Posts Tagged “feature”

A Few Thoughts About What Thanksgiving Means to Me

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DSCN4604Happy Thanksgiving!  Come February HaulProduce.com will quietly celebrate its 5th anniversary of providing you with what I hope is information worth your valuable time ranging from active produce shipping areas, peak shipping periods, caution when needed about quality problems at shipping point, demand for refrigerated equipment, produce trucking rates, not mention health stories and other news related to perishables.  Unabashedly this site is a proponent of healthy eating and promoting the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Fresh produce is a daily part of my diet.

Today, there are nearly 1000 subscribers to HaulProduce and I cannot thank each of you enough.  Since its inception nearly 1900 posts have been placed on this blog.

It has been three years now since retiring after 40-plus years traveling this great nation as a journalist writing about both the trucking and produce industries.  It was this knowledge gained from both industries that led me to create the Produce Truckers Network back in the 1980s.  At its peak it had over 60 radio stations across North America and also was on satellite radio for several years before its completion after 20 years on the air.  The same concept exists today with HaulProduce.

Although officially, retired, this outlet allows me to continue to doing something I love – and at the same time provide something useful to our subscribers.  At the same time it allows spending more time with my kids, grandson and my lovely wife of 49 years.

It is with all of this in mind I plan to fully enjoy Thanksgiving, to appreciate and give thanks for all the opportunities available in the United States of America.

I will thank the good Lord for all those “highway warriors” that deliver over 95 percent of the fresh produce to markets across this great nation, as well as being thankful for everyone else in the distribution chain from growers and shippers, to all forms of companies involved in the distribution chain.  It certainly doesn’t end up on our Thanksgiving dinner table by magic.

May God bless each of you and have a blessed Thanksgiving.

— Bill Martin

 

 

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Hapag-Lloyd is Investing in 3700 Refrigerated Export Containers; L&M Has New Nogales Facility

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MaerskNew refrigerated containers have been ordered by Hapag-Loyd for export expansions…In Nogales, L&M has expanded its warehouse shipping facility.

Hapag-Lloyd is investing in 3700 refrigerated containers, which are used to ship food and other cargo around the world  Of the total, 1,000 of the units have environmentally friendly refrigeration systems.

Another 1000 will also have controlled-atmosphere capabilities specifically for fresh produce.

The Maersk Container Industry Star Cool Integrated containers are being built in Maersk facilities in China and Chile.

“Working together with (Maersk Container), we have been able to refine (controlled-atmosphere) technology to offer our ExtraFresh Plus service,” said Niklas Ohling, senior director at Hapag-Lloyd, in a news release.  “his service enables even extremely sensitive fruit such as blueberries and lychees to be transported to the desired level of quality and degree of ripeness.”

The new containers allows the company to expand the market reach of fresh fruits and vegetables, said Saren Leth Johannsen, chief commercial officer At Maersk Container, in the release.

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L&M Begins Winter Season with New Facility

By L&M

L&M’s Nogales location has moved and is now operating in a new, expanded facility.  The new location features over 33,000 square feet of cold storage, including 8 ripening rooms for mature green tomatoes and over 9,000 square feet of office space. This allows L&M to service up to 24 loads at one time. We are happy to offer consolidation services for our customers, as well as in-and-out service year-round.

L&M is already shipping melons, zucchini, yellow squash, hard squash, eggplant and bell peppers. Mature Green tomatoes will be available in December and cucumbers are available year-round. L&M will be adding production on eggplant and hard squash out of Culiacan, Mexico.

L&M Nogales is now located at 1450 W. La Quinta Rd. The company is a grower and shipper of fresh vegetables, potatoes and onions, with farms and offices nationwide

 

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The Produce Mom Annnounces Rebranding and New Name

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ProduceMomINDIANAPOLIS  — The Produce Mom®, a passionate advocate for the fresh produce industry lead by Lori Taylor, announces a rebrand and name change to The Produce Moms.

