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Potato movement good, but transportation a concern for Red River Valley shippers

Ted Kreis, marketing director of the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, said “movement is going well.” USDA figures show “for the week ending Dec. 6 that 124,000 hundredweight of Red River Valley potatoes had been shipped. “This is up 18 percent this year over the previous year. And it’s more than 2012 and 2011 too,” Kreis added.

For 2014 as a whole volume is up despite the fact that the crop started two weeks later than in 2013. “We’ve made up the difference in the late start,” he said.2008-9-8-1620-red-harvest-conveyorDespite a later start than 2013, volume is up for Red River Valley potatoes.

The Red River Valley produced somewhat fewer yellow potatoes than last year, but Kreis said these are “insignificant” numbers. Red potato production was up somewhat.

“The quality was much better” in the 2014 crop, he noted. “We had more potatoes and better quality.” In December the stocks on hand were the same volume “but there will be less shrink” in the pack-out.

“We were late planting, which cut into the yields, which were average.” Yields overall in the valley were spotty, with some growers having greater yield and others less than a year ago. “Overall it evened out.”

David Moquist, a potato grower-packer-shipper and secretary-treasurer of Crystal, ND-based O.C. Schulz, is pleased by movement into December.

Paul Dolan, manager of Associated Potato Growers Inc., based in Grand Forks, ND, did not see “a lot of Christmas boost” for his potato crop. He added that Associated’s potatoes “are storing and keeping well. There are no frost issues.”

Dolan noted that Associated’s total potato volume is down from a year ago, but the saleable volume is up because of high packouts due to excellent quality.

Small-sized Russet potatoes produced in Idaho and Washington in 2014 have brought down the market and created competition for Red River Valley red potatoes. “This has hurt prices,” Dolan said. He expected the market will improve in January because Wisconsin shippers will have finished most of their shipping and Florida’s spring growers are not expected to have the volume produced a year ago.

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

With Recent Victories, Movement to Label GMOs Gains Steam

More than six months after a big defeat in California, the movement to label foods containing genetically modified organisms appears to be picking up steam across the country.

In the past three weeks, Connecticut and Maine passed labeling bills, the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the first time approved a non-GMO label claim for meat products, Chipotle began voluntarily labeling menu items containing GMO ingredients online, and, perhaps most notably, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration funding to label genetically modified salmon if the agency approves the fish.

These are all small steps compared to what California’s Proposition 37 would have accomplished – since that state consumes about 8 percent of all groceries in the United States, some speculated that food giants would have reformulated their products to avoid creating two supply chains – but the string of victories has many in the so-called ‘Right to Know’ movement confident the tide is turning in their favor.

“It’s simply a matter of time,” said Scott Faber, who serves as executive director of Just Label It, a national advocacy campaign. Faber, who is vice president of government affairs at the Environmental Working Group, used to be a lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which actively lobbies against mandatory labeling initiatives.

Faber believes mandated GMO labeling is inevitable, in part because the food industry would prefer federal standards over a patchwork of state laws.

“I think companies are starting to realize the fight is worse than the label,” he added, noting that campaigns against labeling can harm consumer confidence for certain brands. Some consumers, for example, who buy brands like Cascadian Farm, Kashi, Horizon Organic, Muir Glen, and Odwalla were outraged last fall after learning the companies’ corporate owners had helped fund the effort to defeat Prop 37.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association said in a statement that it remains opposed to “special mandatory labeling for food products containing genetically modified ingredients because these labels could mislead consumers into believing that ingredients from genetically engineered plants are somehow different or unsafe or unhealthy – in clear contradiction of scientific fact.”

GMA points out that ingredients derived from GM plants have been widely studied and are considered safe by FDA and groups like the American Medical Association. According to the association, foods with genetically modified ingredients make up 70 to 8o percent of the products on grocery store shelves “because they require fewer pesticides, help foods have a longer shelf life and keep production costs down” which reduces food costs for consumers.

The group has been actively engaged in the labeling issue and contributed $ 2 million to help defeat Prop 37, which ultimately went down 51 to 48 percent. In total, $ 9.2 million was spent in support of the proposition and $ 46 million was spent opposing it.

