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Academia Has Most Food Safety Educators, Government Reaches Most Consumers

According to an analysis by the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE), academia, public health agencies and schools are the most active sources of food safety education in the U.S.

PFSE commissioned North Carolina State University to conduct the survey to identify the organizations most involved with food safety education, the audiences they serve, and the channels they use most frequently to communicate safe food handling messages.

The organization released the results of its “environmental scan” at the 2014 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference on Thursday, Dec. 4.

“We were looking to identify as many of the robust sources of consumer education and outreach programming as we could in the United States because it’s very important to how the Partnership does its job and how we plan for the future,” said Shelley Feist, PFSE executive director.

The survey found that academia (including cooperative extension) is the biggest source for consumer educators, followed by public health services, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers and people involved with school food service, the federal government, and non-profit organizations.

One highlight of the research was that most food safety education is done in person. According to the survey, 90 percent of the people who consider themselves food safety educators use face-to-face meetings and presentations.

The next most popular channel was the web, which is used by 36 percent of educators — mostly in the federal government.

Other channels include television, print media, phones and poster displays.

While cooperative extension represents the majority of educators who come in contact with consumers, the survey found that the government reaches the most people on an annual basis (through programs such as Food Safe Families, Cook it Safe and Fight BAC!).

Across the three most active groups, children and families with children are the primary targets for education — important since half of all foodborne illness hospitalizations are children.

One disappointing finding was that half of educators reported that they were not monitoring their organizations’ impact or don’t know whether they are.

“This is an area we all intend to work together on improving,” Feist said.

PFSE plans to host a webinar in February to dig deeper into the data and discuss how to allocate resources in the future.

Food Safety News

USApple reaches 50k followers on Facebook

“Like” if you love this news: U.S. Apple Association gained its 50,000th follower on Facebook recently, demonstrating the group’s expanded engagement with consumers on social channels.

In the past year alone, USApple has grown its Facebook following by 30 percent, and its page has reached more than 4 million consumers. Nearly 45,000 Facebook users (fans and non-fans alike) have shared a USApple Facebook post with their followers.

USApple is passing the milestone as it closes a year in which it was highly active on digital and social channels. Online strategy has served as a means to provide education on apples’ health benefits while helping fans explore new apple varieties, meal ideas, and culinary adventures. USApple campaigns included:

  • “28 Days of Apples,” an award-winning campaign in which USApple members and supporting brands got involved to encourage individuals to learn and share heart-healthy apple facts on social channels during February, American Heart Month.
  • “Apple Summer Selfies,” an online contest rewarding individuals for sharing selfies with an apple or apple product in hand during summer travels and vacation.
  • “AppletizeMe,” an online apple variety and pairing education program – timed to National Apple Month (October) – featuring a humorous personality quiz matching individuals with their ideal apple varieties and perfect pairings.

“We’ve worked hard this past year to establish meaningful relationships with consumers online – with programs including digital contests, Twitter parties, a brand new YouTube video series, Pinterest recipe boards, and other outreach,” Wendy Brannen, director of consumer health and public relations at USApple, said in a press release. “Facebook has been an effective channel to pull all of those pieces together and really showcase our campaigns. We’ve had the 50K number in sight for a few months now and are excited to achieve that goal this fall.”

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

USApple reaches 50k followers on Facebook

“Like” if you love this news: U.S. Apple Association gained its 50,000th follower on Facebook recently, demonstrating the group’s expanded engagement with consumers on social channels.

In the past year alone, USApple has grown its Facebook following by 30 percent, and its page has reached more than 4 million consumers. Nearly 45,000 Facebook users (fans and non-fans alike) have shared a USApple Facebook post with their followers.

USApple is passing the milestone as it closes a year in which it was highly active on digital and social channels. Online strategy has served as a means to provide education on apples’ health benefits while helping fans explore new apple varieties, meal ideas, and culinary adventures. USApple campaigns included:

  • “28 Days of Apples,” an award-winning campaign in which USApple members and supporting brands got involved to encourage individuals to learn and share heart-healthy apple facts on social channels during February, American Heart Month.
  • “Apple Summer Selfies,” an online contest rewarding individuals for sharing selfies with an apple or apple product in hand during summer travels and vacation.
  • “AppletizeMe,” an online apple variety and pairing education program – timed to National Apple Month (October) – featuring a humorous personality quiz matching individuals with their ideal apple varieties and perfect pairings.

