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Uruguayan blueberries to US markets will be better quality

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Uruguayan blueberries to US markets will be better quality

The US Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved a treatment for the blueberries that Uruguay exports to that country, a decision that will increase the confidence that American customers have on the fruit’s quality and that will help that market to be more sustainable.

Horacio Ozer Ami, President of the Union of Producers and Exporters of Fruit and Vegetable from Uruguay (Uprefruy), confirmed the news and said that this authorization will allow them to fumigate the fruit in the place of origin at 15°C instead of 21°C, which will ostensibly improve the quality of the fruit.

Yesterday, the US Embassy released a statement that said, “APHIS had published in the Federal Register a notice of availability of a document on the evaluation of treatments on fumigation of blueberries,” something that the fruit export industry from Uruguay had been asking for a long time.

The new protocol considers additional treatment for the fumigation of blueberries with methyl bromide to combat the Mediterranean and South American fruit flies.

Ozer Ami said that this stems from an initiative by Argentine producers, backed by and with an economical contribution from Upefruy, which led to a series of tests in Tucuman, at a cost of US $ 60, 000; the results of which satisfied US authorities.

Source: Elobservador.com.uy

Publication date: 6/25/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Facility Services Director at Publix Super Markets Lakeland, FL

The Director of Facilities Services is responsible for delivering premiere customer service to our 1,000-plus retail stores.  Keeping retail store equipment and building systems well maintained is crucial to our retail operations. 

The Director oversees a 350-person team that is responsible for annual spending that exceeds $ 375 million annually.  Scope of responsibility includes repair and maintenance, retail energy management, recycle and solid waste management, millwork production and equipment remanufacturing.  This position requires frequent travel to the four off-site divisional offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville and Miami and continual collaboration with other direct reports based at our corporate offices in Lakeland.

Responsible for driving results through the direction of a premier maintenance services organization, ensuring core functions are delivered efficiently, effectively, and economically. 

This includes:
· providing direction and oversight necessary to perform:
o retail store building and equipment maintenance
o effective call center operations to support effective dispatching to internal/external service providers
o shopping center maintenance and annual improvement projects
o rollouts associated with special projects in retail stores
o procurement of maintenance services and parts, production raw materials, and refrigeration installations
o contract and supplier management for more than 650 suppliers
o new store and remodel refrigeration construction installation
o execution of retail energy management, assuring best practices that reduce electricity cost
o corporate recycling and solid waste management
o millwork production, and
o equipment remanufacturing.  

· ensuring standardized evaluation processes to drive Publix retail remodel scope
· maintaining and developing a strong disaster preparedness plan to support emergency response for critical outages resulting from natural disasters, weather events, accidents, fires, etc. 
· routinely inspecting retail locations to ensure quality services to customers
· ensuring compliance with company, industry, trade, and safety standards, practices, and codes

Responsible for overseeing financial expenditures within the Facility Services organization. This includes:
· ensuring controls are in place and working to ensure effective, economical, and efficient practices
· establishing cost containment and reduction goals; defining methods to reach financial objectives

Responsible for directing the activities of 359 Facility Services associates. This includes:
· managing talent developing bench strength and creating opportunities for associates to grow
· communicating department expectations, objectives, and processes for all Facility Services associates

Responsible for planning strategy to contribute and align with company goals and Facilities Strategic Objectives. This includes:
· facilitating business planning, department strategy, and goal setting to enable continuous improvement and meet the challenges of our changing business environment
· developing Facility Services strategic initiatives to ensure operations are proactively adjusting to current strategies and altering as necessary

Required Qualifications
· Bachelor’s Degree in Business, or equivalent mixture of higher education and experience in the areas of Facilities – business development, strategic planning, production planning, and service operations management 
· Seven years combined experience in Facilities management- involved in business development, strategic planning, production planning, and service operations management, with five years management experience leading others
· Knowledge of maintenance service delivery and repair industry best practices
· Knowledge of retail store operations
· Knowledge of refrigeration technology and energy management systems
· Knowledge of manufacturing and remanufacturing practices
· Knowledge of warehousing, inventory management, and delivery logistics
· Knowledge of maintenance practices and the disciplines of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic principles and theories and operations for all the equipment and systems
· Knowledge of state and local laws pertaining to construction, maintenance, refrigeration, and safety (OSHA)
· Knowledge of Strategic Planning and Execution
· Knowledge of financial analysis and accounting controls
· Knowledge of call center operations
· Knowledge of solid waste management
· Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate people
· Demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts and negotiate
· Demonstrated ability to think analytically
· Strong decision making skills
· Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
· Willingness to work a variable schedule including overnight stays and long hours when emergencies arise
· Willingness to travel to stores, divisions, suppliers, and manufacturers.

