Archive For The “News” Category

News Briefs: Idaho Potatoes; Temperature Recorders Introduced; and Oakland Port has New Plan

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A23In the news, Idaho potato crop value soars, while temperature recorders are introduced at Wal-Mart distribution centers. Finally, the Port of Oakland announces 5-year growth plan. 

The value of the 2017 Idaho potato crop was 22 percent more the previous year as it  hit a record $1.2 billion, according to the USDA.

However, harvested acreage in the state was down 5 percent and yields were down 1.2 percent.  Half those potatoes — whether fresh, frozen or dehydrated — end up on restaurant menus and at other foodservice operations, says the Idaho Potato Commission, which accounts for 13 billion pounds.

“Consumers are demanding a broader variety of creative and ethnic foods that would often be too challenging, costly and time consuming to prepare at home,” Don Odiorne, the commission’s vice president of foodservice/website, said in a release.  “A variety of Idaho potatoes products and recipe options help operators meet that demand.”

Temperature Recorders

 Cargo Data temperature recorders have been approved by Wal-Mart distribution centers for use by their inspectors and receivers.  The instruments are provided in self-hanging protective plastic pouches for protection from moisture and other contaminants.  The pouches are also bright orange, which makes it easier for the Inspectors/Receivers to find the instrument within your shipment.  Cargo Data’s Wal-Mart approved temperature recorders are $8.50/ea plus shipping, packed in cases of 20.

Port of Oakland has New 5- Year Plan

A new five-year strategic plan has been announced by The Port of Oakland (Calif.) which will serve as a blueprint for expansion.

Dubbed “Growth with Care,” the plan outlines projections for record business volumes for aviation and maritime businesses, capital investments for major projects and an emphasis on sustainability.

“We can grow, but we want our neighbors to grow with us,” Port of Oakland Executive Director Chris Lytle said in a news release about the 21-page document.

Cargo volume should reach 2.6 million 20-foot-equivalent containers (TEUs) by 2022, according to the plan, an increase of 8 percent.

Two projects will help with that increase:

  • Cool Port Oakland, a 283,000-square-foot refrigerated distribution center that is set to open this summer, and
  • A 440,000-square-foot distribution center planned at the nearby Seaport Logistics Complex.

Curbing diesel emissions is also a part of the strategic plan, and truck emissions at the port have been cut 98 percent since 2009, and vessel emissions have declined 76 percent.

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The Appeal of Electric Trucks; Acquisition of Mann is Completed by Del Monte

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A34The appeal of big rig electric trucks may be even bigger than thought….Plus, Del Monte completes its acquisition of Mann Packing.

Electric Trucks

Testla Inc. is the maker of the long-distance class-8 electric trucks scheduled to be introduced in 2019.  Now some fans of the new truck believe they will pay off the difference between electric and diesel trucks in as little as 18 months.  Jim Monkmeyer, president of DHL Supply Chain, who is one of the first to order the electric trucks, recent told Reuters the new trucks could pay for themselves this fast because of energy usage and low maintenance costs.  Engines for electric trucks are said to be much simpler in relation to the number of parts and complexities of the parts.

Additionally, based on the assumption diesel fuel costs will remain high, plus costs are projected to decrease for electric trucks, the saving could be even more than originally anticipated. anticipated.

Sysco Corp. of Houston already contracted to by 50 tractor-trailers,  while Meijer Inc. of Grand Rapids, MI is set up for an electric truck test drive.

Del Monte/Mann Acquisition

 Fresh Del Monte Produce of Coral Gables, FL  has finalized its acquisition of Mann Packing Co. Inc. of Salinas, CA for about $361 million.

Del Monte has been for years associated primarily with bananas, but more recently has been diversifying its business.  Purchasing Mann accelerates its efforts to become more invested in fresh-cut.  Its sales in the segment for 2017 were $607.8 million, up 18 percent from the previous year.

