In Ohio, fresh produce ranks as a hot restaurant trend - The Packer

In Ohio, fresh produce ranks as a hot restaurant trend

10/31/2011 11:44:00 AM
Dan Gailbraith

Tony DiNovo, president, said DNO creates fresh-cut items as its buyers request them. Many of the items it sells to schools have been specifically requested.

First lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative and its emphasis on children’s nutrition encourage school foodservice directors to serve more fresh produce, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program funds daily fresh produce snacks in some elementary schools. Both have helped increase produce sales to schools in Ohio.

ProduceOne also works with school districts to provide a variety of choices for snacks, Pavlofsky said.

Education, health care and national foodservice accounts are ProduceOne’s main sources of sales.

One issue that concerns Ohio restaurant owners is the state’s 2012 minimum wage increases from $7.40 to $7.70 for non-tipped employees and from $3.70 to $3.85 for tipped employees.

The state’s minimum wage is subject to a voter-approved 2006 constitutional amendment that requires annual adjustments based on the rate of inflation.

The increases will occur on Jan. 1, and they apply to employers with gross incomes of more than $283,000, according to a news release from the Ohio department of commerce. Companies grossing $283,000 or less annually are required to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

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