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FDA to Block Pomegranate Seeds from Turkey; Townsend Recall Expands

Updated July 30 with expanded recall information:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Saturday it will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Turkey as health officials have narrowed the likely cause of a Hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least 127 people in 8 states. On Sunday, one of the frozen berry recalls associated with the outbreak expanded.

The agency has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and state and local health authorities for several weeks to try and track down the ingredient making people sick. Health officials have now determined that the “most likely vehicle” for the virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading of Turkey that were used by Townsend Farms to make Organic Antioxidant Blend, a mix of frozen berries, sold to Costco and Harris Teeter stores.

FDA is now barring Goknur from shipping pomegranate seeds into the United States. It is not clear how much product is impacted, but an FDA official noted that Turkey is a “minor player” compared to countries like India, Iran, China, and Thailand, when it comes to providing pomegranate to the U.S. market.

“This outbreak highlights the food safety challenge posed by today’s global food system,” said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in a press release over the weekend. “The presence in a single product of multiple ingredients from multiple countries compounds the difficulty of finding the cause of an illness outbreak. The Hepatitis A outbreak shows how we have improved our ability to investigate and respond to outbreaks, but also why we are working to build a food safety system that more effectively prevents them.”

The Townsend Farms blend has been linked to the multistate outbreak affecting mostly western states. According to CDC, about half of the reported Hepatitis A cases are in California.

Colorado has reported 25 and Arizona 17. Hawaii is reporting 7, New Mexico and Nevada have 5 cases and Utah and Wisconsin have 2 each. The cases reported in Wisconsin, however, resulted from exposure to the product in California, according to health officials.

Nearly 60 percent of those sickened are women. The ages in the outbreak range from 2 to 84 and include 6 children under the age of 18. CDC said none of the children had been vaccinated. More than half of those ill required hospitalization.

The outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus, belonging to genotype 1B, is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East, according to CDC.

The outbreak has sparked several large recalls. In early June, Townsend Farms recalled more than 300,000 four pound packages of the frozen berries sold at Costco and then issued another recall of berries sold at Harris Teeter. Last week, Scenic Fruit Company recalled over 60,000 bags of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels because their product, imported from Turkey, has the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A.

On Sunday, FDA announced the Townsend Farms frozen berry recall has been expanded again. The company is now recalling Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, 3 lb. bag with UPC 0 78414 40444 8. The codes are located on the back of the package with the words “BEST BY” followed by the code T122114 sequentially through T053115, followed by a letter. All letter designations are included in the voluntary recall, according to the expanded recall announcement.

The announcement also said that the epidemiological evidence “does not support an association between the illness outbreak and the four other berry products (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and dark cherry) in the Frozen Organic Antioxidant blend,” which were also used in other Townsend Farms products, so consumers do not have reason to be concerned about those berries.

Townsend Farms said an FDA inspection of the company’s frozen fruit repacking operations has been completed. “The FDA found no evidence linking either the Townsend Farms, Inc.’s repacking facility or any food handler who had possible contact with the product to the source of the illness outbreak,” according to the release.

Hepatitis A, a liver disease, can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Symptoms usually occur within 15 to 50 days of exposure and include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.

If a person has been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus within two weeks or less, they may be able to prevent the disease by receiving a vaccine. Consumers who may have eaten recalled product or have Hepatitis A symptoms should consult with their healthcare provider or their local health department.

 

Food Safety News

FDA to Block Pomegranate Seeds from Turkey Linked to Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Saturday it will detain shipments of pomegranate seeds from Turkey as health officials have narrowed the likely cause of a Hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least 127 people in 8 states.

The agency has worked with the Centers for Disease Control and state and local health authorities for several weeks to try and track down the ingredient making people sick. Health officials have now determined that the “most likely vehicle” for the virus appears to be a common shipment of pomegranate seeds from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading of Turkey that were used by Townsend Farms to make Organic Antioxidant Blend, a mix of frozen berries, sold to Costco and Harris Teeter stores.

FDA is now barring Goknur from shipping pomegranate seeds into the United States. It is not clear how much product is impacted, but an FDA official noted that Turkey is a “minor player” compared to countries like India, Iran, China, and Thailand, when it comes to providing pomegranate to the U.S. market.