Mann’s product offering is roughly 50-50 between bulk vegetables and fresh-cut.   Del Monte recently spelled out some of its plans to incorporate Mann into its operations.  It was noted Mann is mainly on the West Coast with much less of a presence in the Northeast, but has little activity in the Southeast and Southwest of the U.S.  Thus, Del Monte is looking to develop new business in those regions.  It also is looking leverage its infrastructure across the U.S. to improve marketing and distribution of Mann Packing products.

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Shipping Updates for Springtime Strawberries, Avocados and Apples

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DSCN0444Here are updates on strawberry, avocado and apple shipments.

As of April 7th California strawberry shipments had totaled around 17.5 million trays, which is over 3 million fewer trays than at the same time in 2017.  Likewise, at the same time two years ago  27.4 million trays of strawberries had been shipped.  Factors ranging from heavy rains to cold weather have been blamed for the lighter volume thus far this season.  Assuming improved growing conditions are ahead with the arrival of spring, California shipments are expected to increase soon to over 5 million trays per week and eventually exceed 8 million trays on a weekly basis.

Ventura County strawberries and vegetables – grossing about $7500 to New York City.

Avocado Shipments

If estimates hold about 60 million pounds of avocados will be shipped weekly during the month of April  Over 80 percent of the volume will be imports from Mexico.  With this kind of volume, avocado shipments leading up to Cinco de Mayo (May 5) will comparable to those weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.  The “Big Game” last February resulted in  200 million pounds of the fruit shipped in the four weeks leading up to the football game.

Mexican is in it second half of the season for shipping avocados.  More No. 2 product, is typically shipped this time of the season, but no significant quality issues are being reported.. California’s new season is well underway.

Mexican avocado and vegetables crossing through South Texas – grossing about $5800 to New York City.

Apple Shipments

Significantly more apples remain in U.S. storages as of early April than at this time a year ago.  About 61.3 million (42-pound) cartons of fresh apples were stored as of  April 1st, up 16 percent from 2017 when there were 53.1 million cartons remaining to be shipped, which is 18 percent greater than the five-year average of 51.8 million cartons.

Gala apples remaining is storage were 10.76 million cartons, up 11 percent from 9.6 million cartons in 2017 and 62 percent greater than 6.67 million cartons in 2016.

Fresh Honeycrisp available was at 3.38 million cartons, more than double the 1.45 million cartons in 2017 and 1.61 million cartons on hand two years ago.

Red delicious remaining to be shipped  were pegged at 15.65 million cartons, down 23 pecent compared with 20.2 million cartons in 2017 and up 7 percent from 14.6 million cartons two years ago.

Granny smith apples available were 10.1 million cartons, more than double the 4.8 million cartons in 2017 and 13 percent higher than 7.8 million cartons two years ago.

Yakima Valley apples – grossing about $6700 to New York City.

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Eating Vegetables and Fruit May Also Reduce Risk of Depression

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A3by American Academy of Neurology

MINNEAPOLIS — People who eat vegetables, fruit and whole grains may have lower rates of depression over time, according to a preliminary study released recently will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 70th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, April 21 to 27, 2018.

The study found that people whose diets adhered more closely to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were less likely to develop depression than people who did not closely follow the diet. In addition to fruit and vegetables, the DASH diet recommends fat-free or low-fat dairy products and limits foods that are high in saturated fats and sugar.

Studies have shown health benefits such as lowering high blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL), along with lowering body weight.

“Depression is common in older adults and more frequent in people with memory problems, vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or people who have had a stroke,” said study author Laurel Cherian, MD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Making a lifestyle change such as changing your diet is often preferred over taking medications, so we wanted to see if diet could be an effective way to reduce the risk of depression.”

For the study, 964 participants with an average age of 81 were evaluated yearly for an average of six-and-a-half years. They were monitored for symptoms of depression such as being bothered by things that usually didn’t affect them and feeling hopeless about the future. They also filled out questionnaires about how often they ate various foods, and the researchers looked at how closely the participants’ diets followed diets such as the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet and the traditional Western diet.