What started five years ago, as a blog and consumer brand of the Indianapolis Fruit Company, has evolved into an educational media brand that is owned, authored and lead by Taylor. Under her leadership, The Produce Mom has grown in its aspiration and aims to serve three specific audiences: moms, children and school professionals with inspirational content and action-oriented materials that are ultimately geared to increasing the consumption of fresh produce in America.

“I believe that if we are going to change the way America eats and establish a preference for fresh produce, we have to start at the source and build a community of moms, children and school professionals that want to see positive change. This community of Produce Moms will be comprised of the people that will ultimately lead and shape change in their local homes, schools and communities,D” said Lori Taylor, CEO of The Produce Moms.  “We intend to provide our community of Produce Moms with access to educative content on a regular basis, as we have done for the past two years. In addition, it is my goal to provide tools and turnkey solutions that The Produce Moms’ army can access and use to shape change in their own communities around the country.”

Working as the sole-source provider of a grant awarded to the state of Indiana by the USDA Team Nutrition program, The Produce Mom has led a two-year crusade across the state hosting special events at schools geared to introduce students to fresh produce varieties and encourage foodservice professionals to choose fresh form fruits and vegetables. The grant project continues for the next year and includes the publication of a national digital curriculum and continuing education program for school foodservice professionals in all 50 states. “The work that Lori and her team have conducted in K12 schools over the past two years has been transformational. I’m grateful to be a part of this movement as we’ve witnessed first-hand how children react positively to healthier food choices by making it exciting, available and delicious,” said Chef Todd Fisher, celebrated culinary veteran and spokesperson for Duda Farm Fresh Foods.  “Through public-private partnership between the USDA and Duda Farm Fresh Foods, I had the great opportunity to collaborate with The Produce Moms and educate over 200 school foodservice professionals.”

Earlier this year, school foodservice professionals in the Midwest attended three days of live training, focused on culinary skills training, Smarter Lunchrooms strategies, and recipe development to promote the under-consumed vegetable subcategories. The live training impacted over 1 billion annual school meals, and was only possible through the support of The Produce Moms, Duda and the USDA.

The work being conducted by The Produce Moms is work that will ultimately benefit the fresh produce industry as a result of increased consumption and demand of the products that are grown and distributed by producers in our industry.  In addition, The Produce Moms provides fresh produce brands with the opportunity to reach consumers in a way that is purposeful and puts fresh fruit and vegetable products at the forefront.  A plethora of fresh produce brands have been partners, supporters and advocates of The Produce Mom since its inception.

The Produce Moms provides Wada Farms with an engaged and evolving resource for on-trend marketing discussions, both with The Produce Moms consumer community, and the other well-respected brands of The Produce Moms and â Family of Partners,” said Kevin Stanger, president of Wada Farms.   “Wada Farms believes in The Produce Moms and has benefitted greatly from our two-year association with the brand.”

For more information about how to join Lori and The Produce Moms visit  http://www.theproducemoms.com/.

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Imports: Peruvian Grapes to Bounce Back; Drop in South African Fruit Imports is Seen

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GrapesSAPeruvian table grapes at the start season earlier this year was delayed due the effects of El Nino, but a comeback is seen…..From South Africa, fruit imports are expected to be less.

While Peruvian grape exports declined about 10 percent due to the weather, the country is expected to rebound.  Table grapes are Peru’s number one agricultural export, and it is estimated the country’s 2017-18 production to be 638,000 metric tons, compared to 605,000 metric tons the past season. Exports are forecast at 380,000 metric tons, a jump from the 300,000 metric tons in 2016-17 season.

Rising demand, better yielding varieties and more acreage are the primary reason for increasing volume.

The U.S. is the largest import market for Peruvian grapes, followed by the Netherlands and China.

 South African Imports

Drought and low water levels in reservoirs in the Western Cape region of South Africa are expected to cut exports for the 2017-18 season.