Preferred Qualifications
· Master’s Degree in Business, with equivalent mixture of higher education and experience in the areas of Facilities – business development, strategic planning, production planning, and service operations management 
· Ten years experience in Facilities management – involved in business development, strategic planning, production planning, and service operations management, with seven years management experience leading others
· Knowledge of computer electronics and electrical control systems including programmable logic control systems (This also includes knowledge of electrical power distribution systems and high voltage equipment.)
· Knowledge of Publix store operations
· Knowledge of Publix culture, strategy, and organizational structure
· Knowledge of Publix Procurement, Supplier Management, and Budget processes
· Knowledge of Publix hiring and discharge processes
· Knowledge of SAP, CMMS systems

Location
   Lakeland, FL

Compensation
  Potential annual pay with bonus:  $ 104,130 – 156,585

Benefits
· Employee stock ownership plan that contributes Publix stock to associates each year at no cost to them
· An opportunity to purchase additional shares of our privately-held stock, whose value has increased an average of 15.7% per year since 1959
· 401(k) retirement savings plan 
· Group health plan (with prescription benefits) 
· Group dental plan
· Group vision plan 
· Sick pay
· Long-term disability insurance
· Company-paid life insurance (with accidental death & dismemberment benefits) 
· Tuition reimbursement
· Vacation pay
· Free hot lunches (buffet-style) at facilities with a cafeteria 
· Paycheck direct deposit 
· Credit union
· Access to over 50 discount offers including discounts on computer, vehicle and wireless purchases
· 6 paid holidays (associates can exchange the following holidays with their manager’s approval: New Years Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day).

Click here to apply:
https://careers.peopleclick.com/careerscp/client_publix/external/jobDetails.do?functionName=getJobDetail&jobPostId=26760&localeCode=en-us
 

Supermarket News

Expanding export markets important to moving increased Washington apple volume

The Washington Apple Commission continues with due diligence to promote exports of the state’s ever-increasing apple volume. “With the larger anticipated Washington apple crop, we are putting heavy emphasis on export opportunity,” President Todd Fryhover told The Produce News. “I can say all programs are fully funded and we’re hopeful to see a 20-percent increase or more for 2014-15.”

Buzz in the orchard is translating to excitement for a successful season. “With 140 million [boxes] on the trees, the first exports will begin right away,” Fryhover commented.ExportOverview1Last season, the Washington Apple Commission launched a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission) Movement to Mexico, Canada and Taiwan continues to be robust, and important markets are developing in Southeast Asia and Central America.

Fryhover provided some numbers that illustrate the importance of export markets. “The 2013-14 WA apple crop is approximately 115 [million boxes]. For [2014-15], the August estimate indicates 140.19 [million boxes], our largest crop, above the 2012-13 volume of 128.25 [million boxes],” he stated. “Thirty-four percent is our goal and has been the percentage in past seasons. We are enthusiastically working towards reaching this goal this season.”

Levels of increased production in Washington’s apple industry have been carefully planned. “Some of the numbers above might seem daunting,” Fryhover continued. “However, I would like to point out that we have been investing in more productive orchards, new varieties with a taste and texture for everyone, technology at the warehousing level and generally getting better and better at growing, packing and delivering high quality apples worldwide.”

Prospects are good as the harvest approaches. “I’ve been around a long time, and this is one of the most ‘even’ crop loads I’ve seen,” he stated. “Providing Mother Nature doesn’t create issues or labor is short, this should be a good season.”

Last season, WAC initiated a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. Export Marketing Director Rebecca Lyons said the program was highly successful. Lyons spoke with The Produce News to explain the concept of the campaign and the successes achieved.

