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U.S. Mushroom Council enters partnership with Cabot Creamery

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

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

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

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

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

The Council is equally pleased with the partnership.

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

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

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

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

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

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FreshFruitPortal.com

UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

Bruce White
UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

With the change of the seasons and Christmas not far away wild and exotic mushrooms are in demand. Bruce White a trader at London’s Covent Garden Market has wide selection of mushrooms on offer.


Bruce White and Rob Down

“We have a bit of everything,” said Bruce. “Girolle, yellow and grey Chanterelle and much more.”

According to Bruce demand always increases in the last quarter of the year and continues till Christmas.  As with all the traders at Covent Garden Market the customers are in the catering trade.

The company imports the mushrooms from around the world.

Girolle is the most popular single variety, but Bruce does his own mix of cultivated exotic mushrooms which is by far the biggest seller.

Its a 1kg pack with 7 different varieties including Chestnut, pink and yellow Oyster, Shiitake, white and golden Enoki brown and white and brown Shimeji.

Bruce said they are selling between 1000 – 1100 of these packs per week at the moment, “It is a very good mix and is becoming more popular.”

For more information:
Bruce White Ltd
New Covent Garden
Tel: 004420 7498 0583
Mobile: 00447831 266 372
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 11/10/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

Bruce White
UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

With the change of the seasons and Christmas not far away wild and exotic mushrooms are in demand. Bruce White a trader at London’s Covent Garden Market has wide selection of mushrooms on offer.


Bruce White and Rob Down

“We have a bit of everything,” said Bruce. “Girolle, yellow and grey Chanterelle and much more.”

According to Bruce demand always increases in the last quarter of the year and continues till Christmas.  As with all the traders at Covent Garden Market the customers are in the catering trade.

The company imports the mushrooms from around the world.

Girolle is the most popular single variety, but Bruce does his own mix of cultivated exotic mushrooms which is by far the biggest seller.

Its a 1kg pack with 7 different varieties including Chestnut, pink and yellow Oyster, Shiitake, white and golden Enoki brown and white and brown Shimeji.

Bruce said they are selling between 1000 – 1100 of these packs per week at the moment, “It is a very good mix and is becoming more popular.”

For more information:
Bruce White Ltd
New Covent Garden
Tel: 004420 7498 0583
Mobile: 00447831 266 372
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 11/10/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

Bruce White
UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

With the change of the seasons and Christmas not far away wild and exotic mushrooms are in demand. Bruce White a trader at London’s Covent Garden Market has wide selection of mushrooms on offer.


Bruce White and Rob Down

“We have a bit of everything,” said Bruce. “Girolle, yellow and grey Chanterelle and much more.”

According to Bruce demand always increases in the last quarter of the year and continues till Christmas.  As with all the traders at Covent Garden Market the customers are in the catering trade.

The company imports the mushrooms from around the world.

Girolle is the most popular single variety, but Bruce does his own mix of cultivated exotic mushrooms which is by far the biggest seller.

Its a 1kg pack with 7 different varieties including Chestnut, pink and yellow Oyster, Shiitake, white and golden Enoki brown and white and brown Shimeji.

Bruce said they are selling between 1000 – 1100 of these packs per week at the moment, “It is a very good mix and is becoming more popular.”

For more information:
Bruce White Ltd
New Covent Garden
Tel: 004420 7498 0583
Mobile: 00447831 266 372
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 11/10/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

Bruce White
UK: “Exotic mushroom mix by far the biggest seller”

With the change of the seasons and Christmas not far away wild and exotic mushrooms are in demand. Bruce White a trader at London’s Covent Garden Market has wide selection of mushrooms on offer.


Bruce White and Rob Down

“We have a bit of everything,” said Bruce. “Girolle, yellow and grey Chanterelle and much more.”

According to Bruce demand always increases in the last quarter of the year and continues till Christmas.  As with all the traders at Covent Garden Market the customers are in the catering trade.

The company imports the mushrooms from around the world.

Girolle is the most popular single variety, but Bruce does his own mix of cultivated exotic mushrooms which is by far the biggest seller.

Its a 1kg pack with 7 different varieties including Chestnut, pink and yellow Oyster, Shiitake, white and golden Enoki brown and white and brown Shimeji.

Bruce said they are selling between 1000 – 1100 of these packs per week at the moment, “It is a very good mix and is becoming more popular.”

For more information:
Bruce White Ltd
New Covent Garden
Tel: 004420 7498 0583
Mobile: 00447831 266 372
Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 11/10/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Mushroom Council’s Preis promoted to marketing manager

The Mushroom Council has promoted Kathleen Preis to the role of marketing manager. In this new position, she will be taking on additional management responsibilities for key Mushroom Council program areas, while continuing to lead the school meals marketing initiative.

“In her two years with the council, Katie has proven herself as a quick learner, adding tremendous value and a spark of enthusiasm to our mushroom marketing team,” Bart Minor, president and chief executive officer of the Mushroom Council, said in a press release.Preis-KatieKathleen Preis “She has taken our initiative to introduce blended meat and mushroom products into the school lunch program from a simple concept to widespread adoption by school foodservice.”

Preis is a graduate of the department of food marketing in the Haub School of Business at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and she recently completed the PMA Foundation’s Emerging Leaders Program.

“Katie has the ability to juggle many tasks, and we know she will continue to add value to the council’s marketing programs by building demand for fresh mushroom consumption,” Tony D’Amico, Mushroom Council chairman, said in the release.

Mushroom blendability, the culinary technique of blending fresh, chopped mushrooms with ground meat entrees, is now the primary focus of the council’s marketing efforts. Validated by the success in school meals, mushroom blendability opens up an entire new market for the industry by expanding the consumer experience opportunity of fresh mushrooms past the fresh produce section and into the deli, meat case and more.

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

Mushroom Council announces new direction for 2015 marketing plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mushroom Council announces new direction for 2015 marketing plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Country Fresh Mushroom appoints new president/COO

Country Fresh Mushroom Co. announced Oct. 2 the hiring of Jeff Busch as president and chief operating officer, replacing Jim Howard.  

“I am humbled and honored to be entrusted to lead Country Fresh,” Busch said in a press release. “I very much look forward to working with the seasoned management team along with the seven cooperative owners to continue the growth and success of this truly special organization.”

Ed Leo, chairman and chief executive officer of Country Fresh, said in the press release that he, the board of directors and senior management are all very pleased that Busch agreed to join the company.

“As president and chief operating officer, Jeff will take over the reins from Jim Howard, who very capably helped grow Country Fresh and has decided to move back to Illinois to spend more time with his family,” Leo said in the press release. “The board believes that Jeff is an ideal fit with the culture of the company and his enthusiasm and experience will guide the company as it continues to move forward.

Busch, a 23-year veteran of the produce industry, most recently held the position of president of Caruso Inc. in Cincinnati. Prior to that, he has held sales and operational positions with Taylor Farms, DiMare Fresh and Fresh America.

Busch has served the industry throughout the years as a fellow of the United Fresh/Dupont Leadership Program Class 8 and the United Fresh Supply Chain and Logistics Council.

Busch and his wife, Megan, will be relocating to the Kennett Square, PA, area in late October before his Nov. 3 start date with Country Fresh.

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

Russia: Sharp increase of mushroom and pepper prices

Russia: Sharp increase of mushroom and pepper prices

A group of countries, including India, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia, appear to be benefitting from the Russian boycott. Sanctions are lifted, contracts and demand for their products increases. In Moldova, traders are relieved. Russian imports are shifting to former Soviet republics and the sanctions still seem to have caused little damage. This is different in the EU, particularly Hungary, which registers daily losses of nearly 300,000 Euro. Russia itself has registered sharp increases in mushroom and pepper prices, but heavy investments are being made in domestic production. 

Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan 

Last week, Kyrgyzstan was still lobbying at the Eurasian Economic Union to be granted access to Russia’s fruit and vegetable market, and was eventually successful. Kyrgyzstan wants its export volumes to Russia to increase to the level of 2008: 195,000 tonnes. In recent years, this volume had dropped from 13,700 tonnes in 2012 to 7,500 tonnes last year. 

The Ministry of Agriculture of Kyrgyzstan has great prospects for exports. Some figures mentioned include: 15,183 tonnes of tomatoes, 10,830 tonnes of onions, 50,980 tonnes of potatoes, 11,013 tonnes of apples; grapes, 41 650 tonnes; melons (cantaloupe and watermelon) 3,020 tonnes; nuts 76.2 tonnes; 193 tonnes of dried fruit and 172.5 tonnes of canned vegetables.

Kazakhstan also registers greater demand from Russia. The country is investing in intensive family fruit farms with an area of ​​5 hectares. This year, 100 hectares of such plantations will be funded with an expected yield of 4,000 tonnes of apples. 

India and Brazil 

Indian trade is also to benefit from the sanctions, according to Tarun Arora, exports director of the organization IG International. While competitors are no longer allowed access to Russia, the doors are now open for Indian exporters and importers. The country receives increased Russian demand for potatoes and grapes, and additionally, other European countries are queuing to be granted access to the Indian market.

Russia lifted trade restrictions to the Brazilian meat sector. This gave the country further access to the Russian market. The majority of Brazilian exports to Russia consist of meat.

The EU licks its wounds 

EU countries are looking for new markets, with all eyes set on the Middle East and Asia. Indian and Chinese traders are allegedly already negotiating with European producers of fruit, meat and cheese. The Committee on the Common Organization of the Agricultural Markets, an EU body, said last week that a budget of 29.7 million Euro was available for peach and nectarine growers willing to to give the fruit away for free, and an additional 3 million has been set aside for promotional purposes. The bulk of the funds will go to Italy, Spain, Greece and France. 

Poland seeks access to the American market for its fruit and vegetables. The Polish government is looking for ways to meet the import requirements of the United States, as apples in particular need to be shipped to this market. 

The Hungarian agricultural sector registers daily losses of 295,000 Euro because of the sanctions. The Hungarian industry is as vulnerable as Poland’s or Greece’s, although the Hungarian Minister hopes that exports will increase. 

Moldova is relieved 

The grape harvest is estimated at 100,000 tonnes, and how much of this will be exported will depend on the quality. The main export destination is the Commonwealth of Independent States. White grapes are especially popular in Ukraine and Belarus, which are also the largest markets for the grapes. Russia demands especially the blue varieties, which are not affected by the ban. In the list of largest grape exporters to Russia, Moldova stands second, behind Turkey. Because European growers switched to the white varieties, Moldovan blue grapes are also popular in the EU. 

Serbia signs retail contract

The Russian retailer Dixy announced an increase in the import of fruit and vegetables from Serbia. The supermarket chain, with more than 2,000 stores, was already importing small volumes of Serbian produce. In response to the sanctions, the chain aims to increase this volume. The contracts are expected to be signed in the short term.

Turkey used as intermediary 

While before the ban some Turkish growers were using the label ‘Made in EU’ as a quality brand, the situation has quickly reversed. European growers are now using the label ‘Made in Turkey’ to still be able to make their shipments to Russia. The opening of the Russian market also entails an opportunity for Turkish growers to increase their exports. 

Belarus has “plenty available” 

The harvest in Belarus is so good that in addition to supplying the domestic market it will also be possible to export, according to the Belarusian Ministry of Agriculture. The country registers yields of 26 tonnes per hectare for cabbages and 24.7 tonnes per hectare for potatoes, while a year earlier these figures stood at 17.4 and 20.7 tonnes per hectare, respectively. 

It is expected that 200,000 tonnes of vegetables and 1 million tonnes of potatoes will be available for export. Exports to Russia this year will be 40% higher. 

China 

For tropical products, Russia can also resort to the Chinese north-east. In a greenhouse complex, China has managed, despite the cold winters, to grow strawberries, bananas and exotic fruits. Chinese apples, grapes and cucumbers are also already exported to Russia. 

Russia: higher prices and substantial investments 

Meanwhile, the Russian population sees prices growing. Mushrooms have become two Euro per kilo more expensive and now the last Dutch peppers remain on the shelves, whose price has doubled. In any case, the Russians are mostly managing to replace banned products with quality domestic produce. Additionally, new suppliers are also sought to replace these boycotted products.

To increase domestic production, Russia is investing in new projects in different regions. Overall, domestic growers seem to benefit from the sanctions. In Murmansk, a greenhouse complex has been built covering an area of 5.8 hectares that has cost $ 1.6 billion. The project has received plenty of funding from the Government. Cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs will be grown in greenhouses and the first harvest is expected in 2015. 

The Murmansk region expects little impact from the sanctions, with only 3% of the products consumed being banned. The impact for Siberia will also be small, as the region produces the largest part of its food, including tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, in greenhouses.

In the south of Russia, near the Black Sea, investments have been made in the Republic of Adygea’s apple production. The largest orchard (132 hectares) is equipped with an irrigation system and an anti-hail net. The first harvest in 2013 was 7 tonnes per hectare, which in the coming years is expected to increase to 50 tonnes per hectare.

Publication date: 8/25/2014
Author: Juan Zea Estellés
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

NASS crop report confirms mushroom demand continues to grow

The value of domestic mushroom production topped $ 1 billion for the fourth year in a row, according to a recently issued U.S. Department of Agriculture report. The 899 million-pound crop from 2013-14 broke last year’s record value by $ 12 million.

The strong demand for mushrooms increased the value of the Agaricus crop to $ 1.05 billion from more than 882 million pounds sold. Pennsylvania accounted for 65 percent of the total volume of sales and second-ranked California contributed 12 percent.

Brown mushrooms, including Portabella and Crimini varieties, accounted for 152 million pounds, up slightly from last season. Brown mushrooms accounted for 17 percent of the total Agaricus volume sold and 22 percent of the total Agaricus value.

Production of 65.7 million pounds of specialty mushrooms, including varieties such as Shitake and Oyster, added $ 65.7 million in value.

During the 12- month reporting period, several large farms closed, decreasing the total number of Agaricus growers in the United States to 103. Another indication of production consolidation is that growers with sales exceeding 10 million pounds accounted for 77 percent of all Agaricus sales.

The data are from the annual National Agricultural Statistics Service production report, which was released Aug. 20. This demand growth is reflected in mushroom retail sales for the same time period.

Over the same 12-month period of the NASS data, the mushroom category grew 3.1 percent, adding nearly $ 33 million in incremental retail sales. Brown mushrooms had an enormous impact on the category, growing 7.7 percent and contributing an additional $ 24 million to the category. Organic mushrooms are the fastest-growing segment, up 40 percent in dollars. They comprised nearly 6 percent of the category for this period.

“Increased demand will lead to an increase in the price for mushrooms,” American Mushroom Institute President Laura Phelps said in a press release. “Growers and shippers continue to face challenges of higher production costs, including raw materials, wages and energy. There are still gaps left by the closure of large farms. With tight supply, prices should be moving up to meet demand.”

Timothy Richards, an agriculture economist for the mushroom industry, noted that “mushroom demand remains strong; our forecast is that demand is predicted to grow at least 2.5 percent, while domestic production is forecasted to grow at around 2 percent. This obviously will put upward pressure on price. Retail sales are expected to grow around 3-4 percent per year, and while the Blend Trend is still just getting started, even a small increase in foodservice/processed mushroom demand can have a significant impact on the bottom-end of mushroom pricing, which then trickles up the product line.”  

Mushroom Council marketing programs promoting mushroom blendability, the culinary technique of blending fresh mushrooms with ground meat to maintain flavor and texture while reducing calories and fat, has opened up an entirely new market for mushroom sales resulting in increased demand.

“Blendability is creating interest in mushrooms which has increased more home cooks to explore mushrooms,” Mushroom Council President Bart Minor added in the press release. “The buzz around blendability is contributing to overall mushroom demand. Blendability is currently being quickly adopted in foodservice outlets both commercially in restaurant chains like Seasons 52 and Macaroni Grill and non-commercially, most notably in the National School Lunch Program. The continued growth of mushroom blendability in foodservice has not only increased foodservice sales but increased overall demand for mushrooms.”

The NASS report shows a price increase of 10 percent for mushrooms sold for the processed market — a clear sign of more widespread foodservice use for items such as burger toppings and meat blends.

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

Mushroom blendability heats up at retail with summer display contest

Approximately 600 stores across the United States are competing against each other to build engaging, summer grilling-themed mushroom displays in the Mushroom Council’s inaugural Swap It or Top It retail display contest.swapeotomo

“We hope to see the Swap It or Top It Retail Display Contest continue the retail growth mushrooms have experienced in summer months the last few years,” Mushroom Council President Bart Minor said in a press release. “The contest will create excitement around mushrooms within the produce department, increase consumer awareness of the blendability cooking technique, reward retailers for promoting mushrooms and lift summer mushroom sales.”

