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Programs connect consumers to locally grown products

New York state government is sending a strong message to consumers in the Empire State, encouraging them to take advantage of the Empire State’s rich agricultural heritage and bounty. The message: buy local.

Launched in 1996, the Pride of New York program has branded New York agricultural commodities by providing instant recognition for products grown and consumed in New York. “Be part of the Pride. Look for products displaying the ‘Pride of New York’ logo when you shop and support your neighbors — BuyLocal2Farmers’ markets provide consumers with community-based opportunities to purchase fresh produce grown in New York. Seen here is the Union Square Farmers’ Market. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)the generations of family farms and food processors who have made New York state one of America’s leading suppliers of food and agricultural products,” the Pride website states.

Last year, approximately 2,800 members participated in the Pride of New York program. Participants include farmers, food processors, vineyards and wineries, retailers, foodservice organizations, wholesalers and distributors, agri-tourism destinations, culinary arts programs and related trade associations.

Restaurants have actively embraced the program and continually promote locally grown products on their menus and in advertisements. A rich heritage of ethnic diversity and culture has earned New York the solid reputation as one of the most “foodie” locations in the nation.

On May 21, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that consumers can easily locate a wealth of information about local businesses using New York-produced commodities by visiting www.Open.Ny.Gov. The comprehensive open data portal was launched this past March and continues to be updated.

“With summer right around the corner, I encourage New Yorkers to pick up fresh produce at a local farmers’ market, raise their glasses at a local brewery, or visit a neighborhood vineyard, and support our state’s growing agriculture, tourism and beverage industries,” Cuomo said. “The state now offers a wide breadth of information on open.ny.gov on local farmers’ markets, wineries, breweries and distilleries, helping New Yorkers, tourism officials and local governments to bring new customers to our state’s small businesses.”

Several interactive maps — including links to New York’s farmers’ markets as well as all retail stores licensed by the New York Department of Agriculture & Markets — are available at the website.

In March, the governor also announced that $ 285,000 was made available for the third year of the “FreshConnect” program, which brings fresh food from New York farms to underserved communities in the Empire State. The purpose of the program is to increase the sale of locally grown food products, improve nutrition and promote economic development. The program fosters development of new farmers’ markets and supports existing markets located within communities in need.

“The FreshConnect program has been a real success in promoting healthy living while supporting the state’s vibrant agricultural industry,” Cuomo said. “This year, the program will provide even more avenues for low-income New Yorkers to purchase affordable, healthy and locally grown food. We are also continuing to support more marketplaces where local farmers can sell their goods and expand their operations. Through this program, more New Yorkers can eat healthy, and New York farmers can sell more products. That is what FreshConnect is all about.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Baloian Farms partners with Michigan growers for locally grown squash product

Capitalizing on the growing popularity of the locally grown trend, Baloian Farms, based in Fresno, CA, announced a partnership with Michigan growers to offer retailers their sauté kits with locally grown squash. This value-added product features yellow and green squash with a seasoning packet included.

BaloianSquashMockups webUnderstanding the importance of offering locally grown products during peak season was a natural decision for Baloian Farms.

Launched in the fall of 2013, the new squash sauté kits have been well received with continued success at retail and was recently voted as the “People’s Choice Best New Product” at the Fresno Food Show in July.

“It made sense to create this seasonal partnership and provide retailers with another strong selling point to further increase their sales,” Jeremy Lane, sales manager of Baloian Farms, said in a press release. “The kits will be both grown and packed locally in Michigan.”

Utilizing this grower partnership also made sense financially by drastically reducing the amount of food miles involved in delivering the value-added product to retailers.

“Consumers will enjoy the benefit of locally grown fresh squash, along with great flavor options, that are convenient and easy to prepare. We are constantly striving to find innovative opportunities like this partnership to provide premium products to our customers,” Lane added in the press release.

Baloian Farms squash sauté kits with seasonings are available in with two flavor options, Parmesan with Herbs and Roasted Red Pepper. The kits contain three pieces of fresh squash and a premeasured season packet. Prep and cook time is about five minutes making this product an easy-to-prepare side dish solution.