“We wanted to create a region-wide campaign to engage our target consumers, women between the ages of 25 to 45, and appeal to their desire to feed their families delicious, wholesome food,” Lyons commented. “Using the reputation of Washington apples coming from a safe, clean and healthy environment, the campaign focused on mothers providing only the best for their families.”

Most of the promotional events associated with the campaign were held between November 2013 and March 2014. “Activities included specially designed point-of-sale material, display contests, consumer games and activities, in-store demonstrations and sampling, roadshows and other market-specific activities,” Lyons went on to say.

The countries targeted by the Mother’s Love campaign were Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “Together, these countries account for over 4.5 million 40-lb cartons of Washington apples, worth approximately $ 93 million in f.o.b. sales,” she stated. “Although due to the smaller crop versus 2012-13, our overall exports have decreased by over 7 percent, these countries — with the exception of Thailand, which decreased 5 percent — have all shown strong increases this season. During the campaign, we saw overall shipments to the markets increase an average of 50 percent compared to the same time frame last year.”

WAC plans to expand the program within current Southeast Asian markets. “We are increasing the program reach beyond the major metro regions to appeal to consumers in outlying regions, which are experiencing strong growth in retail penetration and offer additional opportunities for Washington apples, particularly Red Delicious,” Lyons said.

Although Red Delicious accounts for approximately 50 percent of Washington apple exports, Lyons said Mother’s Love was not a variety-specific promotion. “We did encourage retailers to feature multi-varietal displays to heighten the visual appeal to consumers. We are seeing more and more displays of three or more varieties in the organized retail sector,” she said. “They want to provide their customers with choices, and Washington certainly offers a lot of them.”

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

Expanding export markets important to moving increased Washington apple volume

The Washington Apple Commission continues with due diligence to promote exports of the state’s ever-increasing apple volume. “With the larger anticipated Washington apple crop, we are putting heavy emphasis on export opportunity,” President Todd Fryhover told The Produce News. “I can say all programs are fully funded and we’re hopeful to see a 20-percent increase or more for 2014-15.”

Buzz in the orchard is translating to excitement for a successful season. “With 140 million [boxes] on the trees, the first exports will begin right away,” Fryhover commented.ExportOverview1Last season, the Washington Apple Commission launched a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. (Photo courtesy of the Washington Apple Commission) Movement to Mexico, Canada and Taiwan continues to be robust, and important markets are developing in Southeast Asia and Central America.

Fryhover provided some numbers that illustrate the importance of export markets. “The 2013-14 WA apple crop is approximately 115 [million boxes]. For [2014-15], the August estimate indicates 140.19 [million boxes], our largest crop, above the 2012-13 volume of 128.25 [million boxes],” he stated. “Thirty-four percent is our goal and has been the percentage in past seasons. We are enthusiastically working towards reaching this goal this season.”

Levels of increased production in Washington’s apple industry have been carefully planned. “Some of the numbers above might seem daunting,” Fryhover continued. “However, I would like to point out that we have been investing in more productive orchards, new varieties with a taste and texture for everyone, technology at the warehousing level and generally getting better and better at growing, packing and delivering high quality apples worldwide.”

Prospects are good as the harvest approaches. “I’ve been around a long time, and this is one of the most ‘even’ crop loads I’ve seen,” he stated. “Providing Mother Nature doesn’t create issues or labor is short, this should be a good season.”

Last season, WAC initiated a new regional marketing campaign, Mother’s Love, in Southeast Asia. Export Marketing Director Rebecca Lyons said the program was highly successful. Lyons spoke with The Produce News to explain the concept of the campaign and the successes achieved.

“We wanted to create a region-wide campaign to engage our target consumers, women between the ages of 25 to 45, and appeal to their desire to feed their families delicious, wholesome food,” Lyons commented. “Using the reputation of Washington apples coming from a safe, clean and healthy environment, the campaign focused on mothers providing only the best for their families.”

Most of the promotional events associated with the campaign were held between November 2013 and March 2014. “Activities included specially designed point-of-sale material, display contests, consumer games and activities, in-store demonstrations and sampling, roadshows and other market-specific activities,” Lyons went on to say.