In a speech last summer to the American Soybean Association, GMA CEO Pam Bailey said, “Defeating the initative is GMA’s single highest priority this year,” according to an account in the Hagstrom Report. “We have worked with you on what we consider to be valuable technology, but in the past year we have seen an increase in the rhetoric against it.”

Bailey said the current movement for labeling is stronger than past attempts. “Social media is feeding this effort and making it more difficult to confront and more powerful,” she said, according to the report.

While momentum may by building for labeling advocates, their recent victories come with significant caveats.

The bills approved in Connecticut and Maine only kick in if other states, including a neighboring state, pass labeling requirements. Vermont’s house passed a bill to require labeling GMOs in May but the state senate is not expected to take up the same law until next year. Labeling legislation or ballot initiatives have been introduced in 25 other states, but it’s not clear which states might actually adopt them.

Baylen Linnekin, the executive director of Keep Food Legal, a libertarian group that advocates against government involvement in the food arena, said he thinks mandatory labeling is unnecessary and still faces significant challenges going forward.

“I would not say it’s inevitable,” said Linnekin, explaining that even if labeling laws succeed at the state level they would be challenged in court.

In a recent column for Reason, Linnekin argued the government should stay out of the labeling business: “The truth is that most federal labeling schemes are flawed at best, and often involve conflicts and compromises that rob meaning from the label.”

On the other hand, Linnekin applauds the voluntary actions by companies like Whole Foods, which announced earlier this year it will require GMO labeling in its stores by 2018, and McDonalds and Starbucks, which both recently adopted calorie labeling on their menus.

The non-GMO label approved by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service last week – the first GMO-related claim allowed on U.S. meat, poultry and some processed egg packages – and Chipotle’s decision to note which foods contain GMOs on their online menu are prime examples of voluntary moves to meet niche consumer demands.

According to the New York Times, FSIS approved the label – which can be used on meat and liquid eggs from animals fed only non-GMO feed – after three meat companies petitioned for similar claims. The claim will be certified by the Non-GMO Project.

Private sector labels to help consumers avoid products containing GM ingredients have taken off in recent years. The Non-GMO Project, the leading third-party certifier in North America for non-GMO claims, said interest in certification has increased four-fold in the past year alone as Prop 37 and Whole Foods announcement has raised consumer awareness about GMOs. The group now certifies more than 10,000 products.

“These days you can walk into a gas station and find Non-GMO verified products,” said Courtney Pineau, assistant director of the project.

Despite the explosion in voluntary labeling, advocates want a national law.

While there are labeling bills in both chambers, no one expects Congress will approve them anytime soon. In May, the U.S. Senate voted on a bill by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that would have required GMO labeling nationwide, but the measure failed by a vote of 71 to 27.

The closest that advocates have come to mandatory, national GMO labeling of any kind, was last week when the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 15 to 14 to give the FDA $ 150,000 to implement labeling for GM salmon if the agency gives the fish a green light, which it is expected to do.

FDA has said it would not require the GM salmon to be labeled, which is consistent with the agency’s policy that GM foods are not materially different from non-GM foods. Some advocates think this decision has driven more consumers to support labeling efforts.

A Change.org petition asking FDA to require labeling for the modified salmon garnered nearly 25,000 signatures and consumer campaigns pressured Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Target, Giant Eagle, and 50 other retailers to promise they wont sell the fish even if the FDA approves it.

A handful of U.S. lawmakers, mostly from states like Alaska, Washington and Oregon, whose wild salmon fisheries are highly lucrative, have opposed approving the GM salmon and have argued that if the fish is approved it should be labeled as a GMO. The labeling amendment that succeeded in the Senate Appropriations Committee was co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). In the House, Rep. Don Young (R-AK) has made similar attempts at mandating labeling for GM salmon.

Colin O’Neil, a regulatory analyst for the Center for Food Safety, an anti-GMO advocacy group, called the amendment “a big step forward for labeling in this country.”

The group said it’s not aware of efforts to strip the Begich-Murkowski amendment from the appropriations bill, but said that it would be closely monitoring the bill when it eventually goes to conference to be reconciled with the House version because “we have not seen something like this get that far before.”

Food Safety News

US (CA): Good movement, prices for grapes

As availability of tree fruit in California winds down, the relatively empty market has made for good movement and a strong market for grapes.

