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U.S. Mushroom Council enters partnership with Cabot Creamery

The mushroom organization will cross-promote the company’s cheeses in its recipes, and vice versa.

The Mushroom Council expects a co-marketing partnership with Cabot Creamery Cooperative will build awareness of its Blend model, which promotes the use of finely diced mushrooms into proteins to improve health and flavor.

At the same time, the council will also promote Cabot’s cheese varieties including naturally-aged Cheddar, Muenster, Monterey Jack and more in bars, shreds, slices and spreads.

“We are excited to work with the Mushroom Council,” explains Cabot Creamery retail promotions and events manager Ian Ormon.

“It is great to be able to provide our consumers with new usage ideas like The Blend.”

The Council is equally pleased with the partnership.

“The Blend and Cabot’s cheese varieties add more flavor and nutrients to meals,” says Mushroom Council president Bart Minor.

“By cross marketing our products, we can reach new consumer groups that gain exposure to The Blend and many cheese varieties. It will help drive consumers to the dairy, meat and produce departments.

Retailers can use or modify Blend recipes for their meat, foodservice and deli departments, enabling consumers to enjoy  their favorite foods while reducing their intake of fats, sodium, cholesterol and calories, while adding a portion of produce.

To promote The Blend, the Mushroom Council will feature Cabot’s Portobello Alpine Beef Burger. A Grilled Cheesy Portobello Caps with Turkey Sage recipe will also be featured on the council’s consumer site, with links to Cabot’s website.

Cabot Creamery will include the Council’s Blended Lasagna Roll Ups recipe using Cabot Legacy Alpine Cheddar and a Cheeseburger Pizza using Cabot Vermont Sharp cheese on their website, with links to the council’s site.

www.freshfruitportal.com

FreshFruitPortal.com

Mushroom Council announces new direction for 2015 marketing plan

Mushroom Council board members met in Kennett Square, PA, to finalize a new marketing plan to focus on the enormous market potential of mushroom blendability, which will be the primary focus of the its marketing efforts. The new targeted approach will develop mushroom blendability pilots, promotions and events in retail and foodservice. This is a shift away from the nutrition communication and influencer platform previously performed by the council to a focused market activation strategy.

“The board feels very optimistic about the new direction and plan we have developed over the past several months for 2015,” Council Chairman Anthony D’Amico, president of To-Jo Mushrooms, said in a press release. “We believe 2015 will go down in history as a pivotal year for the Mushroom Council and the evolution of mushroom blendability. The industry believes strongly in the potential of the mushroom blend. We are willing to position our marketing strategy to fully support this growth.”

Mushroom blendability, the culinary technique of blending fresh, chopped mushrooms with ground meat entrees, has taken off largely in the non-commercial foodservice segment, including school nutrition, university dining, health care and corporate dining. Several commercial foodservice outlets — such as Seasons 52, Macaroni Grill and Cheesecake Factory — have also started featuring the mushroom blend on their menus. The natural progression of the blend will be deeper infiltration into foodservice and introduction to retail.

The council will develop mushroom blend pilots and promotions with retailers across the United States. Mushroom blendability opens up an entire new market for the industry by expanding the consumer experience opportunity of fresh mushrooms past the fresh produce section and into the deli, meat case and more.

“The mushroom blend is the solution to the changing consumer landscape, focusing on the transitional meat consumer which makes up one-third of the U.S. population,” Bart Minor, council president, said in the release. “The council’s new focus on the blend will allow the program to fully develop the existing tremendous blend momentum.”

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

Mushroom Council announces new direction for 2015 marketing plan

Mushroom Council board members met in Kennett Square, PA, to finalize a new marketing plan to focus on the enormous market potential of mushroom blendability, which will be the primary focus of the its marketing efforts. The new targeted approach will develop mushroom blendability pilots, promotions and events in retail and foodservice. This is a shift away from the nutrition communication and influencer platform previously performed by the council to a focused market activation strategy.

“The board feels very optimistic about the new direction and plan we have developed over the past several months for 2015,” Council Chairman Anthony D’Amico, president of To-Jo Mushrooms, said in a press release. “We believe 2015 will go down in history as a pivotal year for the Mushroom Council and the evolution of mushroom blendability. The industry believes strongly in the potential of the mushroom blend. We are willing to position our marketing strategy to fully support this growth.”

Mushroom blendability, the culinary technique of blending fresh, chopped mushrooms with ground meat entrees, has taken off largely in the non-commercial foodservice segment, including school nutrition, university dining, health care and corporate dining. Several commercial foodservice outlets — such as Seasons 52, Macaroni Grill and Cheesecake Factory — have also started featuring the mushroom blend on their menus. The natural progression of the blend will be deeper infiltration into foodservice and introduction to retail.