“We’ve worked hard this past year to establish meaningful relationships with consumers online – with programs including digital contests, Twitter parties, a brand new YouTube video series, Pinterest recipe boards, and other outreach,” Wendy Brannen, director of consumer health and public relations at USApple, said in a press release. “Facebook has been an effective channel to pull all of those pieces together and really showcase our campaigns. We’ve had the 50K number in sight for a few months now and are excited to achieve that goal this fall.”

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

USApple reaches 50k followers on Facebook

“Like” if you love this news: U.S. Apple Association gained its 50,000th follower on Facebook recently, demonstrating the group’s expanded engagement with consumers on social channels.

In the past year alone, USApple has grown its Facebook following by 30 percent, and its page has reached more than 4 million consumers. Nearly 45,000 Facebook users (fans and non-fans alike) have shared a USApple Facebook post with their followers.

USApple is passing the milestone as it closes a year in which it was highly active on digital and social channels. Online strategy has served as a means to provide education on apples’ health benefits while helping fans explore new apple varieties, meal ideas, and culinary adventures. USApple campaigns included:

  • “28 Days of Apples,” an award-winning campaign in which USApple members and supporting brands got involved to encourage individuals to learn and share heart-healthy apple facts on social channels during February, American Heart Month.
  • “Apple Summer Selfies,” an online contest rewarding individuals for sharing selfies with an apple or apple product in hand during summer travels and vacation.
  • “AppletizeMe,” an online apple variety and pairing education program – timed to National Apple Month (October) – featuring a humorous personality quiz matching individuals with their ideal apple varieties and perfect pairings.

“We’ve worked hard this past year to establish meaningful relationships with consumers online – with programs including digital contests, Twitter parties, a brand new YouTube video series, Pinterest recipe boards, and other outreach,” Wendy Brannen, director of consumer health and public relations at USApple, said in a press release. “Facebook has been an effective channel to pull all of those pieces together and really showcase our campaigns. We’ve had the 50K number in sight for a few months now and are excited to achieve that goal this fall.”

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

USApple reaches 50k followers on Facebook

“Like” if you love this news: U.S. Apple Association gained its 50,000th follower on Facebook recently, demonstrating the group’s expanded engagement with consumers on social channels.

In the past year alone, USApple has grown its Facebook following by 30 percent, and its page has reached more than 4 million consumers. Nearly 45,000 Facebook users (fans and non-fans alike) have shared a USApple Facebook post with their followers.

USApple is passing the milestone as it closes a year in which it was highly active on digital and social channels. Online strategy has served as a means to provide education on apples’ health benefits while helping fans explore new apple varieties, meal ideas, and culinary adventures. USApple campaigns included:

  • “28 Days of Apples,” an award-winning campaign in which USApple members and supporting brands got involved to encourage individuals to learn and share heart-healthy apple facts on social channels during February, American Heart Month.
  • “Apple Summer Selfies,” an online contest rewarding individuals for sharing selfies with an apple or apple product in hand during summer travels and vacation.
  • “AppletizeMe,” an online apple variety and pairing education program – timed to National Apple Month (October) – featuring a humorous personality quiz matching individuals with their ideal apple varieties and perfect pairings.

“We’ve worked hard this past year to establish meaningful relationships with consumers online – with programs including digital contests, Twitter parties, a brand new YouTube video series, Pinterest recipe boards, and other outreach,” Wendy Brannen, director of consumer health and public relations at USApple, said in a press release. “Facebook has been an effective channel to pull all of those pieces together and really showcase our campaigns. We’ve had the 50K number in sight for a few months now and are excited to achieve that goal this fall.”

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

Produce for Kids reaches $5 million to support children’s charities

After the close of the 2014 Produce for Kids campaigns, the organization reached a milestone donation of more than $ 5 million raised to support local children’s charities. Through in-store campaigns, the digital Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, and with the help of retail and produce partners, Produce for Kids is making a substantial impact in local communities.

During Produce for Kids’ 12th year, campaigns were supported by 17 grocery store chains and more than 40 fresh produce companies, raising $ 453,000 to support children’s charities in retail partners’ local markets.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that Produce for Kids has surpassed the $ 5 million mark in total donations raised,” John Shuman president of Produce for Kids, said in a press release. “When we started Produce for Kids 12 years ago, we never imagined that it would turn into such a year-round healthy eating resource for families or make the impact it has had in local communities throughout the country.”

New in 2014, Produce for Kids launched the first Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, a digital campaign encouraging families to pack healthier lunchboxes. Through a dedicated microsite, media and blogger outreach, and social media efforts, more than $ 5,000 was raised to support health and wellness classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org. The campaign resulted in nearly 15 million media impressions and more than 20 million social media impressions. The second annual Power Your Lunchbox Pledge will run from August 3 to September 18, 2015.