The countries targeted by the Mother’s Love campaign were Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “Together, these countries account for over 4.5 million 40-lb cartons of Washington apples, worth approximately $ 93 million in f.o.b. sales,” she stated. “Although due to the smaller crop versus 2012-13, our overall exports have decreased by over 7 percent, these countries — with the exception of Thailand, which decreased 5 percent — have all shown strong increases this season. During the campaign, we saw overall shipments to the markets increase an average of 50 percent compared to the same time frame last year.”

WAC plans to expand the program within current Southeast Asian markets. “We are increasing the program reach beyond the major metro regions to appeal to consumers in outlying regions, which are experiencing strong growth in retail penetration and offer additional opportunities for Washington apples, particularly Red Delicious,” Lyons said.

Although Red Delicious accounts for approximately 50 percent of Washington apple exports, Lyons said Mother’s Love was not a variety-specific promotion. “We did encourage retailers to feature multi-varietal displays to heighten the visual appeal to consumers. We are seeing more and more displays of three or more varieties in the organized retail sector,” she said. “They want to provide their customers with choices, and Washington certainly offers a lot of them.”

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

Weis Markets launches annual local produce campaign

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Weis Markets launched its annual Your Neighbor’s, Our Farmer local produce program, which highlights the contributions and commitment of 13 local farmers that provide produce to some of Weis Markets’ 163 stores.

“When we talk about our selection of local produce, we want to do more than just talk the talk,” Kurt Schertle, Weis Markets chief operating officer, said in a press release. “When customers visit the produce section in one of our stores we want them to know that the produce comes from the state in which they live, and to introduce them to the hardworking men and women that provide our fresh produce, many of whom have been suppliers of ours for two generations.”   

In 2014, Weis Markets will purchase more than 25 million pounds of locally grown sweet corn, green beans, peaches, nectarines, apples, lettuce, mushrooms, watermelons, cabbage, blueberries, cucumbers, cantaloupes, tomatoes, potatoes, squash and pumpkins.

Each Weis Markets’ store will display “Your Neighbor’s, Our Farmer” banners with photographs of the farmers supplying Weis Markets. These photos will be featured in Weis Markets’ produce departments by region and product, as well as in weekly circulars.  The photos and videos can also be viewed at https://www.weismarkets.com/about-weis/community/local-farmers.

The Your Neighbor’s, Our Farmer campaign will feature photos of the following farmers on the produce they supply:

  • Titus Hoover, Port Trevorton, PA (yellow and green squash)
  • John Tebbs, Williamsport, PA (sweet corn)
  • Dave Rodgers, Great Meadows, NJ (leafy greens and bunched radishes)
  • Allen Conrad, Newport, PA (organic leafy greens)
  • Paul Lebo, Mechanicsburg, PA (corn, cucumbers and cantaloupes)
  • Page Houser, Sharpsburg, MD (corn and cantaloupes)

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

E-commerce operator shops farmers’ markets

Consumers can now get strawberries from their local farmers’ market without actually going outside.

Online operator Fresh Nation takes orders for items available at farmers’ markets, shops the market for the products and then delivers them to consumers’ homes.

“It’s a fairly sophisticated system that keeps the online market essentially as close as possible to the real market,” Fresh Nation CEO Tony Lee told SN.

Lee described the company as the “Uber of farmers’ markets,” referring to the popular rideshare app that allows users to quickly connect with drivers. He also agreed that the model is similar to the grocery delivery company Instacart, but for a different channel.


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The retailer’s employees are trained in food safety and deliver the product from the market in a short amount of time. There is no delivery fee for orders over $ 75 and a $ 5 delivery fee for those smaller orders. 

Fresh Nation officially launched its business this May in Los Angeles, Fairfield County, Conn., and Westchester County, New York.

The company piloted the program last year in Fairfield, Conn.

“We just wanted to see if — well, we wanted to see a lot of things: We wanted to see if we could really put farmers’ markets online, if we could build the system to make that happen and whether customers would react well. And the answer, I guess, was yes, yes, yes,” Lee said.

After the pilot, Fresh Nation redeveloped its system to allow for expansion to more locations.

Lee previously worked in technology and e-commerce until 2011 when he started his own farmers’ market. This experience proved useful in recruiting growers and vendors.

“I guess you could say we got street cred,” he said. “The vendors know we aren’t just a bunch of technology geeks who are doing something they don’t really understand. We’ve run a farmers’ market, we’ve done with dozens of vendors. That’s helped us a lot with our relationships with them.”