The council will develop mushroom blend pilots and promotions with retailers across the United States. Mushroom blendability opens up an entire new market for the industry by expanding the consumer experience opportunity of fresh mushrooms past the fresh produce section and into the deli, meat case and more.

“The mushroom blend is the solution to the changing consumer landscape, focusing on the transitional meat consumer which makes up one-third of the U.S. population,” Bart Minor, council president, said in the release. “The council’s new focus on the blend will allow the program to fully develop the existing tremendous blend momentum.”

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

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council touting high-quality state-grown peaches

Pegi Adam, director of communications for the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, told The Produce News that the council has produced two videos for retailers to use in their closed loop televisions — one meant for produce professionals and the other for consumers.14-Buyer-guide-Cover0527201

“Supermarkets will start buying Jersey peaches in mid-July due to the crop running a little late this year,” said Adam. “The videos should be ready by that time. One will help produce workers learn how to increase sales by rotating the peaches and offer display tips and advice. The other is for consumers and provides storage, handling and usage tips.”

The council announced in June that the 2014 edition of the New Jersey Peach Buyers Guide is now available. It offers valuable information for wholesale and retail buyers on where and how to buy and handle New Jersey peaches and nectarines.

“The guide lists, in alphabetical order, growers and shippers of New Jersey peaches including their brands, and general information on what and how they ship,” said Adam. “This section has been completely rewritten for easier use and placement on the New Jersey Peaches website at www.jerseypeaches.com. It also contains a complete listing of farm market retailers of Jersey peaches with their websites.”

She noted that the guide has been an important source of information for the media over the years because it provides details and statistics on the peach industry. Color photos of some of the most important varieties are highlighted along with details on when they are available for buyers. Information also is included on the 2014 Jersey Fresh promotional program for peaches and the quality-grading program run by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Details on officers and directors of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council are listed along with an outline of plans for the 2014 promotional program on peaches.

The guide is available by contacting jfrecon@verizon.net.

“We are also having a phone survey conducted this year,” said Adam. The phone poll is being conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

“People will be asked where they see Jersey peaches advertised, where they buy them and other questions related to how they are aware of Jersey peaches. The results of the survey will be released in August,” Adam said.

She also mentioned the Just Peachy Salsa campaign that combines the generosity of Jersey peach growers and the Campbell’s [Soup Co. Foundation] to benefit the South Jersey Food Bank. Jersey growers donate the fruit and Campbell’s volunteers the labor and time to produce the salsa, which is then donated to the food bank. It is sold in numerous retail, farm markets and specialty stores, and it can be ordered on the food bank’s website.

Increasingly more stores, farm markets and foodservice operators are jumping on board each year for the council’s Peach Party events to promote New Jersey peaches. Last year it had 35 events, and Adam said that she hopes to top that number again this year.

“People are still booking them, so we won’t know until the end of the season how many we’ll end up having, but the numbers climb every year,” she said. “Participants are allowed to develop their own event in ways that work best for them. A retail store, for example, can display banners and offer samplings. Farm stands can organize events that include activities for participants and restaurants can create a menu that includes peaches. They want to hold their events under our umbrellas because they can use our point of sale materials, such as our brochures and banners.”

Adam said that the New Jersey peach crop looks vigorous this year and is expected to yield 30,000 tons to 35,000 tons of fruit from the state’s 5,500 acres of trees.

Jerry Frecon, Rutgers professor emeritus of fruit science, a consultant to the council, and editor of the annual New Jersey Peach Buyers Guide, said, “Our peach buds survived a brutal winter, a cool and frosty spring and are still loaded with fruit.”

He added that some of the best growers of the year’s peach crop are excited about the quality and size of their crops. This summer’s favorite fruit is coming to market about ten days later than usual, around the second week in July, according to growers polled.

The peach promotion council stresses that New Jersey’s more than 100 varieties ripen at different times through the summer, starting with white-fleshed and yellow cling peaches and nectarines, and proceeding with yellow-flesh, flat and nectarines throughout August and into September.

“We want retailers to know that our high-quality New Jersey peaches are available throughout most of September — especially true this year because the season will wrap up late due to the late start,” said Adam. “We encourage retailers and foodservice operators to promote and offer peaches to consumers and to help get the word out. It’s still warm in September, and people, kids included, love the sweet juicy peaches and nectarines.”

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

New Jersey Peach Promotion Council touting high-quality state-grown peaches

Pegi Adam, director of communications for the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council, told The Produce News that the council has produced two videos for retailers to use in their closed loop televisions — one meant for produce professionals and the other for consumers.14-Buyer-guide-Cover0527201

“Supermarkets will start buying Jersey peaches in mid-July due to the crop running a little late this year,” said Adam. “The videos should be ready by that time. One will help produce workers learn how to increase sales by rotating the peaches and offer display tips and advice. The other is for consumers and provides storage, handling and usage tips.”