The Western Cape region accounts for the biggest volume of deciduous fruits in South Africa, though the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, and Limpopo provinces have gained in importance in the last two decades.

Grape Shipments

South African table grape exports for the 2017-18 season will drop 15 percent to 258,000 metric tons, due to a decrease in area harvested and small fruit size in the Western Cape growing areas.  However, normal production and growing conditions are expected in the Orange River growing regions.

South African grapes typically are shipped from October to May, with the first grapes coming from the Northern Cape Region and the season ending with the Hex River Valley.  The U.S. and Canadian markets have increased imports of South African grapes the past few years, but still accounted for only 3 percent of total exports last season. The European Union takes about 75 percent of South Africa’s fresh grape exports.

Apples and pears

2017-18 apple exports from South Africa are forecast to decline 5 percent to 500,000 metric tons due to reduced harvest area, smaller fruit size and limited irrigation water.  Africa takes about 40 percent of South Africa’s apple exports, followed by the European Union with 30 percent and Asia with 19 percent.  Only light volumes are shipped to the U.S.

Meanwhile, South Africa pear exports in 2017-18 are projected at 250,000 metric tons, down 3 percent from the previous year. About half of South Africa’s pear exports are shipped to Europe, with typically about 1,000 metric tons or less destined to the U.S. market.

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U.S. Pumpkin Shipments are Strong this Fall: Honeybear Pazazz Apple Shipping Period to Double

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DSCN0085Pumpkin shipments in the U.S. should equal or exceed the volume of a year ago, thanks to a bountiful harvest, favorable growing conditions in the six states that account for 50 percent of the pumpkins in the nation….Also, Honeybear Pazazz apple shipments will increase substantially this season.

Last year 1.6 billion pounds of pumpkins were shipped.  Some observers believe this year’s U.S. pumpkin totals by the end of the season could be one of the best on record.

Decorative pumpkins such as jack-o-lanterns or pumpkin pie filling and yogurt remain popular.  However, it is the new and different uses of pumpkins such as liquid coffee, cereal and dog food where demand is really soar.

Libby’s supplies nearly 80 percent of U.S canned pumpkins.  Libby’s is a unit of Nestle SA, which is also the parent company of Nestle Purina Petcare, the world’s No. 2 pet food manufacturer.  Pets apparently love pumpkins, plus there is antioxidant-like benefits and dietary fiber content. Purina uses real pumpkins to accent its cat and dog food recipes year round.

Dog food sales with pumpkin flavors soared to $41.9 million for the 52-week period ending July 29, compared with $925,288 during a similar period in 2013.

The liquor market for pumpkins, including pumpkin-flavored craft beers, has declined in recent years with ever changing millennials switching to other flavors.

Pazazz Apples

 The Pazazz premium apple variety, now in its fourth year of commercial introduction by Honeybear Brands, ships early November to many markets and will be available at retail until early April while supplies last.

With its largest volume ever, Pazazz should be available for five to six months this year instead of the usual three.

Pazazz will also be available in 50-75 percent more retail markets than previous years as the crop reaches full maturity.

Retailers include Wegmans in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Maryland; Loblaws in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec; Publix in all stores and all markets; all Hy-Vee in Iowa as well as Kansas City and Minnesota; Meijer in Illinois Michigan and Ohio; Kroger in Kentucky, Central Indiana, Michigan, Eastern Illinois and Texas; Ralphs in California; QFC in Oregon and Washington; and United Supermarkets in Texas and New Mexico. Additional markets and stores may be added in the coming weeks and months.

Honeybear, based in Brewster, WA,  is a leading grower and developer of premium apple varieties. The company started as Wescott Agri Products, a family run apple orchard in the early 1970s. From that early start several generations ago, Honeybear still employs the same hands-on, personal attention to apple varieties produced through the Honeybear Apple Varietal Development Program. Honeybear is the leading grower of Honeycrisp in the Northwest and offers complete domestic and global apply supply integration from varietal development to growing, packing, shipping and retailer support.

