Boskovich Farms grows organic program

Boskovich Farms Inc., Oxnard, Calif., has increased its volume of organic produce as it begins its second year of organic production in Holtville, Calif., said Peter Oill, organic sales manager.

The company now has up to 30 organic items, he said, and hopes eventually to have organic versions of its entire product mix to offer a one-stop shop.

The firm plans to add more acreage for the spring and summer.

Boskovich Farms’ newest organic items include celery, carrots, kales, parsley, green onions, cilantro, chards and spinach.

The company also has come out with its own B/Organic label for celery hearts. More volume and additional items will be available under that label in the future, Oill said.


Earl’s Organic creates sustainability post

Earl’s Organic Produce, San Francisco, has added a position, office and sustainability coordinator, which has been filled by Katherine Vining, previously the company’s office administrator.

The position was created to help make the company more energy efficient, said Susan Simitz, marketing manager.

“We’re looking at things we can do to be more sustainable and save energy,” she said.


Earthbound Farm announces changes

Will Daniels, most recently senior vice president of operations and organic integrity for Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., has been promoted to chief food integrity officer, said Samantha Cabaluna, vice president of communications and marketing.

The company also has hired Santiago Pacheco, formerly with Ready Pac Foods Inc., Irwindale, Calif., as senior vice president of operations.

On Jan. 6, Denver-based The WhiteWave Foods Co., which recently purchased Earthbound Farm, announced in a news release that chief executive officer Charles Sweat was being replaced by Kevin Yost.

Sweat will serve in an advisory role during the leadership transition, according to the news release.

Earthbound Farm’s newest organic products are its three PowerMeal bowls, Cabaluna said.

“These are all organic, ready-to-eat salad bowls that are a great way to kick off healthy eating in the new year.”


Global Organics adds bagged product line

Global Organics, Sarasota, Fla., has launched a private-label bagged program under the Noah’s Organic Garden label, said Kevin Weaver, newly named director of sales and new business development.

The line consists of 3-pound bags of sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, red potatoes, fruit medley (apples, oranges and pears), bunched red beets, mixed onions (red, yellow and white) and rainbow carrots.

Weaver most recently was vice president of produce and floral for Montvale, N.J.-based The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.

Global Organics is a full-line distributor of certified-organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, milk and eggs.


Lakeside Organic kicks off winter harvest

Watsonville, Calif.-based Lakeside Organic Gardens is shipping out of California’s Imperial Valley and should experience steady volume and good quality through early spring, when sourcing returns to northern California, said spokeswoman Lindsey Roberts.

Items include lettuce, root crops, chard, cabbage, carrots, kale, radishes, herbs, greens and celery, Roberts said.

“The demand for us right now is outdoing the supply,” she said in late December.

Lakeside Organic Gardens grows on 700 acres in the Imperial Valley.


Naturipe Farms boosts Chilean blueberries

Despite a major freeze in Chile early this season, Naturipe Farms LLC, Salinas, Calif., is increasing its imported blueberry program, said Jim Roberts, vice president of sales.

“For us, based on where our organic blueberries are, we actually had minimal impact,” he said.

While the company lost some early-season fruit, “the majority of fruit weathered the freeze extremely well, and we are looking at a record year of organic blueberries that will start hitting in January.”

Naturipe should have an increase of up to 25% over last year. The company will offer a variety of packaging options, ranging from 6 ounces to 24 ounces.

Also at Naturipe, the company plans new organic strawberry acreage in Oxnard, Calif., starting this winter to help close the gap between winter volume and the onset of picking in northern California in the spring.

The company already had started picking small volume by late December. Production should continue in Oxnard until May.


Organic trade group appoints CEO

The Organic Trade Association, Brattleboro, Vt., has appointed Laura Batcha its chief executive officer and executive director, according to a Jan. 7 news release from the group.

Batcha was mostly recently OTA’s executive vice president and interim co-executive director and has worked for the group for six years, according to the release.

Christine Bushway, the group’s former CEO, resigned in the fall.


Stemilt Growers reports ample apples

Stemilt Growers Inc., Wenatchee, Wash., has a good supply of organic Piñata apples this season, said Roger Pepperl, marketing director.

“Many retailers are pushing organic Piñatas as a way to bring a better apple to market organically,” Pepperl said. “We also have a great supply of organic Pink Lady.”

Stemilt has good sizing in the Pink Lady variety as well as some organic bags, he said.

“Both organic Pink Lady and Piñata are fun items that are eating at their best in the winter months.”

Stemilt also has a large anjou pear crop, which the company will promote during the winter.

“We will have good bulk sizing and also some organic bag stock,” Pepperl said.


The Nunes Co. rolls out organic items

Salinas, Calif.-based The Nunes Co. Inc. has added two items to its organic product line and introduced a logo for its Foxy brand organic line, said Matt Seeley, vice president of marketing.

The company’s product line now includes organic leeks and organic beets, he said.

The newly designed Foxy Organic logo maintains the heritage of the Foxy brand name while adding a fresh and contemporary focus on the word “organic,” he said.

The Nunes Co. offers 17 organic Foxy items from major growing areas in California, Nevada and Arizona.


Viva Tierra Organic adds Italian kiwifruit

Viva Tierra Organic Inc., Sedro-Woolley, Wash., includes Italian kiwifruit among its organic offerings this winter, said Matt Roberts, sales manager.

The first shipments arrived in Philadelphia in late December, and availability should continue into February.

The company expects to receive about 750,000 cartons, which will be distributed primarily on the East Coast. Viva Tierra Organic specializes in organic apples, pears and onions.


Blueberry, strawberry deals up at Wish Farms

Organic strawberry volume should be up 50% over last year at Wish Farms, Plant City, Fla., said Gary Wishnatzki, president and chief executive officer. The company produces Florida organic strawberries on 180 acres, he said.

The company also expects to receive more organic blueberries from South America this winter.