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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.

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Wegmans customers donate $23,704 to United Way

During the fall 2014 United Way checkout scanning campaign at five Wegmans stores in the Southern Tier of New York, donations totaled $ 23,704, a 23 percent increase over the fall 2013 total.

“These donations directly benefit United Way programs and services in the local community,” Patty Kaminski, Wegmans’ district manager of the Southern Tier stores, said in a press release. “We’re so grateful to our customers and employees for their continued generosity this fall.”

The United Way checkout scanning campaign, which ran during October and early November, allowed customers at Wegmans stores in Corning, Elmira, Hornell, Ithaca, and Johnson City to donate money at checkout. All proceeds go directly to the community fund at the United Way of the Southern Tier, the United Way of Broome County and the United Way of Tompkins County.

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

Citrus import demand up and growing in the United States

While per capita consumption of fresh citrus has declined since 1980, total U.S. consumption of citrus fruits has increased 20 percent since that time, according to a report titled “U.S. Citrus Import Demand: Seasonality and Substitution,” compiled by Katherine L. Baldwin, formerly of the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, was presented at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting in Birmingham, AL, in February 2012.

Imported-Navels-cut-fruitImported summer Navel oranges from DNE World Fruit.Over the same period, total U.S. production of citrus fruits has been flat to declining, including the virtual disbandment of the U.S. commercial lime industry.

In order to fulfill domestic fresh citrus demand, imported citrus has increased in importance, accounting for more than 20 percent of total domestic consumption in the 2009-10 crop year.

Today citrus fruits make up one-fifth of all fresh fruit consumed in the United States.

Using quarterly U.S. import data for several citrus commodities, researchers for the report employed a demand model and evaluated aspects of seasonality.

All citrus fruits exhibit some seasonality in their imports, which is a result of peak harvesting schedules of exporters.

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, oranges in both fresh and juice form alone account for nearly 10 percent of total per capita fruit consumption.

Orange imports in 2009-10 were 10 times higher than levels seen in 1980-81. Regardless, imports still only account for a minute 6 percent share of U.S. consumption, up from only 1 percent in 1980-81. The motivation for increased imports is largely a matter of seasonality. Peak import season begins in July after the end of the California Navel season and ends in October when the harvesting of Florida’s early-season varieties begins.

South Africa, Chile, Mexico and Australia are the top sources for U.S. orange imports. South Africa has been the largest supplier of fresh oranges to the U.S. market essentially since 2003. Its entrance into the U.S. market began with the 2000 passage of the African Growth Opportunity Act, under which all imports of oranges from South Africa enter the U.S. duty-free. Interestingly, the top four fresh orange suppliers receive preferential trade status, and all but South Africa export under free trade agreements.

Amongst all citrus fruits produced in the United States, grapefruit is unique in that both domestic production and consumption are falling. Indeed, the long-term decline in U.S. grapefruit production is a product of weak U.S. consumer demand. Even with declining domestic demand, the U.S. remains the world’s second-largest producer of grapefruit.

Around 70 percent of the U.S. grapefruit crop is grown in Florida, with Texas and California accounting for 20 and 10 percent, respectively. Bearing acreage has declined an average of 7 percent each year since 2005-06 in Florida, but seems to have stabilized in California and Texas. In total, U.S. grapefruit production has declined by 50 percent since the 2000-01 marketing year. The report noted numerous reasons for the decline in demand, including fear of drug interaction.

Although tariffs vary seasonally for grapefruit, more than 99 percent of grapefruit imports enter the U.S. under duty-free status. With declining consumer demand, it is not surprising that imports of grapefruit are small, accounting for around 3 percent of U.S. fresh grapefruit consumption.

U.S. production of lemons remains strong, supplying more than 90 percent of domestic consumption needs and even making the U.S. the fifth-largest exporter of fresh lemons and limes in the world. Nearly all U.S. lemons are produced in California and Arizona, with the season running from August through July, and with Californian producers able to store production long enough to partially supply the high-demand summer season. Imports tend to be highest during the summer months. However, U.S. production is just gearing up for harvest at that time, and domestic supplies are at their lowest. Despite rising import demand during the summer months, imports only account for around 10 percent of U.S. consumption. Mexico and Chile are the primary sources of U.S. lemon imports, with both countries able to ship lemons duty-free through free trade agreements.