 

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Idaho Potato Commission’s New TV Commercial is Scoring Big Points

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DSCN0185By the Idaho Potato Commission

EAGLE, ID —  The Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) launched its new television commercial during the Boise State University (BSU) vs University of Virginia (UVA) football game that aired live from Albertson’s Stadium in Boise, Idaho in late September.  As a long-standing Bronco sponsor, this marquee game presented an ideal opportunity to unveil the seventh installment of the IPC’s  commercial featuring the Big Idaho Potato Truck, Farmer Mark and his ever-faithful hound.

“Every year the popularity of the Big Idaho Potato Truck grows exponentially due in large part to the national television commercial that airs when the Truck isn’t on the road.  As a result, consumers are exposed to the Truck for an entire year, as opposed to 6-months, the actual length of the tour, explained Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC.   “Launching the commercial during the IPC’s nationally-televised marquee game at Albertson’s Stadium has become a tradition.  Not only are we further supporting Idaho football but the strength of the brand is reinforced through the prominently placed Idaho’s potato signage throughout the stadium, and the reporters are always excited to talk about spuds.”

During the game ESPN reporters made it clear to their viewers they were in Tater Nation.  From footage of the Big Idaho Potato Truck and non-stop shots of Spuddy Buddy, to a close-up of sideline reporter, Molly McGrath’s loaded baked potato, Idaho’s potatoes were treated like MVPs from the kick-off to the very last play of the game.
The commercial airs through early April on popular networks like CNN, The Food Network, Headline News, Fox News and The History Channel, achieving more than 550 million audience impressions. To view it now, visit the IPC’s YouTube channel.

For more information about Idaho’s famous spud visit:  idahopotato.com

About the Idaho Potato Commission

Established in 1937, the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC) is a state agency that is responsible for promoting and protecting the famous Grown in Idaho seal, a federally registered trademark that assures consumers they are purchasing genuine, top-quality Idaho potatoes. Idaho’s growing season of warm days and cool nights, ample mountain-fed irrigation and rich volcanic soil give Idaho potatoes their unique texture, taste and dependable performance, that differentiates Idaho potatoes from potatoes grown in other states.

Boise State Football

The Boise State Bronco lost the game to Virginia University, 42 to 23.  However, the Broncos have an 8-2 won, lost record.

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Early Potato Shipments from Red River Valley are Strong, Despite Truck Shortage

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DSCN0439By Ted Kreis

Northern Plains Potato Growers Association Communications

Fresh shippers from the Red River Valley are off to a strong start having already shipped over 700,000 hundredweight of potatoes prior to November 1st. That is a 32 percent increase over last year, a year that growers battled through wet harvest conditions.

Shippers believe they could have shipped even more potatoes this fall had trucks been more readily available. Packers with the ability to load railcars are doing so in a big way to help move the crop. And don’t look for more trucks anytime soo. Thanksgiving turkey truck demand and hunting season are expected to make 18 wheelers even tougher to get the rest of November.

The 2017 fresh crop is the largest in many years but not by much. It barely edged out the 2015 crop for total tonnage. Though similar in size, there are two glaring differences.

First, yellow potatoes make up nearly 21 percent of the 2017 Red River Valley fresh crop; that compares to just 13 percent in 2015. This has left packing sheds with considerably fewer reds to move compared to 2015, but of course more yellows  The increase in yellow production both here and in other parts of the U.S. is in response to a continued increase in consumer demand. Nobody knows when or if the trend will subside.

Secondly, the quality is much better this year.   In 2015 there was an unusually high number of growth cracks and other cosmetic issues.  This year the color and appearance of the potatoes is excellent which has buyers excited and has created high demand for Red River Valley Red Potatoes.

The Red River Valley has long been the nation’s largest producer of red potatoes, and now ranks in the top five for yellow potato production as well.