The council announced in June that the 2014 edition of the New Jersey Peach Buyers Guide is now available. It offers valuable information for wholesale and retail buyers on where and how to buy and handle New Jersey peaches and nectarines.

“The guide lists, in alphabetical order, growers and shippers of New Jersey peaches including their brands, and general information on what and how they ship,” said Adam. “This section has been completely rewritten for easier use and placement on the New Jersey Peaches website at www.jerseypeaches.com. It also contains a complete listing of farm market retailers of Jersey peaches with their websites.”

She noted that the guide has been an important source of information for the media over the years because it provides details and statistics on the peach industry. Color photos of some of the most important varieties are highlighted along with details on when they are available for buyers. Information also is included on the 2014 Jersey Fresh promotional program for peaches and the quality-grading program run by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Details on officers and directors of the New Jersey Peach Promotion Council are listed along with an outline of plans for the 2014 promotional program on peaches.

The guide is available by contacting jfrecon@verizon.net.

“We are also having a phone survey conducted this year,” said Adam. The phone poll is being conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University.

“People will be asked where they see Jersey peaches advertised, where they buy them and other questions related to how they are aware of Jersey peaches. The results of the survey will be released in August,” Adam said.

She also mentioned the Just Peachy Salsa campaign that combines the generosity of Jersey peach growers and the Campbell’s [Soup Co. Foundation] to benefit the South Jersey Food Bank. Jersey growers donate the fruit and Campbell’s volunteers the labor and time to produce the salsa, which is then donated to the food bank. It is sold in numerous retail, farm markets and specialty stores, and it can be ordered on the food bank’s website.

Increasingly more stores, farm markets and foodservice operators are jumping on board each year for the council’s Peach Party events to promote New Jersey peaches. Last year it had 35 events, and Adam said that she hopes to top that number again this year.

“People are still booking them, so we won’t know until the end of the season how many we’ll end up having, but the numbers climb every year,” she said. “Participants are allowed to develop their own event in ways that work best for them. A retail store, for example, can display banners and offer samplings. Farm stands can organize events that include activities for participants and restaurants can create a menu that includes peaches. They want to hold their events under our umbrellas because they can use our point of sale materials, such as our brochures and banners.”

Adam said that the New Jersey peach crop looks vigorous this year and is expected to yield 30,000 tons to 35,000 tons of fruit from the state’s 5,500 acres of trees.

Jerry Frecon, Rutgers professor emeritus of fruit science, a consultant to the council, and editor of the annual New Jersey Peach Buyers Guide, said, “Our peach buds survived a brutal winter, a cool and frosty spring and are still loaded with fruit.”

He added that some of the best growers of the year’s peach crop are excited about the quality and size of their crops. This summer’s favorite fruit is coming to market about ten days later than usual, around the second week in July, according to growers polled.

The peach promotion council stresses that New Jersey’s more than 100 varieties ripen at different times through the summer, starting with white-fleshed and yellow cling peaches and nectarines, and proceeding with yellow-flesh, flat and nectarines throughout August and into September.

“We want retailers to know that our high-quality New Jersey peaches are available throughout most of September — especially true this year because the season will wrap up late due to the late start,” said Adam. “We encourage retailers and foodservice operators to promote and offer peaches to consumers and to help get the word out. It’s still warm in September, and people, kids included, love the sweet juicy peaches and nectarines.”

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

Georgia Peach Council launches summertime marketing campaign

Georgia Peach growers are gearing up for a plentiful crop, which is expected to peak in volume and quality during the month of July.  To highlight the flavor of the summertime fruit, the Georgia Peach Council has launched a seasonal marketing campaign aimed at both retailers and consumers.Georgia-Peaches

“There’s nothing like the taste of a Georgia Peach,” the council’s Will McGehee said in a press release. “Our new campaign highlights what has always been the best time of year to enjoy peaches from Georgia.”

For consumers, the council will step up its social media presence by sponsoring three summertime contests. A “Pin it to Win it” Pinterest contest will invite peach lovers to create boards to pin and share Georgia peach recipes (www.pinterest.com/peachesfromGA). An Instagram consumer photo contest is also in the works (www.instagram.com/peachesfromGA). Both contests will use the hashtag, #LoveGeorgiaPeaches, and winners will receive $ 500. Additionally, the Georgia Peach Council will sponsor a “Share Your Summer” giveaway, which lets shoppers of participating grocery stores pin photos to an in-store board or on the grocers’ social media channels.

To extend its brand awareness and educational efforts, the Georgia Peach Council will also schedule a number of television cooking demonstrations in target markets throughout the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest.