“Compared to this time last year, prices are probably one to two dollars higher,” noted George Matoian of Visalia Produce. “Compared to a month ago, prices are about one to two dollars higher per box.” At the end of last week, prices for table grapes out of the Central Valley ranged from between $ 14.95 to $ 22.95 per box, depending on variety, size and colour. He credited a relatively clear market for the prices, since there’s little competition from tree fruit at this point in the season. He also believes the market could get even stronger in the coming weeks.

“I think we’ll see increased prices as we get into October and November,” said Matoian. “We’ll see an increase in the fall months, it just depends on the pack-outs. We still have a long way to go.” Varieties currently available include Scarlet Royal, Crimson, Vintage Red, Thompson, Autumn King, Autumn Royal and Red Globe grapes. Availability of California grapes is expected to stretch into January.

For more information:

George Matoian

Visalia Produce Sales

+1 559 897 6652

FreshPlaza.com

No Movement on Agriculture Appropriations Bills as Congress Goes on Five-Week Summer Break

Congress broke for the August recess on Friday and won’t be back in the Capitol until Sept. 8.

One of the many pieces of legislative business left at a standstill is the Fiscal Year 2015 agriculture appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

The House of Representatives began debate on its version of the bill on June 11 but has not returned to it on the floor since. One reason is that Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) loss in  his re-election primary race and decision to step down as leader changed the floor dynamics. In addition, there was uncertainty about having enough votes to pass the bill considering the school nutrition provisions that Democrats so vehemently opposed.

On the Senate side, the ag appropriations bill was grouped with the Commerce-Justice-Science and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bills into a “minibus,” which was first expected to be brought up for a floor debate the week of June 16. The minibus has yet to make it to the floor, mainly because of disagreement between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) concerning amendments.

Fiscal Year 2015 begins Oct. 1, so the House is considering a vote on a short-term continuing resolution in September that would fund the federal government at current levels until mid-December.

After the midterm election on Nov. 4, Congress could vote on a FY 2015 omnibus bill or a second continuing resolution that funds the federal government for the rest of the next fiscal year, or until Sept. 30, 2015.

Food Safety News

Baltimore leads national movement to encourage healthier eating for children

A couple of Baltimore-area businesses are taking the lead in a national movement, ‘eat brighter!’ to inspire young children and their families to eat healthier.

With the help of friends from Sesame Street, Savage, MD-based fresh produce supplier East Coast Fresh and grocery retailer Mars Supermarkets are putting emphasis — and marketing — in the produce department where Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo and several other furry faces will adorn packages of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Mars is the first retailer to partner with a supplier like East Coast Fresh to offer the ‘eat brighter!’ product in stores.

The ‘eat brighter!’ movement offers royalty-free access to Sesame Street characters and was forged by the Produce Marketing Association, Sesame Workshop and the Partnership for a Healthier America. The initiative is supported by grocery retailers and fresh produce companies across the United States and Canada.

In September, Mars will host an event to kick off the Sesame Street produce promotions in its Wise Avenue store. It will feature activities for children and their families, including a fresh produce scavenger hunt and sampling.

For more information about the event or the ‘eat brighter!’ movement, visit http://www.pma.com/eatbrighter or contact Ashley Boucher at aboucher@pma.com or 302/738-7100, ext. 3092.

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

April watermelon movement higher than last season

On April 8, the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on daily shipments and crossings in the United States for watermelons for the first week of April. The report broke down movement for seeded and seedless watermelon and also provided some data on imports. Units are comprised of a total of 40,000 pounds each.

This season, a total of 7,154 units were imported into the United States through ports in Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, California, Delaware and Florida.CrosdfpOVThis season, a total of 7,154 units of watermelon were imported into the United States through ports in Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, California, Delaware and Florida. Countries exporting watermelons to the United States were Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. This figure compares to 7,555 units imported at the same time last season. Of this total, 30 units were during the first week of April. This volume represents an increase over the 16 units moved during the same time frame in 2013.

AMS reported 74 units of seeded watermelons entered the United States at Nogales, AZ, during the first week of April. Guatemala exported 94 containers of seedless watermelons during the first week of April. Volume of seedless watermelons from Honduras was 94 units, and Mexico exported 9,699 units for that same week.

