Blog Archives

U.S.: Chiquita buys Dallas cold storage facility

Fresh produce multinational Chiquita Brands has opted to buy a cold storage warehous it was previously leasing in Dallas, Texas, website Bizjournals.com reported.

The 113,000-square-foot facility in Grand Prairie was purchased by Switzerland-headquartered Chiquita and its Fresh Express brand for US$ 19.5 million, the story reported.

The deal was reportedly brokered by Colliers International vice president Marc Bonilla.

“This institutional grade industrial asset combined outstanding functionality with an incredible opportunity for the tenant to expand the building footprint in one of the strongest sub-markets in the country – Dallas/Fort Worth,” Bonilla was quoted as saying.

“This was a strategic purchase on behalf of the tenant — Chiquita Brands International, Inc.”

www.freshfruitportal.com

FreshFruitPortal.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

Here Comes the Cold Weather — and Mus Musculus

For much of the country, as the temperatures drop, there is increased activity of mice to find a harborage area. For any food operation, or homeowner, for that matter, this means an increased potential of infestation if some proactive measures are not taken to eliminate entry. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Think like a mouse.

2. Any hole, gap or crack leading directly outside must be either sealed or flush with the floor. If you see sunlight, chances are that gap may be large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. Simply using some type of spray foam to plug a hole may work temporarily until the mice decide to chew through it, so put a metal scrub pad in the hole before it is sealed. I’ve seen mice tunnel through fireproof insulation three floors high, chew through wires, sheetrock, plaster and plywood, so they are resilient and can get to where they want to go.

3. Keep doors closed when not in use, especially in a warehouse next to a field, where even Bigfoot can walk right in.

4. Be careful of potential exterior harborage areas. Those hay bales — yes, they’re very fall-like and a nice-looking Halloween decoration — but they’re also a nice, warm and comfortable area for mice to inhabit. Bags of mulch and even vending machines are as well. Just keep that in mind the next time your dispensed scratch-off lottery ticket looks like it has been nibbled on the end. Those make perfect nesting material, and the grand prize you might win may have four legs.

5. Be mindful of any potential outdoor food source that can be an attraction, such as an unkept garbage area, seed, pet food and anything else that will attract rodents.

6. Make sure to thoroughly check any food and/or paper deliveries for evidence of infestation. Is one of your vendors possibly bringing you something more than you bargained for?

7. Finally, ask yourself: Just exactly what are those holes in the ground outside your back door?

Mice can be a big problem once they have gained access to your interior, not only for the spread of potential disease, product loss, damage to reputation, citations and/or fines from the health department, but also for the money you will spend in labor to clean up after them and for the pest-control company to get rid of them.

Keep in mind that, with a potential reproduction rate of five to 10 litters a year, times five to six babies each, an unchecked mouse population can grow fast. And it all starts with entry.

Food Safety News

Here Comes the Cold Weather — and Mus Musculus

For much of the country, as the temperatures drop, there is increased activity of mice to find a harborage area. For any food operation, or homeowner, for that matter, this means an increased potential of infestation if some proactive measures are not taken to eliminate entry. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Think like a mouse.

2. Any hole, gap or crack leading directly outside must be either sealed or flush with the floor. If you see sunlight, chances are that gap may be large enough for a mouse to squeeze through. Simply using some type of spray foam to plug a hole may work temporarily until the mice decide to chew through it, so put a metal scrub pad in the hole before it is sealed. I’ve seen mice tunnel through fireproof insulation three floors high, chew through wires, sheetrock, plaster and plywood, so they are resilient and can get to where they want to go.

3. Keep doors closed when not in use, especially in a warehouse next to a field, where even Bigfoot can walk right in.

4. Be careful of potential exterior harborage areas. Those hay bales — yes, they’re very fall-like and a nice-looking Halloween decoration — but they’re also a nice, warm and comfortable area for mice to inhabit. Bags of mulch and even vending machines are as well. Just keep that in mind the next time your dispensed scratch-off lottery ticket looks like it has been nibbled on the end. Those make perfect nesting material, and the grand prize you might win may have four legs.

5. Be mindful of any potential outdoor food source that can be an attraction, such as an unkept garbage area, seed, pet food and anything else that will attract rodents.

6. Make sure to thoroughly check any food and/or paper deliveries for evidence of infestation. Is one of your vendors possibly bringing you something more than you bargained for?

7. Finally, ask yourself: Just exactly what are those holes in the ground outside your back door?

Mice can be a big problem once they have gained access to your interior, not only for the spread of potential disease, product loss, damage to reputation, citations and/or fines from the health department, but also for the money you will spend in labor to clean up after them and for the pest-control company to get rid of them.