The concept appears to be resonating with time-strapped consumers. Sales have been doubling each month, according to Lee.

While it might seem difficult to keep up year-round offerings in the East Coast’s colder months, Lee said farmers are increasingly growing products through the winter.

“The farmers are really cranking out — under hoops and in greenhouses — some really unbelievable products.”

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Supermarket News

O’Brien to retire from Schnuck Markets, but open to new opportunities

After 42 years with one of the Midwest’s most well-known retailers, Michael O’Brien is planning to retire from Schnuck Markets Inc. at the end of October, but he is planning to pursue other opportunities within the produce sector.

The 61-year-old vice president of produce and floral told The Produce News Aug. 4 that the plan for retirement from this phase in his career has been in the works for a while.

obrien2Michael O’Brien“The timing was right” to take his career to another level and hopefully help another company achieve their goals, he said.

O’Brien started with Schnuck Markets as a bagger when he was in college in 1972. He worked his way up through the ranks and had been a division manager for quite a few years when given the opportunity to switch to his present position in produce in 2000.

Like many others in the baby boom generation, O’Brien said when he initially started at Schnuck’s he had no intention of making it a career.

“I thought I was going to be a classic rock DJ,” he said. “I was going to get a journalism degree.”

But his part-time bagger job led to more opportunities for him at the St. Louis-area chain. O’Brien got his degree in business administration and continued to move up the ranks at Schnuck’s.

“I was able to buy a house and raise a family and I just stayed with the company,” he said. “Music became my hobby.”

He said moving to produce in 2000 “changed my life. I love the industry and I love the people in it. Produce is now in my blood.”

He is currently a mentor for a recipient of a Robert Pack Scholarship and very much enjoys working with the Produce Marketing Association’s Emerging Leader Program as well as its Foundation for Industry Talent.

In fact, O’Brien said he was served well by several mentors when his career was moving through its formative stages and he enjoys playing the mentor role today. He said he will be at PMA’s Fresh Summit 2014 involved in both of those programs during his final days with Schnuck’s.

“Hopefully after that I’ll still be in the industry working for someone else,” he said. “Right now I am considering my options.”

Looking back on his career, O’Brien said one of the highlights was being honored with the Donald O. Schnuck Award several years ago. That annual award, named after the founder of the company he served for more than four decades, recognizes outstanding customer service by an employee.

“That definitely was one of the highlights of my career,” he said.

O’Brien has been an active industry participant, serving as chairman of the board of directors of PMA in 2010-11. He was also chairman of the Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2007.

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

“We will focus on other markets, when Russia comes back there will be no more apples for them”

Polish exporter on Russian ban
“We will focus on other markets, when Russia comes back there will be no more apples for them”

After a few days of rumours Russia has announced it will ban the import of Polish fruit and vegetables from 1st August, citing a breach of safety standards as the reason, said Rosselkhoznadzor, the country’s agricultural watchdog on Wednesday.

“The ban will apply to virtually all vegetables and fruits, such as apples, pears, quince, cherry, sweet cherry and cabbage, all fresh-refrigerated vegetables,” assistant to the Rosselkhoznadzor head Alexei Alekseyenko said.

The Russian agricultural watchdog said the ban would apply to all types of cabbage, as well as peaches, nectarines, plums and black thorns.

Russia will impose the ban due to Poland’s breach of certification requirements and the presence of quarantine harmful organisms in Polish imports, Alekseyenko said.

The Russian agricultural watchdog has registered 27 instances of finding two quarantine harmful organisms in Polish imports since the start of 2014.

Rosselkhoznadzor has also revealed that Polish vegetables and fruit pose a threat to human health in many instances due to excessive concentrations of pesticide residue levels and the presence of nitrates.

The Rosselkhoznadzor said that its Moscow, Moscow and Tula Region branch alone had exposed 211 Polish fruit and vegetable batches weighing a total of over 3,700 tons with pesticide residue content exceeding permissible levels by 2-15 times in the first half of 2014.

Excessive pesticide levels were found in 90% of all Polish apples inspected by Rosselkhoznadzor.