As with lemons, the U.S. mandarin and tangerine industry is on a trend of increasing both production and consumption. However, imports make up a significant portion of U.S. mandarin consumption, and the fruits are typically consumed fresh.

Worldwide, mandarins are known for being easy to peel and readily separating into different sections, which makes them convenient to eat in fresh form. Moreover, many different countries in the world produce their own particular varieties of mandarins, including Satsumas, clementines and numerous tangerine hybrids.

While most mandarins consumed in the U.S. are domestically grown, seasonal imports account for nearly 30 percent of consumption. Unlike other citrus varieties, mandarins do not store well on the tree and should be harvested soon after maturity. For this reason, the U.S. marketing season for mandarins is shorter than it is for other citrus varieties. Nearly half of U.S. mandarin imports come from Spain, with Chile, Morocco and Peru accounting for most of the remainder.

Imports from Spain represent nearly all of the clementine variety, which are in high demand by U.S. consumers because they are seedless. Total U.S. imports tend to peak November through January when the bulk of Spain’s crop is marketed. A smaller peak occurs in July and August when Chilean clementine and Peruvian tangelos enter the market.

More than 80 percent of citrus imports enter the U.S. under duty-free status due to various trade agreements.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

United Fresh to honor Mike Cavallero with Lifetime Achievement Award at Midwinter Leadership Forum

Michael Cavallero, retired president of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit for Dole Fresh Fruit Co., will be the 2015 honoree at the Produce Legends Dinner during the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum, to be held Jan. 13-15 at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, CA.

“Mike is a tremendously deserving honoree,” United Fresh Chairman Ron Carkoski, president and chief executive officer of Four Seasons Family of Cos., said in a press release.CavalleroMichael Cavallero

Cavallero has served the fresh produce industry for more than 40 years, working his entire career with the Dole Food Co. and its predecessor, Castle & Cooke. Cavallero has also served on many industry boards and councils, including as a member of the board of directors of United Fresh and the Produce Marketing Association, as well as chairman of the board of the International Banana Association.

United’s Midwinter Leadership Forum brings together all of the association’s volunteer leaders for council and board meetings, its annual United Fresh Start Foundation golf tournament to support children’s increased access to fresh produce, and the Produce Legends Dinner honoring an individual for his or her lifetime achievement in the produce industry. Past honorees have included Joe Procacci, Frieda Caplan, Reggie Griffin and Bob Grimm.

The 2015 Produce Legends Dinner will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 13, following the Foundation golf tournament.

Cavallero began his career as a technical service representative in the Fresh Fruit Division of Castle & Cooke. Four years later, he was promoted to director of marketing services.

In 1983, he was promoted to the Fresh Vegetable Division in Salinas, CA, with responsibility in central sales. After a stint in New York as Eastern Division sales manager, Cavallero returned to Salinas as vice president of sales for fresh vegetables.

In 1992 he returned to the Fresh Fruit Division as vice president of sales and marketing for tropical products, and was promoted to president of North American Tropical Fresh Fruit in 2001, serving as an officer of the Dole Fresh Fruit Co. He retired in 2014.

“Volunteer leaders and friends from throughout the fresh produce and supermarket industry are invited to participate with Mike in the Foundation Golf Tournament on Tuesday, January 13,” United Fresh President and CEO Tom Stenzel said in the press release. “Many friends throughout the industry have enjoyed being Mike’s guests at Dole golf tournaments over the years, so it’s great to be able to turn the tables and honor him at this year’s event. And, it’s for a great cause increasing kids’ access to fresh produce, which Mike has supported for so long.”

The 2015 United Fresh Start Foundation Golf Tournament will be played on the renowned TPC Stadium Course at PGA West. Rated one of the “Top 100 Courses in the World” by GOLF Magazine and fourth toughest course in America in Golf Digest’s “Top 50 Toughest Courses in America” (2007), this Pete Dye course offers one of the most enjoyable challenges in the game of golf. For those guests who do not play golf, United will arrange a tour on Tuesday of local fresh produce operations in the Palm Springs area.

On Wednesday morning following the Produce Legends Dinner, United Fresh will host a Keynote Leadership Breakfast for all volunteer leaders and dinner guests. After that event, United’s boards and councils will begin their meetings, and guests are welcome to observe a meeting of their choice or to depart.

Registration for all events is available on the United Fresh Midwinter Leadership Forum website.