Keep in mind that, with a potential reproduction rate of five to 10 litters a year, times five to six babies each, an unchecked mouse population can grow fast. And it all starts with entry.

Food Safety News

Cold Smoked Steelhead Recalled for Possible Listeria Contamination

Gold Star Smoked Fish Corp. of Brooklyn, NY, is recalling Cold Smoked Steelhead in Vacuum Pack with a blue-and-gold label due to contamination, or possible contamination, with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recall was initiated after sampling by food inspectors from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Subsequent analysis of the product by food laboratory personnel revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a sample of the product being recalled. Gold Star Smoked Fish Corp. is recalling the product as a precaution.

The recalled product is packaged in a clear plastic vacuum bag for food service distribution and has a white label with a code 244 affixed on the back of the bag. The UPC number on the front label is 021 143140026. The product was sold in the states of New York, New Jersey and Florida as a food service item to be weighed at the point of sale.

Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy persons may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. Consumers who purchased Cold Smoked Steelhead in Vacuum Pack should not consume it and should return it to the place of purchase. Consumers with any questions may contact the company directly at 718-522-5480.

Food Safety News

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Allegiance Retail Services announces grand reopening of Cold Spring Foodtown

The Cold Spring Foodtown in Putnam County, NY, celebrated its grand reopening Sept. 5, featuring an enlarged and completely remodeled store and several new and expanded departments. Some of the enhancements include a new fresh seafood department, an expanded deli and bakery department, a wide variety of organic and natural foods, a new vitamin and supplements department, and an expanded fruit and vegetable department.

The Foodtown of Cold Spring is one of 11 supermarket locations owned and operated by Noah, Daniel and Sydney Katz of PSK Supermarkets.

“We are very proud of the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown and we are thrilled to serve the community with all its new features and services,” Noah Katz, co-president of PSK Supermarkets, said in a press release. “All that was done would not have been possible without the tremendous help and support of the store associates and the Allegiance Retails Services team. This was truly a great team force.”

“We are excited to have another state-of-the-art supermarket to serve the New York shopper,” Michael Stolarz, president and chief operating officer of Allegiance Retail Services LLC, added in the press release. “The entire Allegiance team congratulates the Katz family and looks forward to the success of the store.”

“We would like to congratulate the Katz family on the grand reopening of the Cold Spring Foodtown,” David Maniaci, chairman and chief executive officer of Allegiance Retail Services, added. “We are honored by the confidence that Noah, Daniel and Sydney have in the Allegiance team, and we wish the store much success.”

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

Cold Train ceases expedited intermodal service in Washington

On Aug. 7, Cold Train Express Intermodal Service announced it would be suspending service at its location at the Port of Quincy, WA. Cold Train, operated by Rail Logistics of Overland Park, KS, developed a transportation model which allowed fresh producers in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of refrigerated rail service that moved commodities to Chicago, IL, and points beyond in a timely and efficient manner.

The port provided the physical facility, rail track, rail siding and loading equipment. Cold Train owned the containers and worked with producers to load and deliver commodities to the port.

The facility includes one million square feet of cold storage warehousing providing perishable and produce shippers with distribution, cross-dock and storage capacity in and out of Washington. Cold Train had an established track record moving fresh commodities such as apples, potatoes and onions.

Cole Jessup, who handles domestic sales at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, provided some producer insights to The Produce News on Aug. 8, hours after the announcement was made.

ColdTrainDuring a special work session held in January, members of the Washington State House Transportation Committee met with officials to discuss cost effective, efficient shipment of Washington apples into the Midwest. Seen here are Pat Boss representing the Port of Quincy and Cold Train, Pat Connelly representing the Port of Quincy, Cole Jessup representing Columbia Marketing International and Mike Durfee representing Diamond Logistics Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Cold Train Express Intermodal Service)“One minute, we have things up and running. The next minute we don’t. It really puts us in a bind just because transportation has been such a big issue over the years,” he stated. “Cold Train was a fantastic service. We just got the news yesterday afternoon. We are looking at a big crop for pears and apples and need all the transportation options available.”

According to data made available by Cold Train, use of intermodal transportation was growing from the Pacific Northwest. During 2010, Cold Train moved approximately 100 containers of perishables per month from Washington to the Midwest. By 2013, that number had risen to approximately 700 containers per month shipped from Washington and Portland, OR.

By the end of 2013, Cold Train anticipated it would be shipping 1,000 containers each month from the region.

