Archive For The “News” Category
Expanding to handle more containerized cargo by investing $600 million has been announced by the Port of Oakland.
Speaking to a maritime audience at the American Association of Port Authorities Conference recently in Tampa, Fla., Port of Oakland Maritime Director John Driscoll outlined a partnership designed to increase trade volume by investing in new facilities and better infrastructure.
“We’re building for growth in a shipping industry that is becoming more and more competitive,” Driscoll said in a news release. “By investing with partners who share our vision, we can deliver services that will be of great value to the global supply chain.”
Driscoll noted the port would work with private developers and public agencies to modernize its infrastructure and outlined three proposed investment projects:
- $244 million, mostly from government grants, to separate railroad tracks from major port roadways;
- $90 million for a privately built refrigerated warehouse called “Cool Port;” and
- $50 million to expand the port’s second-largest marine terminal, with private funds.
Driscoll noted that the port recently completed a $100-million railyard near marine terminals and a proposed logistics complex, both of which should be a drawing card for shippers, enabling cargo to be quickly shifted between rail, road and ocean transport.
The Port of Oakland agricultural tonnage grew 233% over the past five years and now represents 53% of the port’s total export tonnage. Fruits and nuts are the leading agricultural commodities shipped from the port. The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland Seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront.
The Port of Los Angeles
January 2017 was the busiest January and second busiest month in the Port of Los Angeles’ 110-year history
“Coming off our best year ever in 2016, it’s very encouraging to keep the momentum going into 2017,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said in a news release. “The port remains diligent, along with our partners, in making the San Pedro Bay supply chain even more efficient through world-class infrastructure, innovative technology solutions and strategic use of resources.”
January 2017 imports increased 13.1% compared to January 2016. Exports increased 28.7% compared to the previous year. Empty containers increased 17.9%. Combined, January 2017 saw a 17.4% increase compared to last year.
Fruit and vegetable imports for January 2017 were 4,885 TEU (20-foot equivalent units), according to Phillip Sanfield, Port of Los Angeles director of media relations. Those imports accounted for 1.1% of the total 415,423 TEUs imported that month. Fruit and vegetable export numbers were not available.
by T&G Global / Oppy
Fresh crop New Zealand JAZZ™ apples are arriving now — decked out with a sharp new look and attitude geared to drive even stronger sales of the top-10 apple.
Built around the powerful positioning of “The JAZZ Sensation,” the new brand elevates the always refreshing eating experience delivered by the tangy-sweet, intensely crunchy favorite. Complete with a fresh new logo, and supported by a full suite of nimble visual components, JAZZ™ is primed to stand out in the category with contemporary colors, eye-catching graphics and a compelling brand message.
JAZZ™ apples originated in New Zealand, following a natural union of Royal Gala and Braeburn varieties. Sixteen years later, it’s become a global sensation, growing in 10 counties under a closely controlled quality program, managed by trademark owner and one of New Zealand’s largest horticulture exporters, T&G Global (originally Turners and Growers).
T&G Global introduced the new brand at Fruit Logistica in February, and has subsequently rolled it out market-by-market to great enthusiasm.
Darren Drury, T&G Global’s executive general manager – pipfruit, said the refresh of JAZZTMrepresents a major investment by T&G that extends across all touch-points from packaging to promotions and sampling to digital platforms.
“Our consumer research identified an opportunity to reinvigorate our JAZZTM brand to reinforce its premium position,” he explained. “We operate in a highly competitive category, so it’s vital to remain relevant while appealing to new consumers. Having discussed it with our growers, sales agents and customers we felt the time was right for a global refresh.”
Importantly, the esteemed ENZA quality mark will appear alongside the new JAZZ™ label, providing assurance that the long-standing quality and eating experience of JAZZ™ has not changed.
