South African citrus
Suhanra Conradie, chief executive officer of the Western Cape Citrus Producers Forum, a group representing about 350 South African citrus growers, said the last conventional vessel of her citrus arrived in Philadelphia on Oct. 16.
South African citrus should be available in the U.S. until mid-November in what has been an excellent season, she said.
Conradie said her group has worked more closely with North American retailers this year, even bringing in South African growers to retail store promotions.
The group’s midknight variety ships mostly to the East Coast and upper Midwest.
Conradie also served as a mentor during Fresh Summit as part of PMA’s Career Pathways program.
La Salle, Colo.-based Strohauer Farms Inc. was a first-time exhibitor at Fresh Summit this year, said Tanya Fell, director of sales and retail relations.
The third-generation grower markets a variety of specialty potatoes, including Russian banana fingerlings, rose finn fingerlings, French fingerlings, purple Peruvian fingerlings as well as russet, red, yukon gold and purple majesty.
Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based citrus cooperative Sunkist Growers recently became a “National Strategic Partner” with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Communications Network.
Sunkist will launch promotions and education efforts this fall to support USDA dietary guidelines, including the “Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables” campaign, according to a company statement.
On the show floor, Sunkist displayed some recently launched products, including Ojai Pixie tangerines and Nature’s Treasure mini mandarin oranges.
The company is increasing production to keep pace with growing demand for these smaller, seedless “easy peelers,” which are becoming popular with kids, Sunkist spokeswoman Claire Smith said.
“But there’s been limited distribution, simply because there wasn’t enough available,” she said.
Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, Calif., introduced Plum Amazins diced dried plums.
Aimed at snacking and baking applications, Plum Amazins come in a lidded 9-ounce plastic pack and are available nationwide, said Brad Schuler, vice president of global sales.
National network TV ads will begin airing in December to promote the product, he said.