Posts Tagged “Thanksgiving”

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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Pie Shortages This Thanksgiving?; Canadian Cranberries

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002Canned pumpkin has become scarce in supermarkets in Illinois.  This is a huge concern for Thanksgiving.

Nestlé, whose Libby brand of pumpkin filling is the largest in Illinois, has said their yields of sugar pumpkins have declined as much as a third this year, due to the amount of rain in the summer.   Pumpkins require 90 to 120 frost-free days and, since they are a warm-season annual, are harvested from September through October.

Once Nestlé ships all their canned pumpkin, used specifically for pies, they will not have any to distribute until the new year.  However, there is concern that the issue may be more long-term and there may also be a shortage in 2016.

Illinois is, by far, the top sugar pumpkin producing state in the nation, with more than 19,800 acres harvested in 2014.

Canadian Cranberry Shipments

Amid a record season for Canadian cranberry shipments, most of Canada’s cranberry production is exported to the United States.  In recent years, Quebec surpassed British Columbia as Canada’s biggest cranberry producer.  New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. account for a much smaller share.  While the vast amount of fresh cranberries are shipped for the U.S. Thanksgiving, a relatively small amount will be for Christmas.

 

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Celebrating the Thanksgiving Holiday Tradition

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DSCN4822We take this opportunity to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving, and feel very blessed to live in the United States, which still offers so many opportunities.    If you were not able to make it home this holiday, we wish you safe travels and to be with those closet to you soon. 

Thanksgiving in the United States is celebrated the fourth Thursday in November.

In the United States, the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly, but not universally, traced to a poorly documented 1621 celebration at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. Pilgrims and Puritans who began emigrating from England in the 1620s and 1630s carried the tradition of Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving with them to New England.

Several days of Thanksgiving were held in early New England history that have been identified as the “First Thanksgiving”, including Pilgrim holidays in Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, and a Puritan holiday in Boston in 1631.  According to historian Jeremy Bangs, director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum, the Pilgrims may have been influenced by watching the annual services of Thanksgiving for the relief of the siege of Leiden in 1574, while they were staying in Leiden.  In later years, religious thanksgiving services were declared by civil leaders such as Governor Bradford, who planned a thanksgiving celebration and fast in 1623. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s.

Thanksgiving proclamations were made mostly by church leaders in New England up until 1682, and then by both state and church leaders until after the American Revolution. During the revolutionary period, political influences affected the issuance of Thanksgiving proclamations. Various proclamations were made by royal governors, John Hancock, General George Washington, and the Continental Congress, each giving thanks to God for events favorable to their causes.  As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God”.

In modern times the President of the United States, in addition to issuing a proclamation, will “pardon” a turkey, which spares the bird’s life and ensures that it will spend the duration of its life roaming freely on farmland.

Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated the second Monday in October. The first Canadian Thanksgiving is often traced back to 1578 and the explorer Martin Frobisher. Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean, held his Thanksgiving celebration not for harvest but in thanks for surviving the long journey from England through the perils of storms and icebergs.

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The Produce Mom To Host #Healthy Thanksiving Twitter Party

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DSCN4817By The Produce Mom

Thanksgiving’s almost here—time to give thanks and celebrate the bounty of the harvest on this holiday that emphasizes family values. But moms who are trying to offer up a wow factor along with their healthy Thanksgiving feasts may find it more of a challenge than a celebration. For fresh, family-friendly holiday meal ideas with pizzazz, join The Produce Mom and her partners as they host a #HealthyThanksgiving Twitter Party Wednesday, November 19, at 9 p.m. EST.

“Thanksgiving, a day that reminds us all that food truly is culture, is the perfect occasion for creating unique food presentations and putting a new spin on favorite dishes that will impress family and guests,” said Lori Taylor, The Produce Mom. “This season, two of the hottest topics are how to create chef-quality dishes and how to ensure our meals are sustainable and minimize waste, and we’ve got lots of ideas on how to do just that.”

“Food is the ultimate way to deliver the wow factor this Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to be a chef to impress your guests,” said Nick Quintero, digital marketing manager for Melissa’s Produce. “Our chef-inspired recipes encourage consumers to enjoy all the ingredients of the global market to create fantastic dishes for friends and family.”