 

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

Kalettes to be grown under new marketing agreements

Tozer Seeds announced that it has entered into exclusive marketing agreements with six companies to grow and market Kalettes, the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

The companies that have entered into the marketing agreement with Tozer for Kalettes are 4Earth Farms, Classic Salads, Mann Packing, Ocean Mist Farms, Southern Specialties and WP Rawl. As part of the agreement, Kalettes seeds will be sold by Johnny’s Select Seeds to small farmers and home growers.

Tozer Seeds made the decision to enter into this agreement with a select group of companies to market under the “Kalettes” brand to create a consistent name and brand identity for the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid, which would allow consumers to easily recognize this new vegetable.

Tozer and these companies have committed to supporting the Kalettes brand though joint public relations efforts, consumer and trade advertising, and by providing recipes, cooking tips and other content to consumers through the website, www.Kalettes.com, and their social media channels.

Additionally, the companies that are growing as part of the Kalettes brand are subject to strict product specifications and quality controls. Product specifications include sizing, color and condition, which will ensure that consumers receive consistent top-quality product.

Tozer Seeds has applied for a PLU code under the generic name “kale sprouts,” which will be available to any grower of the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

“Our collective goal is to successfully launch Kalettes in the retail and food service channels in the U.S. and Canada and build a strong awareness among consumers,” Kraig Kuykendall, sales manager of Tozer Seeds America, said in a press release. “By working together, the joint marketing efforts of Tozer and these companies will be able to reach the consumer more effectively. We have been very pleased with the incredible response to Kalettes and predict it will be very successful.”

Kalettes are the product of more than a decade of research by Tozer Seeds, a leading family-owned vegetable breeding company in England. The kale and brussels sprout hybrid offers a fresh fusion of sweet and nutty, combining the best traits of each of its parent vegetables. Kalettes are not genetically modified and were developed by cross-pollinating brussels sprouts with kale through traditional methods.

Kalettes are now available in very limited quantities and distribution will continue to increase throughout the fall and winter as production increases. Kalettes will be available to both retailers and foodservice distributors directly through the companies.

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

Kalettes to be grown under new marketing agreements

Tozer Seeds announced that it has entered into exclusive marketing agreements with six companies to grow and market Kalettes, the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

The companies that have entered into the marketing agreement with Tozer for Kalettes are 4Earth Farms, Classic Salads, Mann Packing, Ocean Mist Farms, Southern Specialties and WP Rawl. As part of the agreement, Kalettes seeds will be sold by Johnny’s Select Seeds to small farmers and home growers.

Tozer Seeds made the decision to enter into this agreement with a select group of companies to market under the “Kalettes” brand to create a consistent name and brand identity for the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid, which would allow consumers to easily recognize this new vegetable.

Tozer and these companies have committed to supporting the Kalettes brand though joint public relations efforts, consumer and trade advertising, and by providing recipes, cooking tips and other content to consumers through the website, www.Kalettes.com, and their social media channels.

Additionally, the companies that are growing as part of the Kalettes brand are subject to strict product specifications and quality controls. Product specifications include sizing, color and condition, which will ensure that consumers receive consistent top-quality product.

Tozer Seeds has applied for a PLU code under the generic name “kale sprouts,” which will be available to any grower of the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

“Our collective goal is to successfully launch Kalettes in the retail and food service channels in the U.S. and Canada and build a strong awareness among consumers,” Kraig Kuykendall, sales manager of Tozer Seeds America, said in a press release. “By working together, the joint marketing efforts of Tozer and these companies will be able to reach the consumer more effectively. We have been very pleased with the incredible response to Kalettes and predict it will be very successful.”

Kalettes are the product of more than a decade of research by Tozer Seeds, a leading family-owned vegetable breeding company in England. The kale and brussels sprout hybrid offers a fresh fusion of sweet and nutty, combining the best traits of each of its parent vegetables. Kalettes are not genetically modified and were developed by cross-pollinating brussels sprouts with kale through traditional methods.

Kalettes are now available in very limited quantities and distribution will continue to increase throughout the fall and winter as production increases. Kalettes will be available to both retailers and foodservice distributors directly through the companies.