“This outbreak highlights the food safety challenge posed by today’s global food system,” said Michael Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, in a press release over the weekend. “The presence in a single product of multiple ingredients from multiple countries compounds the difficulty of finding the cause of an illness outbreak. The Hepatitis A outbreak shows how we have improved our ability to investigate and respond to outbreaks, but also why we are working to build a food safety system that more effectively prevents them.”

The Townsend Farms blend has been linked to the multistate outbreak affecting mostly western states. According to CDC, about half of the reported Hepatitis A cases are in California.

Colorado has reported 25 and Arizona 17. Hawaii is reporting 7, New Mexico and Nevada have 5 cases and Utah and Wisconsin have 2 each. The cases reported in Wisconsin, however, resulted from exposure to the product in California, according to health officials.

Nearly 60 percent of those sickened are women. The ages in the outbreak range from 2 to 84 and include 6 children under the age of 18. CDC said none of the children had been vaccinated. More than half of those ill required hospitalization.

The outbreak has sparked several large recalls. In early June, Townsend Farms recalled more than 300,000 four pound packages of the frozen berries sold at Costco and then issued another recall of berries sold at Harris Teeter. Last week, Scenic Fruit Company recalled over 60,000 bags of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels because their product, imported from Turkey, has the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A, a liver disease, can range from mild to severe and can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Symptoms usually occur within 15 to 50 days of exposure and include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.

If a person has been exposed to the Hepatitis A virus within two weeks or less, they may be able to prevent the disease by receiving a vaccine. Consumers who may have eaten recalled product or have Hepatitis A symptoms should consult with their healthcare provider or their local health department.

 

Food Safety News

Pomegranate Kernels Recalled in Connection with Townsend Farms Hep A Outbreak

Scenic Fruit Company, based in Oregon, has voluntarily recalled 5,091 cases (61,092 8-oz. bags) of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels due to potential contamination of hepatitis A.

No illnesses have been connected to the Woodstock brand pomegranate kernels, but they were imported from Turkey and may be associated with the imported pomegranate kernels implicated in the ongoing Townsend Farms frozen berry hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened at least 122 people in eight states.

The products are sold in 8-oz. resealable plastic pouches with UPC Cod 0 42563 01628 9. Further coding information is on the back portion of the pouches below the zip-lock seal. The following lots are subject to recall:

  • C 0129 (A,B, or C) 035 with a best by date of 02/04/2015
  • C 0388 (A,B, or C) 087 with a best by date of 03/28/2015
  • C 0490 (A,B, or C) 109 with a best by date of 04/19/2015

The products were shipped between February 2013 through May 2013 to UNFI distribution centers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington State. UNFI distribution centers may have further distributed products to retail stores in other states.

Symptoms of hepatitis A infection generally appear within 14 to 50 days of exposure and include fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice and dark urine.

Those who receive a vaccination within two weeks of exposure may prevent illness, and anyone who has already received a hepatitis A vaccination in the past is not at risk of infection.

Food Safety News

US: Pomegranate market to heat up this month

US: Pomegranate market to heat up this month

Fast movement of fresh pomegranates this year could result in fewer supplies available later this month, which could, in turn, make for higher prices. While supplies from California usually last into the January, this year’s supplies could be stretched by Christmas.

“It’s been a very good season this year, with very good retail demand,” said David Anthony of Ruby Fresh. “It allowed us to sell a lot of our pomegranates quickly, so we expect to be finished with pomegranates by Christmas.” Anthony added that they will continue to have packaged arils available into March, at which point they’ll transition to Wonderful supplies from Peru.

“There should be no taste difference between Wonderful pomegranates from California and those from Peru,” Anthony explained, “because we took California trees and planted them in Peru.” Expanded acreage in Peru is part of Ruby Fresh’s growth plan, which has seen the company expand by 25% each year for the last several years. One of the biggest drivers of that growth has been the demand for their fresh arils.

“Our biggest mover this year has been the four-ounce and five-ounce aril cups,” said Anthony. “People really like them because they’re a good snack to have on the go, so we have seen exponential growth with the aril cups.”

