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Facility expansion helps Apio increase service in eastern United States and Canada

Apio Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Landec Corp. and a leading national producer of fresh-cut vegetable products for the United States and Canada under the Eat Smart brand, has completed a major expansion of its Hanover, PA, operations. The $ 19.5 million expansion triples the size of the facility to 64,000 square feet and increases the number of production lines to 10 from two, helping Apio to better serve its retail customers in the eastern United States and Canada.Apio-Hanover-Plant-Expansion-After-Photo-6-8-16

“Shoppers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and eastern Canada are responding to our on-trend products, which include Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Superfood Salad Kits like Sweet Kale Salad and Wild Greens and Quinoa Salad,” said Anne Byerly, vice president of marketing and innovation for Apio, which is based in Guadalupe, CA. “Apio’s revamped Hanover operations allow us to enhance our service platform in the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada by delivering tasty, easy-to-prepare fresh vegetable products to retailers’ shelves faster than ever — and giving their customers more good reasons to visit the packaged salad aisles.”

Apio’s Eat Smart brand includes nine gourmet vegetable salad kits, each of which contains five to eight superfoods, which are nutrient-rich foods considered part of a healthy, balanced diet. The popular chef-inspired vegetable salad kits give consumers numerous quick and delicious ways to eat healthy every day. Newest to the line are the Strawberry Harvest Salad, the Sunflower Kale Salad and the Asian Sesame Salad.

“Through our complete line of fresh produce products , Apio delivers unique value to retailers and consumers,” said Byerly. “The new production capabilities in the East enable retailers to increase their sales by satisfying their customers’ growing demands for nutritious dining choices that also deliver flavor variety and convenience .”

The Eat Smart vegetable salads are available in nine- to 12-ounce retail sizes or 16- to 32-ounce family sizes, depending on location. Eat Smart products are available in over more than 100 club and retail chains in the United States and Canada.

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

IFCO opens RPC service center in Fresno

IFCO Systems has opened its newest reusable plastic container service center in Fresno, CA. The 200,000-square-foot facility is equipped to wash, sanitize and dry more than 95,000 RPCs per day, and ship and receive approximately 120 truckloads of RPCs for IFCO’s grocery retail partners and grower shipper customers weekly.

IFCO’s Fresno service center currently has more than 80 employees and is designed to allow expansion as for IFCO RPCs continues to grow.

“We are pleased to open our most advanced facility to date in Fresno, complete with the latest food-safety systems and sustainable operations,” Dan Walsh, president of IFCO North America, said in a press release. “Our growth during the past few years has demanded the expansion of our service center network so our grower and retailer partners have all the safe and clean RPCs they need to serve their customers.”

The new facility is IFCO’s sixth U.S. service center, extending the company’s network in North America in support of the continued expansion of RPC use by leading grocery retailers throughout the United States and Canada. IFCO’s other service centers are located in San Antonio, TX; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Atlanta; Portland, OR; and Chicago.

IFCO owns and operates 49 service centers in 19 countries. All IFCO service centers adhere to the company’s strict global standards for processes and equipment, including the industry’s highest food-safety and quality-assurance protocols, and employ a variety of measures to reduce environmental impact.

For more information and a video tour of IFCO’s RPC service centers and wash process, visit www.rpcresource.com.

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

IFCO opens RPC service center in Fresno

IFCO Systems has opened its newest reusable plastic container service center in Fresno, CA. The 200,000-square-foot facility is equipped to wash, sanitize and dry more than 95,000 RPCs per day, and ship and receive approximately 120 truckloads of RPCs for IFCO’s grocery retail partners and grower shipper customers weekly.

IFCO’s Fresno service center currently has more than 80 employees and is designed to allow expansion as for IFCO RPCs continues to grow.

“We are pleased to open our most advanced facility to date in Fresno, complete with the latest food-safety systems and sustainable operations,” Dan Walsh, president of IFCO North America, said in a press release. “Our growth during the past few years has demanded the expansion of our service center network so our grower and retailer partners have all the safe and clean RPCs they need to serve their customers.”

The new facility is IFCO’s sixth U.S. service center, extending the company’s network in North America in support of the continued expansion of RPC use by leading grocery retailers throughout the United States and Canada. IFCO’s other service centers are located in San Antonio, TX; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Atlanta; Portland, OR; and Chicago.