A Polish apple exporter told FreshPlaza that the move was totally political and in response to the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU earlier this week. “The apples we export to Russia receive the same treatment as the apples we send to Europe and other countries where we have never had any problems. Russia are only blocking themselves from a good cheap apple supply, we will focus on other markets and when Russia comes back there will be no more apples for them.”

He believes that this is the wrong way for Russia to go about ‘getting back’ at the US and Europe, as it will only hurt the Russian consumers in the end.

Polish growers have already been focussing on other markets such as China and the Middle East, the Association of Polish Fruit Growers has been preparing a campaign promoting Polish apples in China and the UAE. The three-year-long campaign, aiming at China’s and UAE’s consumers, traders and the media, will be launched this autumn, when the first new fruit is picked.

The exporter says that there is a big market in Polish apples, the market is growing rapidly and consumers in China are also looking for a cheap alternative when it come to apples.

Publication date: 7/31/2014


FreshPlaza.com

F&S Produce launches Sam’s Fresh Salsa to test markets

F&S Produce Co. Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of fresh-cut produce and other refrigerated value-added products in the Northeast, announced it will be introducing Sam’s Fresh Salsa to all of its customers after a successful test market in Philadelphia and New York.salsa

“We are very excited to introduce our all natural Sam’s Fresh Salsa to all the retail and foodservice customers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states,” Sam Pipitone, president and chief executive officer at F&S, said in a press release. “We developed this product to duplicate the all natural salsa we made at F&S Produce for company parties and special events. Sam’s Fresh Salsa was introduced to the test market areas in 2013 and has become an extremely successful brand in those markets with tremendous consumer loyalty. Sam’s Fresh Salsa is an all natural product which makes it a perfect extension of the freshness and safety commitment we have at F&S Produce Company.”

“The packaging is superior in that the tamper-evident film seal and cover are leakproof and can reseal tightly to help preserve leftover salsa,” Doug Nicoll, director of technical services at F&S, added in the press release. “The customer can clearly view the fresh, colorful salsa on store shelves. As a certified SQF 2000 company with comprehensive food safety and quality systems, the customer can feel assured of fresh, wholesome, tasty salsa.”

F&S worked closely with our retail test market partners to make sure we had the proper taste profile, price point and promotional strategy for Sam’s Fresh Salsa.

“Sam’s Fresh Salsa will launch in our new full color preprinted film sealed containers and will be available in mild, medium, hot and mango/pineapple varieties,” Sam Burleson, vice president of sales and marketing at F&S, added in the press release. “We will tailor a promotional strategy with each retailer to ensure we develop programs that create excitement and deliver the fresh, all natural message to the consumer. With the introduction of Sam’s Fresh Salsa the consumer now has a clear choice to purchase a fresh all natural alternative to the existing processed salsa brands.”

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

F&S Produce launches Sam’s Fresh Salsa to test markets

F&S Produce Co. Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of fresh-cut produce and other refrigerated value-added products in the Northeast, announced it will be introducing Sam’s Fresh Salsa to all of its customers after a successful test market in Philadelphia and New York.salsa

“We are very excited to introduce our all natural Sam’s Fresh Salsa to all the retail and foodservice customers in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states,” Sam Pipitone, president and chief executive officer at F&S, said in a press release. “We developed this product to duplicate the all natural salsa we made at F&S Produce for company parties and special events. Sam’s Fresh Salsa was introduced to the test market areas in 2013 and has become an extremely successful brand in those markets with tremendous consumer loyalty. Sam’s Fresh Salsa is an all natural product which makes it a perfect extension of the freshness and safety commitment we have at F&S Produce Company.”

“The packaging is superior in that the tamper-evident film seal and cover are leakproof and can reseal tightly to help preserve leftover salsa,” Doug Nicoll, director of technical services at F&S, added in the press release. “The customer can clearly view the fresh, colorful salsa on store shelves. As a certified SQF 2000 company with comprehensive food safety and quality systems, the customer can feel assured of fresh, wholesome, tasty salsa.”

F&S worked closely with our retail test market partners to make sure we had the proper taste profile, price point and promotional strategy for Sam’s Fresh Salsa.