“The new JAZZ™ brand will engage consumers with an exciting new website and relevant social content aimed at creating a deeper relationship between JAZZ™ and its global fan base,” said Drury. “Our research guided us to focus JAZZ™ marketing efforts on well-travelled and socially connected taste seekers; consumers who are always looking for the latest and the new, and who enjoy sharing their discoveries. A durable, versatile, great-tasting apple like JAZZ™ is a perfect fit for this spirit and lifestyle, and our refreshed approach will place more JAZZ™ into their sphere.”
Available soon from Oppy, fresh crop New Zealand JAZZ™ apples will be supported by high-impact custom promotions arranged in partnership with retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“JAZZ™ ranks third in the list of premium apples for dollar contribution in the produce department,” said David Nelley, vice president of categories at Oppy. “Its growth has been steady over the last decade and a half. The refreshed brand will renew existing connections with JAZZ™ apples as well as build new ones across North America.”
JAZZ™ apples are also available from CMI Orchards and Rainier Fruit Company primarily during the domestic season.
Drury says T&G is pleased with consistent growth and demand for JAZZTM across the company’s traditional markets including Germany, the UK and USA alongside newer markets such as Thailand, China, Vietnam and Japan.
“We’ve built up a stronger presence in our key markets and our people are better placed to further support our customers and work alongside growers on our year-round growing program,” he said. “We are also looking for new growth opportunities. It’s an exciting time for JAZZTM and we’re looking forward to sharing our new-look journey with customers, growers and consumers.”
by Lufa Farms
MONTREAL – Urban agriculture pioneer Lufa Farms has just finished a third highly automated greenhouse in the Montreal borough of Anjou. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau was there to see it in full production. The new 63,000 square foot rooftop greenhouse is a milestone in polyculture efficiency and produces over 40 varieties of urban-grown greens and vegetables throughout the year.
The Prime Minister was given a full tour of the new production facility by Lufa Farms founders Mohamed Hage and Lauren Rathmell. He witnessed first-hand the innovative complexity of the rooftop greenhouse, and even took time to harvest a basket of fresh greens for himself and his family.
The realization of sustainable cities
Lufa Farms’ six years of rapid growth and its successes in rooftop greenhouse design, cooperation with local sustainability-focused farmers, and appeal to thousands of Montreal consumers, make it one of the most successful large-scale urban agriculture models in the world, demonstrating how to sustainably feed entire cities. Lufa Farms already delivers more than 10,000 food baskets every week to consumers of Greater Montreal, who shop via their online marketplace.
Quebec investors inject $3.5 million into a more responsible local economy
Constructed on top of an existing warehouse building in Montreal’s borough of Anjou, Lufa Farms’ largest and most technologically advanced greenhouse was designed and constructed with the financial support of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and La Financière agricole du Québec. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ invested $3 million in debt financing, while La Financière agricole du Québec contributed an additional $500,000 to the successful greenhouse project.
“Supporting innovative companies like Lufa Farms is at the heart of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s strategic planning. The reinstatement of the federal tax credit by the Trudeau government made such investments possible,” says Gaétan Morin, President and Chief Executive Officer at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
Financière agricole du Québec’s goals are as progressive, and consistent with the Quebec government’s Stratégie gouvernementale de développement durable 2015-2020.
The new greenhouse was designed by Dutch greenhouse innovators at KUBO, outfitted by Belgian greenhouse automation experts, Hortiplan, and includes advanced horticultural lighting systems from GE.
Funding underlines economic viability of urban agriculture
“Being able to finance this project in Quebec has been an important milestone for us,” says Mohamed Hage, Co-Founder and CEO of Lufa Farms. “It’s testimony that commercial-scale urban farming is truly economically viable. It also illustrates that a sustainable economy is possible. Urban growing centres like Lufa Farms will employ local workers and, together with local farmers, will provide fresh, responsible, and locally produced food to thousands of urban residents every day. That’s a desirable model for every city in the world.”
The future of Lufa Farms
Founded in 2009 by Mohamed Hage, Lauren Rathmell, Kurt Lynn, and Yahya Badran, Lufa Farms now has a combined urban growing space of 138,000 square feet. The company plans to continue the expansion of its urban farm projects in Quebec urban centres, and also in select New England locations in the U.S.