The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association is located in East Grand Forks, MN

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RRV potatoes from Grand Forks, ND – grossing about $3200 to Dallas.

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Kenny Lund: “The FMCSA Has Been a Terrible Failure”; The Unintended Consequences of ELD, and More

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DSCN0274Everyone is talking about the ELD mandate that goes into effect this December or potentially delayed to Spring 2018. From my perspective, the discussion centers on who will be compliant and who will not. We should be talking about how this simply enforces the Hours of Service (HOS) and its inane “one size fits all” solution that is bad for the industry.

To determine safety based just on the number of hours a driver is on duty and not take into account miles driven, conditions, places to park, loading/unloading procedures, experience of the driver, cross-country vs local deliveries and a host of other variables leads to a system that is unfair to the small cross country drivers who need some relief from the “system”. Hours of Service needs to be changed and the ELD mandate will only make the faulty HOS that much worse.

The biggest flaw in this  system is drivers and carriers are compensated based on miles traveled, as almost every load booked has the revenue broken down into what the load pays per mile, but the compliance mechanism is based on HOURS in service. This will lead to drivers pushing harder to cover more miles in the allotted hours. This could lead to roads being less safe as drivers will be pushed to their limits.

But the regulators know better right? It turns out they do not. The FMCSA has been a terrible failure. The unintended consequences of their regulations have made the highways less safe. Just this past year highway deaths in crashes involving trucks have gone up 5.4%. This is a huge jump. After the FMCSA enacted their CSA safety program intended to make the highways safer, the steady decline of deaths on the highway per miles driven has reversed and we see a continual increase. CSA made a driver with 5 million miles in the driver seat but with some tickets or log book violations less valuable to a trucking company than a new driver with no violations. No consideration was made for the driver that had 5 million miles without an accident. The regulations made the driver with 5 million safe miles the enemy along with many of our best drivers in the industry.

Now the same situation is happening with ELDs. Experienced and safer drivers will leave the industry as they are displeased with the government regulators trying to control every little thing they do on the road. Less experienced drivers will push harder to “make their miles” based on the hours left on their ELDs. At a minimum, the ELD mandate should be delayed until HOS regulations are improved and more discretion is given to the professionals driving the trucks.

Ken Lund

VP, Support Operations

Allen Lund Company

 ken.lund.@allenlund.com

Kenny Lund  graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Business Administration and managed the refrigerated transportation division in Los Angeles for eight years, before shifting full time into managing the Information and Technology Department in 1997; becoming the Vice President of the department in 2002. In 2014 Kenny started working with the ALC Logistics division to sell the ALC Transportation Management System (TMS) to companies that manage refrigerated and dry transportation.

Reprinted from ALC’s Carrier Connection, October 19, 2007, Issue #164.

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Fresh Fruit Has Per Capita Growth; Study Shows Berries Salads Lead Organic Produce Consumption

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DSCN0252New data is shedding light on where increased U.S. per capita consumption is coming from with fruit.  Also, organic produce continues to show increasing popularity

Apples, some citrus varieties, blueberries and tropical fruit, have given a boost to U.S. fresh fruit per capita use, which grew a strong 3 percent in 2016.

The USDA’s fruit yearbook report revealed that total fresh fruit per capita consumption in 2016 was rated at 116.05 pounds, up 3 percent from 112.5 pounds in 2015.

2016 fresh citrus per capita use rose 6 percent to 24.02 pounds, up from 22.73 pounds in 2016.  Fresh non-citrus per capita use was pegged at 92.03 pounds, 2 percent higher than 89.81 pounds in 2015.

