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Quality good, sizing mixed on early harvest of Idaho russets at Wada Farms
“It is still very early, but quality looks to be good, yields seem to be off a little, and sizing is a little mixed,” Kevin Stanger, president of Wada Farms Marketing Group LLC in Idaho Falls, ID, told The Produce News as the 2019 Idaho potato harvest was getting under way. The Russet Norkotah harvest had been going a week or so in the earliest areas. “We just started our reds yesterday. They look really good. I mean really bright, colorful reds. And we will start... Read more
California Date Commission working to advance date industry
Interest levels for eating California dates from consumers has increased tremendously during the last 10 years, according to Lorrie Cooper, manager of the California Date Commission, based in Indio, CA. “The increase in consumption is seen through whole dates and the use of processed dates in such products as bars, cereals, butters, etc.,” she said. “The inclusion of dates for ingredient use is becoming more prevalent. The volume of sales five years ago showed... Read more
Sunny Valley continues growth of berry program
Sunny Valley International continues to see growth and expansion in its berry program as it handles the popular fruit category for an extensive period by sourcing from many different domestic and foreign districts. Bob Von Rohr, who is director of marketing and customer relations for the Glassboro, NJ-based firm, told The Produce News in early September that its imported berry deal was just about to get underway. “Our imported blueberry arrivals are both conventional... Read more
Frieda’s makes the produce department a destination shop this Halloween
There is no better time than Halloween to display some of Frieda’s most unique items to inspire shoppers and their kids to try something new in the produce department.   Retailers should build a display highlighting spooky foods such as Frieda’s jackfruit, Kiwano, rambutan, blood oranges and red dragon fruit together. They can dial up the fun by carving spooky faces into apples, Kiwanos or blood oranges, giving shoppers a healthy way of celebrating the... Read more
Nash Produce showcasing sweet potatoes at NEPC
Thomas Webb and Don Sparks, sales associates for Nashville, NC-based Nash Produce, will be heading to the annual New England Produce Council Expo later this month and both are excited to reconnect with old faces and eager to connect with new ones. “At the NEPC show, we want to highlight our sweet potatoes to personnel from both retail and foodservice areas,” said Rebecca Scott, the company’s new grower accounting and marketing manager. “We offer three varieties... Read more
Kurt Zuhlke & Associates staying busy
It’s business as usual for Kurt Zuhlke & Associates Inc., a.k.a, and that’s good news for those working at the Easton, PA-based company, as things remain busy year after year. “The buzz at the company is that recycled plastics is the No. 1 thing that people want today,” said Kurt Zuhlke, president of the company. “It’s what you have to have to be successful.” For that reason, the company shies away from using any foam and polystyrene,... Read more
Baldor Boston gearing up for phenomenal fourth quarter
Glenn Messinger, general manager of Baldor Boston, said the company anticipates having a phenomenal fourth quarter. Baldor Specialty Foods, headquartered in the Bronx, NY, is the parent company of Baldor Boston. The Boston facility opened in 2006 and has been on a fast-track of growth ever since. “Our summer was great, and we are expecting that to continue for the remainder of the year,” said Messinger. “In the fall, Boston comes alive with college kids, and consumers... Read more
Honeybear Brands wows with Washington apple crop
It’s been a “really good” growing season for Elgin, MN-based Honeybear Brand’s Washington apple crop. “We have a big crop coming out of Washington this year,” said Don Roper, vice president of sales and marketing for the company. “The crop for Washington state is up 16-18 percent.” Roper added that overall production volumes will be up 40 percent due to increased crop yield and the addition of a few new key growers. Roper said Honeybear continues to focus on its... Read more
Chelan Fresh ready to deliver on club varieties
Following a cool spring and favorable summer growing conditions, Washington apple growers are expecting a good quality crop this season with plenty of promotable volume in club varieties. “Every season we get crop volume reports with all the apple varieties listed and there is a category that’s listed as other,” commented Mac Riggan, vice president of marketing with Chelan Fresh. “It’s made up of all the new club varieties out there. This year that group is up 32... Read more
Bushmans’ generally optimistic about new Wisconsin spud crop
The early reviews for Wisconsin’s potato crop are mixed. Mike Carter, chief executive officer of Bushmans’ Inc., said a recent state potato meeting brought a consensus that some fields are great, and others are not. There is no clear explanation of the sporadic production, the growers agreed. Carter said the Badger State’s planting season was delayed by late snow. A cold, wet spring followed, which further delayed crop maturity. Mike Carter“The crop seems to... Read more