By California Avocado Commission
IRVINE, Calif. – The avocado industry estimates that 123 million pounds of Hass avocados will be shipped for the for Memorial Day weekend activities, which surpasses the volume for Cinco de Mayo this year. It is prime season for California avocados, and the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has put together its sixth annual program supporting avocado sales for American summer holidays, with a strong push on the start of the season.
“Memorial Day continues to be a sweet spot for California avocado merchandising activity,” said Jan DeLyser, CAC vice president marketing. “For the targeted retailers who carry California avocados, the timing of Memorial Day and crop availability plus California’s origin create a golden opportunity for thematic marketing.”
For 2017 CAC developed a promotional theme, “United Plates of America”, with the intent to make California avocados synonymous with the key American summer holidays by highlighting their origin and ability to make recipes and get-togethers even more special.
The Commission created a United Plates of America retail recipe booklet that includes 18 recipes and tips pairing California avocados with “plates” from the USA, particularly from California and Western states. The booklet is available to retailers who merchandise California avocados. Other CAC retail programs for Memorial Day and summer holidays include demos, point-of-sale material and display bins.
CAC’s advertising support includes in-store radio and Pandora radio targeted to where California avocados are in distribution. Online advertising, social media and consumer public relations outreach showcase recipes that fit the United Plates of America theme, including recipes from custom content providers. In addition, CAC will send out email blasts to its fans and create Memorial Day and Fourth of July blog posts that encourage usage of California avocados for summertime picnics and parties.
The California avocado harvesting and distribution is well underway and is anticipated to be strong through Fourth of July. This year’s crop forecast is on track to hit 200 million pounds.
About the California Avocado Commission
Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 4,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.
BOISE, Idaho — The Big Idaho® Potato Truck is back on America’s highways promoting Idaho’s most famous agricultural product, the Idaho® potato. In just six months, the Truck will log 23,000 miles, stop in more than 60 cities both large and small and be photographed millions of times by spud lovers across the country. The Truck’s popular “A Big Helping” charitable program will continue to support local non-profits across the country.”When we launched the Truck six years ago, it was intended to be a one year campaign. Instead, the Truck became an overnight sensation – reminding consumers at every turn to look for the ‘Grown in Idaho®’ seal, which is prominently featured on the side of cab,” explained Frank Muir, President & CEO, Idaho Potato Commission (IPC). “We placed several other graphics on the Truck to communicate important key messages such as the Idaho® potato’s certification by the American Heart Association as a heart-healthy food; the Famous Idaho® Potato Bowl logo, the premier cold-weather college football bowl game; Spuddy Buddy, the Idaho® potato mascot; and important nutrition facts.”
The Truck’s first national appearance is the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, GA. Other stops throughout the summer include the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC., the Potato Chip Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY and the NASCAR Pocono Raceway Cup Series. To view the entire calendar visit www.bigidahopotato.com
The Big Idaho® potato weighs more than 6 tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes).
To date, the Truck has visited 48 states (all but Hawaii and Alaska), traveled through 5,000+ towns/cities and traveled more than 100,000 miles since its 2012 launch celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the IPC. The Big Idaho® Potato Truck was built by Chris and Sharolyn Schofield of Weiser, Idaho with the help of a few specialized contractors. The Truck took a full year to design and build.
By The Hass Avocado Board
MISSION VIEJO, CA – Avocados are appearing more often on menus when family and friends gather for holiday celebrations. The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) recently released a study that shows the growing popularity of avocados as measured by retail sales trends during thirteen key holidays and events. Overall in 2016, shoppers purchased +10% more avocados than in the prior year, with nearly 1.9 billion avocados sold at retailers across the country. Holidays have historically been a large contributor to annual sales, and 2016 was no exception. The thirteen holiday and event weeks tracked in the study contributed 502 million avocados (27%) to annual volume, up +11% vs prior year.