For more information:
David Anthony
Ruby Fresh
Tel: +1 (559) 933-0340
[email protected]
www.rubyfresh.com 

Publication date: 12/9/2014
Author: Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Israeli pomegranate production to increase

Israeli pomegranate production to increase

After last year’s quality issues that limited pomegranate production in Israel, this season’s pomegranate production is set to top that from last season. With harvesting of the Wonderful variety completed, Israeli packers are busy readying this season’s fruit for export.

“We suffered from quality issues that limited yields last year,” said Yoav Nakash of Galil Export. “This year, yields have been quite good, quality has been fine and fruit has a nice, red colour.” Because this year’s fruit has largely been free of the quality problems from last year, there’s more suitable for sale. Nakash estimates that production this season will increase by between 10 and 20 percent over that of last season. Depending on how the final pack-out goes, the nation’s production could be between 20,000 and 23,000 tons. In addition to more fruit, he added that fruit has been bigger, which will sell well on the Russian market.

“About 35 percent of our exports go to Russia, and they mostly take our fruit that’s between 700 grams and 1 kilogram,” explained Nakash. European buyers prefer smaller fruit, so the fruit that is too big to sell in Europe is shipped to Russia. That should help Israeli exporters compete with Turkish exporters, who have made gains with their pomegranate exports. Though the quality of Turkish fruit has improved over the last few years, the market for pomegranates has grown such that there’s enough business for everyone.

“We have an advantage over Turkey in that we can keep our product longer,” said Nakash. “But consumption in Europe has also increased because more consumers know about the health benefits of pomegranates, so that accommodates everyone.” This year’s bigger fruit can also help Israeli shippers expand into Asia, as buyers there also tend to go for larger-sized fruit.

Galil is looking to take advantage of those Asian markets, with special emphasis on China, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. That pomegranates travel well is a big advantage is reaching those markets, which could take up to six weeks to reach by sea. In preparation, Galil has about doubled its production every year for the past three years. While Galil packed and shipped around 3,000 tons of pomegranates last year, with the help of new growers joining the cooperative, Galil is set to export 5,000 tons of fruit this year. The company will ship that fruit until February in two grades: premium, which is the top grade, and vital.

Medjool Dates
In addition to expanding their pomegranate program, Galil has high hopes for their medjool date program. Because dates are sweet and have many health benefits, their popularity is growing with consumers. That the product can be stored for up to two years gives exporters much flexibility when it comes to marketing the product in new markets.

“I think the date market is just beginning, and I think there’s a lot we can do with medjool dates,” said Nakash. “We will sell 1,000 tons of dates this year, and the plan is to increase that to 4,000 tons in five years.”

For more information:
Yoav Nakash
Galilee Export
Tel :+972-36539020
Email: [email protected]
galilee-export.com

Publication date: 11/28/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

POM Wonderful gets crazy healthy with new TV campaign to kick-off pomegranate season

POM Wonderful gets crazy healthy with new TV campaign to kick-off pomegranate season

POM Wonderful®, the world’s largest producer of Wonderful variety pomegranates and leading premium refrigerated juice company, celebrates the most anticipated time of the year – fresh pomegranate season! Starting October through January, POM Wonderful unleashes the power of antioxidants with Wonderful variety pomegranates, POM POMS™ Fresh Arils and 100% Pomegranate Juice.

As the most popular variety of pomegranates in the United States, Wonderful variety pomegranates are just one of POM Wonderful’s crazy healthy treats. Known for their delicious, sweet taste and plentiful juice, Wonderful variety pomegranates are an excellent source of fibre and deliver free-radical fighting antioxidants like vitamin C. The seeds in pomegranates, also known as arils, are perfect for healthy snacking and cooking. Each 4.3oz container of POM POMS Fresh Arils, POM’s convenient package of ready-to-eat arils, is 100 calories and perfect to enjoy anytime, anywhere. Wonderful variety arils are a brilliant ruby red, indicating the healthy, sweet, tart juice contained within.