“Sam’s Fresh Salsa will launch in our new full color preprinted film sealed containers and will be available in mild, medium, hot and mango/pineapple varieties,” Sam Burleson, vice president of sales and marketing at F&S, added in the press release. “We will tailor a promotional strategy with each retailer to ensure we develop programs that create excitement and deliver the fresh, all natural message to the consumer. With the introduction of Sam’s Fresh Salsa the consumer now has a clear choice to purchase a fresh all natural alternative to the existing processed salsa brands.”

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

Lemons and avocados enjoying strong markets

In Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, lemons and avocados often compete for the same ground, and many growers produce both crops. For a good portion of the spring and early summer, those two crops also competed as to which had the higher f.o.b. prices. But as the summer wears on, both markets are expected to come off their highs, though they should remain strong relative to previous years.

“We have a very strong lemon market,” said John Eliot, sales manager of Saticoy Fruit Exchange in Ventura, CA. “It is not extraordinary or unprecedented but it is a strong market that has been moving up slowly since the spring.”

He said the red-hot lime market in the first quarter of this year, which saw cartons of limes selling for as much as $ 135 for 175-size fruit, had a very positive effect on the lemon market. “We found out a lot about the substitutability of lemons. We saw some strong pricing and it has continued.”

Rick Goodside, domestic sales manager for Limoneira Co. in Santa Paula, CA, agreed that unusually strong demand for lemons has driven the market for the past few months. He said it has simply been a case of demand exceeds supply.

Eliot said the market was also strengthened because of a major reduction in the Argentina lemon crop. Though Argentina does not ship into the United States, it does service Canada and many other markets in the world. The Argentine crop was off 60 percent, according to Eliot, which meant fewer Chilean lemons available for shipment to the United States. Chilean shippers found a strong market for their lemons in many other places in South America and around the globe.

Discussing the situation on Tuesday, July 8, Eliot said the market was as high as $ 45 for the most popular packs and sizes. “It might hold for a couple of more weeks but I don’t think it will get to $ 50,” he said.

Joan Wickham, Sunkist Growers’ manager of advertising and public relations stated that “lemon demand continues to be very strong and we expect it to remain steady throughout the summer, as lemons are the perfect complement to summertime dishes, refreshing beverages and even household décor.”

She said lemons are finding increasing usage in homes, restaurants and bars as artisan cocktails are gaining favor.  “From unique lemonades to mixed drinks, Sunkist is developing fun cocktail recipes that consumers can make at home to ‘zest up’ their summer entertaining.”

Sunkist is also offering retailers a high-graphic lemonade-themed pouch bag to create consumer excitement about summer lemonades in-store.

Mexico should start sending some lemons to the U.S. market within the next few weeks, and the desert deals of Arizona and California will get going in September. Hence Eliot said the long-range prognosis is for a more moderate market.

Goodside was a bit more bullish and predicted that the strong market could last well into September. He said Chile and Mexico will send fruit to the United States, but it might not be until domestic production ramps up in mid-September that a significant price decrease is noted.

But it has been a good run for California lemon growers, many of whom have also seen high prices on avocados.

The avocado marketing situation has been very straightforward this season. Predictably, after two years of close to 500 million pound crops, avocado trees in California under produced this year. Pre-season estimates had the crop in the 300 million range, which is probably right about where it will end up.

“We are close to 70 percent complete,” said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA. “Demand has been very good and we’ve had strong pricing.”

Bob Lucy, president of Del Rey Avocado Co. in Fallbrook, CA, agreed. He said it has been a good run for California producers for the past several months, though a $ 5 per carton drop in the market price occurred in late June after the Fourth of July ordering concluded.

Both veterans of the avocado industry agreed that an oversupply of large-size fruit from Peru is the culprit. “The market has gotten soft,” Lucy said. “There is a lot of large Peruvian fruit available.”

Wedin said the influx of large fruit from Peru disrupting the marketing situation was “discouraging” and he expressed optimism that Peruvian shippers would lay off the large sizes and increase the volume of smaller sizes instead through July and August. As the California season wears on and gets deep into the summer, the fruit on the tree continues to grow and larger fruit is more common. The premium can be made on the smaller sizes.

Lucy expects the market to strengthen as Labor Day approaches and the California production winds down. While there will be some late fruit into September and beyond from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, most avocado producers in Southern California will be finished by Labor Day. At that point, Lucy said the market could be wide open. Mexico will have some fruit but that is typically its low production period. Chile should not yet have entered the market with mature fruit. Peru should have fruit into the middle of September, but shipments from that region will be winding down.