On the retail side, supermarkets in targeted markets may utilize turnkey point-of-sale merchandising display bins, posters with tips on how to pick the perfect peach and a retail dietitian toolkit complete with recipes, nutritional information, blog posts and thought starters. To encourage dietitians to communicate the healthy benefits of Georgia peaches, the dietitian with the most social media reach will receive an expenses-paid getaway to tour the heart of Georgia’s peach country.

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

Georgia Peach Council launches summertime marketing campaign

Georgia Peach growers are gearing up for a plentiful crop, which is expected to peak in volume and quality during the month of July.  To highlight the flavor of the summertime fruit, the Georgia Peach Council has launched a seasonal marketing campaign aimed at both retailers and consumers.Georgia-Peaches

“There’s nothing like the taste of a Georgia Peach,” the council’s Will McGehee said in a press release. “Our new campaign highlights what has always been the best time of year to enjoy peaches from Georgia.”

For consumers, the council will step up its social media presence by sponsoring three summertime contests. A “Pin it to Win it” Pinterest contest will invite peach lovers to create boards to pin and share Georgia peach recipes (www.pinterest.com/peachesfromGA). An Instagram consumer photo contest is also in the works (www.instagram.com/peachesfromGA). Both contests will use the hashtag, #LoveGeorgiaPeaches, and winners will receive $ 500. Additionally, the Georgia Peach Council will sponsor a “Share Your Summer” giveaway, which lets shoppers of participating grocery stores pin photos to an in-store board or on the grocers’ social media channels.

To extend its brand awareness and educational efforts, the Georgia Peach Council will also schedule a number of television cooking demonstrations in target markets throughout the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest.

On the retail side, supermarkets in targeted markets may utilize turnkey point-of-sale merchandising display bins, posters with tips on how to pick the perfect peach and a retail dietitian toolkit complete with recipes, nutritional information, blog posts and thought starters. To encourage dietitians to communicate the healthy benefits of Georgia peaches, the dietitian with the most social media reach will receive an expenses-paid getaway to tour the heart of Georgia’s peach country.

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

Southeast Produce Council announces Charity Golf Classic

The inaugural Southeast Produce Council Charity Golf Classic, benefiting the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, will be held June 18-19 at Chateau Elan in the beautiful mountains of Braselton, GA.SPC-CHARITY-GOLF-LOGO

A get-acquainted reception and silent auction preview followed by dinner and entertainment will kick off the tournament Wednesday, June 18. The tournament will start at 8 a.m. Thursday, June 19, on the Chateau Course, followed by an awards reception and check presentation.

“The Southeast Produce Council has a history of taking care of business for grower-shippers and its retail-foodservice members,” Tommy Wilkins, co-chair of the SPC Charity Golf Classic, said in a Jan. 28 press release. “We are proud to continue our philosophy of giving back at our inaugural Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. This combination of passion and emotion should guarantee a wonderful event. I personally have seen the direct benefit of golf events over the past 20 years, and believe we have a wonderful venue to kick this annual event off. Wonderful things happen when this group opens not only it hearts but its financial support.”

Registrations are available for individual or teams and will include a blend of special retail-foodservice and celebrity guests. There will also be many sponsorship opportunities to choose from to help support this wonderful charity.

“We are all very excited that our inaugural Charity Golf Classic will be held at the beautiful Chateau Elan Resort & Winery,” Mike Ryan, co-chair of the Charity Golf Classic, added in the release. “Everyone is working hard to create what we believe will be one of the premier charity golf events in the Southeast. The tournament format will be fun yet fair with a full list of golf gear as prizes and give-a-ways.”

To learn more about the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, go to www.spccharitygolfclassic.com.

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

California Sweet Potato Council launches new marketing campaign

The California Sweet Potato Council has teamed up with Ketchum, a leading public relations firm in San Francisco, to launch a new marketing campaign that includes a fresh new logo and website in an effort to represent the California difference.

In addition, the campaign seeks to boost consumer outreach through social media and food bloggers.

“Sweet potatoes are multi-faceted marvels, and California sweet potatoes have a real story to tell,” Jason Tucker, a California sweet potato grower and member of the council, said in a press release. “California’s sandy soil, green environment and warm-dry climate provide the perfect fit for a better sweet potato, not to mention the beautiful shape and rich colorful skin. These are just a few of the key differences that set us apart.”

The initial phase of the marketing campaign includes a brand new logo that encompasses the California sunshine and three shades of sweet potatoes, which represent California’s wide variety.

Along with the logo, the fresh new website gives consumers and trade on-trend access to information about California varieties, recipes, nutrition, hints and news.

“Our goal is to promote the value and benefit of California sweet potatoes,” Tucker added in the press release. “We want to engage everyone in the discussion about the benefits of a “Natural-Fit” California sweet potato. Our website format and social media allow for that conversation to grow into the future.”