Pomegranates add a sweet burst of flavour to any meal, and are ideal for tossing into salads, stirring into yoghurt, sprinkling over cereal and more. This season marks a decade of POM Wonderful celebrating pomegranates with original recipes showcasing new ways to enjoy the fruit. As in years past, POM partnered with distinguished chefs like José Andrés, Ludo Lefebvre, Suzanne Goin, Dale Talde, Michael Mina and more this year to create new recipes as part of a signature Chef Series. Chef Series recipes and more POM-inspired ideas can be found on Simply Wonderful, POM Wonderful’s digital magazine. (http://simplywonderful.com/)

In addition, for the first time in three years, POM Wonderful is returning to television with a “Crazy Healthy” commercial campaign in October. Four commercials highlight the healthful antioxidant power of premium 100% Pomegranate Juice. Each spot features people in everyday situations drinking POM’s premium 100% Pomegranate Juice and being protected by free radical-fighting characters like a dragon, a samurai, a Cyclops and archers. Powered by pomegranate antioxidants, POM’s premium 100% Pomegranate Juice is a little sweet, a little tart and a whole lot of crazy healthy. The spots were directed by Tarsem Singh, Directors Guild of America award-winner among more awards for outstanding directorial achievements in commercials. Special computer-generated imagery effects were created by the world famous Framestore, a VFX company in London.

“Consumers love the sweet burst of flavour and versatility of our products,” said Dahlia Reinkopf, senior director of marketing, POM Wonderful. “Our ‘Crazy Healthy’ TV campaign is timed perfectly with the launch of POM season to remind people about the antioxidant power of pomegranates. The goal of our campaign is to inspire consumers to get crazy healthy with our premium 100% Pomegranate Juice and seasonal Wonderful variety pomegranates.”

POM Wonderful variety pomegranates, POM POMS Fresh Arils and 100% Pomegranate Juice are available in the produce section at leading grocery, club and mass retailers. POM Wonderful variety pomegranates and POM POMS Fresh Arils are available October through January, and POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is available year-round. To learn more about POM Wonderful, visit pressroom.pomwonderful.com

Publication date: 10/7/2014


FreshPlaza.com

New POM Wonderful TV campaign to kick off pomegranate season

pomwmw

POM Wonderful, one of the world’s larger producers of Wonderful variety pomegranates and a leading premium refrigerated juice company, is celebrating fresh pomegranate season. For the first time in three years, POM Wonderful is returning to television with a “Crazy Healthy” commercial campaign in October.

Four commercials highlight the healthful antioxidant power of premium 100 percent pomegranate juice. Each spot features people in everyday situations drinking POM’s premium 100 percent pomegranate juice and being protected by free radical-fighting characters like a dragon, a samurai, a cyclops and archers.

“Powered by pomegranate antioxidants, POM’s premium 100 percent pomegranate juice is a little sweet, a little tart and a whole lot of crazy healthy,” the company said in a press release. The spots were directed by Tarsem Singh, Directors Guild of America award-winner among more awards for outstanding directorial achievements in commercials. Special computer-generated imagery effects were created by Framestore, a VFX company in London.

“Consumers love the sweet burst of flavor and versatility of our products,” Dahlia Reinkopf, senior director of marketing at POM Wonderful, said in the press release. “Our ‘Crazy Healthy’ TV campaign is timed perfectly with the launch of POM season to remind people about the antioxidant power of pomegranates. The goal of our campaign is to inspire consumers to get crazy healthy with our premium 100 percent pomegranate juice and seasonal Wonderful variety pomegranates.”

As the most popular variety of pomegranates in the United States, Wonderful variety pomegranates are just one of POM Wonderful’s healthy treats. Known for their sweet taste and plentiful juice, Wonderful variety pomegranates are an excellent source of fiber and deliver free-radical fighting antioxidants like vitamin C. The seeds in pomegranates, also known as arils, are perfect for healthy snacking and cooking. Each 4.3-ounce container of POM POMS Fresh Arils, POM’s convenient package of ready-to-eat arils, is 100 calories. Wonderful variety arils are a brilliant ruby red, indicating the healthy, sweet, tart juice contained within.