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

Kalettes to be grown under new marketing agreements

Tozer Seeds announced that it has entered into exclusive marketing agreements with six companies to grow and market Kalettes, the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

The companies that have entered into the marketing agreement with Tozer for Kalettes are 4Earth Farms, Classic Salads, Mann Packing, Ocean Mist Farms, Southern Specialties and WP Rawl. As part of the agreement, Kalettes seeds will be sold by Johnny’s Select Seeds to small farmers and home growers.

Tozer Seeds made the decision to enter into this agreement with a select group of companies to market under the “Kalettes” brand to create a consistent name and brand identity for the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid, which would allow consumers to easily recognize this new vegetable.

Tozer and these companies have committed to supporting the Kalettes brand though joint public relations efforts, consumer and trade advertising, and by providing recipes, cooking tips and other content to consumers through the website, www.Kalettes.com, and their social media channels.

Additionally, the companies that are growing as part of the Kalettes brand are subject to strict product specifications and quality controls. Product specifications include sizing, color and condition, which will ensure that consumers receive consistent top-quality product.

Tozer Seeds has applied for a PLU code under the generic name “kale sprouts,” which will be available to any grower of the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

“Our collective goal is to successfully launch Kalettes in the retail and food service channels in the U.S. and Canada and build a strong awareness among consumers,” Kraig Kuykendall, sales manager of Tozer Seeds America, said in a press release. “By working together, the joint marketing efforts of Tozer and these companies will be able to reach the consumer more effectively. We have been very pleased with the incredible response to Kalettes and predict it will be very successful.”

Kalettes are the product of more than a decade of research by Tozer Seeds, a leading family-owned vegetable breeding company in England. The kale and brussels sprout hybrid offers a fresh fusion of sweet and nutty, combining the best traits of each of its parent vegetables. Kalettes are not genetically modified and were developed by cross-pollinating brussels sprouts with kale through traditional methods.

Kalettes are now available in very limited quantities and distribution will continue to increase throughout the fall and winter as production increases. Kalettes will be available to both retailers and foodservice distributors directly through the companies.

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

Kalettes to be grown under new marketing agreements

Tozer Seeds announced that it has entered into exclusive marketing agreements with six companies to grow and market Kalettes, the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

The companies that have entered into the marketing agreement with Tozer for Kalettes are 4Earth Farms, Classic Salads, Mann Packing, Ocean Mist Farms, Southern Specialties and WP Rawl. As part of the agreement, Kalettes seeds will be sold by Johnny’s Select Seeds to small farmers and home growers.

Tozer Seeds made the decision to enter into this agreement with a select group of companies to market under the “Kalettes” brand to create a consistent name and brand identity for the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid, which would allow consumers to easily recognize this new vegetable.

Tozer and these companies have committed to supporting the Kalettes brand though joint public relations efforts, consumer and trade advertising, and by providing recipes, cooking tips and other content to consumers through the website, www.Kalettes.com, and their social media channels.

Additionally, the companies that are growing as part of the Kalettes brand are subject to strict product specifications and quality controls. Product specifications include sizing, color and condition, which will ensure that consumers receive consistent top-quality product.

Tozer Seeds has applied for a PLU code under the generic name “kale sprouts,” which will be available to any grower of the kale and brussels sprouts hybrid.

“Our collective goal is to successfully launch Kalettes in the retail and food service channels in the U.S. and Canada and build a strong awareness among consumers,” Kraig Kuykendall, sales manager of Tozer Seeds America, said in a press release. “By working together, the joint marketing efforts of Tozer and these companies will be able to reach the consumer more effectively. We have been very pleased with the incredible response to Kalettes and predict it will be very successful.”

Kalettes are the product of more than a decade of research by Tozer Seeds, a leading family-owned vegetable breeding company in England. The kale and brussels sprout hybrid offers a fresh fusion of sweet and nutty, combining the best traits of each of its parent vegetables. Kalettes are not genetically modified and were developed by cross-pollinating brussels sprouts with kale through traditional methods.

Kalettes are now available in very limited quantities and distribution will continue to increase throughout the fall and winter as production increases. Kalettes will be available to both retailers and foodservice distributors directly through the companies.

