Organic produce business updates - The Packer

Organic produce business updates

11/06/2013 03:09:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

Courtesy Frieda's Specialty ProduceFrieda's Specialty Produce introduced Stoke's organic purple sweet potatoes and organic finger limes this year. The potatoes are known for their high antioxidant value and low glycemic index.Frieda’s adds organic limes, sweet spuds

Frieda’s Specialty Produce, Los Alamitos, Calif., launched Stokes organic purple sweet potatoes and organic finger limes this year, said Karen Caplan, president and chief executive officer.

The purple sweet potatoes have a high antioxidant value and low glycemic index.

Caplan said the potatoes have been very well received.

The finger limes launched in July. The organic Stokes purple sweet potatoes were released in late October.

These products fall in line with the company’s efforts to increase their organic options.

“We are in the process of expanding our organic offerings,” Caplan said.

Homegrown Organics offers mandarin bags

Porterville, Calif.-based Homegrown Organic Farms has added a 2-pound mandarin pouch-style bag this year.

“It is a new bag design for us, with new artwork,” chief executive officer Scott Mabs said.

The company also released a wrap-around PLU sticker for large items such as pomegranates.

“It’s for specific items that are often retailed in bulk but that tend to have a difficult time getting the proper ring-through at the checkout stand,” Mabs said.

Also new: a packing shed in Kingsburg, Calif.

“We ran it during the stone fruit season and will be starting the citrus line there in the next few weeks. The company also has a new lemon line in its Riverside location,” he said.

“We’ve seen continued expansion as programs are growing. We’re setting ourselves up for the growth coming at us over the next several years due to new acreage and developments,” he said.

The company expects to offer pomelos in its organic citrus line for the first time this year, Mabs said.

Lakeside Organics teaches kids farming

Lakeside Organic Gardens, Watsonville, Calif., participated in Monterey County Farm Day on Oct. 24.

Gary Waugaman, food safety manager, brought draft horses to the event and taught students about farming methods before trucks and other modern equipment were used, spokeswoman Lindsey Roberts said.

“The main focus is about teaching children about where their food comes from. Children loved the horses and were shocked to learn that tractors have not always been used to prepare fields,” Roberts said.

The event is held three times a year, and 1,800 students were present for the October event day, according to Roberts. About 6,000 Monterey County students attend each year.

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