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

Ray Gilmer to leave United Fresh this month

WASHINGTON — After 20 years with the food industry, Ray Gilmer, vice president of issues management and communications at the United Fresh Produce Association, is leaving at the end of the month to lead a Maryland college’s public relations team.

Gilmer, who joined United Fresh in 2009, first started with the produce industry at the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in 1994. Between the two jobs, he served as national group communications manager at BASF.Gilmer-RayRay Gilmer

“It’s hard walking away from the food industry and United,” Gilmer told The Produce News. “I have met so many tremendous people in the industry,” he said. “That, along with my relationships with staff,” made the decision a tough one.”

Starting November, Gilmer will serve as vice president of communications at Rockville, MD-based Montgomery College. The real attraction is to work in a college environment with a mission to help students build their careers, he said.

Gilmer said one of his missions will be to elevate the national reputation of the small Maryland college, and although he does not have an academic background, they wanted someone with a fresh approach who can lead the rebranding effort.

In the meantime, United Fresh is recruiting for a new vice president or director of communications.

Gilmer’s departure comes at a bad time for United Fresh, however, as the association lost its communications manager, Lisa Hightower, in March. Hightower left to become rural development director at the American Farm Bureau Federation.

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

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

United Exports will be shipping blueberries to the UK for the first time this season, harvesting of the first volumes got under way a month ago. The first fruit was harvested in May, but due to frost in the north of the country the season has started later than normal.

Blueberry production is in its early stages for the company in South Africa with around 10 ha in commercial production, with a further 50 ha currently being planted. The volumes from these areas will increase as the bushes mature. The company has until now been focussing on the domestic market. This season it will also airfreight blueberries to the UK and will do some seafreight trials.

The variety grown has been tested for shelf life of 42 days, which would allow exports via seafreight. The variety has been bred by “Early Blue”. United Exports is the exclusive licensee for South Africa, North & South America. The berries are currently being marketed under the “OZ blueberries” brand.

For more information contact: [email protected]

Publication date: 9/29/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

United Exports will be shipping blueberries to the UK for the first time this season, harvesting of the first volumes got under way a month ago. The first fruit was harvested in May, but due to frost in the north of the country the season has started later than normal.

Blueberry production is in its early stages for the company in South Africa with around 10 ha in commercial production, with a further 50 ha currently being planted. The volumes from these areas will increase as the bushes mature. The company has until now been focussing on the domestic market. This season it will also airfreight blueberries to the UK and will do some seafreight trials.

The variety grown has been tested for shelf life of 42 days, which would allow exports via seafreight. The variety has been bred by “Early Blue”. United Exports is the exclusive licensee for South Africa, North & South America. The berries are currently being marketed under the “OZ blueberries” brand.

For more information contact: [email protected]

Publication date: 9/29/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

United Fresh focuses on transportation, import rules at Washington Conference

WASHINGTON — The United Fresh Produce Association met with federal lawmakers recently carrying a short list of must-haves at its Washington Conference, but the three-day meeting also delved into a list of regulations the produce industry is closely scrutinizing.

The Food Safety Modernization Act’s proposed regulation for sanitary transportation includes a provision that could easily render shipments adulterated if records show a variation in temperature controls, Jon Samson of the Agricultural & Food Transporters Conference said at a Sept. 9 session, here.

“This could substantially increase cargo claims,” he warned. “We want more flexibility in the rule.”

The Food & Drug Administration’s first federal rule for hauling food underestimates compliance costs and exempts small trucking companies, which could hurt their businesses in the long run, he warned. More than 90 percent of trucking companies operate six trucks or fewer, and refrigerated truck companies are even smaller, he said.

The FDA needs to provide details on a range of issues, including how and who will maintain records, before the rule becomes final by March 2016.

Samson said the American Trucking Association also is working with Congress to suspend some provisions of the hours-of-service changes that were implemented in July 2013. The rule requires a 30-minute break during the first eight-hour shift. But depending on the shifts, carriers could end up having to take two 30-minute rest periods to comply with the rule, and that’s costly, he said.

Legislation that would delay enforcement of the rules for at least a year while a study is undertaken is moving through Congress, Samson said.

Imports have their own issues, and Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association, said changes are needed to ease the flow of trade.

More Customs officials are needed on the U.S. side for the nation’s busiest ports of entry, and a memorandum of understanding that would have the U.S. government recognize Mexico’s food safety and quality inspections would go a long way, Jungmeyer said.

Importers are keeping a close eye on the FDA’s plans to collect importer fees to pay for FSMA, a move that would affect border crossings, he said.