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

Regional poly bags to promote locally grown produce

Black Gold Farms has recently kicked off its 2014 summer red potato harvest with its popular locally grown programs. The programs correspond with Black Gold Farms’ harvesting schedule, which starts in Texas and transitions through additional growing regions including Georgia and the Mississippi Delta before heading north into Indiana and the Red River Valley.Texas

Unique five-pound poly bags have been developed for each specific region that features local imagery and messaging that will resonate with local consumers. In addition to on-pack messaging, there is also the opportunity for retailers to develop regionally specific campaigns and customizable point-of-sale materials to emphasize in-store product displays, as well as geo-targeted social media campaigns.

Black Gold Farms’ strategic network of farms has allowed it to meet the demand from retailers and consumers for locally grown produce, including red potatoes. These locally grown programs have increased Black Gold Farms’ overall sustainability efforts with reduced food miles and keeping as much business local as possible.

“With the benefit of being the only potato grower and packer with our unique geographic diversity, we are able to provide a distinctive and exciting locally grown program for summer red potatoes,” Leah Brakke, director of marketing for Black Gold Farms, said in a press release. “We see this as a huge opportunity for our retail customers to showcase local product and packaging that they can take pride in. Every location is different, and we want to capture that essence as much as we can.”

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

Regional poly bags to promote locally grown produce

Black Gold Farms has recently kicked off its 2014 summer red potato harvest with its popular locally grown programs. The programs correspond with Black Gold Farms’ harvesting schedule, which starts in Texas and transitions through additional growing regions including Georgia and the Mississippi Delta before heading north into Indiana and the Red River Valley.Texas

Unique five-pound poly bags have been developed for each specific region that features local imagery and messaging that will resonate with local consumers. In addition to on-pack messaging, there is also the opportunity for retailers to develop regionally specific campaigns and customizable point-of-sale materials to emphasize in-store product displays, as well as geo-targeted social media campaigns.

Black Gold Farms’ strategic network of farms has allowed it to meet the demand from retailers and consumers for locally grown produce, including red potatoes. These locally grown programs have increased Black Gold Farms’ overall sustainability efforts with reduced food miles and keeping as much business local as possible.

“With the benefit of being the only potato grower and packer with our unique geographic diversity, we are able to provide a distinctive and exciting locally grown program for summer red potatoes,” Leah Brakke, director of marketing for Black Gold Farms, said in a press release. “We see this as a huge opportunity for our retail customers to showcase local product and packaging that they can take pride in. Every location is different, and we want to capture that essence as much as we can.”

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

Shade grown coffee shrinking as a proportion of global coffee production

The proportion of land used to cultivate shade grown coffee, relative to the total land area of coffee cultivation, has fallen by nearly 20 percent globally since 1996, according to a new study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions.

The study’s authors say the global shift toward a more intensive style of coffee farming is probably having a negative effect on the environment, communities and individual farmers.

“The paradox is that there is greater public interest than ever in environmentally friendly coffee, but where coffee production is expanding across the globe, it tends to be very intensive,” says Shalene Jha, assistant professor in The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences and lead author of the study published April 16 in the journal BioScience.

Traditional shade grown coffee is cultivated under a diverse canopy of native forest trees in dense to moderate shade. Though some of the forest understory is cleared for farming, a rich web of plant and animal life remains. As a result, shade grown coffee plantations provide corridors for migrating birds to move between forest fragments, attract and support economically valuable pollinators such as bees and bats, and provide ecosystem services such as filtering water and air, stabilizing soil during heavy rains, storing carbon and replenishing soil nutrients.

In this latest study, the researchers found that total global production of shade grown coffee has increased since 1996, but the area of land used for non shade coffee has increased at a much faster rate, resulting in shade grown coffee falling from 43 percent of total cultivated area to 24 percent.

“We were surprised that despite two decades of growth in public awareness of where coffee comes from and the different ways to manage it for biodiversity, shade grown coffee only seems to be grown in a few regions,” says Jha. “The shifts aren’t what we would expect based on what we see on the shelves in the U.S.”

In the United States, the market for specialty coffee, which includes organic and shade grown varieties, has grown rapidly during the past decade. Across most U.S. distributors, sales of specialty coffee rose more than 75 percent by economic value from 2000 to 2008. In 2012, specialty coffees accounted for 37 percent of U.S. coffee sales by volume and nearly half by economic value, an estimated $ 30 billion to $ 32 billion.