IFCO owns and operates 49 service centers in 19 countries. All IFCO service centers adhere to the company’s strict global standards for processes and equipment, including the industry’s highest food-safety and quality-assurance protocols, and employ a variety of measures to reduce environmental impact.

For more information and a video tour of IFCO’s RPC service centers and wash process, visit www.rpcresource.com.

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

Peapod launches service in Lehigh Valley

Peapod and Ahold USA sister company Giant-Carlisle on Monday said that they have introduced the Peapod home and business delivery service area to communities in Lehigh and Northampton, Pa., counties.

Peapod delivery is now available in the communities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Catasauqua, Easton, Emmaus, Hellertown, Macungie, Nazareth, Trexlertown and Zionsville.

“This expansion effort is in direct response to customer demand,” Andrea Eldridge, SVP commercial, Peapod East Markets, said in a statement. “We have received dozens of requests for each of these ZIP codes, and we are excited to have the opportunity to serve consumers in these new areas.”


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“We’re excited to share this news. The introduction of Peapod to our Lehigh Valley customers showcases Giant’s commitment to convenience and value,” said John MacDonald, Giant’s director of marketing and external communications. “In addition to our convenient store locations, customers now have the opportunity to shop when, where and how they want to with Peapod’s delivery service.”

Peapod service is now available to over 15 million households in the Northeast.

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Cold Train ceases expedited intermodal service in Washington

On Aug. 7, Cold Train Express Intermodal Service announced it would be suspending service at its location at the Port of Quincy, WA. Cold Train, operated by Rail Logistics of Overland Park, KS, developed a transportation model which allowed fresh producers in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of refrigerated rail service that moved commodities to Chicago, IL, and points beyond in a timely and efficient manner.

The port provided the physical facility, rail track, rail siding and loading equipment. Cold Train owned the containers and worked with producers to load and deliver commodities to the port.

The facility includes one million square feet of cold storage warehousing providing perishable and produce shippers with distribution, cross-dock and storage capacity in and out of Washington. Cold Train had an established track record moving fresh commodities such as apples, potatoes and onions.

Cole Jessup, who handles domestic sales at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, provided some producer insights to The Produce News on Aug. 8, hours after the announcement was made.

ColdTrainDuring a special work session held in January, members of the Washington State House Transportation Committee met with officials to discuss cost effective, efficient shipment of Washington apples into the Midwest. Seen here are Pat Boss representing the Port of Quincy and Cold Train, Pat Connelly representing the Port of Quincy, Cole Jessup representing Columbia Marketing International and Mike Durfee representing Diamond Logistics Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Cold Train Express Intermodal Service)“One minute, we have things up and running. The next minute we don’t. It really puts us in a bind just because transportation has been such a big issue over the years,” he stated. “Cold Train was a fantastic service. We just got the news yesterday afternoon. We are looking at a big crop for pears and apples and need all the transportation options available.”

According to data made available by Cold Train, use of intermodal transportation was growing from the Pacific Northwest. During 2010, Cold Train moved approximately 100 containers of perishables per month from Washington to the Midwest. By 2013, that number had risen to approximately 700 containers per month shipped from Washington and Portland, OR.

By the end of 2013, Cold Train anticipated it would be shipping 1,000 containers each month from the region.

Jessup said Cold Train made significant infrastructure investments at the Port of Quincy, and the service was invaluable to CMI. “Getting fruit to the market has been a chore, especially in the winter,” he continued, adding the trucking industry continues to suffer from a lack of available trucks and drivers.

CMI, he went on to say, is watching developments closely to see what action Cold Train may be able to take to restore service in the future. Jessup said CMI will continue to use Railex service to move fruit.

“The announcement by Cold Train follows a number of scheduling issues on BNSF Railway’s Northern Corridor line that have been occurring with BNSF beginning late last fall because of increased rail congestion as result of a surge of oil and coal shipments on the Northern Corridor line,” Cold Train said in a statement. “In fact, from November of 2013 to April of 2014, BNSF’s On-Time Percentage dramatically dropped from an average of over 90 percent to less than 5 percent.”

This past April, BSNF Railway announced an initial reduction in intermodal service out of Washington to one train a day with transit times being two to three days slower than prior timetables.