Florida districts had moved 49 units of seeded watermelons by truck as of April 7, surpassing the 15 units moved from Florida at the same time during 2013. Florida also moved another 107 units of seedless watermelons, an increase over the 55 units moved at the same time in 2013.

Weather has been a factor during the 2014 domestic growing season. Matt Solana, vice president of operations/supply chain with Jackson Farming Co., said rainy conditions made it difficult for growers to get into the field and get soil prepared in North Florida and Georgia.

Jackson Farming expected production to begin in Sarasota, FL, at the beginning of May. Production in McAlpin, FL was anticipated to begin in June. Soldana said retailers could expect good volume for the July 4 holiday coming from Florida and Georgia.  Watermelons are also produced in Autryville, NC, with production beginning around July 4 and running through September.

If dry, sunny days are coupled with some occasional rain showers, Soldana expects a good season in 2014.

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center provided some historic data about the dynamics of watermelon production during 2012. “U.S. watermelon production in 2012 totaled more than 39 million hundredweight, up from 2011,” the center stated. “The value of fresh market watermelons that year was nearly $ 520.8 billion, also up from the previous year.”

According to AgMRC, Florida and Georgia led in domestic production followed by California and Texas.

Most watermelon is consumed fresh, and AgMRC noted that per capita consumption was 15.5 pounds in 2010. “About 85 percent of watermelons are purchased at the retail level for home consumption,” the center stated in its report. “Other processed products include roasted seeds, pickled rind and watermelon juice.”

On June 28, 2012, USDA’s Economic Research Service issued its Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, further discussing production and consumption trends. According to ERS, the United States ranked fifth among the world’s top watermelon producers. “Over the past 10 years, watermelon was consistently the third-most-produced [commodity] by weight for the fresh market in the United States, behind onions and head lettuce,” the report stated. “Between 1990 and 2010, while the number of acres harvested contracted 3.5 percent, production rose 29 percent to a record high of 4.1 billion pounds.”

Data concerning seeded vs. seedless varieties is revealing. “In the past decade, the share of seedless watermelon of total U.S. watermelon shipments jumped from 51 percent in 2003 to 83 percent in 2011,” the report stated. “Rising demand for watermelon has been mostly due to the production of varieties that are seedless or are smaller in size combined with increased marketing of pre-cut half or quarter-melons, offering value-added convenience to consumers.”

And consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the nutritional qualities associated with watermelon consumption. “As watermelon is 92 percent water, many people eat it to help quench their thirst,” ERS wrote. “Watermelon juice is even now available at some retailers. Lycopene, found in other produce such as tomatoes, is present in watermelon at higher concentrations than any other fruit or vegetable and is believed to reduce the risk for heart disease and some cancers.”

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

April watermelon movement higher than last season

On April 8, the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on daily shipments and crossings in the United States for watermelons for the first week of April. The report broke down movement for seeded and seedless watermelon and also provided some data on imports. Units are comprised of a total of 40,000 pounds each.

This season, a total of 7,154 units were imported into the United States through ports in Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, California, Delaware and Florida.CrosdfpOVThis season, a total of 7,154 units of watermelon were imported into the United States through ports in Arizona, Texas, Mississippi, California, Delaware and Florida. Countries exporting watermelons to the United States were Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. This figure compares to 7,555 units imported at the same time last season. Of this total, 30 units were during the first week of April. This volume represents an increase over the 16 units moved during the same time frame in 2013.

AMS reported 74 units of seeded watermelons entered the United States at Nogales, AZ, during the first week of April. Guatemala exported 94 containers of seedless watermelons during the first week of April. Volume of seedless watermelons from Honduras was 94 units, and Mexico exported 9,699 units for that same week.

Florida districts had moved 49 units of seeded watermelons by truck as of April 7, surpassing the 15 units moved from Florida at the same time during 2013. Florida also moved another 107 units of seedless watermelons, an increase over the 55 units moved at the same time in 2013.

Weather has been a factor during the 2014 domestic growing season. Matt Solana, vice president of operations/supply chain with Jackson Farming Co., said rainy conditions made it difficult for growers to get into the field and get soil prepared in North Florida and Georgia.

