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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.”

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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.

GMA: Vermont GMO bill a step in wrong direction

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which backs a federal bill that would preempt states from legislative efforts to require labeling of GM foods, says that a Vermont measure to mandate labeling is “a step in the wrong direction for consumers.”

“It sets the nation on a costly and misguided path toward a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling policies that will do nothing to advance the safety of consumers,” said GMA, in a statement.


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The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, of which GMA and nearly three-dozen food associations are part, also opposes state-based GMO laws.

“The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is focused on a federal labeling solution because initiatives, such as the one in Vermont, that are based on fear and politics hurt consumers and farmers,” spokeswoman Claire Parker told SN. “We need food labeling to be based on science as determined by the FDA. The nations foremost food safety authority.”

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Association sees the advancement of the Vermont measure as a victory for consumers.

“We expect that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a multi-billion dollar lobbying group representing more than 300 food, pesticide and drug makers, will try to pass their ‘Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,’ introduced last week by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., intended to strip Vermont, and all other states, of their right to pass GMO labeling laws,” said Cummins, in a statement.

“And we expect that Congress will not pass this law, dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which seeks to deny consumers the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered, and deny states the right to enact laws designed to protect public health.”

The Vermont bill would set a precedent since unlike those passed in Maine and Connecticut, it doesn’t require any other states to pass GMO laws before it can be enacted. The bill will go back to the House, which is expected to agree to the Senate’s amendments, then to Gov. Peter Shumlin who is expected to sign it.

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AU: Vegetable growers angry over research direction

AU: Vegetable growers angry over research direction

An independent review into Horticulture Australia Limited is raising concerns that have been brewing among growers for many years.

The rumbling is in the vegetable sector with a number of submissions to an ongoing independent review of Horticulture Australia Limited, (HAL) revealing concerns that Australia’s research capacity has been destroyed. Discontented growers believe AUSVEG, the peak industry body for vegetables, is to blame – a claim that’s vehemently denied.

In its defence, AUSVEG says it’s Horticulture Australia Limited, through its expert committees, which decides how money is allocated to research projects.

The debate about research spending in Australia is currently in the spotlight as a result of a statutory requirement from the Federal Government for an independent review of Horticulture Australia Limited and how it manages and spends $ 100 million of grower levy and taxpayer money.

The review is being conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting into Australia’s fastest growing agricultural sector. It is currently worth $ 9 billion.

AUSVEG is just one of 43 members of Horticulture Australia Limited. Members include peak industry bodies and lobby groups for sectors like vegetables, citrus, mushrooms, avocados, apples and pears, nuts, turf and the plant nursery industry. Of the 43 members, there are 32 separate Industry Advisory Committees (IACs) for a range of horticultural sectors. These are separate expert panels which advise Horticulture Australia Limited on which projects to fund.

A number of growers and researchers, anonymously and on the record, have complained that AUSVEG has too much influence over the vegetable Industry Advisory Committee.

AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy maintains the vegetable Industry Advisory Committee is completely independent of AUSVEG. “The Industry Advisory Committee is drawn from people around Australia. The positions are advertised, there’s independence in terms of people who wish to apply. You don’t have to be a member of any grower organisation. The calibre we have of people in the current Industry Advisory Committee; some are holding doctorates, as well as being growers. It’s a myth, and not supported by any fact, and frankly a terrible reflection of the calibre of the people doing that.”

The Federal Government is said to be watching the review process closely for a resolution to the horticulture industry research issues.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, recently told the Melbourne Press Club that the sector is beset with infighting “You will find that there are five different lobby groups within it and they all can’t stand one another, so they argue and are always ventilating to me how they believe the levies they get are not spent properly, or how they would do a better job.”

Please click here to read the entire article, in addition to grower reactions.

Publication date: 3/18/2014


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