“As a result of the scheduling change in April, the rail transit time nearly doubled,” Cold Train stated. “Unfortunately, this caused Cold Train’s costs of equipment, fuel and other costs to double, and caused many customers — especially fresh produce shippers — to look for other transportation service options. In fact, because of BNSF’s scheduling issues from November of 2013 until present, Cold Train lost most of its fresh produce business, including apples, onions, pears, potatoes, carrots and cherries, which was more than 70 percent of the company’s business. In addition to adversely impacting many Washington State fresh produce growers and shippers, BNSF’s scheduling changes have affected many retailers and wholesalers in the Midwest and East Coast that purchase Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods.”

 

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

Cold Train ceases expedited intermodal service in Washington

On Aug. 7, Cold Train Express Intermodal Service announced it would be suspending service at its location at the Port of Quincy, WA. Cold Train, operated by Rail Logistics of Overland Park, KS, developed a transportation model which allowed fresh producers in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of refrigerated rail service that moved commodities to Chicago, IL, and points beyond in a timely and efficient manner.

The port provided the physical facility, rail track, rail siding and loading equipment. Cold Train owned the containers and worked with producers to load and deliver commodities to the port.

The facility includes one million square feet of cold storage warehousing providing perishable and produce shippers with distribution, cross-dock and storage capacity in and out of Washington. Cold Train had an established track record moving fresh commodities such as apples, potatoes and onions.

Cole Jessup, who handles domestic sales at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, provided some producer insights to The Produce News on Aug. 8, hours after the announcement was made.

ColdTrainDuring a special work session held in January, members of the Washington State House Transportation Committee met with officials to discuss cost effective, efficient shipment of Washington apples into the Midwest. Seen here are Pat Boss representing the Port of Quincy and Cold Train, Pat Connelly representing the Port of Quincy, Cole Jessup representing Columbia Marketing International and Mike Durfee representing Diamond Logistics Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Cold Train Express Intermodal Service)“One minute, we have things up and running. The next minute we don’t. It really puts us in a bind just because transportation has been such a big issue over the years,” he stated. “Cold Train was a fantastic service. We just got the news yesterday afternoon. We are looking at a big crop for pears and apples and need all the transportation options available.”

According to data made available by Cold Train, use of intermodal transportation was growing from the Pacific Northwest. During 2010, Cold Train moved approximately 100 containers of perishables per month from Washington to the Midwest. By 2013, that number had risen to approximately 700 containers per month shipped from Washington and Portland, OR.

By the end of 2013, Cold Train anticipated it would be shipping 1,000 containers each month from the region.

Jessup said Cold Train made significant infrastructure investments at the Port of Quincy, and the service was invaluable to CMI. “Getting fruit to the market has been a chore, especially in the winter,” he continued, adding the trucking industry continues to suffer from a lack of available trucks and drivers.

CMI, he went on to say, is watching developments closely to see what action Cold Train may be able to take to restore service in the future. Jessup said CMI will continue to use Railex service to move fruit.

“The announcement by Cold Train follows a number of scheduling issues on BNSF Railway’s Northern Corridor line that have been occurring with BNSF beginning late last fall because of increased rail congestion as result of a surge of oil and coal shipments on the Northern Corridor line,” Cold Train said in a statement. “In fact, from November of 2013 to April of 2014, BNSF’s On-Time Percentage dramatically dropped from an average of over 90 percent to less than 5 percent.”

This past April, BSNF Railway announced an initial reduction in intermodal service out of Washington to one train a day with transit times being two to three days slower than prior timetables.

“As a result of the scheduling change in April, the rail transit time nearly doubled,” Cold Train stated. “Unfortunately, this caused Cold Train’s costs of equipment, fuel and other costs to double, and caused many customers — especially fresh produce shippers — to look for other transportation service options. In fact, because of BNSF’s scheduling issues from November of 2013 until present, Cold Train lost most of its fresh produce business, including apples, onions, pears, potatoes, carrots and cherries, which was more than 70 percent of the company’s business. In addition to adversely impacting many Washington State fresh produce growers and shippers, BNSF’s scheduling changes have affected many retailers and wholesalers in the Midwest and East Coast that purchase Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods.”

 

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

Cold Train ceases expedited intermodal service in Washington

On Aug. 7, Cold Train Express Intermodal Service announced it would be suspending service at its location at the Port of Quincy, WA. Cold Train, operated by Rail Logistics of Overland Park, KS, developed a transportation model which allowed fresh producers in the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of refrigerated rail service that moved commodities to Chicago, IL, and points beyond in a timely and efficient manner.

