Organic Produce business updates - The Packer

Organic Produce business updates

11/02/2012 02:14:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

CF Fresh goes with 2-pound apple bag

CF Fresh Inc., Sedro-Woolley, Wash., has developed a 2-pound retail apple bag.

“It’s more common in the industry to use a 3-pound bag, but we had some interest in the smaller size at the beginning of the season, so we started using a plain bag to gauge the reaction, and it was very positive,” organic integrity and sustainability lead Addie Pobst said.

The company now has a fully designed bag for its Viva Terra brand. Packing using the new bags began in mid October.

“There is definitely an interest in retailers having organic apples in the 2-pound size in addition to the 3-pound,” Pobst said.

The company will still be using the 3-pound bags as well.

“We’re just adding an additional option for customers who may want to look for a slightly smaller package.”

Charlie’s Produce hires organic sales specialist

Charlie’s Produce, Seattle, has continued to expand its organic department, hiring Scott Schultz as a retail salesman specializing in organics.

Schultz was hired from outside the company in midsummer to work with local growers to expand the local growers base and the Farmer’s Own brand in Oregon, according to Diane Dempster, manager of the Farmer’s Own program and local organic procurement.

This staff addition follows Rob Billow’s promotion from organic buyer to manager of the organic department in Seattle, which occurred less than two years ago.

Deardorff Family Farms settles into new plant

Oxnard, Calif.-based Deardorff Family Farms is now shipping all product out of its new facility.

The company has been transitioning to the new location for several months.

“We’re happy to be settled into our new home,” president Tom Deardorff said.

Deardorff reported that the company began shipping organics from the new location in July with the warm season products.

“We’re now starting with winter vegetables, kale, collards and leaf lettuce,” he said.

Another new aspect of the facility is the addition of a flow pack machine and the ability to implement film packaging for tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, bell peppers and other products and packaging styles.

Earl’s Organic offers salsa as private label

Earl’s Organic Produce, San Francisco, which released its first private-label product this fall with its limited edition heirloom tomato fresh salsa, looks to expand production.

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