Jackson Farming expected production to begin in Sarasota, FL, at the beginning of May. Production in McAlpin, FL was anticipated to begin in June. Soldana said retailers could expect good volume for the July 4 holiday coming from Florida and Georgia.  Watermelons are also produced in Autryville, NC, with production beginning around July 4 and running through September.

If dry, sunny days are coupled with some occasional rain showers, Soldana expects a good season in 2014.

The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center provided some historic data about the dynamics of watermelon production during 2012. “U.S. watermelon production in 2012 totaled more than 39 million hundredweight, up from 2011,” the center stated. “The value of fresh market watermelons that year was nearly $ 520.8 billion, also up from the previous year.”

According to AgMRC, Florida and Georgia led in domestic production followed by California and Texas.

Most watermelon is consumed fresh, and AgMRC noted that per capita consumption was 15.5 pounds in 2010. “About 85 percent of watermelons are purchased at the retail level for home consumption,” the center stated in its report. “Other processed products include roasted seeds, pickled rind and watermelon juice.”

On June 28, 2012, USDA’s Economic Research Service issued its Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook, further discussing production and consumption trends. According to ERS, the United States ranked fifth among the world’s top watermelon producers. “Over the past 10 years, watermelon was consistently the third-most-produced [commodity] by weight for the fresh market in the United States, behind onions and head lettuce,” the report stated. “Between 1990 and 2010, while the number of acres harvested contracted 3.5 percent, production rose 29 percent to a record high of 4.1 billion pounds.”

Data concerning seeded vs. seedless varieties is revealing. “In the past decade, the share of seedless watermelon of total U.S. watermelon shipments jumped from 51 percent in 2003 to 83 percent in 2011,” the report stated. “Rising demand for watermelon has been mostly due to the production of varieties that are seedless or are smaller in size combined with increased marketing of pre-cut half or quarter-melons, offering value-added convenience to consumers.”

And consumers are becoming increasingly familiar with the nutritional qualities associated with watermelon consumption. “As watermelon is 92 percent water, many people eat it to help quench their thirst,” ERS wrote. “Watermelon juice is even now available at some retailers. Lycopene, found in other produce such as tomatoes, is present in watermelon at higher concentrations than any other fruit or vegetable and is believed to reduce the risk for heart disease and some cancers.”

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

Problematic Northern weather hampered Florida product movement

Right now, the talk in Florida is about weather. The state’s fresh producers experienced a relatively mild winter, and crops in the Sunshine State are progressing with good growing conditions reported.

But the cloud’s silver lining did not come without some cost elsewhere in the nation. “One of the biggest challenges the industry has had is the bad weather in the North,” said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland, FL. FFVA-Mike-StuartMike StuartStuart said the unpredictable waves of ice, snow and rain made it difficult to move product in areas like Atlanta. The problems got progressively worse going north, he noted.

The logistics dilemma was something of a one-two punch. Stuart said there were some problems procuring trucks to move product into the Northern states. And trucks that were moving could not always get supplies to customers.

And the situation was just as dicey for consumers, who were hamstrung by weather and unable to get to the grocery store to stock up.

“We’re all thankful spring is coming,” he commented. “Product has been moving. But not as robustly as we’d like.”

With temperatures warming up, Stuart said pent-up consumer demand will be satisfied.

On the legislative front, Stuart said, “We’re in a holding pattern as far as immigration reform is concerned. It’s ground to a halt in the House. In the meantime, producers face a dramatic amount of uncertainty with their labor force.”

Eyeing the need to ensure an adequate number of workers, producers are expressing more interest in the H-2A temporary worker visa program. “It’s fraught with problems,” he continued. “It’s far from ideal. But we need reform. We need it badly.”

Stuart is gratified that Florida can now “control its own destiny” when it comes to clean water regulations. Last year, a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the Florida Department of Environmental Protection the ability to implement rules for numeric nutrient criteria in state waters. Stuart said this was a major step forward, not just for agriculture but for the state as a whole.

Issues of water quantity are equally important. “Water quantity is very much an unknown,” he continued. According to Stuart, Florida has very little storage capacity and must rely on aquifers. “Areas in agricultural production move up and down,” he said of the dynamics involved with urban development. As urbanization continues to take hold in the coastal areas, Stuart said agricultural development has moved inland. “Thankfully, we have available land,” he stated.