The port provided the physical facility, rail track, rail siding and loading equipment. Cold Train owned the containers and worked with producers to load and deliver commodities to the port.

The facility includes one million square feet of cold storage warehousing providing perishable and produce shippers with distribution, cross-dock and storage capacity in and out of Washington. Cold Train had an established track record moving fresh commodities such as apples, potatoes and onions.

Cole Jessup, who handles domestic sales at Columbia Marketing International in Wenatchee, WA, provided some producer insights to The Produce News on Aug. 8, hours after the announcement was made.

ColdTrainDuring a special work session held in January, members of the Washington State House Transportation Committee met with officials to discuss cost effective, efficient shipment of Washington apples into the Midwest. Seen here are Pat Boss representing the Port of Quincy and Cold Train, Pat Connelly representing the Port of Quincy, Cole Jessup representing Columbia Marketing International and Mike Durfee representing Diamond Logistics Northwest. (Photo courtesy of Cold Train Express Intermodal Service)“One minute, we have things up and running. The next minute we don’t. It really puts us in a bind just because transportation has been such a big issue over the years,” he stated. “Cold Train was a fantastic service. We just got the news yesterday afternoon. We are looking at a big crop for pears and apples and need all the transportation options available.”

According to data made available by Cold Train, use of intermodal transportation was growing from the Pacific Northwest. During 2010, Cold Train moved approximately 100 containers of perishables per month from Washington to the Midwest. By 2013, that number had risen to approximately 700 containers per month shipped from Washington and Portland, OR.

By the end of 2013, Cold Train anticipated it would be shipping 1,000 containers each month from the region.

Jessup said Cold Train made significant infrastructure investments at the Port of Quincy, and the service was invaluable to CMI. “Getting fruit to the market has been a chore, especially in the winter,” he continued, adding the trucking industry continues to suffer from a lack of available trucks and drivers.

CMI, he went on to say, is watching developments closely to see what action Cold Train may be able to take to restore service in the future. Jessup said CMI will continue to use Railex service to move fruit.

“The announcement by Cold Train follows a number of scheduling issues on BNSF Railway’s Northern Corridor line that have been occurring with BNSF beginning late last fall because of increased rail congestion as result of a surge of oil and coal shipments on the Northern Corridor line,” Cold Train said in a statement. “In fact, from November of 2013 to April of 2014, BNSF’s On-Time Percentage dramatically dropped from an average of over 90 percent to less than 5 percent.”

This past April, BSNF Railway announced an initial reduction in intermodal service out of Washington to one train a day with transit times being two to three days slower than prior timetables.

“As a result of the scheduling change in April, the rail transit time nearly doubled,” Cold Train stated. “Unfortunately, this caused Cold Train’s costs of equipment, fuel and other costs to double, and caused many customers — especially fresh produce shippers — to look for other transportation service options. In fact, because of BNSF’s scheduling issues from November of 2013 until present, Cold Train lost most of its fresh produce business, including apples, onions, pears, potatoes, carrots and cherries, which was more than 70 percent of the company’s business. In addition to adversely impacting many Washington State fresh produce growers and shippers, BNSF’s scheduling changes have affected many retailers and wholesalers in the Midwest and East Coast that purchase Washington State fresh produce and frozen foods.”

 

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

FreshDirect partners on Popcart recipe service

Popcart is the new brain child of FreshDirect and social recipe network Foodily. The service allows customers to choose recipes from any website and have the ingredients automatically put into a shopping cart for delivery.

Popcart utilizes a browser bookmarklet so that customers just highlight the ingredients for them to be identified and added to a shopping list. 

“FreshDirect is always looking to innovate and make shopping for food easier,” said Jodi Kahn, FreshDirect chief consumer officer, said in a press release.

“Popcart for FreshDirect enables customers to have a new way to shop the recipes they love and cook with the freshest ingredients from FreshDirect. We’re thrilled to partner with Foodily to bring this new tool to FreshDirect customers and all who cook at home. This technology takes consumers from inspiration to preparation.”

Popcart is being introduced in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia and Delaware. 

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Mexican exporters meet with Philly importers to discuss weekly liner service

Driven by Mexico’s expanding economy, 10 major fruit exporters from Mexico toured the Philadelphia Port complex and one of the nation’s largest produce-storage and packing facilities in Vineland, NJ. The exporters also met in small groups with 15 importers from the Philadelphia region — speed-dating style — in an effort to find the right business match for their perishable products.