This season marks a decade of POM Wonderful celebrating pomegranates with original recipes showcasing new ways to enjoy the fruit. As in years past, POM partnered with distinguished chefs like José Andrés, Ludo Lefebvre, Suzanne Goin, Dale Talde, Michael Mina and more this year to create new recipes as part of a signature Chef Series. Chef Series recipes and more POM-inspired ideas can be found on Simply Wonderful, POM Wonderful’s digital magazine.

POM Wonderful variety pomegranates, POM POMS Fresh Arils and 100 percent pomegranate juice are available in the produce section at leading grocery, club and mass retailers. POM Wonderful variety pomegranates and POM POMS Fresh Arils are available October through January, and POM Wonderful 100 percent pomegranate juice is available year-round.

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

New POM Wonderful TV campaign to kick off pomegranate season

pomwmw

POM Wonderful, one of the world’s larger producers of Wonderful variety pomegranates and a leading premium refrigerated juice company, is celebrating fresh pomegranate season. For the first time in three years, POM Wonderful is returning to television with a “Crazy Healthy” commercial campaign in October.

Four commercials highlight the healthful antioxidant power of premium 100 percent pomegranate juice. Each spot features people in everyday situations drinking POM’s premium 100 percent pomegranate juice and being protected by free radical-fighting characters like a dragon, a samurai, a cyclops and archers.

“Powered by pomegranate antioxidants, POM’s premium 100 percent pomegranate juice is a little sweet, a little tart and a whole lot of crazy healthy,” the company said in a press release. The spots were directed by Tarsem Singh, Directors Guild of America award-winner among more awards for outstanding directorial achievements in commercials. Special computer-generated imagery effects were created by Framestore, a VFX company in London.

“Consumers love the sweet burst of flavor and versatility of our products,” Dahlia Reinkopf, senior director of marketing at POM Wonderful, said in the press release. “Our ‘Crazy Healthy’ TV campaign is timed perfectly with the launch of POM season to remind people about the antioxidant power of pomegranates. The goal of our campaign is to inspire consumers to get crazy healthy with our premium 100 percent pomegranate juice and seasonal Wonderful variety pomegranates.”

As the most popular variety of pomegranates in the United States, Wonderful variety pomegranates are just one of POM Wonderful’s healthy treats. Known for their sweet taste and plentiful juice, Wonderful variety pomegranates are an excellent source of fiber and deliver free-radical fighting antioxidants like vitamin C. The seeds in pomegranates, also known as arils, are perfect for healthy snacking and cooking. Each 4.3-ounce container of POM POMS Fresh Arils, POM’s convenient package of ready-to-eat arils, is 100 calories. Wonderful variety arils are a brilliant ruby red, indicating the healthy, sweet, tart juice contained within.

This season marks a decade of POM Wonderful celebrating pomegranates with original recipes showcasing new ways to enjoy the fruit. As in years past, POM partnered with distinguished chefs like José Andrés, Ludo Lefebvre, Suzanne Goin, Dale Talde, Michael Mina and more this year to create new recipes as part of a signature Chef Series. Chef Series recipes and more POM-inspired ideas can be found on Simply Wonderful, POM Wonderful’s digital magazine.

POM Wonderful variety pomegranates, POM POMS Fresh Arils and 100 percent pomegranate juice are available in the produce section at leading grocery, club and mass retailers. POM Wonderful variety pomegranates and POM POMS Fresh Arils are available October through January, and POM Wonderful 100 percent pomegranate juice is available year-round.

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

US (CA): Heat pushes back start of pomegranate season

Though many growers in California were anticipating a quick start to the pomegranate season, hot, dry conditions have pushed back harvesting. Picking is now expected to begin next week.

“People were saying this season could be early, but right now it looks like it could be just on time or even a little delayed,” said David Anthony of Ruby Fresh Pomegranates. “We expect to start Monday, October 6, but the season remains delayed due to a severe drought and high heat.” Warm weather has been a roadblock because pomegranates require cool night temperatures to achieve the right colour. Pomegranates don’t gain colour once they’ve been picked, so growers are hesitant to harvest their crop until the fruit achieves just the right colour. Dry conditions have also delayed picking because of the toll they’ve taken on trees.