The study also found that since 1990, the land area under coffee cultivation has contracted in Africa and expanded in Asia. Within Asia, Vietnam and Indonesia have had the largest increases in coffee production during that time. Most of the new production is done in an intensive style.

This more intensive style is characterized by clearing forests or pasture for cultivation, increasing the density of plantings and switching to a variety of coffee called Robusta that tolerates full sun. Robusta is a lower-quality coffee than the other major variety sold around the world, Arabica. The two strains are often blended to produce instant coffee.

Jha and colleagues say the shifting trends toward Asia and a more intensive style of farming are driven by a dramatic drop in global coffee prices in recent years. To remain profitable, some growers have moved, seeking lower land and labor costs and higher short-term yields.

But there are hidden costs to this more intensive style. Full sun coffee plantations often result in deforestation, loss of biodiversity and soil depletion while leaving communities more vulnerable to flooding and landslides.

“Intensive coffee production is not sustainable,” says Jha. “You exhaust the soil and after a couple of decades, it can no longer grow coffee. On the other hand, the oldest coffee farms in the world have thrived for centuries because the forest replenishes the soil for them.”

Farmers doing intensive coffee farming also earn lower prices for their product.

Because the up-front costs of getting certified to sell specialty coffees can be expensive, Jha and colleagues encourage government agencies, conservation groups and aid organizations to partner with farmers to develop strategies to get more farmers into shade grown coffee production.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Sweet potato market has grown 300% in the last 10 years

North Carolina most important production area
Sweet potato market has grown 300% in the last 10 years

Although the sweet potato is a small product category, the last 10 years has seen a rise in popularity. Sweet potatoes are imported into Europe with the USA as the largest exporter with an estimated total market of 80,000 tons. Over the last 10 years the segment has grown by at least 300%. Almost half of all imports come from the USA. In second place, by quite a margin, is Israel with 18% of the import. Experts anticipate that the market will continue to grow strongly over the next five years.

Import of sweet potato to Europe

Cultivation centralised in the Southern USA
Most sweet potatoes come from the Southern USA, with North Carolina being the most important producer. ASPMI will begin their promotion campaign on 1st July 2014 and promotional activities will also begin in other markets such as Canada and Mexico. 

Sweet potato promotion in North & West Europe
The American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute (ASPMI) was only recently established. The task of this institute is to support the growing sweet potato export from the USA. Europe is the main market for sweet potato from the US with a 50% market share. 

European Representation
Phaff Export Marketing have been chosen for the job of marketing and promoting exports into Europe. In the USA the sweet potato is a standard part of the shopping list. In Europe only trend-setters and luxury restaurants are familiar with sweet potatoes along with the immigrant population, therefore good information about sweet potatoes will be essential when the ASPMI promotional campaign starts.

Next to culinary aspects, information on the health aspects of the sweet potato and the different varieties will be provided and the promotion will focus on using both fresh sweet potato and its by-products. 

For more information:
Phaff Export Marketing bv
Postbus 281
8250 AG  Dronten
Tel: +31(0)321-387933
[email protected]

Publication date: 3/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Sweet potato market has grown 300% in the last 10 years

North Carolina most important production area
Sweet potato market has grown 300% in the last 10 years

Although the sweet potato is a small product category, the last 10 years has seen a rise in popularity. Sweet potatoes are imported into Europe with the USA as the largest exporter with an estimated total market of 80,000 tons. Over the last 10 years the segment has grown by at least 300%. Almost half of all imports come from the USA. In second place, by quite a margin, is Israel with 18% of the import. Experts anticipate that the market will continue to grow strongly over the next five years.

Import of sweet potato to Europe

Cultivation centralised in the Southern USA
Most sweet potatoes come from the Southern USA, with North Carolina being the most important producer. ASPMI will begin their promotion campaign on 1st July 2014 and promotional activities will also begin in other markets such as Canada and Mexico. 

Sweet potato promotion in North & West Europe
The American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute (ASPMI) was only recently established. The task of this institute is to support the growing sweet potato export from the USA. Europe is the main market for sweet potato from the US with a 50% market share. 