“We came here to find the right people to take care of our product. We are proud of what we produce and we need to know it will be treated well,” Jose Garibay, a berry grower and exporter from Mexico, said in a press release. “I’m certain — with consolidation — we can make this work.”

The tour is the culmination of a year-long effort spearheaded by Ship Philly First, a non-profit, membership organization of private business owners who operate port-related companies in the Delaware Valley, the Mexican consulate of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and ProMexico, the economic development arm of Mexico.

Together they are working to create weekly liner service between Philadelphia and Veracruz, Mexico, to generate more business for both ports and to bypass crippling congestion for trucks at the border. While the proposed five-day ocean crossing is cheaper, faster, cleaner and safer than traveling the countries’ highways, a regular shipping service between the two cities has not been available for an estimated 40 years.

Ship Philly First President Larry Antonucci, president of 721 Logistics, and former President Fred Sorbello, chief executive officer of Mullica Hill Group Cos., welcomed the visitors, along with Carlos Giralt, Mexican consul of Philadelphia, and Martin Caro, deputy trade and investment commissioner for ProMexico. Jack Murphy of Maersk and Anthony DeBari of MSC — shipping lines that have an interest in creating an ocean route between the two cities — also attended.

“10 billion a year in bilateral trade already exists between Mexico and our region. An ocean route makes a lot of sense,” said Sorbello, whose company is one of the largest meat importers in the United States. The next step, he added, is a trade mission for regional importers to Veracruz in July, which should solidify professional relationships.

Rusty Lucca, president of Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage, hosted approximately 80 guests at his 325,000-square-foot facility in Vineland. Visitors watched clementines from Chile and avocados from Mexico rumble down spotless assembly lines before being bagged, labeled and readied for distribution to major retailers, such as Walmart, Costco, ShopRite, Acme and Krogers.

“Exporters need to know their perishable products are taken care of, that they are placed in a clean, secure facility with state-of-the-art temperature control,” said Lucca, who provided a Mexican lunch for all in his 100-seat on-site cafeteria. “They also need to know their produce will be repacked in the most attractive way. This visit is an insurance policy. I am not the only game in town, but I am representative of the quality of warehousing and value-added service that is available in this region.”

Located on 44-acres in Vineland, Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage receives more than 200,000 pallets of fruit annually from around the world.

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

Mexican exporters meet with Philly importers to discuss weekly liner service

Driven by Mexico’s expanding economy, 10 major fruit exporters from Mexico toured the Philadelphia Port complex and one of the nation’s largest produce-storage and packing facilities in Vineland, NJ. The exporters also met in small groups with 15 importers from the Philadelphia region — speed-dating style — in an effort to find the right business match for their perishable products.

“We came here to find the right people to take care of our product. We are proud of what we produce and we need to know it will be treated well,” Jose Garibay, a berry grower and exporter from Mexico, said in a press release. “I’m certain — with consolidation — we can make this work.”

The tour is the culmination of a year-long effort spearheaded by Ship Philly First, a non-profit, membership organization of private business owners who operate port-related companies in the Delaware Valley, the Mexican consulate of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and ProMexico, the economic development arm of Mexico.

Together they are working to create weekly liner service between Philadelphia and Veracruz, Mexico, to generate more business for both ports and to bypass crippling congestion for trucks at the border. While the proposed five-day ocean crossing is cheaper, faster, cleaner and safer than traveling the countries’ highways, a regular shipping service between the two cities has not been available for an estimated 40 years.

Ship Philly First President Larry Antonucci, president of 721 Logistics, and former President Fred Sorbello, chief executive officer of Mullica Hill Group Cos., welcomed the visitors, along with Carlos Giralt, Mexican consul of Philadelphia, and Martin Caro, deputy trade and investment commissioner for ProMexico. Jack Murphy of Maersk and Anthony DeBari of MSC — shipping lines that have an interest in creating an ocean route between the two cities — also attended.

“10 billion a year in bilateral trade already exists between Mexico and our region. An ocean route makes a lot of sense,” said Sorbello, whose company is one of the largest meat importers in the United States. The next step, he added, is a trade mission for regional importers to Veracruz in July, which should solidify professional relationships.