“A tree goes into survival mode when it’s stressed,” said Anthony. “The drought has been stressing the trees, so the combination of that and the heat has slowed down the ability of fruit to colour and gain size.” With no fruit out of California yet, demand is high in anticipation of supplies that will come later this month.

“There’s a lot of demand right now,” explained Anthony. “So the market will be strong when the season begins, then them market will stabilize when there are good supplies during the second half of October.”

For more information:

David Anthony

Ruby Fresh Pomegranates

+1 559 933 0340

FreshPlaza.com

Spain: Around 30% of pomegranate harvest lost

José María Martínez, of Cambayas: “Lower production compensates for loss of Russian market”
Spain: Around 30% of pomegranate harvest lost

The pomegranate season of the Valencia variety, which started in mid-August, is almost finished and the markets are awaiting the arrival of the Mollar from Elche on 30 September, which is the flagship of the Spanish campaign.

“So far, the Valencia pomegranate season has been characterised by a reduction of about 25% in production volumes; a similar percentage to what we expect for the Mollar variety,” says José María Martínez, head of the cooperative Cambayas, one of the largest pomegranate producers and marketers, based in Elche, Alicante.

This decline, mainly due to problems in the settling of the flowers due to the lack of rain during the spring and summer in the eastern region, “has so far not had an impact on the average prices, which have been under pressure due to the Russian veto,” said the executive. 

Therefore, as regards the Mollar campaign, which will start in a few days, the similar drop in production could compensate for the volumes of this variety that will not be shipped to the Russian market,” explains Martínez. Taking into account both direct and indirect exports, Russia accounted for around 30% of the exports; more than 13,000 tonnes. 

“This also indicates that, although pomegranates are currently a popular fruit, the market supply is growing faster than demand, not only in Spain, but also in the rest of the world; a trend which it seems will continue for now,” he affirms. 

The acreage devoted to Mollar pomegranates in Elche and the surrounding municipalities is of approximately 3,000 hectares and this year a harvest of about 35,000 tonnes is expected. 

Some of the major destinations right now, besides the domestic market, are the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as the Persian Gulf and Asia.

Turkey and Israel will benefit from the Russian ban, as it will allow them to increase their shipments to this destination. “Turkey and Israel will get a larger market share and, even if the veto was to be lifted in the future, it would be difficult to recover that share,” he points out. 

The crop accounts for over 80% of the agricultural production in many municipalities in the south of the province of Alicante and generates more than 3,000 direct jobs and a thousand indirect jobs.

Publication date: 9/29/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Banner pomegranate season projected

Growers throughout California’s Central Valley are reporting optimal growing conditions for pomegranates.

Ralph Melendez, field operations manager for Slaydeco Inc., a principal grower of early season varieties, expects the company’s Granada’s to start shipping by the end of the last week of July. “A consistently warm summer has moved our traditional start date forward by about a week,” he said. “We are seeing high color in the Granada’s, with a normal range of sizes. Our Foothills will follow by about a week.”

Jeff Simonian of Simonian Fruit Co. also reported that its early-season varieties are running a week early. When asked about the possible effects of the drought on the overall size and quality of the crop, he said that “it appears that sufficient water is being diverted from annual crops to ensure a normal pomegranate harvest in terms of total volume, range of fruit sizes, sugar and color.”

Tom Rouse of PomWonderful, the principal grower-shipper of the Wonderful variety, said its field managers were also projecting an early start date. “If Mother Nature continues to cooperate, we’ll start shipping a full-range of Wonderful sizes starting in the last week of September or early in the first week of October,” he said. “At that point we’ll also be refilling the pipeline with fresh-pack arils. We encourage retailers to contact us to find out more about our full-line of market-proven sales aids. Pomegranates are a high impulse purchase item and they sell best when merchandised in a high-traffic location in the store.”

Sales of pomegranates continue to increase at an average of 20 percent per year, with total shipments expected to exceed 6 million 25-pound-equivalent boxes, according to Tom Tjerandsen, the manager of the Sonoma, CA-based Pomegranate Council.

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