Consumers are showing increasing interest in serving avocado dishes during the holidays, and retailers are reaping the benefits. Retail sales grew for twelve of thirteen holiday weeks in 2016. The Big Game continues to be a popular avocado eating occasion, turning in the top holiday volume week at +54MM units (+16% vs 2015). The Big Game was also the second highest holiday dollar week, behind Independence Day, which ranked number one in holiday dollar sales, at $44.9MM. Valentine’s Day is growing in popularity with avocado shoppers, surpassing 2015 volume by +29%.
“This study showcases the importance of these holidays and events to the avocado category,” says Emiliano Escobedo, executive director of the Hass Avocado Board. “It is our goal to provide the industry with actionable insights into the avocado category, and the Holiday and Events study is a valuable source for seasonal sales information.”
In addition to the national trends, the report also details holiday and event performance for eight geographic regions. Nearly all holidays and events performed well in each region. The Big Game was the star volume sales event in all regions, except the Northeast, where Cinco de Mayo ranked first in holiday volume.
To read about holidays and events in each region and to get more in-depth information about avocado sales for each holiday, visit hassavocadoboard.com/retail. Sign up here for the Hass Avocado Board’s Hass Insights Newsletters to receive updates on current retail avocado trends delivered straight to your inbox.
About The Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) was established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. The Hass Avocado Board is committed to increasing awareness and providing industry leaders with fresh insights into this vibrant category. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Hass avocados are grown in California and imported into the U.S. from Mexico, Chile, Peru, Dominican Republic and New Zealand.
Jimmy DeMatteis, CTB, President & CEO of Des Moines Truck Brokers was honored by the national Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) with the 2017 Heritage Award presented at their 39th annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 18.
The Heritage Award is the most respected honor in the logistics industry. It recognizes exceptional industry leadership and long standing support of the TIA, the premier organization for third-party logistics professionals in North America and over 1,600 members.
In reflecting on his career, Jimmy wrote the following:
30 years ago, in April of 1987, I attended my very first trade association conference. We had joined the TBCA (Transportation Brokers Conference of America). I was curious to see what others in our industry were doing and determine if this would be a fit for DMTB. I spent two days at the Adams Mark Hotel in Houston, TX exchanging business cards with other brokers (Logistics and 3PL were tags we didn’t use then) and learning everything I could about how these other brokers ran
James R. DeMatteis, (l-r) CTB accepts Heritage Award from Jason Beardall, chair,and Robert Voltman, president and CEO, Transportation Intermediaries Association.
their businesses. I returned to our office in Norwalk, IA with a few ideas I could try and found some were good for us. I met some people at that conference that have long since become friends.
I was excited to return to the next conference the following year in Las Vegas. My Dad was very much in charge those days and he pulled rank and took along Rick Demory one of our retired colleagues who is also a very good friend and golfing buddy of my Dad. When they returned home I was excited to hear if their experience was as good as mine. Who did they meet? What were the hot topics? Anything new we needed to be on top of? To my chagrin Dad said, “Oh we went to one meeting, but the weather was great so we played golf for three straight days!” I decided then I would be attending the future conferences.
Since that meeting in Las Vegas I have only missed two conferences, one with the passing of my son in law and the other due to a severe case of pneumonia. The industry has changed drastically and so has DMTB. We worked from a Roladex and yes I do still have mine. No CTBs (Certified Truck Brokers), no computer, no website, no electronic invoices or payments, no real time electronic tracking and tracing, no portals that allow our customers to enter an order or check its status, no apps that allow our carriers to send a proof of delivery or receive a load confirmation instantly; shoot we didn’t even have cell phones… Contracts? Nope. Just our word and a promise to do things ethically with no excuses.
20 years ago the TBCA became TIA (Transportation Intermediaries Association). By then we had a computer, fax machine, email, contracts, and a documented Code of Ethics. All of this and more due to our involvement with TIA. All of these tools allowed us to grow. We built our business on relationships by exceeding expectations, paying our carriers very fast, and we still followed Dad’s lead to keep our word and make no excuses.
