The Grupo Banamiel co-operative, which exports about 100,000 boxes of bananas a week grows 65% Fair Trade conventional and 25 % organic Fair Trade fruit, said engineer Luis Bonilla. He said unlike Central America and South America, the Dominican Republic has very low rainfall, so fewer sprays and no herbicides are needed to grow bananas, which are irrigated.
Leamington, Ontario-based Highline Mushrooms Ltd. launched two refrigerated foil trays of stuffed mushroom caps, goat cheese/cranberry and goat cheese/spinach.
“We’re taking mushrooms to a new level of convenience and using wholesome ingredients to give consumers a healthy alternative for entertaining,” said chairwoman Elizabeth O’Neil.
The stuffed caps have only one gram of fat each, she said. O’Neil said feedback on the new items has been so positive, the company is looking at new combinations. Highline has also launched vitamin D-enhanced portabello mushrooms and a Gourmet Blend of specialty mushrooms, including shiitake and enoki.
Idaho Potato Commission
The Idaho Potato Commission, Eagle, is a new CPMA member and was a first-time exhibitor in Montreal.
“It was a great show and we plan to continue attending and become active in the other Canadian organizations going forward,” said Seth Pemsler, vice president of retail and international sales.
Pemsler said he was pleased to find Idaho potatoes in all three major retail chains in Montreal, and was shown a new bag being launched by a major Canadian re-packer.
Ippolito Fruit & Produce Ltd., Burlington, Ontario, has launched microwaveable bags of whole Brussels sprouts ready in 5-6 minutes.
President Joel Ippolito said his company is North America’s largest grower of Brussels sprouts. The washed and trimmed sprouts will be packaged in Salinas, Calif., and in Ontario in 1- and 2-pound sizes, he said.
In response to consumer and retailer demand, Ippolito also is offering shrink-wrapped broccoli with Universal Price Codes and Price Look-Up information on the label.
In response to feedback from consumers and retailers, Mann Packing Co. Inc., Salinas, Calif., has scaled down its Snacks on the Go to offer a smaller portion at a lower retail price, said Greg Kurkjian, vice president retail sales in Mason, Ohio.