2016 per capita use of fresh fruit commodities, with percent changed compared with 2015:

  • Lemons, 4.15 pounds (+15%);
  • Limes, 3.48 pounds (+15%);
  • Mangoes, 2.96 (+14%);
  • Blueberries, 1.77 pounds (+10%);
  • Papayas, 1.43 pounds (+8%);
  • Apples, 18.55 pounds (+7%);
  • Oranges, 9.17 pounds (+6%);
  • Pineapples, 7.28 pounds (+4%);
  • Strawberries, 8.03 pounds (+4%);
  • Pears, 2.76 (+4%);
  • Grapes, 8.08 pounds (+3%);
  • Tangerines, 5.28 pounds (+1%);
  • Avocados, 7.08 pounds (-2%);
  • Bananas, 27.55 pounds (-2%);
  • Peaches, 2.86 (-5%); and
  • Grapefruit, 1.94 pounds (-13%)

Study Shows Growth of Organics

A  Nielsen Co. study shows organic produce grew 9 percent in dollars year-over-year and represented a 10 percent share of total produce as of last summer.

Consumers are said to be buying larger packages of organic berries, instead of smaller containers such as pints.  Increase they are buying more 18-ounce to 2-pound containers.

Prepackaged salads continue to lead organic sales, with 3 percent year-on-year growth in 2017.

Consumers continue to seek out healthy meal alternatives such as kale, colored carrots, green cabbage and broccoli, with a mix of flavors and textures.  Lettuce and berries continue to dominate the organic sales, combining for nearly a 30 percent sales increase in the U.S.

Apples and spinach are the next largest organic categories, with 9 and 8 pecent of sales.

Overall, only 14 categories make up 80 percent of organic produce sales, compared to 20 categories within the conventional space.

Such commodities as limes, cherries, beets, avocados, beans and lemons had 20 to 30 percent growth over the previous year, even though those items account for only 4 pecent of organic produce sales.

Larger categories also are growing. Among those, organic berries grew 29 percent year over year.  Blackberries and blueberries are growing at a quicker rate (46 and 35 percent, respectively) than strawberries (26 percent). Organic bananas and apples are also growing, at 18 and 12 percent, respectively.

In Washington state, there is projected to be 50 percent more organic apples over the next season, an increase another 100 percent over the next two years.  Apples are considered one of the easier crops to grow organically.

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Port Everglades Sets a Containerized Cargo Record; WA Apples Shipments Slow out of the Gate

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DSCN0001Fresh fruits and vegetables play a big role in the record setting containerized cargo arrivals at Port Everglades… Meanwhile, Washington apple loadings are down compared to September of last year.

By Port Everglades

Fresh produce imports played a major role in Port Everglades (Fla.), setting a record for containerized cargo volumes with 1.077 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in fiscal year 2017.

That’s a 4 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year totals and 1.5 percent over the previous record, set in fiscal year 2015. The port’s fiscal year ended September 30th, according to a news release.

“The volumes of refrigerated produce coming into Florida through Port Everglades from Central America is significant,” Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director Steve Cernak said.  “It represents more than half of all perishable cargo that arrives in Florida by ocean.”

Apparel, tile, beverages, machinery and automobile parts are also significant categories imported through the port.

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Apple Shipments

Apple shipments, as well as volumes and sales were off this season at retail compared to a year ago in September due to a harvest gap, according to data compiled from Nielsen Fresh Facts.

Washington state apples had a record early harvest start last year, and started about 10 days later than normal this year, causing the lag at retail. according to a news release from Stemilt Growes, based in Wenatchee WA.

Volume, sales and shipments should pick up soon as harvests conclude and retailers have big enough supplies to offer ad specials on apples.

Apples were 5.9 percent of total produce department sales in September, compared with 6.5 percent  last year.

Gala, red delicious, fuji, Honeycrisp and granny smith were the top five varieties, and club variety Sweetango cracked the top 10.

The average September retail price for all varieties was $1.66, and nearly 66 percent of sales were in bulk.  Two-thirds of bagged apple sales in September were 3-pound bags.

Sizing is smaller on apples than in 2016.

Washington apple shipments – grossing about $5000 to Chicago.

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