Moving into its 13th year, Produce for Kids’ flagship in-store campaign welcomes on several new retail partners. Partnership opportunities are open for produce companies at the following retailers: ACME Markets, Ahold’s GIANT and Martin’s Food Stores, Giant Landover, and Stop & Shop divisions; Associated Wholesale Grocers’ Major Savings, Advantage, Independent, Country Mart, Homeland and United divisions; Meijer Stores; Price Chopper; Publix Super Markets; and Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc.’s Pick n’ Save, Copps Food Center and Metro Market divisions.

In addition, Produce for Kids will be launching a new longer-term kids club loyalty program at Associated Wholesalers Inc. and Niemann Foods. The full marketing program will include in-store signage, shopper coupon booklets and promo item shipments.

If you’re interested in finding out more about a campaign or how Produce for Kids can support you with your healthy eating initiatives, please contact Mallory Hartz at mallory@produceforkids.com.

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

Produce for Kids reaches $5 million to support children’s charities

After the close of the 2014 Produce for Kids campaigns, the organization reached a milestone donation of more than $ 5 million raised to support local children’s charities. Through in-store campaigns, the digital Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, and with the help of retail and produce partners, Produce for Kids is making a substantial impact in local communities.

During Produce for Kids’ 12th year, campaigns were supported by 17 grocery store chains and more than 40 fresh produce companies, raising $ 453,000 to support children’s charities in retail partners’ local markets.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that Produce for Kids has surpassed the $ 5 million mark in total donations raised,” John Shuman president of Produce for Kids, said in a press release. “When we started Produce for Kids 12 years ago, we never imagined that it would turn into such a year-round healthy eating resource for families or make the impact it has had in local communities throughout the country.”

New in 2014, Produce for Kids launched the first Power Your Lunchbox Pledge, a digital campaign encouraging families to pack healthier lunchboxes. Through a dedicated microsite, media and blogger outreach, and social media efforts, more than $ 5,000 was raised to support health and wellness classroom projects through DonorsChoose.org. The campaign resulted in nearly 15 million media impressions and more than 20 million social media impressions. The second annual Power Your Lunchbox Pledge will run from August 3 to September 18, 2015.

Moving into its 13th year, Produce for Kids’ flagship in-store campaign welcomes on several new retail partners. Partnership opportunities are open for produce companies at the following retailers: ACME Markets, Ahold’s GIANT and Martin’s Food Stores, Giant Landover, and Stop & Shop divisions; Associated Wholesale Grocers’ Major Savings, Advantage, Independent, Country Mart, Homeland and United divisions; Meijer Stores; Price Chopper; Publix Super Markets; and Roundy’s Supermarkets Inc.’s Pick n’ Save, Copps Food Center and Metro Market divisions.

In addition, Produce for Kids will be launching a new longer-term kids club loyalty program at Associated Wholesalers Inc. and Niemann Foods. The full marketing program will include in-store signage, shopper coupon booklets and promo item shipments.

If you’re interested in finding out more about a campaign or how Produce for Kids can support you with your healthy eating initiatives, please contact Mallory Hartz at mallory@produceforkids.com.

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

Cyclospora Outbreak Reaches 202 Cases; More Than Half are in Texas

Just like last summer, illnesses involving prolonged watery diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms caused by the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis are spreading across the country from Texas. Public health officials suspect the parasite is riding into the United States on contaminated fresh produce grown in Mexico for the U.S. market. They just don’t yet know the exact source, where it’s grown, and how it’s being distributed here.

During the past week, the outbreak has expanded by several states, with the number of confirmed cases growing to 202, up from the 61 illnesses reported nationally as recently as July 23.  With 110 illnesses, the Lone Star State accounts for more than half of the nation’s current cases, with illnesses being reported in 29 of the 254 counties in Texas.

“Though a source has yet to be identified, past outbreaks have been traced to fresh imported produce,” the Texas Department of State Health Services said. “DSHS encourages people to wash produce thoroughly, though that may not entirely eliminate the risk because Cyclospora can be difficult to wash off.”

Last summer, a June-peaking national outbreak of Cyclosporiasis ultimately saw 631 people sickened in 25 states. Last year’s Cyclospora outbreak caused some confusion and contention among the state’s investigating it. Iowa and Nebraska thought the infections were caused by bagged mixed salads served by restaurants, while Texas officials named fresh cilantro grown in Puebla, Mexico.

