Nuts, Dates & Dried Fruit business updates

09/21/2012 12:28:00 PM
Cynthia David

The plant is scheduled to open Oct. 1.

On Sept. 28, Ocean Spray is building a real cranberry bog for the opening of the annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

“Consumers get to see how cranberries grow and try new products,” Borsari said.

At retail, Ocean Spray has launched 10-ounce sizes of its Craisins brand infused with pomegranate, blueberry and cherry juice.

Craisins with 50% less sugar are also debuting in September.

Oregon hazelnuts see volume growth

Polly Owen, manager of the Portland-based Oregon Hazelnut Marketing Board, said the 2012 harvest is expected to reach 40,000 tons, which would mark the second year of increased production and represents a 4% increase over last year’s 38,000 tons.

“There’s no issue getting rid of it,” Owen said.

“A local handler said if he had two more loads he could sell it today.”

With the arrival of new varieties resistant to the Eastern filbert blight, the industry is set for a major expansion, Owen said.

“There’s a tremendous interest in planting hazelnuts, and we should see some significant growth in a couple of years,” she said.

Raisin group marks Japan trade agreement

Glen Goto, chief executive officer of the Fresno, Calif.-based Raisin Bargaining Association, which represents a third of the state’s raisin grape growers, said the California raisin industry recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of its trade relationship with Japan.

“Forty years ago, the Japanese didn’t even know what a raisin was,” Goto said.

“Now they’ve become one of our biggest export markets.”

Most of the raisins exported to Japan go into baked goods, he said, and the rest are used for snacking.

South Georgia Pecan boosts food safety

Valdosta, Ga.-based South Georgia Pecan Co., the largest pecan sheller in the Southern U.S., is the only pecan plant in the country certified to SQF Level 3, said Paul Joseph, vice president of sales.

“The discovery of salmonella in peanuts and peanut butter in 2008 really pushed us to the forefront of quality and food safety innovations,” Joseph said.

“We test every product we produce every day for pathogens and microorganisms and clear every product through our lab before it’s shipped all over North America and abroad,” he said.



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