One of the biggest hot-button issues in Florida is Huanglongbing, also known as citrus greening disease. HLB is a bacterial disease that is not harmful to animals or human populations. But, as Stuart commented, it is fatal to citrus trees. HLB is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid.

“That’s a dark cloud over an iconic commodity in the state,” he said. Left unchecked, Stuart said, HLB will cause a significant decline in citrus production, and the industry’s very real future depends upon finding a solution.

Stuart said that, through the leadership and diligent efforts of Florida Citrus Mutual and other private organizations, research dollars were earmarked in the farm bill to find ways to combat HLB.

Florida’s agricultural producers continue to provide their input to the Food & Drug Administration regarding the Food Safety Modernization Act. “We have given the FDA significant feedback to make the rules helpful and not put an undue burden on producers,” he stated.

Stuart said the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, under the leadership of Commissioner Adam Putnam, has done an outstanding job promoting commodities through “Fresh From Florida.” The program significantly ramped up in the past several years. “We’re delighted with that,” he told The Produce News.

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

“Movement in Spanish horticulture. Dutch season under more pressure”

Arie Middelburg, GreenMatch:
“Movement in Spanish horticulture. Dutch season under more pressure”

During his visit to the annual fair “Fruit Attraction” held in Madrid (16 to 18 October), Arie Middelburg from GreenMatch noticed that Spanish horticulture was not standing still. Although the divisions between the different parties of cooperatives and trade was still large, there was still the necessity to look to the future. In the different discussions the main points which came up were:


  • Year round delivery to the European market, particularly with peppers.
  • Cooperation to ensure sufficient volume, marketing and account management to the large (European) supermarkets.
  • A large awareness on quality and progress.


Spain still admires Dutch horticulture, but they are also proud of their own abilities and could be a formidable competitor. I am not trying to be pessimistic but it looks like the so named ‘Holland season’ is going to come under more pressure. In short the preference for a Dutch product on the European market has decreased. If Holland wants to hold its position, then they must decide to continue to work on the reliability, quality and distinction. 

The Spanish have a nice large assortment to offer, in any desired package. However their cost price is not much lower and their own divisions still have a part to play, but still, if 28,000 ha of covered cultivation just in Almeria has, 67% export, an export growth of nearly 15% in volume exports in 10 years time, it still makes an impression.

Spain is definitely moving towards becoming a clear competitor. A competitor who still has a lot to learn… GreenMatch would like to contribute to the future. We live and work here after all and are not on an island!

Arie Middelburg
GreenMatch
[email protected]

Publication date: 10/24/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Turbana launches ‘Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” movement

Turbana Corp. announced the launch of “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness,” a nationwide movement that aims to inspire Americans to live actively, eat healthy, get involved in their communities and ultimately care about the well-being of the world around them.

The campaign kicked off with a road tour, where a branded Turbana truck will be traveling to different cities and events with messages that support “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness,” GSSG-Campaign-Photo-9Turbana Corp.’s ‘Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness,’ movement aims to improve the well-being of Americans and their communities.providing thousands of samples to consumers, directing them to Turbana’s local retailers and inviting consumers to “Tally Me In” to the movement.

The road tour launched Oct. 10 at Light the Night Walk in Boston and was scheduled to work its way down through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC, and finally to The Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, VA, where 120,000 people will be present.

As more and more people tally themselves in to the movement, they become a part of Turbana’s larger vision to grow smiles and share goodness with others.

Aligned with Turbana’s core values, “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” mirrors Turbana’s philosophy, which has always been about providing healthy, responsible foods, practicing fair business and caring about Turbana’s communities.

“We want to stimulate people to be active, eat well, care about the environment and be proactive about creating a healthy life for themselves and their families,” Marion Tabard, marketing director at Turbana, said in a press release. “We’re starting with the East Coast road tour and will be unveiling more on and offline initiatives in the coming months.

“Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” aspires to reach 20 million people and incorporates Turbana’s retail partners into the movement.

To learn more about the “Growing Smiles, Sharing Goodness” social movement, visit booth No. 4139 at the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines