Blog Archives

Australia plans to double mango exports to U.S. in 2016-17

While Australian mangoes only represent a tiny percentage of the U.S. market, the relative newcomer is set to expand its presence in North America this year.

Speaking with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) CEO Robert Gray said hopes were high the sector could double U.S.-bound shipments this year from last season’s 100 metric tons (MT).

In addition, Northern Territory mangoes are expected to be exported to the market for the first time with four businesses registered from the Katherine region.

“Last year we only used Queensland fruit, which meant we only had half the season to supply,” Gray told the broadcaster.

“The aim this year is to start in October and have product going into the US for the full four or five months of the Australian mango season.”

In June, Gray told www.freshfruitportal.com the industry would also be testing new trade routes into the U.S. market this year.

Australia currently has a testing protocol for mango exports to the country.

www.freshfruitportal.com

FreshFruitPortal.com

Plans to double okra sales to Europe

Plans to double okra sales to Europe

“We see okra being the next big thing,” said Paul Boris, President & Co-Owner for Agritrade Farms, a grower, shipper and importer headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Florida. “Okra has historically been a very ethnic-oriented food that we envision quickly going more mainstream.  It has phenomenal health and wellness attributes, which is where we are focusing much of our marketing efforts,” said Boris.
 

Agritrade is currently shipping product on a year-round basis, and is also introducing several new retail consumer packages utilizing modified atmosphere technology to extend shelf life. Nearly all of Agritrade’s okra production, which comes from Honduras and the Dominican Republic, is pesticide-free, and is also Global Gap Certified.  All shipments are done via air to Europe, so Boris said they could expand into any market. They shipped 300,000 boxes last year, and with their expanded production in the Dominican Republic, they hope to double their okra sales in Europe.   “We currently ship about 60 percent of our production to North America and the remaining 40 percent to Europe.  I think there’s a lot of room for global okra growth.  We’re hoping okra will be the next big thing, sort of like kale.  We at Agritrade Farms consider ourselves okra missionaries and we are happy to sing the praises of the of okra’s health and wellness benefits,” said Boris.


 
Boris hopes the image of okra as a superfood will gain traction in the wake of studies that suggest okra may have an effect on a range of ailments, from diabetes to breast cancer. For example, Boris mentioned an article headlined, “Eat This Now: Okra” by Alexandra Sifferlin in the July 22, 2013 in Time magazine.  The article stated that the okra trend is spurred by the fact that it is full of fibres that can help to lower cholesterol. Okra also contains nearly 10 percent of daily recommended levels of vitamin B6 and folic acid.   “It was the preferred vegetable for the Olympic athletes of the Beijing Olympic Games,” says Kantha Shelke, a food scientist at Corvus Blue LLC and spokesperson for the Institute of Food Technologists. (IFT)
 
According to Diabetes.co.uk, the global diabetes community, okra is fast gaining a reputation as a so called ‘superfood’ for people with or at risk of diabetes or cancer. Evidence of okra having anti-diabetic properties has increased in recent years, with multiple Vitro (laboratory) and Vivo (animal) studies confirming okra as a potent blood glucose-lowering (or anti-diabetic) food.  Okra is also known to prevent and improve digestion, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.  The website also says okra is also known to increase energy levels, improve symptoms of depression and also helps to treat a sore throat, irritable bowel and lung inflammation. 
 
For more information:
Paul Boris
Agritrade Farms
Tel: +1 (954) 324.8877xt1
Email: [email protected]
www.agritradefarms.com
 

Publication date: 11/26/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

FDA Warning Letters: Misbranding, Inadequate HACCP Plans, Excessive Drug Residues

The latest round of warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) include a dairy company cited for inaccurate nutritional claims, two seafood processors for inadequate HACCP plans, and three cattle producers for excessive drug treatments.

FDA found that Minerva Dairy in Minerva, OH, misbranded its Greek yogurt butter product labels by including inaccurate nutrient claims. The labels claim that the product is useful in maintaining healthy dietary practices, but its nutritional content does not meet requirements to make such a claim, FDA stated.

San Jose, CA-based seafood processor Il Pastaio Inc. was found to have serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. FDA found that the firm did not have a HACCP plan for its frozen seafood ravioli products to control against the food safety hazards of pathogens, potential toxin formation, and undeclared allergens.

Another seafood producer, Prospect Enterprises in Los Angeles, CA, was also found to have violated the HACCP regulations for failing to provide evidence that its imported seafood products were processed under conditions equivalent to those required of domestic producers.

Mills Dairy Farm in Perrysville, OH, sold an animal for slaughter that was deemed adulterated for excessive levels of the drug florfenicol in the muscle, FDA stated. While the agency has established a tolerance of 0.3 parts per million of florfenicol in muscle, the sample from Mills Dairy Farm contained 3.62 ppm in the muscle. The farm was also cited for inadequate record-keeping of drug treatments.

Cattle producer Rex L. Jessee of New Tazewell, TN, was cited for excessive levels of a drug, sulfamethazine. An animal sold by Jessee was found to have 0.229 ppm of the drug in its liver, more than twice the legal tolerance of 0.1 ppm. Jessee was also cited for inadequate record-keeping of drug treatments.

Finally, FDA stated that Stoney Hill Farms of Saltsburg, PA, sold a bob veal calf for slaughter that tested for nearly three times the legal limit in its tissues of the drug dihydrostreptomycin. Stoney Hill was also cited for inadequate record-keeping of drug treatments.

Each company was given 15 days to respond to the concerns raised by FDA in the warning letters.

Food Safety News

San Miguel announces expansion plans, including partnership with Herndon Farms in Georgia

San Miguel Produce Inc. announced a two-phase expansion of new and expanded growing-processing operations in both the east and west.

The Oxnard, CA-based company said its national retail and foodservice growth of nutrient-dense, specialty greens has made it necessary to expand its growing and processing operations two-fold to provide a comprehensive and strategic, farm-fresh, grower-direct, value-added greens program to meet the demand of its customer base.

The first of the company’s two-part expansion is the addition of the new Georgia plant to open this winter. This location will service its current customer base in the midwestern and eastern regions of North America and open opportunities for new business in this region. This new growing-processing operation is a partnership between San Miguel Produce and long-time grower Herndon Farms in Lyons, GA. Construction of the new processing facility is expected to be completed by November.

The second phase of the company’s expansion is the addition of 40,000 square feet to its current plant in Oxnard, CA. This expansion will help service the company’s customer growth in the western region and expand its product line and volume. Expected completion time for phase two is 2016.  

The combined two farms and facilities will enable San Miguel to triple its current growing and production capacity and provide better service for its expanding national customer base of retail and foodservice partners.

Both facilities will be adding new advanced technologies and processes designed for the many innovative products the company continues to offer and grow.

In addition, both farms and facilities expect to continue to add many new jobs in each region, enhancing the communities they serve.

These two new state-of-the-art processing facilities will set a new industry standard by providing greater innovation platforms for growing and processing dark leafy greens, building on its nearly 40-year heritage for growing greens and 20 years of processing high-quality fresh-cut specialty greens.

San Miguel’s brands include:

Cut ‘N Clean Greens – an extensive line of nutrient dense, specialty greens, both conventional and organic. The Cut ‘N Clean Greens line is considered the cornerstone product of the company and was the first washed, chopped, ready-to-use bag greens on the market launched in 1995. Today, the company said it offers the most varieties of specialty greens year-round throughout North America.

Jade – an authentic Asian greens line that was the first washed, ready-to-use fresh Asian greens on the market when it launched in 2008.

San Miguel Produce – conventional and organic bunch greens that are considered a premium brand nationally for quality and consistency year-round since. San Miguel was established in 1976

As a focused niche company, vertically integrated to manage all aspects of growing, processing and marketing its products, San Miguel has earned the reputation for being the category leader for specialty greens. The company is driven by innovation, quality, data, nutrition and consumer trends all which have played a significant role in helping to take nutrient dense greens such as kale, chards, collard and bok choy mainstream and onto the plates of consumers everywhere.

San Miguel has been an integral part of the Ventura County community for 40 years and new investments like these signify the company’s continued growth and commitment to Ventura County, CA. The company also looks forward to building on that same commitment with its partner Herndon Farms in its new, second home of Toombs County, Lyons, GA.

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

San Miguel announces expansion plans, including partnership with Herndon Farms in Georgia

San Miguel Produce Inc. announced a two-phase expansion of new and expanded growing-processing operations in both the east and west.

The Oxnard, CA-based company said its national retail and foodservice growth of nutrient-dense, specialty greens has made it necessary to expand its growing and processing operations two-fold to provide a comprehensive and strategic, farm-fresh, grower-direct, value-added greens program to meet the demand of its customer base.

The first of the company’s two-part expansion is the addition of the new Georgia plant to open this winter. This location will service its current customer base in the midwestern and eastern regions of North America and open opportunities for new business in this region. This new growing-processing operation is a partnership between San Miguel Produce and long-time grower Herndon Farms in Lyons, GA. Construction of the new processing facility is expected to be completed by November.

The second phase of the company’s expansion is the addition of 40,000 square feet to its current plant in Oxnard, CA. This expansion will help service the company’s customer growth in the western region and expand its product line and volume. Expected completion time for phase two is 2016.  

The combined two farms and facilities will enable San Miguel to triple its current growing and production capacity and provide better service for its expanding national customer base of retail and foodservice partners.

Both facilities will be adding new advanced technologies and processes designed for the many innovative products the company continues to offer and grow.

In addition, both farms and facilities expect to continue to add many new jobs in each region, enhancing the communities they serve.

These two new state-of-the-art processing facilities will set a new industry standard by providing greater innovation platforms for growing and processing dark leafy greens, building on its nearly 40-year heritage for growing greens and 20 years of processing high-quality fresh-cut specialty greens.

San Miguel’s brands include:

Cut ‘N Clean Greens – an extensive line of nutrient dense, specialty greens, both conventional and organic. The Cut ‘N Clean Greens line is considered the cornerstone product of the company and was the first washed, chopped, ready-to-use bag greens on the market launched in 1995. Today, the company said it offers the most varieties of specialty greens year-round throughout North America.

Jade – an authentic Asian greens line that was the first washed, ready-to-use fresh Asian greens on the market when it launched in 2008.

San Miguel Produce – conventional and organic bunch greens that are considered a premium brand nationally for quality and consistency year-round since. San Miguel was established in 1976

As a focused niche company, vertically integrated to manage all aspects of growing, processing and marketing its products, San Miguel has earned the reputation for being the category leader for specialty greens. The company is driven by innovation, quality, data, nutrition and consumer trends all which have played a significant role in helping to take nutrient dense greens such as kale, chards, collard and bok choy mainstream and onto the plates of consumers everywhere.

San Miguel has been an integral part of the Ventura County community for 40 years and new investments like these signify the company’s continued growth and commitment to Ventura County, CA. The company also looks forward to building on that same commitment with its partner Herndon Farms in its new, second home of Toombs County, Lyons, GA.

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

San Miguel announces expansion plans, including partnership with Herndon Farms in Georgia

San Miguel Produce Inc. announced a two-phase expansion of new and expanded growing-processing operations in both the east and west.

The Oxnard, CA-based company said its national retail and foodservice growth of nutrient-dense, specialty greens has made it necessary to expand its growing and processing operations two-fold to provide a comprehensive and strategic, farm-fresh, grower-direct, value-added greens program to meet the demand of its customer base.

The first of the company’s two-part expansion is the addition of the new Georgia plant to open this winter. This location will service its current customer base in the midwestern and eastern regions of North America and open opportunities for new business in this region. This new growing-processing operation is a partnership between San Miguel Produce and long-time grower Herndon Farms in Lyons, GA. Construction of the new processing facility is expected to be completed by November.

The second phase of the company’s expansion is the addition of 40,000 square feet to its current plant in Oxnard, CA. This expansion will help service the company’s customer growth in the western region and expand its product line and volume. Expected completion time for phase two is 2016.  

The combined two farms and facilities will enable San Miguel to triple its current growing and production capacity and provide better service for its expanding national customer base of retail and foodservice partners.

Both facilities will be adding new advanced technologies and processes designed for the many innovative products the company continues to offer and grow.

In addition, both farms and facilities expect to continue to add many new jobs in each region, enhancing the communities they serve.

These two new state-of-the-art processing facilities will set a new industry standard by providing greater innovation platforms for growing and processing dark leafy greens, building on its nearly 40-year heritage for growing greens and 20 years of processing high-quality fresh-cut specialty greens.

San Miguel’s brands include:

Cut ‘N Clean Greens – an extensive line of nutrient dense, specialty greens, both conventional and organic. The Cut ‘N Clean Greens line is considered the cornerstone product of the company and was the first washed, chopped, ready-to-use bag greens on the market launched in 1995. Today, the company said it offers the most varieties of specialty greens year-round throughout North America.

Jade – an authentic Asian greens line that was the first washed, ready-to-use fresh Asian greens on the market when it launched in 2008.

San Miguel Produce – conventional and organic bunch greens that are considered a premium brand nationally for quality and consistency year-round since. San Miguel was established in 1976

As a focused niche company, vertically integrated to manage all aspects of growing, processing and marketing its products, San Miguel has earned the reputation for being the category leader for specialty greens. The company is driven by innovation, quality, data, nutrition and consumer trends all which have played a significant role in helping to take nutrient dense greens such as kale, chards, collard and bok choy mainstream and onto the plates of consumers everywhere.

San Miguel has been an integral part of the Ventura County community for 40 years and new investments like these signify the company’s continued growth and commitment to Ventura County, CA. The company also looks forward to building on that same commitment with its partner Herndon Farms in its new, second home of Toombs County, Lyons, GA.

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

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference

STEP-UPP-2014At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast Produce Council has an exciting and varied lineup of events planned for its annual fall conference, set this year to take place Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. This year’s theme is The Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

Last year’s fall conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 287 registrants, and David Sherrod, the council’s assistant executive director, told The Produce News at the end of August that around 255 people had registered for this year’s conference so far. “When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be right about the same number,” he estimated.

The council, which was founded in 1999 and thus is celebrating its 15th anniversary, held its fall conference at Brasstown Valley back in 2008. “It’s a beautiful place to take in nature,” said Sherrod.  “And we’ve got the whole resort to ourselves this time. We’re excited about that.”

Following meetings for committees and directors Thursday morning and afternoon, Sept. 25, the conference officially kicks off that evening with the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown with the Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 26, two workshops will be held. Workshop I: Defining Locally Grown, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., will feature speakers Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Joe Watson of Rouse’s Supermarkets, Mike Tipton of K-VA-T, Darvel Kirby of United Supermarkets and Matthew Roy of US Foods. Workshop II: The Future of Online Grocers, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., will be moderated by Jonna Parker of Nielsen Perishables Group and will feature speakers Kenneth Todd of Delhaize America, Lucinda Clark of Space Girl Organics and Tony Stallone of Peapod.

The general session and luncheon will follow, beginning at 11:30 a.m. John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and current MLB network analyst, will deliver the keynote address. In his playing career, Smoltz was a World Series champion in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, was Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National League Championship Series, and is one of 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Also at the general session, Lucy Klausner, senior development officer of corporate partnerships at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will speak about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in the fight against childhood obesity. In her work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

Outgoing SEPC President Andrew Scott of The Nickey Gregory Co. LLC then will deliver the State-of-the-Council address, and the committee chairs will give brief reports on their respective committees’ programs.

The council will officially launch its new leadership program for women called Southern Roots with a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teri Miller, a member of the SEPC board of directors and chairperson of this year’s fall conference, is also chairing the new Southern Roots program. It is “designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring,” according to the council’s website.

Friday’s event will conclude with the always popular President’s Dinner Dance, which will begin at 7 p.m. Andrew Scott will be honored for his two years’ service as SEPC president, and the new slate of officers and directors will be introduced to attendees.

Also at the President’s Dinner Dance, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page, who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the council will hold its 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament at the Brasstown Valley’s golf course. Registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m, and the tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. The golf awards reception will follow, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For non-golfers, the council will hold a Sporting Clays Tournament. Check-in will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the tournament, at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, GA, about 30 minutes from the resort, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spouses may sign up for a tour of the Eagle Fork Vineyards. Check-in will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation will be provided.

As always, the fall conference will conclude Saturday with the Ultimate Tailgate Party, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference

STEP-UPP-2014At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast Produce Council has an exciting and varied lineup of events planned for its annual fall conference, set this year to take place Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. This year’s theme is The Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

Last year’s fall conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 287 registrants, and David Sherrod, the council’s assistant executive director, told The Produce News at the end of August that around 255 people had registered for this year’s conference so far. “When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be right about the same number,” he estimated.

The council, which was founded in 1999 and thus is celebrating its 15th anniversary, held its fall conference at Brasstown Valley back in 2008. “It’s a beautiful place to take in nature,” said Sherrod.  “And we’ve got the whole resort to ourselves this time. We’re excited about that.”

Following meetings for committees and directors Thursday morning and afternoon, Sept. 25, the conference officially kicks off that evening with the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown with the Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 26, two workshops will be held. Workshop I: Defining Locally Grown, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., will feature speakers Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Joe Watson of Rouse’s Supermarkets, Mike Tipton of K-VA-T, Darvel Kirby of United Supermarkets and Matthew Roy of US Foods. Workshop II: The Future of Online Grocers, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., will be moderated by Jonna Parker of Nielsen Perishables Group and will feature speakers Kenneth Todd of Delhaize America, Lucinda Clark of Space Girl Organics and Tony Stallone of Peapod.

The general session and luncheon will follow, beginning at 11:30 a.m. John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and current MLB network analyst, will deliver the keynote address. In his playing career, Smoltz was a World Series champion in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, was Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National League Championship Series, and is one of 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Also at the general session, Lucy Klausner, senior development officer of corporate partnerships at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will speak about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in the fight against childhood obesity. In her work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

Outgoing SEPC President Andrew Scott of The Nickey Gregory Co. LLC then will deliver the State-of-the-Council address, and the committee chairs will give brief reports on their respective committees’ programs.

The council will officially launch its new leadership program for women called Southern Roots with a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teri Miller, a member of the SEPC board of directors and chairperson of this year’s fall conference, is also chairing the new Southern Roots program. It is “designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring,” according to the council’s website.

Friday’s event will conclude with the always popular President’s Dinner Dance, which will begin at 7 p.m. Andrew Scott will be honored for his two years’ service as SEPC president, and the new slate of officers and directors will be introduced to attendees.

Also at the President’s Dinner Dance, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page, who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the council will hold its 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament at the Brasstown Valley’s golf course. Registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m, and the tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. The golf awards reception will follow, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For non-golfers, the council will hold a Sporting Clays Tournament. Check-in will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the tournament, at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, GA, about 30 minutes from the resort, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spouses may sign up for a tour of the Eagle Fork Vineyards. Check-in will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation will be provided.

As always, the fall conference will conclude Saturday with the Ultimate Tailgate Party, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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

SEPC plans variety of events for 2014 Fall Conference

STEP-UPP-2014At the Southeast Produce Council fall conference, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its STEP-UPP program, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall (front row, third from right) of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page (left), who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.The Southeast Produce Council has an exciting and varied lineup of events planned for its annual fall conference, set this year to take place Sept. 25-27 at Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. This year’s theme is The Hoedown Touchdown Throwdown in Brasstown.

Last year’s fall conference in Myrtle Beach, SC, drew 287 registrants, and David Sherrod, the council’s assistant executive director, told The Produce News at the end of August that around 255 people had registered for this year’s conference so far. “When it’s all said and done, I think we’ll be right about the same number,” he estimated.

The council, which was founded in 1999 and thus is celebrating its 15th anniversary, held its fall conference at Brasstown Valley back in 2008. “It’s a beautiful place to take in nature,” said Sherrod.  “And we’ve got the whole resort to ourselves this time. We’re excited about that.”

Following meetings for committees and directors Thursday morning and afternoon, Sept. 25, the conference officially kicks off that evening with the Get Acquainted Hoedown at Brasstown with the Shoal Creek Bluegrass Band, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 26, two workshops will be held. Workshop I: Defining Locally Grown, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m., will feature speakers Teri Miller of Delhaize America, Joe Watson of Rouse’s Supermarkets, Mike Tipton of K-VA-T, Darvel Kirby of United Supermarkets and Matthew Roy of US Foods. Workshop II: The Future of Online Grocers, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., will be moderated by Jonna Parker of Nielsen Perishables Group and will feature speakers Kenneth Todd of Delhaize America, Lucinda Clark of Space Girl Organics and Tony Stallone of Peapod.

The general session and luncheon will follow, beginning at 11:30 a.m. John Smoltz, a former Major League Baseball pitcher and current MLB network analyst, will deliver the keynote address. In his playing career, Smoltz was a World Series champion in 1995 for the Atlanta Braves, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, was Most Valuable Player of the 1992 National League Championship Series, and is one of 16 pitchers in MLB history to record 3,000 strikeouts during his career.

Also at the general session, Lucy Klausner, senior development officer of corporate partnerships at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, will speak about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in the fight against childhood obesity. In her work at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,

Outgoing SEPC President Andrew Scott of The Nickey Gregory Co. LLC then will deliver the State-of-the-Council address, and the committee chairs will give brief reports on their respective committees’ programs.

The council will officially launch its new leadership program for women called Southern Roots with a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Teri Miller, a member of the SEPC board of directors and chairperson of this year’s fall conference, is also chairing the new Southern Roots program. It is “designed to make meaningful connections among women working in the produce industry through events, education and mentoring,” according to the council’s website.

Friday’s event will conclude with the always popular President’s Dinner Dance, which will begin at 7 p.m. Andrew Scott will be honored for his two years’ service as SEPC president, and the new slate of officers and directors will be introduced to attendees.

Also at the President’s Dinner Dance, the council will recognize the members of the 2014 graduating class of its Southeast Training Education Program for Upcoming Produce Professionals, which is co-chaired by SEPC board member Faye Westfall of DiMare Fresh Tampa and by Tom Page, who is retired from Supervalu and who is a former president of the council.

On Saturday, Sept. 27, the council will hold its 15th annual Ken Lanhardt Memorial Golf Tournament at the Brasstown Valley’s golf course. Registration will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 8:15 a.m, and the tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. The golf awards reception will follow, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For non-golfers, the council will hold a Sporting Clays Tournament. Check-in will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the tournament, at Noontootla Creek Farms in Blue Ridge, GA, about 30 minutes from the resort, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Spouses may sign up for a tour of the Eagle Fork Vineyards. Check-in will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and the tour will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Transportation will be provided.

As always, the fall conference will conclude Saturday with the Ultimate Tailgate Party, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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

Crest’s Parent Company Plans to Phase Out Microbeads in Toothpaste

A dental hygienist’s concern about the tiny blue dots she kept seeing in people’s mouths has led to an announcement from the parent company of Crest toothpaste that it will start phasing out the controversial ingredient over the next six months.

Trish Walraven said she wondered what the little blue specks could be that she found along the gum lines of some patients. They are plastic microbeads made from polyethylene or polypropylene, the same materials used to make garbage bags.

“I didn’t have any clue what it was,” she said. “We thought it was a cleaning product or something that people were chewing.”

Walraven thought the public should know, so she blogged about the issue this past March on DentalBuzz.com. She also encouraged people to consider discontinuing using toothpaste containing polyethylene since she objects to it being there “for decorative purposes only.”

“This is unacceptable not only to me, but to many, many hygienists nationwide,” she wrote. “We are informing our patients. We are doing research separately and comparing notes. And until Procter & Gamble gives us a better reason as to why there is plastic in your toothpaste, we would like you to consider discontinuing the use of these products.”

Procter & Gamble (P&G), Crest’s parent company, has stated that the microbeads are FDA-approved and are used in exfoliation products and to add color to products such as chewing gum and toothpaste.

However, FDA said it has not approved microbeads for uses such as toothpaste, which it classifies as an over-the-counter drug. While the plastic material may be in contact with food, FDA has not determined that it is safe to consume.

In addition, microbeads in toothpaste are not considered an “active ingredient,” which means that FDA doesn’t monitor their use.

“By definition, food additives are for their intended use in food,” said FDA spokesman Jeff Ventura. “Toothpaste is regulated as a drug product and is not considered food.”

Regardless of regulatory status, some dentists say they don’t believe that the microbeads belong in anyone’s mouth.

“They’ll trap bacteria in the gums which leads to gingivitis, and over time that infection moves from the gum into the bone that holds your teeth and that becomes periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is scary,” said Dr. Justin Phillip, a Phoenix-area dentist.

Environmental groups have also voiced concerns because the tiny beads are not trapped in water treatment filters, wash into waterways and eventually end up in the food chain. Researchers have reportedly found microbeads of 1 millimeter and smaller in the Great Lakes.

P&G has heard from so many upset consumers that it recently said that the microbeads would be removed from affected Crest products within six months and completely gone by March 2016. The Cincinnati, OH-based company also said that its toothpastes containing the microbeads are Crest ProHealth and 3D White.

Crest products which do not contain the microbeads include Crest Whitening + Scope, Crest Baking Soda Peroxide, Crest Extra Whitening, Crest Cavity and and Crest Tartar + Whitening, P&G said.

Other firms and/or products using the microbeads are Unilever, L’Oreal’s Biotherm and Body Shop brands and Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena face scrub.

The state of Illinois has already banned products containing microbeads, and New Jersey, California, New York and Michigan could be next. In June, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) sponsored a bill in Congress to end the sale or distribution of personal care products containing microbeads by Jan. 1, 2018.

 

Food Safety News

Crest’s Parent Company Plans to Phase Out Microbeads in Toothpaste

A dental hygienist’s concern about the tiny blue dots she kept seeing in people’s mouths has led to an announcement from the parent company of Crest toothpaste that it will start phasing out the controversial ingredient over the next six months.

Trish Walraven said she wondered what the little blue specks could be that she found along the gum lines of some patients. They are plastic microbeads made from polyethylene or polypropylene, the same materials used to make garbage bags.

“I didn’t have any clue what it was,” she said. “We thought it was a cleaning product or something that people were chewing.”

Walraven thought the public should know, so she blogged about the issue this past March on DentalBuzz.com. She also encouraged people to consider discontinuing using toothpaste containing polyethylene since she objects to it being there “for decorative purposes only.”

“This is unacceptable not only to me, but to many, many hygienists nationwide,” she wrote. “We are informing our patients. We are doing research separately and comparing notes. And until Procter & Gamble gives us a better reason as to why there is plastic in your toothpaste, we would like you to consider discontinuing the use of these products.”

Procter & Gamble (P&G), Crest’s parent company, has stated that the microbeads are FDA-approved and are used in exfoliation products and to add color to products such as chewing gum and toothpaste.

However, FDA said it has not approved microbeads for uses such as toothpaste, which it classifies as an over-the-counter drug. While the plastic material may be in contact with food, FDA has not determined that it is safe to consume.

In addition, microbeads in toothpaste are not considered an “active ingredient,” which means that FDA doesn’t monitor their use.

“By definition, food additives are for their intended use in food,” said FDA spokesman Jeff Ventura. “Toothpaste is regulated as a drug product and is not considered food.”

Regardless of regulatory status, some dentists say they don’t believe that the microbeads belong in anyone’s mouth.

“They’ll trap bacteria in the gums which leads to gingivitis, and over time that infection moves from the gum into the bone that holds your teeth and that becomes periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is scary,” said Dr. Justin Phillip, a Phoenix-area dentist.

Environmental groups have also voiced concerns because the tiny beads are not trapped in water treatment filters, wash into waterways and eventually end up in the food chain. Researchers have reportedly found microbeads of 1 millimeter and smaller in the Great Lakes.

P&G has heard from so many upset consumers that it recently said that the microbeads would be removed from affected Crest products within six months and completely gone by March 2016. The Cincinnati, OH-based company also said that its toothpastes containing the microbeads are Crest ProHealth and 3D White.

Crest products which do not contain the microbeads include Crest Whitening + Scope, Crest Baking Soda Peroxide, Crest Extra Whitening, Crest Cavity and and Crest Tartar + Whitening, P&G said.

Other firms and/or products using the microbeads are Unilever, L’Oreal’s Biotherm and Body Shop brands and Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena face scrub.

The state of Illinois has already banned products containing microbeads, and New Jersey, California, New York and Michigan could be next. In June, U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) sponsored a bill in Congress to end the sale or distribution of personal care products containing microbeads by Jan. 1, 2018.

 

Food Safety News

Food Industry Association Plans to Make GRAS More Transparent

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is taking steps to make food additives more transparent.

The trade organization, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies, says their five-part initiative, announced Wednesday, will modernize the process for making “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) determinations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

The first step in GMA’s plan is to develop a science-based framework that specifies a rigorous and transparent ingredient safety assessment process, which will be documented in a Publicly Available Standard (PAS).

The PAS will be developed by an independent body of technical experts in an open public process that includes interested stakeholders. At the association’s board of directors meeting on Aug. 22, GMA members committed to conducting assessments as defined by the PAS. Nonmembers have not been accounted for.

GMA will also create a database that lists information on all GRAS assessments conducted by the food industry. Information in the database will be made available to FDA and other stakeholders. It is not yet clear what information will be made publicly available.

Lastly, GMA plans to reach out more to stakeholders and consumers on the steps used to assess ingredient safety and will expand its GRAS education curriculum. Earlier this year, the association worked with Michigan State University to create the Center for Research and Ingredient Safety (CRIS).

“Our industry is committed to providing consumers with safe, quality, affordable and innovative products,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, chief science officer for GMA. “We are confident that this initiative, along with the industry’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, will strengthen the food safety programs used by the entire food industry and thereby provide consumers more assurance that food products produced by U.S. manufacturers are, and will remain, the safest available in the world.”

“We are supportive of any initiative that promotes scientific rigor and transparency to independent GRAS determinations, and look forward to further dialogue with GMA and others in an open exchange of information on independent GRAS determinations to ensure the safety of ingredients added to food,” FDA said in a statement. “We encourage industry to voluntarily participate in FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, which FDA makes public through its inventory of GRAS notifications.”

The Center for Food Safety, which filed a lawsuit against FDA in February about its proposed GRAS rule, applauded the GMA’s move toward transparency but is concerned the proposal falls short in addressing some food additive safety concerns. In particular, it applies only to future food additives and does not address the estimated 1,000 self-affirmed GRAS additives already in the food system.

“While industry initiative and cooperation is integral to ensuring the safety of food ingredients, it is not an acceptable substitute for government regulation,” said Donna Solen, CFS senior attorney. “The stakes are simply too high in the area of food safety to allow industry to fill a void left by FDA. For nearly 20 years, FDA has failed to even finalize the regulations that govern GRAS substances, and this is another example of its inaction in this key realm of public health.”

“It is outrageous that FDA doesn’t already have the identity, much less the safety data, of all substances added to the nation’s food supply,” said Laura MacCleery, chief regulatory affairs attorney with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The database that GMA is developing should be completely available to the public, she said.

The effectiveness of GMA’s proposed standard depends on what’s included and how the public is involved in its development, MacCleery told Food Safety News, adding that federal regulation should verify it and require companies to stick to it.

Food Safety News

Food Industry Association Plans to Make GRAS More Transparent

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is taking steps to make food additives more transparent.

The trade organization, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies, says their five-part initiative, announced Wednesday, will modernize the process for making “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) determinations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

The first step in GMA’s plan is to develop a science-based framework that specifies a rigorous and transparent ingredient safety assessment process, which will be documented in a Publicly Available Standard (PAS).

The PAS will be developed by an independent body of technical experts in an open public process that includes interested stakeholders. At the association’s board of directors meeting on Aug. 22, GMA members committed to conducting assessments as defined by the PAS. Nonmembers have not been accounted for.

GMA will also create a database that lists information on all GRAS assessments conducted by the food industry. Information in the database will be made available to FDA and other stakeholders. It is not yet clear what information will be made publicly available.

Lastly, GMA plans to reach out more to stakeholders and consumers on the steps used to assess ingredient safety and will expand its GRAS education curriculum. Earlier this year, the association worked with Michigan State University to create the Center for Research and Ingredient Safety (CRIS).

“Our industry is committed to providing consumers with safe, quality, affordable and innovative products,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, chief science officer for GMA. “We are confident that this initiative, along with the industry’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, will strengthen the food safety programs used by the entire food industry and thereby provide consumers more assurance that food products produced by U.S. manufacturers are, and will remain, the safest available in the world.”

“We are supportive of any initiative that promotes scientific rigor and transparency to independent GRAS determinations, and look forward to further dialogue with GMA and others in an open exchange of information on independent GRAS determinations to ensure the safety of ingredients added to food,” FDA said in a statement. “We encourage industry to voluntarily participate in FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, which FDA makes public through its inventory of GRAS notifications.”

The Center for Food Safety, which filed a lawsuit against FDA in February about its proposed GRAS rule, applauded the GMA’s move toward transparency but is concerned the proposal falls short in addressing some food additive safety concerns. In particular, it applies only to future food additives and does not address the estimated 1,000 self-affirmed GRAS additives already in the food system.

“While industry initiative and cooperation is integral to ensuring the safety of food ingredients, it is not an acceptable substitute for government regulation,” said Donna Solen, CFS senior attorney. “The stakes are simply too high in the area of food safety to allow industry to fill a void left by FDA. For nearly 20 years, FDA has failed to even finalize the regulations that govern GRAS substances, and this is another example of its inaction in this key realm of public health.”

“It is outrageous that FDA doesn’t already have the identity, much less the safety data, of all substances added to the nation’s food supply,” said Laura MacCleery, chief regulatory affairs attorney with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The database that GMA is developing should be completely available to the public, she said.

The effectiveness of GMA’s proposed standard depends on what’s included and how the public is involved in its development, MacCleery told Food Safety News, adding that federal regulation should verify it and require companies to stick to it.

Food Safety News

Food Industry Association Plans to Make GRAS More Transparent

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is taking steps to make food additives more transparent.

The trade organization, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies, says their five-part initiative, announced Wednesday, will modernize the process for making “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) determinations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

The first step in GMA’s plan is to develop a science-based framework that specifies a rigorous and transparent ingredient safety assessment process, which will be documented in a Publicly Available Standard (PAS).

The PAS will be developed by an independent body of technical experts in an open public process that includes interested stakeholders. At the association’s board of directors meeting on Aug. 22, GMA members committed to conducting assessments as defined by the PAS. Nonmembers have not been accounted for.

GMA will also create a database that lists information on all GRAS assessments conducted by the food industry. Information in the database will be made available to FDA and other stakeholders. It is not yet clear what information will be made publicly available.

Lastly, GMA plans to reach out more to stakeholders and consumers on the steps used to assess ingredient safety and will expand its GRAS education curriculum. Earlier this year, the association worked with Michigan State University to create the Center for Research and Ingredient Safety (CRIS).

“Our industry is committed to providing consumers with safe, quality, affordable and innovative products,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, chief science officer for GMA. “We are confident that this initiative, along with the industry’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, will strengthen the food safety programs used by the entire food industry and thereby provide consumers more assurance that food products produced by U.S. manufacturers are, and will remain, the safest available in the world.”

“We are supportive of any initiative that promotes scientific rigor and transparency to independent GRAS determinations, and look forward to further dialogue with GMA and others in an open exchange of information on independent GRAS determinations to ensure the safety of ingredients added to food,” FDA said in a statement. “We encourage industry to voluntarily participate in FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, which FDA makes public through its inventory of GRAS notifications.”

The Center for Food Safety, which filed a lawsuit against FDA in February about its proposed GRAS rule, applauded the GMA’s move toward transparency but is concerned the proposal falls short in addressing some food additive safety concerns. In particular, it applies only to future food additives and does not address the estimated 1,000 self-affirmed GRAS additives already in the food system.

“While industry initiative and cooperation is integral to ensuring the safety of food ingredients, it is not an acceptable substitute for government regulation,” said Donna Solen, CFS senior attorney. “The stakes are simply too high in the area of food safety to allow industry to fill a void left by FDA. For nearly 20 years, FDA has failed to even finalize the regulations that govern GRAS substances, and this is another example of its inaction in this key realm of public health.”

“It is outrageous that FDA doesn’t already have the identity, much less the safety data, of all substances added to the nation’s food supply,” said Laura MacCleery, chief regulatory affairs attorney with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The database that GMA is developing should be completely available to the public, she said.

The effectiveness of GMA’s proposed standard depends on what’s included and how the public is involved in its development, MacCleery told Food Safety News, adding that federal regulation should verify it and require companies to stick to it.

Food Safety News

Food Industry Association Plans to Make GRAS More Transparent

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is taking steps to make food additives more transparent.

The trade organization, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies, says their five-part initiative, announced Wednesday, will modernize the process for making “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) determinations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

The first step in GMA’s plan is to develop a science-based framework that specifies a rigorous and transparent ingredient safety assessment process, which will be documented in a Publicly Available Standard (PAS).

The PAS will be developed by an independent body of technical experts in an open public process that includes interested stakeholders. At the association’s board of directors meeting on Aug. 22, GMA members committed to conducting assessments as defined by the PAS. Nonmembers have not been accounted for.

GMA will also create a database that lists information on all GRAS assessments conducted by the food industry. Information in the database will be made available to FDA and other stakeholders. It is not yet clear what information will be made publicly available.

Lastly, GMA plans to reach out more to stakeholders and consumers on the steps used to assess ingredient safety and will expand its GRAS education curriculum. Earlier this year, the association worked with Michigan State University to create the Center for Research and Ingredient Safety (CRIS).

“Our industry is committed to providing consumers with safe, quality, affordable and innovative products,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, chief science officer for GMA. “We are confident that this initiative, along with the industry’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, will strengthen the food safety programs used by the entire food industry and thereby provide consumers more assurance that food products produced by U.S. manufacturers are, and will remain, the safest available in the world.”

“We are supportive of any initiative that promotes scientific rigor and transparency to independent GRAS determinations, and look forward to further dialogue with GMA and others in an open exchange of information on independent GRAS determinations to ensure the safety of ingredients added to food,” FDA said in a statement. “We encourage industry to voluntarily participate in FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, which FDA makes public through its inventory of GRAS notifications.”

The Center for Food Safety, which filed a lawsuit against FDA in February about its proposed GRAS rule, applauded the GMA’s move toward transparency but is concerned the proposal falls short in addressing some food additive safety concerns. In particular, it applies only to future food additives and does not address the estimated 1,000 self-affirmed GRAS additives already in the food system.

“While industry initiative and cooperation is integral to ensuring the safety of food ingredients, it is not an acceptable substitute for government regulation,” said Donna Solen, CFS senior attorney. “The stakes are simply too high in the area of food safety to allow industry to fill a void left by FDA. For nearly 20 years, FDA has failed to even finalize the regulations that govern GRAS substances, and this is another example of its inaction in this key realm of public health.”

“It is outrageous that FDA doesn’t already have the identity, much less the safety data, of all substances added to the nation’s food supply,” said Laura MacCleery, chief regulatory affairs attorney with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The database that GMA is developing should be completely available to the public, she said.

The effectiveness of GMA’s proposed standard depends on what’s included and how the public is involved in its development, MacCleery told Food Safety News, adding that federal regulation should verify it and require companies to stick to it.

Food Safety News

Food Industry Association Plans to Make GRAS More Transparent

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is taking steps to make food additives more transparent.

The trade organization, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies, says their five-part initiative, announced Wednesday, will modernize the process for making “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) determinations.

The category has been controversial because it allows companies to determine whether a substance is GRAS without having to seek FDA approval. Consumer groups claim that some additives with GRAS status don’t meet the same safety standard as food additives.

The first step in GMA’s plan is to develop a science-based framework that specifies a rigorous and transparent ingredient safety assessment process, which will be documented in a Publicly Available Standard (PAS).

The PAS will be developed by an independent body of technical experts in an open public process that includes interested stakeholders. At the association’s board of directors meeting on Aug. 22, GMA members committed to conducting assessments as defined by the PAS. Nonmembers have not been accounted for.

GMA will also create a database that lists information on all GRAS assessments conducted by the food industry. Information in the database will be made available to FDA and other stakeholders. It is not yet clear what information will be made publicly available.

Lastly, GMA plans to reach out more to stakeholders and consumers on the steps used to assess ingredient safety and will expand its GRAS education curriculum. Earlier this year, the association worked with Michigan State University to create the Center for Research and Ingredient Safety (CRIS).

“Our industry is committed to providing consumers with safe, quality, affordable and innovative products,” said Dr. Leon Bruner, chief science officer for GMA. “We are confident that this initiative, along with the industry’s efforts to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act, will strengthen the food safety programs used by the entire food industry and thereby provide consumers more assurance that food products produced by U.S. manufacturers are, and will remain, the safest available in the world.”

“We are supportive of any initiative that promotes scientific rigor and transparency to independent GRAS determinations, and look forward to further dialogue with GMA and others in an open exchange of information on independent GRAS determinations to ensure the safety of ingredients added to food,” FDA said in a statement. “We encourage industry to voluntarily participate in FDA’s GRAS Notification Program, which FDA makes public through its inventory of GRAS notifications.”

The Center for Food Safety, which filed a lawsuit against FDA in February about its proposed GRAS rule, applauded the GMA’s move toward transparency but is concerned the proposal falls short in addressing some food additive safety concerns. In particular, it applies only to future food additives and does not address the estimated 1,000 self-affirmed GRAS additives already in the food system.

“While industry initiative and cooperation is integral to ensuring the safety of food ingredients, it is not an acceptable substitute for government regulation,” said Donna Solen, CFS senior attorney. “The stakes are simply too high in the area of food safety to allow industry to fill a void left by FDA. For nearly 20 years, FDA has failed to even finalize the regulations that govern GRAS substances, and this is another example of its inaction in this key realm of public health.”

“It is outrageous that FDA doesn’t already have the identity, much less the safety data, of all substances added to the nation’s food supply,” said Laura MacCleery, chief regulatory affairs attorney with the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The database that GMA is developing should be completely available to the public, she said.

The effectiveness of GMA’s proposed standard depends on what’s included and how the public is involved in its development, MacCleery told Food Safety News, adding that federal regulation should verify it and require companies to stick to it.

Food Safety News

June 24, 2013: Digital Tools Support Shopping Plans

Shoppers are increasingly using digital tools to research their grocery purchases before and during their trips to a store, according to a new survey of 570 consumers from KSC Kreate, Hollywood, Fla. Before going to the store, 36% of consumers research grocery purchases online, most often to find coupons, competitor pricing and recipe ideas. One in three grocery shoppers use a mobile device in-store to look up recipe ideas, coupons and other info.

Supermarket News

June 24, 2013: Digital Tools Support Shopping Plans

Shoppers are increasingly using digital tools to research their grocery purchases before and during their trips to a store, according to a new survey of 570 consumers from KSC Kreate, Hollywood, Fla. Before going to the store, 36% of consumers research grocery purchases online, most often to find coupons, competitor pricing and recipe ideas. One in three grocery shoppers use a mobile device in-store to look up recipe ideas, coupons and other info.

Supermarket News

Food Lion plans makeover for North Carolina stores

Food Lion has unveiled a new, easier shopping experience for customers in 31 stores in the greater Wilmington, NC, market. The stores are the first in the Food Lion chain to receive remodels as part of the grocer’s new “Easy, Fresh and Affordable…You Can Count on Food Lion Every Day” strategy, which was announced earlier this year.

“Since announcing our new strategy, we’ve been doing a lot across the Food Lion chain to create positive change,” Beth Newlands Campbell, president of Food Lion, said in a press release. “We’re proud to continue that momentum by launching the first market of enhanced stores that bring all the elements of our new strategy to life to make shopping easier for customers. Our customers told us that they want a grocery experience where it’s easy to shop, easy to save and easy to figure out what is for dinner tonight. In these enhanced stores, we’ve worked to deliver just that. We invite our customers and the Wilmington community to come out and experience grocery shopping reimagined at Food Lion and let us know what you think about our new stores.”

The remodeled stores debut new features that make shopping easier for customers. Food Lion expanded its selection in stores by adding thousands of new items so customers can get everything they need in one trip. The new assortment of products includes a dedicated gluten-free section and a wide selection of quality fresh meat and produce that carry a double-your-money-back guarantee.

Food Lion also made great deals easier to find throughout the store with new yellow signage and three easy ways to save: MVP On Sale, Extended Savings and Great Value Every Day. MVP On Sale items are the great savings and promotions that Food Lion is known for, including deals from the weekly flyer. Extended Savings are prices reduced for longer on items throughout the store – up to 13 weeks. Great Value Every Day indicates incredibly low prices always available on Food Lion private brand items and in-season produce.

For busy families on the go, Food Lion has also added Daily Dinner Deals, hot meals for families of four for around $ 10, offered from 4-7 p.m., as well as all-day daily meal deals, in the deli department.

Knowing that customers want to get in and out of the store quickly, Food Lion made checkout faster with improved technology, larger display screens so customers can see items and prices as they’re scanned and additional associates available to bag groceries for customers. Unpacking is even easier at home with new blue bags, in addition to the traditional white bags, which help customers easily identify cold and frozen items.

Food Lion will continue to roll out storewide enhancements in markets over time. The company plans to launch an additional 45 remodeled stores in the greater Greenville, N.C., market in November.

Food Lion, which serves more than 9 million customers each week at more than 1,100 locations in 10 states, was founded as Food Town in 1957 and still calls Salisbury, NC, its hometown.

A complete list of the remodeled stores, as well as other information, is available at www.foodlion.com/newsroom.

 

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

Chiquita rejects buyout offer, reaffirms plans to merge with Fyffes

Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced that its board of directors — after careful consultation with its legal and financial advisors — unanimously determined that the unsolicited buyout offer from the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group is inadequate and not in the best interests of Chiquita shareholders.

On Aug. 11 the pair of companies reached out to Chiquita in an attempt to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Chiquita for $ 13 per share in cash, which was nearly 30 percent above the share price when the offer was made. At this time Chiquita determined not to furnish information to, and have discussions and negotiations with, the Cutrale Group and the Safra Group.

Additionally, the Chiquita board of directors has unanimously reaffirmed its recommendation that Chiquita shareholders vote to approve the definitive merger agreement between Chiquita and Fyffes.

According to a press release, Chiquita remains committed to completing its transaction with Fyffes, which it believes will create a combined company that is better positioned to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace, while driving strong performance and value for shareholders.

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