European Representation
Phaff Export Marketing have been chosen for the job of marketing and promoting exports into Europe. In the USA the sweet potato is a standard part of the shopping list. In Europe only trend-setters and luxury restaurants are familiar with sweet potatoes along with the immigrant population, therefore good information about sweet potatoes will be essential when the ASPMI promotional campaign starts.

Next to culinary aspects, information on the health aspects of the sweet potato and the different varieties will be provided and the promotion will focus on using both fresh sweet potato and its by-products. 

For more information:
Phaff Export Marketing bv
Postbus 281
8250 AG  Dronten
Tel: +31(0)321-387933
[email protected]

Publication date: 3/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Sweet potato market has grown 300% in the last 10 years

North Carolina most important production area
Sweet potato market has grown 300% in the last 10 years

Although the sweet potato is a small product category, the last 10 years has seen a rise in popularity. Sweet potatoes are imported into Europe with the USA as the largest exporter with an estimated total market of 80,000 tons. Over the last 10 years the segment has grown by at least 300%. Almost half of all imports come from the USA. In second place, by quite a margin, is Israel with 18% of the import. Experts anticipate that the market will continue to grow strongly over the next five years.

Import of sweet potato to Europe

Cultivation centralised in the Southern USA
Most sweet potatoes come from the Southern USA, with North Carolina being the most important producer. ASPMI will begin their promotion campaign on 1st July 2014 and promotional activities will also begin in other markets such as Canada and Mexico. 

Sweet potato promotion in North & West Europe
The American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute (ASPMI) was only recently established. The task of this institute is to support the growing sweet potato export from the USA. Europe is the main market for sweet potato from the US with a 50% market share. 

European Representation
Phaff Export Marketing have been chosen for the job of marketing and promoting exports into Europe. In the USA the sweet potato is a standard part of the shopping list. In Europe only trend-setters and luxury restaurants are familiar with sweet potatoes along with the immigrant population, therefore good information about sweet potatoes will be essential when the ASPMI promotional campaign starts.

Next to culinary aspects, information on the health aspects of the sweet potato and the different varieties will be provided and the promotion will focus on using both fresh sweet potato and its by-products. 

For more information:
Phaff Export Marketing bv
Postbus 281
8250 AG  Dronten
Tel: +31(0)321-387933
[email protected]

Publication date: 3/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

High-Tech Farming Redefines Locally Grown

If all goes according to plan, Penny McBride’s new farming venture will be up and running sometime late next year, growing hundreds of pounds of tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries and microgreens each week for retailers in and around Jackson Hole, Wyo. It’s a major undertaking, and one that will help feed the area’s growing demand for local food. And it’ll all happen on a tiny swath of land next to a parking garage. How is this possible? Like many eco-minded …

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Supermarket News

Coles receives fine for selling imported fruit as home grown

Coles receives fine for selling imported fruit as home grown

Supermarket giant Coles has been fined $ 61,200 for selling imported fruit that it advertised as Australian-grown.

The competition watchdog acted after a complaint that Coles had displayed imported navel oranges and kiwi fruit underneath signs reading `Helping Australia Grow’ and displaying the triangular Australian Grown symbol.

A review by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) between March and May this year found the signage was also being used in other stores for imported asparagus and almonds.

Coles denies breaking any law, saying the signs were mistakenly left behind when stock was moved within its stores.

A spokeswoman for the company said, “Coles remains committed to their ’96% Australian fresh produce statements despite the infringement notices issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.”

“Coles has carefully reviewed the ACCC position that the generic claims on fresh produce price boards amounted to false and misleading representations where imported product was also on sale,” the company said.

“Coles does not believe that it has contravened any law but has paid the ACCC fines as a matter of practical expediency to avoid a lengthy and costly legal action in defending our position.”

The ACCC also noted that paying the fines is not an admission that Coles broke the Competition and Consumer Act, but said the signs wrongly gave the impression to customers that the imported produce was Australian grown.

There were small stickers on the produce showing the overseas country of origin, but that did not correct the overwhelming impression that it was Australian due to the imagery of the ‘Helping Australia Grow’ advertising, the ACCC said.

The offences occurred in five stores, in Queensland, NSW, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

Source: theaustralian.com.au

Publication date: 7/1/2013


FreshPlaza.com