. 274, Lake Wylie, S.C.

Fincher Farm Rd, Matthews, N.C.

1735 Heckle Blvd., Rock Hill, S.C.

2186 Cherry Rd, Rock Hill, S.C.

Read more: Sale of Stores Boosts Piggly Wiggly Finances

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News

Publix Buying 7 Bi-Lo Stores

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here on Friday said it has agreed to acquire seven Bi-Lo stores in the Charlotte, N.C., area, continuing a shake-up in the region. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The announcement came a day after Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter agreed to buy 28 Piggly Wiggly stores in South Carolina and Georgia from Piggly Wiggly Carolina.


CONNECT WITH SN ON TWITTER

Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.


“Publix has a strong financial foundation that allows us to aggressively grow throughout existing markets and our new Charlotte Division,” said Ed Crenshaw, chief executive officer, Publix, in a statement.

Randall Onstead, president and CEO of Bi-Lo Holdings, Jacksonville, Fla., said his company — which is also in the process of acquiring 165 stores from Delhaize Group — “will continue to fine-tune” its store network.

Publix said grand opening dates for the seven Bi-Lo stores locations will depend on the scope of the remodels.

William Blair acted as financial advisor to Bi-Lo Holdings. K&L Gates LLP and Driver, McAfee, Peek and Hawthorne L.P. are acting as legal advisors.

The Bi-Lo stores that Publix will acquire from Bi-Lo Holdings include:

8120 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte.

12810 York Road, Charlotte.

9815 Rose Commons Drive, Huntersville, N.C.

158 Hwy. 274, Lake Wylie, S.C.

Fincher Farm Rd, Matthews, N.C.

1735 Heckle Blvd., Rock Hill, S.C.

2186 Cherry Rd, Rock Hill, S.C.

Read more: Sale of Stores Boosts Piggly Wiggly Finances

Suggested Categories More from Supermarketnews

Supermarket News