Jessup said Cold Train made significant infrastructure investments at the Port of Quincy, and the service was invaluable to CMI. “Getting fruit to the market has been a chore, especially in the winter,” he continued, adding the trucking industry continues to suffer from a lack of available trucks and drivers.

CMI, he went on to say, is watching developments closely to see what action Cold Train may be able to take to restore service in the future. Jessup said CMI will continue to use Railex service to move fruit.

“The announcement by Cold Train follows a number of scheduling issues on BNSF Railway’s Northern Corridor line that have been occurring with BNSF beginning late last fall because of increased rail congestion as result of a surge of oil and coal shipments on the Northern Corridor line,” Cold Train said in a statement. “In fact, from November of 2013 to April of 2014, BNSF’s On-Time Percentage dramatically dropped from an average of over 90 percent to less than 5 percent.”

This past April, BSNF Railway announced an initial reduction in intermodal service out of Washington to one train a day with transit times being two to three days slower than prior timetables.

“As a result of the scheduling change in April, the rail transit time nearly doubled,” Cold Train stated. “Unfortunately, this caused Cold Train’s costs of equipment, fuel and other costs to double, and caused many customers — especially fresh produce shippers — to look for other transportation service options. In fact, because of BNSF’s scheduling issues from November of 2013 until present, Cold Train lost most of its fresh produce business, including apples, onions, pears, potatoes, carrots and cherries, which was more than 70 percent of the company’s business. In addition to adversely impacting many Washington State fresh produce growers and shippers, BNSF’s scheduling changes have affected many retailers and wholesalers in the Midwest and East Coast that purchase Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods.”

 

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

Cold Train ceases expedited intermodal service in Washington

On Aug. 7, Cold Train Express Intermodal Service announced it would be suspending service at its location at the Port of Quincy, WA. Cold Train, operated by Rail Logistics of Overland Park, KS, developed a transportation model which allowed fresh producers in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of refrigerated rail service that moved commodities to Chicago, IL, and points beyond in a timely and efficient manner.

The port provided the physical facility, rail track, rail siding and loading equipment. Cold Train owned the containers and worked with producers to load and deliver commodities to the port.

The facility includes one million square feet of cold storage warehousing providing perishable and produce shippers with distribution, cross-dock and storage capacity in and out of Washington. Cold Train had an established track record moving fresh commodities such as apples, potatoes and onions.

Cole Jessup, who handles domestic sales at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, provided some producer insights to The Produce News on Aug. 8, hours after the announcement was made.

ColdTrainDuring a special work session held in January, members of the Washington State House Transportation Committee met with officials to discuss cost effective, efficient shipment of Washington apples into the Midwest. Seen here are Pat Boss representing the Port of Quincy and Cold Train, Pat Connelly representing the Port of Quincy, Cole Jessup representing Columbia Marketing International and Mike Durfee representing Diamond Logistics Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Cold Train Express Intermodal Service)“One minute, we have things up and running. The next minute we don’t. It really puts us in a bind just because transportation has been such a big issue over the years,” he stated. “Cold Train was a fantastic service. We just got the news yesterday afternoon. We are looking at a big crop for pears and apples and need all the transportation options available.”

According to data made available by Cold Train, use of intermodal transportation was growing from the Pacific Northwest. During 2010, Cold Train moved approximately 100 containers of perishables per month from Washington to the Midwest. By 2013, that number had risen to approximately 700 containers per month shipped from Washington and Portland, OR.

By the end of 2013, Cold Train anticipated it would be shipping 1,000 containers each month from the region.

Jessup said Cold Train made significant infrastructure investments at the Port of Quincy, and the service was invaluable to CMI. “Getting fruit to the market has been a chore, especially in the winter,” he continued, adding the trucking industry continues to suffer from a lack of available trucks and drivers.

CMI, he went on to say, is watching developments closely to see what action Cold Train may be able to take to restore service in the future. Jessup said CMI will continue to use Railex service to move fruit.

“The announcement by Cold Train follows a number of scheduling issues on BNSF Railway’s Northern Corridor line that have been occurring with BNSF beginning late last fall because of increased rail congestion as result of a surge of oil and coal shipments on the Northern Corridor line,” Cold Train said in a statement. “In fact, from November of 2013 to April of 2014, BNSF’s On-Time Percentage dramatically dropped from an average of over 90 percent to less than 5 percent.”

This past April, BSNF Railway announced an initial reduction in intermodal service out of Washington to one train a day with transit times being two to three days slower than prior timetables.