Point-of-sale kits promoting the consumer Swap It or Top It recipe contest consisting of posters, danglers, tear-off pads, stickers and channel strips were distributed to stores in May. Seventy-five percent of buying decisions are made in-store. Point-of-sale materials can help break shoppers out of routine habits and inspire new purchases. The council-provided point- of-sale kits should encourage consumers to transform their summer grilling recipes by swapping, blending and topping with mushrooms.

Produce departments will blend their own creativity with the council-provided materials to build engaging, winning displays.

The retail display contest will take place from June 1 to June 30. More than $ 10,000 in total prizes will be awarded to 21 winning produce departments from stores across the country.

Participating stores must keep the Swap It or Top It display up for at least one week during the June contest period and submit photos to http://retail.swapitortopit.com/ by July 18.

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

Mushroom blendability heats up at retail with summer display contest

Approximately 600 stores across the United States are competing against each other to build engaging, summer grilling-themed mushroom displays in the Mushroom Council’s inaugural Swap It or Top It retail display contest.swapeotomo

“We hope to see the Swap It or Top It Retail Display Contest continue the retail growth mushrooms have experienced in summer months the last few years,” Mushroom Council President Bart Minor said in a press release. “The contest will create excitement around mushrooms within the produce department, increase consumer awareness of the blendability cooking technique, reward retailers for promoting mushrooms and lift summer mushroom sales.”

Point-of-sale kits promoting the consumer Swap It or Top It recipe contest consisting of posters, danglers, tear-off pads, stickers and channel strips were distributed to stores in May. Seventy-five percent of buying decisions are made in-store. Point-of-sale materials can help break shoppers out of routine habits and inspire new purchases. The council-provided point- of-sale kits should encourage consumers to transform their summer grilling recipes by swapping, blending and topping with mushrooms.

Produce departments will blend their own creativity with the council-provided materials to build engaging, winning displays.

The retail display contest will take place from June 1 to June 30. More than $ 10,000 in total prizes will be awarded to 21 winning produce departments from stores across the country.

Participating stores must keep the Swap It or Top It display up for at least one week during the June contest period and submit photos to http://retail.swapitortopit.com/ by July 18.

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

Current mushroom mania resulting in great things for the industry

The mushroom industry hit the proverbial nail on the head when the Mushroom Council launched its “Swap It or Top It” campaign with a recipe contest in June 2013. Since then, related terms like “blendability” had been attached to the movement resulting in a major boon — and expected strong growth — for mushroom producers across the country.

“We received 119 original mushroom recipe submissions for our 2013 contest,” said Bart Minor, president of the Mushroom Council. mmigrowerMushrooms are seeing strong growth as a result of consumers looking for healthier foods to eat.“This summer’s recipe contest will encourage consumers to try blendability through participation in the online contest, increase consumer awareness about blendability cooking and health benefits and encourage retailers to display ‘Swap It or Top It’ contest collateral by participating in their own retailer display contest.”

Minor explained that consumers are more focused than ever on global sustainability, calorie reduction, consuming nutrient-dense foods and exploring the world through cuisine.

“Mushrooms are nutrient-dense, low-calorie, low-fat and, like all fruits and vegetables, they are naturally gluten-free,” he said. “Their versatility and texture allow mushrooms to complement virtually every cuisine, making them a chef favorite and a pantry staple.”

“Blendability is leading the way as the momentum continues,” said Peter Wilder, marketing director for To-Jo Mushrooms in in Avondale, PA. “Consumers looking for healthy alternatives more than ever and mushrooms really tap into that message.

“The outreach and awareness being generated by all the grower-shippers and the Mushroom Council across social media platforms and at various food shows is taking hold across all commercial and non-commercial foodservice segments,” he added.

Wilder also noted that additional education is needed to bring awareness of the overall concept to the consumer so it can be adopted into menu planning and prepared food applications at the retail level.

To-Jo’s customers span all categories, and it has grabbed hold of the blendability by working with a number of protein manufacturers on blended product formulations for some of their national chain accounts. It has launched some blended products and is working another new item planned for launch later this year or early 2015.

“We are also working on new items for our retail customers that we will launch this fall,” he added. “The item will showcase the versatility of mushrooms and will offer a convenient alternative to sliced mushrooms for busy consumers.”

Giorgio Fresh, a leading mushroom producer headquartered in Blandon, PA, concurs that the Mushroom Council’s efforts to promote mushrooms are having a positive effect on consumer education and on demand.