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

Lemons and avocados enjoying strong markets

In Ventura County, north of Los Angeles, lemons and avocados often compete for the same ground, and many growers produce both crops. For a good portion of the spring and early summer, those two crops also competed as to which had the higher f.o.b. prices. But as the summer wears on, both markets are expected to come off their highs, though they should remain strong relative to previous years.

“We have a very strong lemon market,” said John Eliot, sales manager of Saticoy Fruit Exchange in Ventura, CA. “It is not extraordinary or unprecedented but it is a strong market that has been moving up slowly since the spring.”

He said the red-hot lime market in the first quarter of this year, which saw cartons of limes selling for as much as $ 135 for 175-size fruit, had a very positive effect on the lemon market. “We found out a lot about the substitutability of lemons. We saw some strong pricing and it has continued.”

Rick Goodside, domestic sales manager for Limoneira Co. in Santa Paula, CA, agreed that unusually strong demand for lemons has driven the market for the past few months. He said it has simply been a case of demand exceeds supply.

Eliot said the market was also strengthened because of a major reduction in the Argentina lemon crop. Though Argentina does not ship into the United States, it does service Canada and many other markets in the world. The Argentine crop was off 60 percent, according to Eliot, which meant fewer Chilean lemons available for shipment to the United States. Chilean shippers found a strong market for their lemons in many other places in South America and around the globe.

Discussing the situation on Tuesday, July 8, Eliot said the market was as high as $ 45 for the most popular packs and sizes. “It might hold for a couple of more weeks but I don’t think it will get to $ 50,” he said.

Joan Wickham, Sunkist Growers’ manager of advertising and public relations stated that “lemon demand continues to be very strong and we expect it to remain steady throughout the summer, as lemons are the perfect complement to summertime dishes, refreshing beverages and even household décor.”

She said lemons are finding increasing usage in homes, restaurants and bars as artisan cocktails are gaining favor.  “From unique lemonades to mixed drinks, Sunkist is developing fun cocktail recipes that consumers can make at home to ‘zest up’ their summer entertaining.”

Sunkist is also offering retailers a high-graphic lemonade-themed pouch bag to create consumer excitement about summer lemonades in-store.

Mexico should start sending some lemons to the U.S. market within the next few weeks, and the desert deals of Arizona and California will get going in September. Hence Eliot said the long-range prognosis is for a more moderate market.

Goodside was a bit more bullish and predicted that the strong market could last well into September. He said Chile and Mexico will send fruit to the United States, but it might not be until domestic production ramps up in mid-September that a significant price decrease is noted.

But it has been a good run for California lemon growers, many of whom have also seen high prices on avocados.

The avocado marketing situation has been very straightforward this season. Predictably, after two years of close to 500 million pound crops, avocado trees in California under produced this year. Pre-season estimates had the crop in the 300 million range, which is probably right about where it will end up.

“We are close to 70 percent complete,” said Rob Wedin, vice president of fresh sales and marketing for Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA. “Demand has been very good and we’ve had strong pricing.”

Bob Lucy, president of Del Rey Avocado Co. in Fallbrook, CA, agreed. He said it has been a good run for California producers for the past several months, though a $ 5 per carton drop in the market price occurred in late June after the Fourth of July ordering concluded.

Both veterans of the avocado industry agreed that an oversupply of large-size fruit from Peru is the culprit. “The market has gotten soft,” Lucy said. “There is a lot of large Peruvian fruit available.”

Wedin said the influx of large fruit from Peru disrupting the marketing situation was “discouraging” and he expressed optimism that Peruvian shippers would lay off the large sizes and increase the volume of smaller sizes instead through July and August. As the California season wears on and gets deep into the summer, the fruit on the tree continues to grow and larger fruit is more common. The premium can be made on the smaller sizes.

Lucy expects the market to strengthen as Labor Day approaches and the California production winds down. While there will be some late fruit into September and beyond from Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, most avocado producers in Southern California will be finished by Labor Day. At that point, Lucy said the market could be wide open. Mexico will have some fruit but that is typically its low production period. Chile should not yet have entered the market with mature fruit. Peru should have fruit into the middle of September, but shipments from that region will be winding down.

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