“As a result of the scheduling change in April, the rail transit time nearly doubled,” Cold Train stated. “Unfortunately, this caused Cold Train’s costs of equipment, fuel and other costs to double, and caused many customers — especially fresh produce shippers — to look for other transportation service options. In fact, because of BNSF’s scheduling issues from November of 2013 until present, Cold Train lost most of its fresh produce business, including apples, onions, pears, potatoes, carrots and cherries, which was more than 70 percent of the company’s business. In addition to adversely impacting many Washington State fresh produce growers and shippers, BNSF’s scheduling changes have affected many retailers and wholesalers in the Midwest and East Coast that purchase Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods.”

 

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

Cold Train ceases expedited intermodal service in Washington

On Aug. 7, Cold Train Express Intermodal Service announced it would be suspending service at its location at the Port of Quincy, WA. Cold Train, operated by Rail Logistics of Overland Park, KS, developed a transportation model which allowed fresh producers in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of refrigerated rail service that moved commodities to Chicago, IL, and points beyond in a timely and efficient manner.

The port provided the physical facility, rail track, rail siding and loading equipment. Cold Train owned the containers and worked with producers to load and deliver commodities to the port.

The facility includes one million square feet of cold storage warehousing providing perishable and produce shippers with distribution, cross-dock and storage capacity in and out of Washington. Cold Train had an established track record moving fresh commodities such as apples, potatoes and onions.

Cole Jessup, who handles domestic sales at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, provided some producer insights to The Produce News on Aug. 8, hours after the announcement was made.

ColdTrainDuring a special work session held in January, members of the Washington State House Transportation Committee met with officials to discuss cost effective, efficient shipment of Washington apples into the Midwest. Seen here are Pat Boss representing the Port of Quincy and Cold Train, Pat Connelly representing the Port of Quincy, Cole Jessup representing Columbia Marketing International and Mike Durfee representing Diamond Logistics Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Cold Train Express Intermodal Service)“One minute, we have things up and running. The next minute we don’t. It really puts us in a bind just because transportation has been such a big issue over the years,” he stated. “Cold Train was a fantastic service. We just got the news yesterday afternoon. We are looking at a big crop for pears and apples and need all the transportation options available.”

According to data made available by Cold Train, use of intermodal transportation was growing from the Pacific Northwest. During 2010, Cold Train moved approximately 100 containers of perishables per month from Washington to the Midwest. By 2013, that number had risen to approximately 700 containers per month shipped from Washington and Portland, OR.

By the end of 2013, Cold Train anticipated it would be shipping 1,000 containers each month from the region.

Jessup said Cold Train made significant infrastructure investments at the Port of Quincy, and the service was invaluable to CMI. “Getting fruit to the market has been a chore, especially in the winter,” he continued, adding the trucking industry continues to suffer from a lack of available trucks and drivers.

CMI, he went on to say, is watching developments closely to see what action Cold Train may be able to take to restore service in the future. Jessup said CMI will continue to use Railex service to move fruit.

“The announcement by Cold Train follows a number of scheduling issues on BNSF Railway’s Northern Corridor line that have been occurring with BNSF beginning late last fall because of increased rail congestion as result of a surge of oil and coal shipments on the Northern Corridor line,” Cold Train said in a statement. “In fact, from November of 2013 to April of 2014, BNSF’s On-Time Percentage dramatically dropped from an average of over 90 percent to less than 5 percent.”

This past April, BSNF Railway announced an initial reduction in intermodal service out of Washington to one train a day with transit times being two to three days slower than prior timetables.

“As a result of the scheduling change in April, the rail transit time nearly doubled,” Cold Train stated. “Unfortunately, this caused Cold Train’s costs of equipment, fuel and other costs to double, and caused many customers — especially fresh produce shippers — to look for other transportation service options. In fact, because of BNSF’s scheduling issues from November of 2013 until present, Cold Train lost most of its fresh produce business, including apples, onions, pears, potatoes, carrots and cherries, which was more than 70 percent of the company’s business. In addition to adversely impacting many Washington State fresh produce growers and shippers, BNSF’s scheduling changes have affected many retailers and wholesalers in the Midwest and East Coast that purchase Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods.”

 

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

Michigan crops looking good, despite being late due to cold weather

Like so much of the United States, the winter and spring in Michigan was long, cold and wet. These factors have delayed production in the state, but fruit and vegetable growers alike indicated that their fresh products will be in good condition.

Some vegetables, such as radishes, were shipped as early as May and early June. As the calendar turns to July, Michigan vegetable shipping will be gearing up toward full production.FruitOverviewJohn Schaefer, Jr., president of Jack Brown Produce Inc., in Sparta, MI, said his firm will be shipping storage apples into July. Schaefer said the early indications for the 2014 crop are for an ‘excellent season.’