Participants were divided into three groups based on how closely they adhered to the diets. People in the two groups that followed the DASH diet most closely were less likely to develop depression than people in the group that did not follow the diet closely. The odds of becoming depressed over time was 11 percent lower among the top group of DASH adherers versus the lowest group.

On the other hand, the more closely people followed a Western diet—a diet that is high in saturated fats and red meats and low in fruits and vegetables—the more likely they were to develop depression.  Cherian noted that the study does not prove that the DASH diet leads to a reduced risk of depression; it only shows an association.

“Future studies are now needed to confirm these results and to determine the best nutritional components of the DASH diet to prevent depression later in life and to best help people keep their brains healthy,” said Cherian.

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Grimmway Farms’ Georgia Facility Has a Grand Opening

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A2By Grimmway Farms

SPARKS, GA — The grand opening of the Grimmway Farms’ new Southeast Regional Packing Facility and Warehouse in Sparks, Georgia was held recently. 

Grimmway Farms, the largest grower, producer, and shipper of carrots in the world, is opening the new facility to better serve the company’s East Coast customers. The new packing and warehouse center will bring with it both permanent and seasonal jobs to the region. 

“We are proud to welcome Grimmway Farms to Georgia,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. “With further processing of raw agricultural products historically lacking in the Southeast, Georgia is honored to be the home of this unique facility which has the potential to have significant impacts on our rural and agricultural economies in both the state of Georgia and entire Southeast.” 

The new facility also will bring positive economic impact. Grimmway Farms made approximately $5 million in capital investment to bring the new Georgia facility online and expects its Southeast operating budget to be more than $2.5 million. Additionally, the company will bring four permanent, full-time jobs and 50 seasonal jobs to Cook County. 

“At Grimmway Farms, we are always looking for fertile regions to grow carrots and further develop our year-round program,” said Jeff Huckaby, company president and CEO. “We found Cook County to be a great location to expand our operations. We are committed to providing customers with unparalleled service and this new packing facility in Sparks will allow us to load six days a week from February to May, ensuring timely delivery to our regional customers.“ 

The new plant has already begun shipping Grimmway Farms’ popular cello and jumbo carrots, packed under the Grimmway Farms, Bunny-Luv, and Premier labels. 

About Grimmway Farms

Family-owned and headquartered in Bakersfield, California, Grimmway Farms traces its roots to a produce stand opened by the Grimm brothers in the early 1960s. Grimmway is a global produce leader and the world’s largest producer of carrots. Grimmway supplies more than 65 organic, USAgrown crops year-round. Brands include Cal-Organic Farms and Bunny-Luv.

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Allen Lund Company Announces Passing of President & CEO Allen Lund

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AllenLund1By Allen Lund Company

La Cañada Flintridge Calif. – With very heavy hearts the Allen Lund Company (ALC) announces the passing of their leader for the past 42 years, Mr. D. Allen Lund.

Just recently diagnosed with a very rare and fast moving cancer, Allen was surrounded by family and friends as he said his good byes.  Allen founded his company in 1976 and was able to see the company grow to a nationwide presence and leader in the transportation, logistics and software industries. In 2017, the company became a 500M force, which was one of Allen’s goals.

A true leader within the produce and transportation industries, Allen held multiple positions with important associations. While he was passionate about the produce industry, his true passions were family and faith.  More information about Allen and his many accomplishments will be forthcoming.

The funeral mass for Allen will be Saturday, April 14, 2018, 5:00 p.m., at the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels.

About Allen Lund Company:

Specializing as a national third-party transportation broker with nationwide offices and over 450 employees, the Allen Lund Company works with shippers and carriers across the nation to arrange dry, refrigerated (specializing in produce), and flatbed freight; additionally, the Allen Lund Company has a logistics and software division, ALC Logistics, and an International Division licensed by the FMC as an OTI-NVOCC #019872NF.  If you are interested in joining the Allen Lund Company team, please click here.

