The Produce News – Today’s Headlines

  • Inaugural Ag Prep class off to a Wonderful start
    The Wonderful Company co-owners Lynda and Stewart Resnick led a celebration of the 90-strong inaugural graduating class of the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep program, known as Ag Prep, at a special event held Aug. 11 at Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano, CA.  More than 300 family, friends and community members gathered to honor students graduating with an associate of science degree along with their high school diploma. Nearly all the students are going on to four-year universities.Stewart Resnick One third of those are continuing their studies in ag business or plant science, which means they’ll enter college as juniors. Most are the first in their families to go to college. “Our Ag Prep graduates are the pioneers of a new way to look at high school and college education,” said Lynda Resnick, vice chair and co-owner of The Wonderful Company. “These kids are living, breathing inspirations of what’s ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-13
  • Kroger names Gil Phipps VP of branding, marketing and Our Brands
    The Kroger Co. named Gil Phipps, currently vice president of Our Brands, to vice president of branding, marketing and Our Brands, effective Aug. 15. Phipps joined the company in 2012 and led the transformation of Our Brands by evolving existing brands and introducing new brands that resonate with customers. Through elevating recipes and product formulations, inserting personality into packaging and more, Phipps has increased customer loyalty and driven record Our Brands sales growth. "We are fundamentally changing how we market to and engage with our customers, and Gil is the perfect talent — a personality full of creativity, imagination and fun who loves food and new meal experiences — to lead the way," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger's group vice president and chief executive officer of 84.51°. "Kroger's new marketing approach is more engaging, cross-functional, data-driven, and customer-led in support of Restock Kroger. As we redefine the customer experience, we are ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-13
  • Fruit and veg growers to save time and money with USDA’s new service
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Plus+ audit program for specialty crops is now accepted as technically equivalent by the Global Food Safety Initiative. “Technical equivalence means producers utilizing this one-stop USDA audit also meet other U.S. and international regulatory and market requirements,” said Greg Ibach, USDA’s under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs. “This important international recognition cuts down on paperwork, saves money and time, and ultimately grows markets for American farmers.” USDA audits assure buyers, from local restaurants and farmers markets to regional, national and international food distributors, that producers have met required food-safety standards and marketing practices. Since the program began in 2012, USDA has certified more than 5,300 producers to the Harmonized GAP Standard. GFSI recognition means these producers now have a new tool demonstrating they meet the standards required by many of the largest food distributors. The new GFSI ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-13
  • No harm, no fowl: Lasers help Starr Ranch Growers keep birds at bay
    Each season brings its own challenges to fruit growers, but one that has been around since time immemorial is how to keep birds out of the orchards. Flocks of birds will gather on power lines or other strategic lofty locations and descend en masse into fields or orchards to eat. Starr Ranch Growers had used bird squawkers and propane cannons, both of which effectively scared the feathered interlopers out of the fruit trees but which also ruffled the feathers of nearby residents. Enter high tech and solar-powered lasers developed and manufactured by European company Bird Control Group. Through a bit of investigating, Starr Ranch Growers connected with Bird Control Group, and last year saw positive results starting with a cherry orchard. “The first year was 2017 crop year, all in Lake Chelan at our Bear Mountain Orchard," said Jeff Cleveringa, head of research and development at SRG. "We first used it ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-13
  • H-E-B names Mike Georgoff as chief product officer
    H-E-B, one of the nation’s leading independent food retailers and the largest privately-held employer in Texas, named Mike Georgoff as its chief product officer of H-E-B Digital. Drawing on more than a decade of working with high-growth consumer technology startups, Georgoff will help drive H-E-B’s continued omnichannel growth, leading the company’s digital-product strategy, design and development. He will report to H-E-B Chief Digital Officer Jag Bath. “This is an industry-leading company that is strategically positioned to deliver a cutting-edge digital experience to customers,” said Georgoff. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to join such a talented team focused on bringing innovation, growth and success to H-E-B.” Most recently, Georgoff served as chief product officer at Main Street Hub, an Austin-based digital marketing firm that was acquired by GoDaddy earlier this year. Prior to Main Street Hub, the University of Michigan graduate held critical leadership roles at Redbox and RetailMeNot, helping ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-13
  • Christopher Ranch celebrates Gilroy Garlic Festival’s 40th anniversary
    In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, Christopher Ranch hosted 150 guests, including extended members of the Christopher family, employees, the heads of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, community leaders and the company's partners in philanthropy. "Every year we find this event to be the perfect way to bring together everyone that makes Christopher Ranch the company that it is today," said Ken Christopher. "It’s truly a celebration of all thing garlic and all things Gilroy." {igallery id=2654|cid=369|pid=1|type=category|children=0|addlinks=0|tags=|limit=0} ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-10
  • Heritage: Youthful future springs from deep roots at Divine Flavor
    Deep roots support a booming present; and young, qualified players plan the future. These are the ingredients driving Divine Flavor. At the core is a close family bond. For decades, the extended branches of the Divine Flavor family tree independently experienced success in agriculture. Pedro Batiz Sr., a partner and vice president of sales, is at the heart of Divine Flavor — but he is more than willing to share the accolades. Batiz Sr. heaped praise on Alan Aguirre Sr., the firm’s chief executive officer, for his many extraordinary traits that are critical for a successful business.Enrique Camou Olea and his son, Enrique Camou Mendoza, In a Mexican wheat field about 1949. Already a third-generation agriculturalist, Camou Mendoza became one of three founders of Grupo Alta. “First,” said Batiz Sr., “is his discipline in all aspects of the business and his passion for perfectionism.” Batiz Sr. credits the incredible energy and ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-10
  • “Country Favor Inc Issues Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in “Best Taste Brand Snack Ginger Sliced”
    Country Favor Inc. of Maspeth, New York is recalling its 7 ounce packages of “Best Taste Brand Snack Ginger Sliced” food treats because they contained undeclared sulfites. Consumers who have severe sensitivity to sulfites run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product. ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-09
  • Voluntary Recall Notice of El Guapo Jamaica Hibiscus Flower Pouches Due to Unlabeled Peanut Allergen
    Mojave Foods Corporation is initiating a voluntary recall of four sizes of El Guapo Jamaica Hibiscus Flower packages in flexible packaging due to an unlabeled peanut allergen ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-07
  • G & C Raw, LLC Recalls Pat’s Cat Turkey, and Ground Lamb Pet Food, because of Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Health Risk
    G & C Raw, of Versailles, OH is recalling 30 1-lb containers of Pat's Cat Turkey Cat Food and 40 2-lb containers of Ground Lamb Dog Food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in animals eating the products. ... read more
    Published on 2018-08-06