11 years ago I became President of DMTB and was honored to be elected to the TIA board of Directors. Permitting me to work side by side with some of Logistics best minds, many of whom have become dear friends. While serving on the board, we started the TIAPAC and I was asked to be our first PAC Chairman, a role I played for six years. This allowed us to create a voice in Washington. We started Legislative fly-ins to allow our members to walk the halls of DC and meet face to face with transportation and infrastructure members of Congress. We went from obscurity to a respected voice for transportation and supply chain. Today nearly 17,000 companies are licensed property brokers. TIA membership represents the top 10% of the industry and accounting for over 60% of our $166 Billion commerce. That’s four times the candy industry and one and a half times the beer industry!
In April of this year Ben Batten, CTB became a partner at DMTB. Ben, Jim Walstrom, CTB (our Operations Manager), and I traveled to Las Vegas for the 2017 TIA Conference. Prior to leaving we found out DMTB made Transport Topics Top 100 Freight Broker list! I attended my final board meeting at TIA and reflected on what we have accomplished as an industry. There is still more to accomplish and we have great leadership in place.
General George Patton once said, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way”. At DMTB our entire operations staff has earned their CTB from TIA. We currently have six new members of our team either testing or studying to test for their CTB. We have individuals that have taken leadership roles in UFPA, IMTA, and IGIA. We have a culture built on participation with each member of our team taking their turn leading our monthly company team meetings. There is a sign posted in our Ops room that says 100/0. 100% effort 0 excuses. We will celebrate our 48th year in business this June. We continue to experience double digit growth in staff, load count, revenue and more importantly benevolence. For this we are humbled and grateful to all of you.
Lead, follow, or get out of the way…No excuses.
(The son of a truck driver, I’ve known Jimmy DeMatteis for nearly 30 years. My congratulations on a well deserved award! When I think of Jimmy and DMTB, I think of honesty, integrity and someone who does things the right way. — Bill Martin)
by Chelan Fresh
Chelan, Wash. – Chelan Fresh of Chelan, Wash., already one of the largest and most versatile apple, cherry and pear suppliers in the world, is merging with Borton Fruit of Yakima, Washington. The merger brings together two industry leading companies and 5 generations of farmers. Borton Fruit’s diverse production and innovative style joins the dynamic supplier base of Gebbers Farms, Crane & Crane and Chelan Fruit Cooperative in the marketing group. The addition of Borton Fruit brings an immediate 47 percent volume expansion to Chelan Fresh’s sales and marketing portfolio, including organic offerings, early-season cherries, innovative plantings and new proprietary apple varieties.
The partners in Chelan Fresh boast new and efficient production facilities and orchards. Together, the group has recently invested more than $235 million dollars in state-of-the-art packing facilities and technologies, new storage facilities, and production efficiencies. These investments, combined with more than 13,000 acres planted in young, high-density orchards with modern trellis systems, will drive innovation on a large scale. In addition, the group will become an industry leading producer of Honeycrisp apples.
Chelan Fresh will market the majority of the new fruit under the globally-recognized Trout label, which has long been associated with high-quality apples, pears and cherries. This marks the label’s largest brand expansion since the Trout label was first marketed in 1923. Chelan Fresh also markets the Cascade Crest Organic and the Chelan Fresh labels.
The combined marketing company will retain the Chelan Fresh name and operate from both Chelan and Yakima, Washington. Although the venture will officially begin on September 1, the sales and marketing teams are already working closely to bring immediate benefits to buyers.
Imported Koru Apples
Container shipments of New Zealand-grown Koru apples have started arriving at U.S. ports.
The Coast to Coast Growers Cooperative expects to receive 115,000-130,000 40-pound bushel equivalents of Koru throughout the import season — an increase of about 50% from 2016 — with shipments arriving weekly through the month of June.
The first shipments have already sold, but retailers can inquire with Glenmont, N.Y.-based New York Apple Sales, Wenatchee, Wash.-based Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers and Yakima, Wash.-based Borton Fruit about future shipments. Those suppliers comprise the cooperative.