Established in 1976, the Allen Lund Company was selected as 2017 Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100, a 2016 Top IT Provider by Inbound Logistics, 2015 Coca-Cola Challenger Carrier of the Year, 2015 Top Private Company in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal, 2015 Top 100+ Software and Technology Providers, 2015 Top 100 Logistics IT Provider by Inbound Logistics, a 2014 Great Supply Chain Partner, and was placed in Transport Topics’ “2014 Top 25 Freight Brokerage Firms.”  The company managed over 310,000 shipments in 2015, and received the 2013 “Best in Cargo Security Award.”  In 2011 the company received the TIA 3PL Samaritan Award, and the NASTC (National Association of Small Trucking Companies) named Allen Lund Company the 2010 Best Broker of the Year.  More information is available at www.allenlund.com.

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J&J Family of Farms Introduces Sunny Sweet Peppers: A New Pepper Variety

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AA10By J&J Family of Farms

Westlake, FL:  J&J Family of Farms is pleased to announce a new, one of a kind pepper variety: Sunny Sweet™ Peppers.

Like no other sweet pepper in its category, Sunny Sweet™ Peppers have a much sweeter taste than mini sweet peppers due to their higher BRIX1. The unique proprietary field-grown variety pepper also has a very small seed cavity located at the very top of pod, making it easier to enjoy as a bite size snack, easily stuffed, or cut up in a salad.

“We really wanted the packaging to reflect the true uniqueness of this pepper by creating a fun brand that will make an impact among our customers and their consumers,” said Angela Gamiotea, Marketing Manager. “We are excited to introduce this new Sunny Sweet™ brand, as this is just a glimpse of what’s to come in terms of product innovation at J&J Family of Farms.”

Sunny SweetTM Peppers are currently grown only in Florida and J&J is harvesting through the entire Florida growing season. The peppers are currently all yellow, but next year J&J is looking to provide other colors such as red and orange. Sunny Sweet™ Peppers are available in a 1lb. resealable bag.

“With the mini sweet pepper category growing in retail, we are thrilled to offer a product that isn’t in the marketplace yet,” said Lynn Rundle, Chairman and CEO. “Our growers also love it, because it has a great yield and grows beautifully on the plant. We are confident that once consumers taste this pepper, they will want to get their hands on it.”

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About J&J Family of Farms:  Established in 1983, J&J Family of Farms specializes in growing cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, tomatoes and eggplant. J&J manages over 14,000 acres of production from its own farms and partners and has operations in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona and Mexico. For more information, visit www.jjfamilyoffarms.com or SunnySweetPeppers.com

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Earth Source to Launch Corona Extra Branded Limes

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AA8by Earth Source

Constellation Brands, the No. 1 import beer company in the U.S., has granted Earth Source, an international and domestic fresh produce grower representative, the right to source and distribute Corona Extra branded limes under an agreement brokered by The Joester Loria Group.

Earth Source, an industry leader skilled in providing premium fresh produce, will oversee the procurement, packaging, and distribution of the limes, which will be available in both Corona six-packs and bulk boxes. Earth Source’s Corona Extra – branded limes will be specially selected for size and quality, providing consumers with the perfect limes to complement the #1 imported beer brand in the United States.

“Corona Beer and Corona Limes are the perfect couple for any beach, slope or party,” said William Ison, Director of Business Development of Earth Source. “We are delighted that Constellation Brands and the Earth Source team will be working to together to provide Corona Extra consumers with perfect limes to accompany their favorite beer.”

About Earth Source

Established in 2006, Earth Source is a grower representative and part of the Four Seasons Family of Companies. Earth Source has cultivated strong, long-term relationships with key grower partners across North America and globally to bring the freshest and highest quality produce to their customer base throughout the United States. They are an industry leader in providing a premium selection and variety of fresh produce with full traceability and transparency for seamless year-round availability.

Four Seasons Family of Companies has been in business for over 41 years and is located near Lancaster, PA. At their state-of-the-art facility, Four Seasons supplies reliable solutions for fresh produce distribution through a spectrum of services. The Family of Companies supply and support their customers with logistics and transportation capabilities, Sunrise Logistics and Sunrise Transport, with a fleet of over 150 owned trucks delivering across the U.S. daily.

About Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S. In addition, Constellation is the world leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford,

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Companies Rave over Success of First Season of Big Volume for Sunions

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AA7By Sunonions

PARMA, ID – It’s official: Sunions are a phenomenon.  It’s a rave. America’s first tearless and sweet onion hit retail shelves across the United States last December to accolades from consumer media nationwide. In just the first two months of what is the first season in wide distribution, Sunions reached more than one billion media impressions and counting in print, radio, web and television media including appearances on ABC’s The Chew and Good Morning America.

Consumers are responding to the buzz all across the country and visiting their local stores looking for Sunions. Along with dozens of questions regarding availability fielded through the Sunions website, messages streaming in from shoppers who put Sunions to the test demonstrate an overwhelmingly positive response.

“Just tried your onions. They are the best – I’m so surprised,” said one shopper. “I have bought ‘sweet onions’ before and was always disappointed. I couldn’t believe the taste! I hope I can always get them.”

“Just bought some and the statements are true,” said another shopper. “I sliced it up and there was a very strong onion odor but no tears and no bite! I buy a lot of onions and these will be on my list – good product.”

A game-changing product of more than three decades of research, development and natural hybridization by Bayer Crop Science, Sunions are a long-day sweet onion variety grown in the USA. But unlike other long-day onions, Sunions actually become sweeter and more tearless in storage.

It all comes down to the levels of volatile compounds responsible for pungency and tearing in onions. The levels of those compounds in other onions remain stable or increase during storage. In Sunions, these compounds do the exact opposite and decrease in prevalence to create a milder, sweeter and tearless onion over time. This natural process also promotes a strong level of consistency from bulb to bulb.

Unlike any other onion variety, a sensory panel with full authority and power to determine ship dates follows a tightly-controlled protocol that includes both flavor and tearlessness. Sunions will ship only once they are certified ready by this panel of tasting experts and with the support of a food lab test determining the proper levels of volatile compounds.

Sunions are marketed and distributed exclusively by Generation Farms, Onions 52 and Peri & Sons Farms.

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Lipman Farms’ Expansion Moves Indoors with Acquisition of Huron Produce

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A7By Lipman Family Farms

IMMOKALEE, FL — Lipman Family Farms – North America’s largest open field tomato grower has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ontario, Canada based Huron Produce, a greenhouse grower and distributor of tomatoes and vegetables with operations in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Huron Produce packs under the Suntastic® brand. The expansion into greenhouse product will allow Lipman Family Farms to offer its customers hothouse and field grown tomatoes and vegetables on a year-round basis.

“The Huron Produce acquisition is truly transformative,” said Darren Micelle, COO of Lipman Family Farms. “We look forward to the opportunities resulting from the introduction of our proprietary varieties into the protected agriculture space. We have innovative new products planned that will create value for our customers. Likewise, Huron Produce can now expand their customer offering to include field grown product. This is a classic win-win transaction. The addition of Huron gives us extraordinary product depth, expands our collective capabilities and broadens our distribution footprint, allowing us to better serve our customers with a single, year-round solution for tomatoes and vegetables. We’re excited to welcome the Huron team to the Lipman family.”

Huron Produce is a multigenerational, family owned company with over 50 years in the produce business. Commenting on the acquisition, Jeff Kints, President of Huron Produce said, “The transaction with Lipman will allow Huron to build on our years of success, accelerate our business strategies and enhance our service and product offering to our customers.”

As part of the acquisition, Lipman plans to expand operations with new facilities in Canada, Nebraska, a second location in Denver and a warehouse in McAllen, Texas. The acquisition is expected to close in April 2018.

About Lipman Family Farms

Lipman Family Farms is the largest field tomato grower in North America. From seed to shelf, Lipman’s total supply chain control – research & development, farming, processing, repacking, logistics to marketing – delivers the consistency and quality that has made Lipman Family Farms North America’s most dependable source of fresh tomatoes and vegetables.

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