“With Josie’s Organics organic vegetables, sustainability extends from the farm all the way to the family table,” said Chadwick Boyd, Josie’s Organics food and lifestyle expert. “We use the whole vegetable, from root to leaf, in our recipes so that no part of our veggies—especially during the holidays—goes to waste.”

The Produce Mom’s social media parties and contests typically reach more than a million consumers. During their time slot, they often rank among the top 10 national trending hash tags on Twitter, so it’s a great way for consumers to participate in an activity that enjoys a history of trending. The hour-long parties receive nearly 3,500 posts to the party-specific hash tag.

If consumers aren’t familiar with tweeting, it’s easy to get started. Here’s how. First, go to twitter.com/signup and set up a free Twitter account. Once you’re logged in, click the Follow button next to The Produce Mom’s profile page, @ProduceMom. Then, on Wednesday, November 19, at 9 p.m. EST, log in to your Twitter account and join in on the conversation using the #HealthyThanksgiving hash tag in your tweets.

During the party, prizes supplied by each host organization are randomly awarded to lucky participants who respond to hosts’ questions using the #HealthyThanksgiving hash tag.

For this #HealthyThanksgiving Twitter Party we’ve gathered together 12 event hosts, each with a unique perspective, to share their fresh take on this holiday that holds special meaning to families everywhere.

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Giving Thanks on This Thanksgiving

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IMG_0105I have so much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  There is my beautiful family, not the least of which is our newest member, my first grandchild, Sawyer, born on November 1st.  I am thankful to live in this great country.  I’m thankful for my health.  I could go on and on, but right now I want to focus on the trucking industry, why I am thankful for it, and in particular the small fleet owners and owner operators.

When folks think of the truck industry, they often relate to the large fleet operations.  There are 2.7 million Class 8 trucks registered in the U.S.  However of the 500,000 registered trucking companies, 97.2 percent are operations with 20 trucks or less.

HaulProduce.com focuses on the transportation of our nation’s fresh fruits and vegetables  — produce haulers.  While produce is a small segment of the overall trucking industry, it is so vital in providing healthy foods, on a timely basis to receivers across North America, who supply consumers.

Of that 97.2 percent of trucking companies previously mentioned,  90 percent have five trucks or less.  In other words the owner operators and small fleet owners are the backbone of the distribution system in this great country!

While we tend to hear only of the delays at loading and unloading docks, the unfair claims, the excessive rules and regulations, every day thousands of loads are delivered on time and in good shape, without problems.

There is a need in a well rounded transportation system, not only for the medium and large truck lines, but the small fleets, owner operatiors – and yes truck brokers or third party logistics companies.

It is the small operations that provide the flexiblity, and service that is so vital in delivering perishable food products.

For this I am thankful.  It is because of you I go to my local supermarket every week to find healthy, fresh food products.

God Bless.  Wishing each of you a great Thanksgiving.  — Bill Martin

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

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Wishing you safe travels if you’re on the road this holiday.  Otherwise, I trust you are able to spend Thanksgiving with those you love and cherish the most.  We have so much for which to be thankful in this great country.   May God’s blessing be with each and everyone of you.

Here’s a few interesting facts about Thanksgiving.

The famous pilgrim celebration at Plymouth Colony Massachusetts in 1621 is traditionally regarded as the first American Thanksgiving. However, there are actually 12 claims to where the “first” Thanksgiving took place: two in Texas, two in Florida, one in Maine, two in Virginia, and five in Massachusetts.

The first Thanksgiving in America actually occurred in 1541, when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his expedition held a thanksgiving celebration in Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas panhandle.

One of the most popular first Thanksgiving stories recalls the three-day celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. Over 200 years later, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving, and in 1941 Congress established the fourth Thursday in November as a national holiday.

Now a Thanksgiving dinner staple, cranberries were actually used by Native Americans to treat arrow wounds and to dye clothes.

Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), who tirelessly worked to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday, also was the first person to advocate women as teachers in public schools, the first to advocate day nurseries to assist working mothers, and the first to propose public playgrounds. She was also the author of two dozen books and hundreds of poems, including “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

 

 

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Thanksgiving Shipments on Some Items May be Less Than Normal

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Shipments of some Thanksgiving produce favorites could be light this year.