“Each new fee may invite retaliatory measures by foreign governments,” Jungmeyer warned.

Other changes on the produce industry’s plate include the Animal Plant & Health Inspection Service’s proposed user fees for inspection services to prevent pests and diseases and changes to container inspections.

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

United Fresh focuses on transportation, import rules at Washington Conference

WASHINGTON — The United Fresh Produce Association met with federal lawmakers recently carrying a short list of must-haves at its Washington Conference, but the three-day meeting also delved into a list of regulations the produce industry is closely scrutinizing.

The Food Safety Modernization Act’s proposed regulation for sanitary transportation includes a provision that could easily render shipments adulterated if records show a variation in temperature controls, Jon Samson of the Agricultural & Food Transporters Conference said at a Sept. 9 session, here.

“This could substantially increase cargo claims,” he warned. “We want more flexibility in the rule.”

The Food & Drug Administration’s first federal rule for hauling food underestimates compliance costs and exempts small trucking companies, which could hurt their businesses in the long run, he warned. More than 90 percent of trucking companies operate six trucks or fewer, and refrigerated truck companies are even smaller, he said.

The FDA needs to provide details on a range of issues, including how and who will maintain records, before the rule becomes final by March 2016.

Samson said the American Trucking Association also is working with Congress to suspend some provisions of the hours-of-service changes that were implemented in July 2013. The rule requires a 30-minute break during the first eight-hour shift. But depending on the shifts, carriers could end up having to take two 30-minute rest periods to comply with the rule, and that’s costly, he said.

Legislation that would delay enforcement of the rules for at least a year while a study is undertaken is moving through Congress, Samson said.

Imports have their own issues, and Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association, said changes are needed to ease the flow of trade.

More Customs officials are needed on the U.S. side for the nation’s busiest ports of entry, and a memorandum of understanding that would have the U.S. government recognize Mexico’s food safety and quality inspections would go a long way, Jungmeyer said.

Importers are keeping a close eye on the FDA’s plans to collect importer fees to pay for FSMA, a move that would affect border crossings, he said.

“Each new fee may invite retaliatory measures by foreign governments,” Jungmeyer warned.

Other changes on the produce industry’s plate include the Animal Plant & Health Inspection Service’s proposed user fees for inspection services to prevent pests and diseases and changes to container inspections.

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

United Fresh focuses on transportation, import rules at Washington Conference

WASHINGTON — The United Fresh Produce Association met with federal lawmakers recently carrying a short list of must-haves at its Washington Conference, but the three-day meeting also delved into a list of regulations the produce industry is closely scrutinizing.

The Food Safety Modernization Act’s proposed regulation for sanitary transportation includes a provision that could easily render shipments adulterated if records show a variation in temperature controls, Jon Samson of the Agricultural & Food Transporters Conference said at a Sept. 9 session, here.

“This could substantially increase cargo claims,” he warned. “We want more flexibility in the rule.”

The Food & Drug Administration’s first federal rule for hauling food underestimates compliance costs and exempts small trucking companies, which could hurt their businesses in the long run, he warned. More than 90 percent of trucking companies operate six trucks or fewer, and refrigerated truck companies are even smaller, he said.

The FDA needs to provide details on a range of issues, including how and who will maintain records, before the rule becomes final by March 2016.

Samson said the American Trucking Association also is working with Congress to suspend some provisions of the hours-of-service changes that were implemented in July 2013. The rule requires a 30-minute break during the first eight-hour shift. But depending on the shifts, carriers could end up having to take two 30-minute rest periods to comply with the rule, and that’s costly, he said.

Legislation that would delay enforcement of the rules for at least a year while a study is undertaken is moving through Congress, Samson said.

Imports have their own issues, and Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association, said changes are needed to ease the flow of trade.

More Customs officials are needed on the U.S. side for the nation’s busiest ports of entry, and a memorandum of understanding that would have the U.S. government recognize Mexico’s food safety and quality inspections would go a long way, Jungmeyer said.

Importers are keeping a close eye on the FDA’s plans to collect importer fees to pay for FSMA, a move that would affect border crossings, he said.

“Each new fee may invite retaliatory measures by foreign governments,” Jungmeyer warned.

Other changes on the produce industry’s plate include the Animal Plant & Health Inspection Service’s proposed user fees for inspection services to prevent pests and diseases and changes to container inspections.

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