This year, interviews conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have attributed about 25 illnesses to foreign travel. Before last summer, Cyclospora outbreaks from food or water sources in the U.S. have been sporadic since imported raspberries arrived here two decades ago.

Carried by food or water contaminated by feces, the illness is cause by a parasite that’s common in tropical or subtropical counties. The onset of illness typically occurs within two to 14 days after the oocytes are consumed. It results in profuse diarrhea that can last for a couple weeks to several months. Other symptoms are a low-grade fever, nausea and vomiting, bloating and gas, anorexia and fatigue.

Food Safety News

PMA Foodservice show reaches new heights

MONTEREY, CA — For a show that already is one of the favorites among produce industry members, the PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo managed to set the bar even higher this year, reaching new heights in a number of different categories.

The 33rd year of this popular event, held July 25-27, here, saw a record number of attendees (1,821), foodservice operators in attendance (203), booths (164), participants in the 5k race (389), and attendees of the plant and field tours (60).

DSCN4778On hand from the Idaho Potato Commission at the PMA Foodservice Expo were Tod Schmidt, Jamie Bowen, Jef Pryor, Armand Lobato and Don Odiorne.“It was truly an incredible year for this show,” said Cathy Burns, who was at the helm of her first foodservice conference after being appointed president of PMA Dec. 1. “Jill Overdorf [of Cooseman’s Shipping of L.A.] and Fritz Stelter [of Field Fresh Foods Inc.], who were co-chairs of the conference committee, really deserve so much of the credit for putting together an outstanding program, and they clearly hit the mark on delivering value to the attendees and exhibitors.”

Known for bringing a deft mix of business and networking opportunities to those in attendance, this year’s conference did not disappoint. The program began July 25 with the annual PMA Foundation Joe Nucci Memorial Golf Tournament, which saw the foursome of Anthony D’Amico, Kevin Delaney, Anthony Valdez, Rick Jordan take top honors with a score of 18-under par. Also that morning, attendees had the opportunity to tour the facilities of Braga Fresh Family Farms, Naturipe Farms and Ocean Mist Farms. The opening reception was held that evening, featuring a farmer’s market-type atmosphere.

The program continued bright and early the next morning, as the PMA Foundation 5k Race for Talent led runners and walkers though the picturesque streets of Monterey. Philip Higgins of Markon Cooperative was the top male finisher with a time of 18:51, while Stephanie Cancellieri of Veg Fresh took top honors for the women with a time of 20:10. Robinson Fresh was recognized for its team spirit, entering an impressive 53 runners in the race. Tanimura & Antle got the nod for best team attire.

A robust lineup of educational sessions was held throughout the day on Saturday, beginning in the morning with a presentation on global flavor trends, followed by a food safety update by PMA’s Bob Whitaker.

A highlight of the day was the Chef’s Demo Lunch, which featured both well-known and up-and-coming chefs preparing dishes with a produce-centric slant.

The educational sessions reconvened after lunch with a presentation about what it means to be socially conscious. A session on using data to better manage your business closed out the afternoon. That evening, the popular PMA Foundation Women’s Fresh Perspectives Reception drew a sold-out crowd.

The final day of the conference opened with a general session titled “Put the Latest Trends to Work for You,” featuring Julie Krivanek of Krivanek Consulting. The expo opened later that morning, and the densely packed exhibit hall lent credence to the record crowd in attendance.

“This is truly an intimate show that brings top-quality buyers to a central location,” said Suzanne Wolter of Rainier Fruit Co. in Selah, WA. “Between the educational sessions and the social events, it offers multiple opportunities to network over the course of three days.”

Kevin Stanger of Wada Farms in Idaho Falls, ID, said, “This show provides a good mix of people and is great for building relationships.”

Chloé Varennes of Redondo Beach, CA-based Gourmet Trading said, “It was nice to see the increased number of foodservice operators this year. It’s great to talk to the operators about their menus and how they can add more produce to them.”

“We got some good solid sales leads as well as the opportunity to meet with many of our existing customers,” said Robert Tominaga of Southwind Farms in Heyburn, ID.

Elizabeth Doerrfield of Capital City Fruit, based in Des Moines, IA, a first-time exhibitor at the PMA Foodservice Expo, said, “I love the intimacy of this show. We have come to this show for a number of years but this is our first time as an exhibitor and it has been a great experience. We definitely plan to be back as an exhibitor next year.”