Bill Litvin, vice president of sales and national account manager, said that Giorgio’s efforts to promote mushrooms with individual customers are also reaping rewards for many accounts.

“Health and nutrition, and the trend to blend, are all helping to keep the sales of mushrooms strong and growing,” said Litvin. “We have worked with meat processors on blends of meats and mushrooms.”

Regarding mushroom varieties in high demand, Litvin said that exotics are showing greatest growth from a smaller base. Browns are showing the second greatest growth, and the white category is more mature. While whites are showing growth for Giorgio Fresh, it’s by a lower percentage than the growth rate of the others. Although the company also offers wild mushrooms, the growth is weaker than in other categories.

Everyone agrees that as consumers continue to look for healthier alternatives to their diets, mushrooms fit perfectly with the criteria. Besides being low in calories they offer numerous health and nutritional benefits.

“Mushrooms are extremely versatile and can be used and substituted in several applications of cooking,” said Bob Besix, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Country Fresh Mushroom Co. headquartered in Toughkenamon, PA. “The industry must continue its effort to educate the customer on the many uses and benefits of fresh mushrooms, and the Mushroom Council’s ‘Swapabilty’ campaign is good example of this. It teaches consumers how to blend mushrooms in with meats such as a hamburger to reduce the calories and fat content. This not only makes the hamburger a healthier alternative but it also adds flavor.”

Besix added that research and development are ongoing at Country Fresh because the company continuously works with its customer base to develop new products and uses for mushrooms.

Kevin Donovan, national sales manager for Phillips Mushroom Farms in Kennett Square, PA, said that he senses a build up to something large due to the “Swap-It or Top-It” campaign, and that companies are gearing up for what they believe is yet to come. But he doesn’t think the industry is feeling the major impact quite yet.

“These major trends take some time to build momentum, and there’s still a lot of consumer education necessary for mainstream Americans to realize the many ways that blending mushrooms with other proteins are more nutritional, lower in calories and have a lesser impact on food budgets,” said Donovan. “But I believe it will have a large impact in time. With the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines calling for more fruits and vegetables, and the push in school menus, blending or topping with mushrooms will call for a major demand increase for mushroom producers.

Phillips Mushroom produces a full line of mushrooms and in a wide variety of packaging. Donovan noted that while the company has no plans to develop a blendable product, such as meatballs or hamburgers, he does expect that the demand on the company’s product will come from processors who see value in creating blended products.

“While much can be said about mushrooms, their growing popularity really comes down to three things; versatility, nutrition, and most important, flavor,” noted Joe Caldwell vice president of Monterey Mushrooms Inc. headquartered in Watsonville, CA. “If mushrooms did not truly enhance the flavor of dishes they were cooked in, shoppers would find other alternatives for their food dollars.”

Caldwell pointed out that the heightened popularity of cooking shows has encouraged exploration of food ingredients.

“The more mushrooms are compared to other foods, the more consumers find out what a great bargain they are and a wonderful surprise in their relative cost, value, versatility and nutrition,” he added. “And, oh yeah, did I mention they enhance flavor?”

Caldwell also pointed out that exotic mushrooms continue to experience double-digit growth every year and now account for almost 2 percent of total sales.

“Organic mushrooms are growing faster than any other category,” he said. “Portabellas are starting to experience a near rebirth in growth as that category had been flat for several years.”

Fletcher Street, director of sales and marketing for Ostrom Mushroom Farms in Olympia, WA, said she believes that mushroom mania is really just beginning as people discover the versatility, nutrition and the lifestyle applications whether it is vegetarian, flexitarian, vegan, low-carb or low-fat or just gourmet cooking.

“This discovery has been a lot of years in the making by the Mushroom Council getting the word out to the consumer, and the consumer having it reinforced at the restaurant level,” she pointed out. “I think that continued work with both foodservice and direct consumer interaction from the council, supported regionally by local farms may help to get blended mushroom-meat products into schools. It this happens, we will have a whole new generation growing up liking mushrooms.”

The Mushroom Council’s 2014 “Swap It or Top It” retail contest will take place from June 1 to June 30.

“Participating stores have received their point-of-sale kits, and produce departments will build engaging mushroom displays within the blendability and grilling theme to educate consumers’ on the technique and the recipe contest,” said Minor. “More than $ 10,000 in prizes will be awarded to 21 winning produce departments from stores across the country.”

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