The new logo and website can be viewed at CASweetpotatoes.com. Social media pages on Facebook and Pinterest are also part of the campaign.

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

Australian Banana Growers’ Council supports banana freckle response plan in NT

Australian Banana Growers’ Council supports banana freckle response plan in NT

The Australian banana industry’s peak industry body is fully supporting pest eradication as part of a newly announced Response Plan targeting a Northern Territory outbreak of the fungal disease Banana Freckle (Phyllosticta cavendishii).

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) said the Response Plan was necessary given the potential threat posed by Banana Freckle if it spread beyond the Northern Territory to Australia’s major banana growing regions.

There have been further finds of the disease since the outbreak was
first announced on August 26. Banana Freckle has now been found on a
total of nine Northern Territory properties in two separate areas south
east of Darwin, including a one-hectare banana farm. When the outbreak
was first announced it had been found on two rural residential
properties in the one area. ABGC Chairman Doug Phillips said the
Response Plan announced by the Northern Territory Government today was
both welcome and necessary. He said it was important to move quickly
given that the Northern Territory’s wet season officially starts on
November 1 and Banana Freckle spreads through the movement of infected
spores carried in rain splashes.

“The ABGC has been working with government and other industry groups as
part of a Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests to address
this exotic pest outbreak and ABGC fully supports the Northern Territory
Government’s Response Plan,” Mr Phillips said. “Banana Freckle is a
serious banana plant disease as has been shown by the significant damage
it has caused to banana production in areas of south-east Asia.”

The objective of the Response Plan is to contain the extent of the pest
and eradicate it, based on surveillance, quarantine, movement controls,
destruction of host plants (all banana varieties) and later, tracing and
surveillance to confirm freedom from the pest.

Key points of the Response Plan, which is being implemented by the
Northern Territory Government’s Department of Primary Industry and
Fisheries, include:

* quarantine of the infected properties preventing the movement of
banana fruit or banana plants
* creation of a Restricted Area (RA) covering a one-kilometre radius
around the infected properties, where growing and planting of bananas
will be prohibited. All banana plants within this area will be destroyed
* creation of a larger Control Area (CA) covering a five kilometre
radius around the epicentre of infected properties, where planting and
movement of bananas will be prohibited for 12 months
* once eradication operations in the RAs are completed, surveillance of
surrounding properties within a two-kilometre radius of infected
properties will be done for 12 months.

This will be the first banana industry Response under the Emergency
Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD). Under the deed, the cost of the
eradication will be shared by government and the banana and plant
nursery industries. The banana industry’s share of the current budget
for the Emergency Response is about $ 500,000.

A process for all national banana levy payers to fund such a response
was put in place recently and growers will be fully consulted when
details are at hand.

For more information:
Rhyll Cronin
Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC)
Tel: +66 07 32784786
Mobile: +66 0428 038 330
Email: [email protected]
www.abgc.org.au

Publication date: 10/4/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Australian Banana Growers’ Council supports banana freckle response plan in NT

Australian Banana Growers’ Council supports banana freckle response plan in NT

The Australian banana industry’s peak industry body is fully supporting pest eradication as part of a newly announced Response Plan targeting a Northern Territory outbreak of the fungal disease Banana Freckle (Phyllosticta cavendishii).

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) said the Response Plan was necessary given the potential threat posed by Banana Freckle if it spread beyond the Northern Territory to Australia’s major banana growing regions.

There have been further finds of the disease since the outbreak was
first announced on August 26. Banana Freckle has now been found on a
total of nine Northern Territory properties in two separate areas south
east of Darwin, including a one-hectare banana farm. When the outbreak
was first announced it had been found on two rural residential
properties in the one area. ABGC Chairman Doug Phillips said the
Response Plan announced by the Northern Territory Government today was
both welcome and necessary. He said it was important to move quickly
given that the Northern Territory’s wet season officially starts on
November 1 and Banana Freckle spreads through the movement of infected
spores carried in rain splashes.

“The ABGC has been working with government and other industry groups as
part of a Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests to address
this exotic pest outbreak and ABGC fully supports the Northern Territory
Government’s Response Plan,” Mr Phillips said. “Banana Freckle is a
serious banana plant disease as has been shown by the significant damage
it has caused to banana production in areas of south-east Asia.”

The objective of the Response Plan is to contain the extent of the pest
and eradicate it, based on surveillance, quarantine, movement controls,
destruction of host plants (all banana varieties) and later, tracing and
surveillance to confirm freedom from the pest.

Key points of the Response Plan, which is being implemented by the
Northern Territory Government’s Department of Primary Industry and
Fisheries, include:

* quarantine of the infected properties preventing the movement of
banana fruit or banana plants
* creation of a Restricted Area (RA) covering a one-kilometre radius
around the infected properties, where growing and planting of bananas
will be prohibited. All banana plants within this area will be destroyed
* creation of a larger Control Area (CA) covering a five kilometre
radius around the epicentre of infected properties, where planting and
movement of bananas will be prohibited for 12 months
* once eradication operations in the RAs are completed, surveillance of
surrounding properties within a two-kilometre radius of infected
properties will be done for 12 months.

This will be the first banana industry Response under the Emergency
Plant Pest Response Deed (EPPRD). Under the deed, the cost of the
eradication will be shared by government and the banana and plant
nursery industries. The banana industry’s share of the current budget
for the Emergency Response is about $ 500,000.

A process for all national banana levy payers to fund such a response
was put in place recently and growers will be fully consulted when
details are at hand.

For more information:
Rhyll Cronin
Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC)
Tel: +66 07 32784786
Mobile: +66 0428 038 330
Email: [email protected]
www.abgc.org.au

Publication date: 10/4/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Nutrition and exports are key draws for U.S. Sweet Potato Council

The United States’ sweet potato industry is thriving as growers have capitalized on the nutritional component of their crop and built strong export markets, according to Charles Walker, executive secretary of the U.S. Sweet Potato Council, headquartered in Columbia, SC.

The boom took off in the last decade, Walker said. Boosting the nutritional message was a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that rated sweet potatoes as the most-nutritious vegetable.

SP-fieldA Louisiana sweet potato grower takes a look at his growing sweet potato vines. Beyond the nutritional component, Walker said, “people think sweet potatoes taste good and they like to eat them.”

Walker doesn’t have national foodservice sales numbers but he said his membership indicates strong sales to foodservice, as well as retail customers.

In foodservice, “sweet potatoes are used in a lot of different ways.”

The frozen food industry has capitalized on the appeal of sweet potatoes, with several manufacturers each offering a handful of sweet potato products.

Walker reported the latest USDA statistics for national sweet potato production. This totaled 2.65 billion pounds in 2012. This was down a tiny fraction from 2.70 billion pounds in 2011, which was up from 2.38 billion in 2010. U.S. sweet potato production rose from 1.84 billion pounds in 2008 to 1.95 billion in 2009.

Because of weather problems on the East Coast this year, USDA estimates that acreage planted in 2013 will be down 11 percent from last year. “It would have to be a very, very big crop” on surviving acres to surpass 2012 volume, he noted.

Walker has lived in South Carolina for almost 28 years and has never seen rain like the summer of 2013.

“It seemed like it rained four out of five days,” he said.

North Carolina’s sweet potato crop will certainly be down this year. Prices for North Carolina number one grade on Sept. 20 were in the $ 16-18 range for 40-pound cartons. This is up from a year ago, which was in the $ 14-15 range; a point at which “growers felt like they weren’t making any money. The cost of production goes up every year. Especially for labor. This has gotten to be a very expensive proposition.”

The export of U.S. sweet potatoes has skyrocketed from 26.6 metric tons in 2003 to 111.7 metric tons in 2012, Walker said, quoting USDA Foreign Agriculture Service numbers. The biggest foreign buyer of U.S. sweet potatoes is Canada, but the United Kingdom “is a very, very bright spot since 2003.”

Because his sweet potato council has a “very small budget,” the organization restricts its promotional spending to supporting the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the American Heart Association. Both of these organizations promote healthy eating, which is, of course, the strength of U.S. sweet potatoes.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Nutrition and exports are key draws for U.S. Sweet Potato Council

The United States’ sweet potato industry is thriving as growers have capitalized on the nutritional component of their crop and built strong export markets, according to Charles Walker, executive secretary of the U.S. Sweet Potato Council, headquartered in Columbia, SC.

The boom took off in the last decade, Walker said. Boosting the nutritional message was a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that rated sweet potatoes as the most-nutritious vegetable.

SP-fieldA Louisiana sweet potato grower takes a look at his growing sweet potato vines. Beyond the nutritional component, Walker said, “people think sweet potatoes taste good and they like to eat them.”

Walker doesn’t have national foodservice sales numbers but he said his membership indicates strong sales to foodservice, as well as retail customers.

In foodservice, “sweet potatoes are used in a lot of different ways.”

The frozen food industry has capitalized on the appeal of sweet potatoes, with several manufacturers each offering a handful of sweet potato products.

Walker reported the latest USDA statistics for national sweet potato production. This totaled 2.65 billion pounds in 2012. This was down a tiny fraction from 2.70 billion pounds in 2011, which was up from 2.38 billion in 2010. U.S. sweet potato production rose from 1.84 billion pounds in 2008 to 1.95 billion in 2009.

Because of weather problems on the East Coast this year, USDA estimates that acreage planted in 2013 will be down 11 percent from last year. “It would have to be a very, very big crop” on surviving acres to surpass 2012 volume, he noted.

Walker has lived in South Carolina for almost 28 years and has never seen rain like the summer of 2013.

“It seemed like it rained four out of five days,” he said.

North Carolina’s sweet potato crop will certainly be down this year. Prices for North Carolina number one grade on Sept. 20 were in the $ 16-18 range for 40-pound cartons. This is up from a year ago, which was in the $ 14-15 range; a point at which “growers felt like they weren’t making any money. The cost of production goes up every year. Especially for labor. This has gotten to be a very expensive proposition.”

The export of U.S. sweet potatoes has skyrocketed from 26.6 metric tons in 2003 to 111.7 metric tons in 2012, Walker said, quoting USDA Foreign Agriculture Service numbers. The biggest foreign buyer of U.S. sweet potatoes is Canada, but the United Kingdom “is a very, very bright spot since 2003.”

Because his sweet potato council has a “very small budget,” the organization restricts its promotional spending to supporting the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the American Heart Association. Both of these organizations promote healthy eating, which is, of course, the strength of U.S. sweet potatoes.

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Nutrition and exports are key draws for U.S. Sweet Potato Council

The United States’ sweet potato industry is thriving as growers have capitalized on the nutritional component of their crop and built strong export markets, according to Charles Walker, executive secretary of the U.S. Sweet Potato Council, headquartered in Columbia, SC.

The boom took off in the last decade, Walker said. Boosting the nutritional message was a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that rated sweet potatoes as the most-nutritious vegetable.

SP-fieldA Louisiana sweet potato grower takes a look at his growing sweet potato vines. Beyond the nutritional component, Walker said, “people think sweet potatoes taste good and they like to eat them.”

Walker doesn’t have national foodservice sales numbers but he said his membership indicates strong sales to foodservice, as well as retail customers.

In foodservice, “sweet potatoes are used in a lot of different ways.”

The frozen food industry has capitalized on the appeal of sweet potatoes, with several manufacturers each offering a handful of sweet potato products.

Walker reported the latest USDA statistics for national sweet potato production. This totaled 2.65 billion pounds in 2012. This was down a tiny fraction from 2.70 billion pounds in 2011, which was up from 2.38 billion in 2010. U.S. sweet potato production rose from 1.84 billion pounds in 2008 to 1.95 billion in 2009.

Because of weather problems on the East Coast this year, USDA estimates that acreage planted in 2013 will be down 11 percent from last year. “It would have to be a very, very big crop” on surviving acres to surpass 2012 volume, he noted.

Walker has lived in South Carolina for almost 28 years and has never seen rain like the summer of 2013.

“It seemed like it rained four out of five days,” he said.

North Carolina’s sweet potato crop will certainly be down this year. Prices for North Carolina number one grade on Sept. 20 were in the $ 16-18 range for 40-pound cartons. This is up from a year ago, which was in the $ 14-15 range; a point at which “growers felt like they weren’t making any money. The cost of production goes up every year. Especially for labor. This has gotten to be a very expensive proposition.”

The export of U.S. sweet potatoes has skyrocketed from 26.6 metric tons in 2003 to 111.7 metric tons in 2012, Walker said, quoting USDA Foreign Agriculture Service numbers. The biggest foreign buyer of U.S. sweet potatoes is Canada, but the United Kingdom “is a very, very bright spot since 2003.”

Because his sweet potato council has a “very small budget,” the organization restricts its promotional spending to supporting the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the American Heart Association. Both of these organizations promote healthy eating, which is, of course, the strength of U.S. sweet potatoes.

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Mushroom Council remaining out in front with great ideas, strong promotions, active participation

The Mushroom Council is thrilled about the attention that mushrooms received at the Produce Marketing Association Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA, July 26-28.

“For the second year in a row, the Mushroom Council took the top prize in the Produce Marketing Association’s competitive Chef Demonstration Lunch,” said Bart Minor, council president. “Blendability once again proved to be an operator favorite by innovatively meeting all contest requirements to decrease plate cost and feature produce prominently on the plate, all in an appetizing presentation.”

Minor said guests enjoyed their choice of blended mushroom and beef or mushroom and turkey sliders with a variety of sauces, slaws and mushrooms to top.

He noted that the Meatless Monday trend has driven consumer demand for more meatless, sustainable options, saying that mushrooms are poised for continued sales growth as the meatless and flexetarian trend continues.

“As protein costs continue to rise and consumers continue to demand healthier products, mushroom blendability and swapability will take center stage,” said Minor. “Due to their texture and flavor, mushrooms partner, blend, extend or replace meat seamlessly, leaving consumers both satisfied and healthy.”

The Mushroom Council has seen evidence of the growing meatless and healthier eating trend both in foodservice and retail. The council noted that, according to Fusion Marketing, 65 percent of retailers surveyed said healthy eating was the No. 1 opportunity emerging as a consumer message platform.

Retail data indicated Portabella dollars sales have increased 23.9 percent. This growth is set to continue well into the fall as the grilling season continues, ending right before the busy holiday season, thus keeping mushroom demand consistent throughout the year.

The inaugural Mushroom & Health Nutrition Summit is scheduled to be held in Washington, DC, in September. Minor said it has always been central to the Mushroom Council’s strategy to invest in nutrition research.

“Continued focus on mushroom research has unveiled the countless nutrition and health benefits mushrooms provide,” he said. “As greater demand for naturally nutrient-dense foods increases, the known health benefits of mushrooms will continue to drive purchases.

The council will host the Mushroom & Health Summit on the importance of continued nutrition research and education while simultaneously harnessing the potential of future research.

“The summit will convene the world’s top scientists, nutritionists and health professionals to discuss and explore the vital role research discovery plays in improving consumer health and the nutrient content of the food supply,” said Minor. “It will specifically address mushrooms and the strength of the science linking mushrooms and health in areas of interest, such as vitamin D, weight management, immunity and cancer.”

For the fifth year, the Mushroom Council will again participate in the in-store City of Hope Pink Campaign supporting breast cancer research and awareness. Pink mushroom tills will again fill produce sections across the United States during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

“The mushroom Pink promotion has found great success in lifting sales throughout the past five years,” said Minor. “Continued success is expected this year, especially with increased digital support including guest bloggers, Twitter parties and Facebook posts. Most important is that the Pink Campaign drives greater consumer awareness linking mushrooms and health.”

For the second year, the Mushroom Council returned to the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Conference in Kansas City, MO,  in July. After an overwhelming reception to the blendability concept in 2012, the council made an even greater impression this year by sampling several mushroom-blended school recipes and sponsoring a culinary demonstration.

At the booth, council representatives served mushroom and turkey meatloaf, mushroom and beef taco salad, and pasta with mushroom marinara to an energetic crowd of school foodservice directors.

The council’s digital team filmed school foodservice directors’ personal testimonials on their experiences with blendability. These videos are shared on the new mushrooms in schools website, mushroomsinschools.com.

The culinary demonstration was hosted by local school lunch chefs Barb Scott and Aaron Woods from Hickman Mills School District in Kansas City. Chefs Barb and Aaron, who have already incorporated mushroom blendability into their lunch program, demonstrated the technique with a mushroom and beef taco salad and a mushroom and beef marinara. Council representative Malissa Marsden demonstrated the ease of preparing a Portabella panini for those districts interested in serving more vegetarian options to students.

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Leafy Greens Council appoints new executive director following death of Ray Clark

The Leafy Greens Council appointed Beth Brown to the role of executive director July 1 following the death of former executive director Ray Clark on June 6.

“It is with great sadness that I must announce the loss of Ray Clark, executive director of the Leafy Greens Council,” Jeff Greene, president of the council, wrote in a letter to members. “As one of the founding members of the council, Ray had true enthusiasm for the leafy green commodities, the industry and for educating our nation on the benefit of leafy greens. BethaBeth BrownThis was a lifelong passion for him. Ray’s dedication and efforts were a crucial part of the continued success [of the Leafy Greens Council], and we all will truly miss him.”

Clark, along with Robert Strube Sr. of Strube Celery & Vegetable Co. in Chicago, established the council in 1974. The council was based in St. Paul, MN, during Clark’s tenure, but it is now headquartered in Waterport, NY, where Brown lives with her husband.

Originally focused on promoting marketing strategies for fresh spinach, the council has since expanded over the years to encompass all leafy greens products.

“Ray was dedicated to promoting these products, along with educating consumers on the major nutritional benefits they provide,” Brown told the Produce News July 17. “Being Ray’s successor, I am focused on continuing his legacy and his hopes for the Leafy Greens Council. As executive director, I look forward to being an advocate for the leafy greens commodities and the membership’s interests, promote and expand membership in the council, and continue the council’s marketing and educational opportunities in the produce industry.”

Having grown up on a wholesale fresh market vegetable farm in the Eden Valley area of New York, the produce industry has always played a significant role in Brown’s life. She attended SUNY-Oswego, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Since then, she has been working in the human resources field for the last six years.

Brown currently resides in Waterport, NY, on her husband’s family fruit farm where they grow apples and a variety of berries, as well as operate a farm market.

“The agricultural industry as a whole has always been and continues to be important to me,” she said. “Therefore, being executive director of the Leafy Greens Council provides me the opportunity to promote a very important sector of the produce industry.”

Clark, who was 89 years old, is survived by his wife, Elly Clark, three children, and several grandchildren. A memorial service was scheduled for July 24 in St. Paul, MN.

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