By Potandon Produce LLC
Idaho Falls, ID – Potandon Produce LLC recently updated their Green Giant™ Vidalia Onion carton for the 2017 shipping season. Last season, Potandon updated their consumer bag, which had a visible impact on the retail shipping community, prompting the update to the master case.
Potandon’s main shipping point for Green Giant™ Vidalia onions is Ray Farms, owned and managed by Danny Ray, second-generation grower and previous winner of the Vidalia Grower of the Year (2012.) In a recent phone conversation, Danny Ray was very positive about the 2017 crop from an agronomic standpoint. His fields were healthy with 100% stand through the growing season and quality looked excellent. This season, in addition to the legendary Vidalia sweet onion, customers can load sweet red onions at Ray Farms.
Ralph Schwartz, Vice President of Sales for Potandon, also weighed in on this year’s crop. “We’re seeing yields increased over last season in the 15%-20% range and there are plenty of onions available from the Vidalia region. The increased yields are the direct result of an exceptionally mild growing season, with no major weather events”. Over the next three weeks, Potandon will ship onions from the field, afterwards moving to shipping from storage right around June 1st. The current crop profile is 30% Mediums and 70% Jumbo and larger sizes. Demand is expected to increase significantly over the next few weeks as Memorial Day nears.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Vidalia onion trademark. Vidalia onions are the state of Georgia’s number one vegetable commodity and are a major contributor to the state’s economy.
About Potandon Produce L.L.C.
Headquartered in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Potandon Produce is the largest marketer of fresh potatoes and one of the largest marketers of fresh onions in North America. Potandon holds the exclusive licensing rights to the Green Giant™ brand for fresh potatoes and onions in North America, and is able to provide year-round supply to any size retail, foodservice, or wholesale customer. Potandon is also an industry leader in food safety and in bringing innovative products to the market. Visit www.potandon.com to learn more about Potandon, and go to Potandon’s consumer website, www.klondikebrands.com, to learn more about the company’s distinctive potato varieties. To learn more about the Green Giant® Fresh program visit www.greengiantfresh.com.
Green Giant, the Green Giant character, Sprout, and associated words and designs are trademarks of B&G Foods North America, Inc.-used under license. ©2016 B&G Foods North America, Inc.
As taste-buds turn to fresh crop apples, Oppy announces increased volumes of Chilean Ambrosia, with first arrivals planned for mid-May.
“Ambrosia is a top performer in the premium apple space in both volume growth and dollar sales,” said David Nelley, Oppy’s vice president of categories, who points to the advantage of stocking new-crop premium apples, including this sweet, crunchy favorite, now.
“Volumes of the original BC Ambrosia are winding down, and the new crop really delivers the signature Ambrosia flavor and texture. Chile offers a fresh-picked Ambrosia that provides a color break, eats fantastic and keeps apple sales rolling into the summer.”
David Del Curto (DDC) of Santiago is one of two growers authorized to produce Ambrosia in Chile. DDC first planted the apple in 2009, selecting locations that best replicate the growing conditions in British Columbia known to produce the best-tasting fruit.
“We discovered that very good Ambrosia can be produced in Southern Chile, due to good chill hours that amplify the color and flavor characteristics North American consumers appreciate about the apple,” said Marcos Echenique, DDC sales director. “We’re replicating Ambrosia’s ‘natural environment’ as best we can, producing apples that deliver consistently on taste, which has emerged as Ambrosia’s most compelling attribute.”
Echenique notes that DDC’s Ambrosia has achieved good color intensity through the application of reflective film placed between the rows and nets for sun protection. After being picked and cooled slowly to retain flavor and crunch, 100 percent of the Ambrosia is packed on a single line for consistency by specifically trained staff.
Along with its other premium apple and pear offerings, the leading marketer and distributor’s business development team will drive retail sales of Oppy’s Chilean Ambrosia program via high-impact custom promotions.
Chile is the leading exporter of apples and many other produce items to the United States.