For example , in the Glades/Lake Okeechobee region of Florida the was excessive rains during plantings from mid-September to mid-October.  This may significantly reduce loads of green beans for the holidays, perhaps has much as 50 percent.  Also be on the look out for wind damage to some vegetable items such as green beans, due to winds from Hurricane Sandy.

Other growing regions  in south Florida will likely face similar reduced shipments.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato sales have increased to the point where normal times of the years, sales are close to those around the holidays.

Mississippi sweet potato shipments are expected to be lighter for Thanksgiving because of weather factors.

Cranberries

In Massachusetts and Wisconsin cranberries loads may down 10 percent.  These two states account for the vast majority of fresh cranberry shipments.  Make sure companies paying for the freight are aware the berries are smaller than normal this season.

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Southeastern Fall Produce Shipments are Gearing Up

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If you haul produce in the fall out of Florida, expect weather related small gaps in the early part of the sweet corn season as well as with small harvest and loading delays with green beans, bell peppers, cucumbers and squash.

Volume for  early bean shipments also is expected to be off and on.  However, loads are not expected to be until early December.

On some vegetables, including bell peppers, cucumbers and squash, be on the look out for quality issues resutling from frequent rains durng the growing season.

Sporadic harvesting and shipments could make things interesting for the active shipping period when deliveries for  the Thanksgiving holidays could get a little dicey.  I’m not saying this will happen, but just be aware of the potential problems.

Florida pepper shipments should be in decent volume by the end of  October.

If Georgia experiences favorable November weather, shipments there could continue through Thanksgiving.

However, southern Georgia fall veggies are having some problems with whiteflies.  For example, some yellow squash is looking more like albino (white) squash as the pests suck out the nutrients.  I’d be sure and let my receiver(s) know what you are preparing to load rather than find out if they’ll accept it upon arrival!

Besides squash, the pests also are affecting cucumbers, bell peppers and grean beans.  Sweet corn apparently isn’t being significantly hit.  Lower yields will mean less product for hauling.  Color of the fall vegetables also is being affected.  Unfortunately, color and general appearance often receive as much emphasis as the quality of product in this cosmetic world.

South Georgia vegetables – grossing about $2200 to New York City.

 

 

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Wisconsin Cranberry Loadings to Increase in Weeks Ahead

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Thanksgiving will be here before you know it (November 22) and that means a lot of fresh cranberries will be shipped in the weeks ahead.

Wisconsin accounts for about 55  to 60 percent of the nation’s cranberry shipments, which includes not only fresh, but

Ray E. Habelman and Ray J. Habelman

processed, juices, etc.  The Badger state has about 20,000 acres of cranberry bogs.

Wisconsin produces over 4.3 million 100-pound barrels, while the nation as whole with produces over 7.2 million 100-pound barrels.

The fresh fruit side of the market is still a relatively small portion of the overall USA shipments, accounting for about 300,000 barrels.

A truckload of fresh cranberries typically amounts to about 42,000 pounds in a 53-foot refrigerated trailer, according to Nate Voit, general manager of Service Trans Inc., of Bancroft, WI.

Service Trans arranges about 7,800 loads per year, with about 99 percent of those loads requiring refrigeration. Nate says the company specializes in time sensitive shipments.  Of those 7,800 loads, about 800 are with cranberries.  Concerning the transportation of fresh cranberries, he describes it as different from most items.

“The cranberry shipments usually come on short notice, and it is high volume for a short period of time,” Nate says.

There are about a dozen growers in Wisconsin producing cranberries for the fresh market.  While cranberry shipments from Wisconsin have been underway for a few weeks, the real push will come about November 1st for Thanksgiving, according to Nigel Cooper, a principal in The Cranberry Network of Wisconsin Rapids, WI, who markets cranberrys for the nation’s largest fresh shipper, Habelman Bros. Co.

Although the big push is before Thanksgiving, the company started the tradition of extending the season to include fruit for the Christmas holidays.

Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving each year in October (this year its October 8) and cranberry loadings destined for Candian markets are among the first each year.

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