“A record-breaking show like this highlights the value of the ongoing collaboration between the fresh produce and foodservice industry. The energy and networking that occurred throughout the weekend was palpable,” Burns added. “Bringing to life our ‘Innovate the Plate’ theme, the innovations came in many forms and represented consumer trends across the foodservice industry – ultimately validating the drive to put more fruits and vegetables in the center of the plate.”

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

Anecoop reaches historic volume and revenue growth figures

“700,000 tonnes, 560 million Euro in sales”
Anecoop reaches historic volume and revenue growth figures

During the 2012/2013 campaign, Anecoop has managed to reach a growth of 10% in volume and 16% in revenue compared to the previous season, surpassing the 700,000 tonnes, 560 million Euro in sales.

From the fact that the growth in revenue is greater than in volume we can extract that the cooperative has achieved this by selling at higher prices and obtaining better profits for its associates. “As always, our main goal is to increase profitability for our associated producers,” stressed Carlota Pardo, Communication Manager of Anecoop, in an interview with FreshPlaza during Fruit Attraction 2013.

“Consequently, this is good news, considering that, over the past few years, the greatest challenge for the sector, in addition to the crisis in consumption, is a price crisis, which in most case leads to growers not being able to cover production costs.”

The products obtaining the worst results last season were strawberries, due to adverse weather conditions, and tomatoes and Naveline oranges to a lesser extent.

Kaki Persimon® and pomegranate volumes still on the rise

The fruit with the most positive results was the Persimon® kaki. Last year, Anecoop sold a little over 50,000 tonnes; a figure which should be widely surpassed this year, with prospects for a 74,000 tonne harvest; 20% more than last year. Additionally, the calibres will be more commercial and homogeneous than last season, of a larger size and optimal quality.


Carlota Pardo, Communication Manager of Anecoop, next to Juan Vicente Safont, President of Anecoop, at their stand in Fruit Attraction 2013, promoting the Persimon® kakis under the Bouquet brand.

After the ruling from the Spanish Supreme Court in favour of the company’s exclusive right on the Persimon® brand for kakis with Protected Designation of Origin Ribera del Xúquer, Anecoop stresses that no third parties will be able to use the variety without the due licence. “To this end, we will carry out a campaign with an investment of 700,000 Euro to be able to reach 16,340 points of sale and wholesaler markets in Spain, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, where consumers will be able to purchase Persimon® kakis.”

In the case of pomegranates, Anecoop achieved its 10% volume growth prospects. “We will continue working on the exotics range; a department in which we are heavily investing in order to achieve new pomegranate varieties.”

“A price war is neither beneficial to citrus producers nor to distributors.”

Meanwhile, Anecoop expects to continue increasing its citrus volumes in the domestic market by 2 to 4%, hoping to achieve a good campaign in terms of prices, not before issuing a message to the sector: “Neither producers nor distributors are interested in price wars leading to very low prices, as in the end, we all lose,” stated Carlota Pardo.

Publication date: 10/23/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Spain: Valle del Jerte’s cherry production reaches 16.7 million kilos

Spain: Valle del Jerte’s cherry production reaches 16.7 million kilos

This year’s total cherry production at Valle del Jerte, in the Spanish province of Cáceres, which was affected by a heat wave in July, has reached 16.7 million kilos; a very similar figure to last season’s, when 16.5 million kilos were harvested. According to the president of the Association of Cooperatives of Valle del Jerte, Ángel Prieto, the region’s cherry producers have had to face a difficult campaign, firstly due to the early flowering, and secondly to the significant fall in the production of Picota cherries. It is also worth noting that due to being a late campaign, Jerte cherries have arrived to the European markets with a 10 day delay and it proved difficult to enter certain areas where Greek and Turkish firms were already established.

Nevertheless, Prieto stressed that the fruit’s quality has been really good, and that the campaign’s results for cherries with stems have been a pleasant surprise.

“We never expected to harvest more cherries than last season, but in the end the high altitude areas and the later varieties have given us a good yield, which is why the production has reached 16.7 million kilos, compared to the 16.5 in 2012,” affirmed the president of the Association of Cooperatives.


Furthermore, Prieto confirmed that the harvest of the famous Picota cherries from Jerte will see a 50% fall in production compared to the previous season, with prospects to reach 4 million kilos.

Once the cherry season comes to an end, other crops take over the fields of Valle del Jerte which have brought very good results in recent years and for which the Association of Cooperatives has great hopes.

Claudia plums and raspberries, whose harvest has already begun, as well as fresh figs, all reach significant market shares and already account for 40% of the Association’s total turnover.

Source: Abc.es

Publication date: 8/12/2013


FreshPlaza.com