Buurma Farms, Inc. has vegetable farms in Gregory, MI, and Willard, OH. Loren Buurma, company treasurer, told The Produce News that the two locations provide supply security for the firm, should one of these locations endure bad weather.

“The key is to keep the chain business” through consistent supplies, he said. Buurma ships from Georgia farms from February to June.

Normally, vegetable harvest dates on the Michigan farm are 10 to 14 days behind the Ohio operation. But it was Ohio this spring that experienced a relatively colder spring growing season. Thus, Buurma’s Michigan farm is only three or four days behind Ohio.

Buurma said that radishes started in early June. His shipments of Michigan celery began the week of June 9. This was followed by collards, kale, flat parsley, cilantro and other such crops.

In Byron Center, MI, Nick Huizinga, general manager, of Hearty Fresh Inc., indicated that Michigan cabbage harvest will be a week late, starting about July 10 this year. Michigan cucumbers and squash are “on pace as usual and will be on the market in August.”

Bruce Heeren, marketing director for Michigan Fresh Marketing in Comstock Park, MI, said his company started shipping squash June 10 and cucumbers June 20-25. Tomatoes will be on the market in mid-July. “Those are three of our bigger items,” Heeren said.

In Michigan’s apple business, John Schaefer, Jr., president of Jack Brown Produce Inc., in Sparta, MI, said his firm will be shipping storage apples into July. Schaefer said the early indications for the 2014 crop are for an “excellent season.”

Up the road from Jack Brown at Riveridge Produce Marketing, Inc., Don Armock indicated that on the ridge of Michigan’s apple country, bloom is “seven to ten days later than normal.” While marketers like early production, Armock said “it is really better if the crop is later because the apples are harvested in later ‘apple weather.’” This means cooler temperatures at harvest time in mid-September. Apple varieties like Gala, McIntosh and Honeycrisp have the best flavor when they gain color with those late summer dropping temperatures.

The 2013 crop “had the potential for a full crop but it didn’t quite become a full crop. This year it has the potential to be a full crop” and may very well meet that potential, Armock said.

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

Cold beer sales still prohibited in Indiana convenience, grocery stores

A federal judge has denied a lawsuit claiming that restrictions on cold beer sales in Indiana’s convenience and grocery stores is discriminatory, according to an Associated Press report.

Expanding the sale of cold beer beyond liquor stores, taverns and restaurants would make Indiana’s alcoholic beverage laws ‘tougher to enforce’ by creating many more outlets at which minors could purchase cold beer, Federal Judge Richard L. Young wrote in his 33-page ruling.

The federal lawsuit was filed by the Indiana Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, which claims the ruling doesn’t make sense since members are permitted to sell chilled wine which has a higher alcohol content than beer. 

Meanwhile, Hoosiers weighed in via Twitter on the judges ruling:

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Cold delays Ohio vegetable plantings

Old Man Winter aged to be ancient this winter through much of North America. Ohio produce growers continued to feel the wrath going into mid-April.

On April 15, three large growers around Willard, OH, told very similar tales.

Ben Wiers, a family owner at Wiers Farm Inc., indicated, “We had three inches of snow last night. We have planted nothing. We need a few warm days to dry off the fields. It will be next week before the fields are ready to plant.”bell-peps-0073Bell peppers growing in an Ohio field. (Photo courtesy of Holthouse Farms)

Bruce Buurma, a family owner of Buurma Farms Inc., said, “Normally, the first planting would be in the ground.” Assuming the weather would become more typical, Buurma planned to soon start transplanting early vegetables from greenhouses into the ground.

Buurma and his neighbors expect a slight delay because of the late start. Buurma expects to be seven to 10 days later than normal.

On April 22 the 10-day forecast for Willard showed coming rain but no lows below freezing.

Wiers said if the weather and soil return to normal in the third week of April “we will only be a few days” off schedule.

Planting season for will be “a week or so late” but Wiers isn’t too concerned. “I look forward to the weather breaking but this is not a real bad situation. If this was two weeks from now, I’d be more worried.”

Kirk Holthouse, sales manager of Holthouse Farms of Ohio Inc., said, “We are like everyone else. We are looking at a later start.” Holthouse noted, “We are used to this” bad weather in April. Holthouse would plant its greenhouse transplants “when the ground is ready. We have got to get the ground temperatures up. If it’s warm in late April and May, we will make up ground quick” on the production schedule.

Buurma said one year April 1 planting was followed by a weather delay gap. The same crop was planted April 20. The second planting was ready for harvest before the first because the plants were so much stronger. Thus, “We’re not hitting any panic buttons yet.”

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