Rusty Lucca, president of Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage, hosted approximately 80 guests at his 325,000-square-foot facility in Vineland. Visitors watched clementines from Chile and avocados from Mexico rumble down spotless assembly lines before being bagged, labeled and readied for distribution to major retailers, such as Walmart, Costco, ShopRite, Acme and Krogers.

“Exporters need to know their perishable products are taken care of, that they are placed in a clean, secure facility with state-of-the-art temperature control,” said Lucca, who provided a Mexican lunch for all in his 100-seat on-site cafeteria. “They also need to know their produce will be repacked in the most attractive way. This visit is an insurance policy. I am not the only game in town, but I am representative of the quality of warehousing and value-added service that is available in this region.”

Located on 44-acres in Vineland, Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage receives more than 200,000 pallets of fruit annually from around the world.

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

Mexican exporters meet with Philly importers to discuss weekly liner service

Driven by Mexico’s expanding economy, 10 major fruit exporters from Mexico toured the Philadelphia Port complex and one of the nation’s largest produce-storage and packing facilities in Vineland, NJ. The exporters also met in small groups with 15 importers from the Philadelphia region — speed-dating style — in an effort to find the right business match for their perishable products.

“We came here to find the right people to take care of our product. We are proud of what we produce and we need to know it will be treated well,” Jose Garibay, a berry grower and exporter from Mexico, said in a press release. “I’m certain — with consolidation — we can make this work.”

The tour is the culmination of a year-long effort spearheaded by Ship Philly First, a non-profit, membership organization of private business owners who operate port-related companies in the Delaware Valley, the Mexican consulate of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and ProMexico, the economic development arm of Mexico.

Together they are working to create weekly liner service between Philadelphia and Veracruz, Mexico, to generate more business for both ports and to bypass crippling congestion for trucks at the border. While the proposed five-day ocean crossing is cheaper, faster, cleaner and safer than traveling the countries’ highways, a regular shipping service between the two cities has not been available for an estimated 40 years.

Ship Philly First President Larry Antonucci, president of 721 Logistics, and former President Fred Sorbello, chief executive officer of Mullica Hill Group Cos., welcomed the visitors, along with Carlos Giralt, Mexican consul of Philadelphia, and Martin Caro, deputy trade and investment commissioner for ProMexico. Jack Murphy of Maersk and Anthony DeBari of MSC — shipping lines that have an interest in creating an ocean route between the two cities — also attended.

“10 billion a year in bilateral trade already exists between Mexico and our region. An ocean route makes a lot of sense,” said Sorbello, whose company is one of the largest meat importers in the United States. The next step, he added, is a trade mission for regional importers to Veracruz in July, which should solidify professional relationships.

Rusty Lucca, president of Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage, hosted approximately 80 guests at his 325,000-square-foot facility in Vineland. Visitors watched clementines from Chile and avocados from Mexico rumble down spotless assembly lines before being bagged, labeled and readied for distribution to major retailers, such as Walmart, Costco, ShopRite, Acme and Krogers.

“Exporters need to know their perishable products are taken care of, that they are placed in a clean, secure facility with state-of-the-art temperature control,” said Lucca, who provided a Mexican lunch for all in his 100-seat on-site cafeteria. “They also need to know their produce will be repacked in the most attractive way. This visit is an insurance policy. I am not the only game in town, but I am representative of the quality of warehousing and value-added service that is available in this region.”

Located on 44-acres in Vineland, Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage receives more than 200,000 pallets of fruit annually from around the world.

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

The Lempert Report: The new service desk (video)

Thye Lempert Report suggests an upgrade at the customer service desk. Staff the desk with employees who are knowledgeable and articulate in the social-responsibility efforts of brands and manufacturers in the store.

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Belorta Sort & Pak Service chooses Posie Packer

Machine applies 2 labels on same cycle
Belorta Sort & Pak Service chooses Posie Packer

Belorta Sort & Pak Service, Borgloon Belguim has chosen the Posie Packer poly bag labelling machine to apply the required labels to the wicketed produce bags used for their pear and apple packaging.

“The key feature that appealed to us” said Dirk Luyck Managing Director of the Sort and Pak Service, “was the ability of the machine to apply 2 labels on the same cycle per bag – significantly cutting our labour costs of applying the mandated labels. The machine is imported from Canada, with sales, service and distribution through Heto of Holland. The support Heto offered was exemplary.