A successful season in New Jersey so far
VINELAND, NJ — Mike D’Ottavio, president of D’Ottavio Farms, spoke to The Produce News Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 13, at his company’s headquarters, here, in the heart of New Jersey’s fresh produce region. Anthony D’Ottavio and Jay Duquette of D’Ottavio Farms in a company field of jalapeno peppers.“So far so good,” he began on a hot, humid day. “Outside of some extremely high temperatures and a rainy July, we had an excellent season in Jersey so far.” He continued,... Read more
Nickey Gregory touting its Family Fresh Foods at Southern Innovations
As the Nickey Gregory Co. prepares for the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Innovations Organics & Foodservice Expo, the company’s strategy for the show will focus on its latest endeavor. “We are really pushing and promoting our new fresh cut processing division, which is called Family Fresh Foods,” said Andrew Scott, director of marketing/business development for the Atlanta-based company. “We started the business in July of 2018 with baby steps... Read more
Eastern Propak doubling up on business
Eastern Propak is a state of the art facility located in Glassboro, NJ, just minutes away from the major Delaware ports, offering easy access to all major hubs on the East Coast. The company has 9,000 pallets positions and 27 loading doors, and offers forced air cooling, crossdocking and certified cold treatment rooms. “We opened up a new 70,000-square-foot facility last year but it really didn’t become functional until this February and that’s allowed us to double... Read more
Bob Donio expecting a good fall season in New Jersey
hammonton, nj — Before looking ahead to New Jersey’s fall produce season, Bob Donio reflected on the past couple of months. “All in all it was pretty good, except for the thunderstorms,” he told The Produce News Monday afternoon, Aug. 12. “The thunderstorms have been a real pain this year.” But those thunderstorms during spring and summer varied in intensity around the Garden State, and hurt some growing areas more than others. As Donio put it, “Not everybody was... Read more
Sonny Boy Produce excited for first New  Jersey fall deal
landisville, nj — New Jersey’s fall produce season looks to be “right on schedule,” according to Thomas Consalo, president of Sonny Boy Produce, here. “The summer’s been great,” he told The Produce News Monday afternoon, Aug. 12. “Over all it’s been a very good year.” Thomas Consalo of Sonny Boy Produce and his daughter, Lennyn Hope Consalo, who is three years old. (Photo by Gordon M. Hochberg)Sonny Boy Produce opened in September 2018. Thomas Consalo is president... Read more
Consalo Family Farms look forward to the fall season
vineland, nj — “We saw more then our share of rain combined with high temperatures during April, May and June. Overall we made it through our season with only minor disruptions,” Joe Rosa, director of sales for Consalo Family Farms told The Produce News on Tuesday August 13th. Anthony Maccarone, Joe Rosa and Ralph Donato of Consalo Family Farms in Vineland, NJ. Photo by Gordon M. HochbergConsalo Family Farms is a year round grower/shipper based in Vineland, NJ... Read more
The Perishable Specialist  expects similar asparagus volume
The Perishable Specialist, a Florida-based customs brokerage house with a long history of helping companies bring Peruvian asparagus into the United States, is expecting volumes similar to previous years as the season begins to ramp up. Ana and Frank Ramos, co-owners of The Perishable Specialist.“When it comes to the Peruvian asparagus deal, all my customers are telling me that they are going to have the same numbers as last year,” said Frank Ramos, who owns the... Read more
Advance Custom Brokers providing  service throughout the nation
Though its only office is in Miami, FL, Advance Customs Brokers & Consulting LLC, clears foreign cargo into the United States through U.S. ports all over the country. In fact, it says it clears as much cargo in Philadelphia as its home port in Miami and also does a lot of business throughout Florida and California, as well as in Houston and Savannah. Pat Compres, who is chief executive officer of the customs brokerage house and founded the company with chief... Read more
National potato supplies were warranting a strong late-summer storage deal, as the industry moved toward the start of a new fresh Colorado potato harvest, Art Miller indicated in mid-August. Miller, who is the owner of Epic Produce Sales LLC in Phoenix, said the acreage is down this year, and the size profile is smaller than normal, “which may ease the price,” for the spuds, he said. Depending on the field, Miller expects demand for large counts of 40, 50, 60 and... Read more
TOMRA to showcase breadth of food-sorting capabilities
TOMRA Food will be demonstrating its newest sorting features live at Pack Expo 2019 for four selected industries: vegetables, potatoes, confectionery and petfood. THE VEGETABLE AND POTATO INDUSTRYThe TOMRA 5B will be sorting French fries and green beans live. This machine guarantees optimal sorting of a variety of food products, from vegetables and potatoes to leafy products, helping customers meet the highest standards for both food safety and quality. The TOMRA... Read more