John Vandergrift of Posie Packer said “ I am pleased to see that the machine is being used in the top fruit sector of the European produce industry. To meet today’s key issues of food safety and traceability, time sensitive information is required on each consumer package. Poly bags not only are the lowest cost method to package produce, but are also the most environmentally friendly method for packaging. The bags provide a convenient and reliable place to apply time sensitive information labels (traceability, COOL, pull date, best before date) as well as promotional labels. The produce bag labelling machine offers a cost effective accurate alternative to manual application of these mandated labels. I am also pleased with the excellent support provided by my European dealer – Heto.”

For more information:
John Vandergrift
Posie Packer Corp.
Email: [email protected]
www.producebaglabeler.com

Dirk Luyck
Belorta
Email: [email protected]
www.belorta.be
 
Heto
Email: [email protected]
www.hetotuinbouw.nl

Publication date: 5/19/2014


FreshPlaza.com

SN Price Check: Service scores bigger in Texas

Walmart and H-E-B were close price competitors during mystery shops conducted in Houston at a Walmart, H-E-B, Randalls and Kroger store over three weeks, beginning March 10. In an SN Price Check first, all four retailers earned perfect customer service scores, with mystery shoppers deeming the ease of shopping and cleanliness of locations “excellent.” SOURCE: Brand View and RetailData Houston data Download a free pdf of the 20-SKU Houston Price Check …

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Registering for content on Supermarket News will give you INSTANT access to invaluable articles and media content that industry professionals rely on. You will have access to our special reports, feature articles, and industry analysis. It’s FREE, easy and quick.  What are you waiting for! In addition you will also receive a complimentary copy of SN’s salary survey sent to you by email.
 

Click here to read the FAQ page if you have any questions (opens in a new window)
 

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Five timely insights about price and service battles

Price and service battles are playing out much like trench warfare in markets across the country, according to SN data that stems from a new partnership. The results show not only which retailers are winning, but also why.

For the past three months we’ve showcased this data in print and online, based on a collaboration with Brand View, a company that markets a leading price and promotions intelligence analytics tool. The findings result from mystery shops conducted by RetailData in five markets: Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta and Washington, D.C.

Shoppers collect prices of 20 products in a typical weekly basket, and assess store service levels as well. The results are analyzed by Brand View and reported every two weeks by SN.

The findings illuminate how retailers go to market in these regions, and which strategies are successful. Here are some general conclusions based on the reports to date:

1. Although we’re seeing a wide range of pricing from retailers, in most markets there’s an 18% to 20% difference between the highest and lowest baskets in a market. Moreover, having the lowest basket pricing by no means guarantees an operator will have the largest number of lowest-priced items as well.

2. Winning may be everything, but it often comes down to a squeaker. Take the case of Walmart battling Target. Walmart can often claim the largest number of cheapest items because of its pricing strategy. While Target tends to price items in amounts ending in 49 cents or 99 cents, for example, Walmart often prices at 48 cents or 98 cents, according to Matthew Ferguson, SVP, Client Services, Brand View.


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In fact, of the 160 SKU comparisons Brand View provided so far between Target and Walmart, on a third of these Walmart edged out Target by just a cent, Ferguson added.

3. A strong regional operator can score big not only on service, but also price. H-E-B was a standout in our Houston three-week survey against Walmart, winning each week for most lowest-priced items, and two of three weeks for least expensive basket, which is quite a feat against the Bentonville giant. Moreover, H-E-B was a leader in the store appearance and ease of shopping categories as well, showing its strong reputation among Texas shoppers.

4. Sometimes a market can completely split between two operators on price and service. A case in point is Washington, D.C., where Walmart took the top honors in each of three weeks for least expensive basket and most lowest priced items. Meanwhile, Safeway, known for its lifestyle format, scored highest each week for both store appearance and ease of shopping.

5. In some highly competitive markets, like Chicago, retailers appear to be exchanging positions as pricing leaders each week. During three weeks of mystery shopping in the Windy City, Meijer, Target and Walmart rotated on producing the least expensive basket.

Meanwhile, you can see an in-depth feature from Jon Springer starting on SN’s main feature this week, which outlines the latest industry pricing trends. I encourage you to follow our ongoing pricing and service coverage in partnership with Brand View as we revisit these markets on a rotating basis. It will be interesting to see if the trends outlined here hold up through the year and beyond.

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