Farmers Fresh Fruit rolls out site

Farmers Fresh Fruit Co., Reedley, Calif., has launched a website,, to promote its line of grapes that includes Thomcords, California concords and Sweet Petites champagne grapes.

Accompanying the website will be a social media campaign to educate consumers about the company and the characteristics of each variety.

In addition, Farmers Fresh Fruit has new label designs for its Thomcords and California concords that feature quick-response codes, said Shane Souza, vice president of sales.

When consumers scan the code with their smartphones, they’ll be taken to a website that features recipes and more information about the variety.


Pom Wonderful plans TV ads

Los Angeles-based Pom Wonderful plans to make its case to consumers over the airwaves this fall.

“We’re putting television behind us this year,” said Tom Rouse, vice president. “It’s primarily geared toward the beverage business but there will be a carryover to the relationship between Pom beverage, Pom fresh and Pom arils.”

“We’ll have television commercials featuring Pom beverage with the message that it, Pom fresh and arils are all connected,” he said.

This year Pom Wonderful plans to have arils ready to ship at the same time as its wonderful variety pomegranates, close to Oct. 1.

“In the past we waited a week or two, but this year we’ve got it figured out and we will ship arils the same day we start shipping fresh fruit,” Rouse said.

“We will have our full array of seven- and 14-case display bins along with our single-layer stackers and all the marketing support we put into our pomegranate program every year,” he said.


Scattaglia Growers adds pack sizes

Traver, Calif.-based Scattaglia Growers & Shippers LLC introduced 8-ounce fixed-weight grab-and-go bags of grapes for smaller-format retailers, said Jared Murray, sales manager.

The grower-packer also introduced 1.5-pound mesh bags for stone fruit it markets under the SunDisk label.


Sundale Vineyards goes solar

A 1.13-megawatt solar project came online at Tulare, Calif.-based Sundale Vineyards and Cold Storage’s cold-storage facility with weeks to spare before the start of the table grape season.

Not only is the system expected to save the grower-packer more than $5.7 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years but it also has environmental benefits, said Sean Stockton, president.

“It’s important to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said.

Originally, Sundale had hoped to install the system on the roof of its cold-storage building, Stockton said.

After considering future roof maintenance, Stockton said it instead opted to remove about 8 acres of vines adjacent to the storage and in-house packing facility to make way for a ground-mount solar system.

The project, installed by Carlsbad, Calif.-based Cenergy Power, involves about 3,800 photovoltaic panels that take up about 4 of those acres. It is expected to offset the electricity bill at Sundale’s cold-storage facility by about 91%, according to Cenergy’s figures.


Sunkist Growers promotes fall citrus

Heading into back to school and the fall, Sherman Oaks, Calif.-based Sunkist Growers will have supplies of conventional and organic valencias through the end of September, said Joan Wickham, manager of advertising and public relations.

To capitalize on the popularity of juicing, Sunkist will provide retailers with in-pack juicers and will run a social media campaign that invites consumers to share their juicing tips and recipes.


Fall figs come fast for Western Fresh

California fresh fig production will continue through early January, unless a frost ends it sooner.

“The crop looks to be down but hot and heavy early,” Chris Kragie, deciduous fruit manager for Madera, Calif.-based Western Fresh Marketing, said July 30.

“The lack of water has put stress on the trees. It’s pushing the fruit to be earlier and the volume to be sooner instead of more spread out.”

The grower-shipper offers a number of varieties, among them black missions, brown turkeys, calimyrnas, kadotas, sierras and tiger figs.

“We start from the desert and work all the way up the state of California almost to the Oregon border and then back down to the Coachella Valley, which will be the last crop which we’ll be packing,” Kragie said.


Wileman Bros. redesigns packs

Wileman Bros. & Elliott Inc. introduced packaging designs at the tail end of the 2013-14 citrus season, and they will be in full production when this season starts.

The Cutler, Calif.-based citrus grower-packer hadn’t updated its designs since the 1970s, said Andy Felts, salesman.

The illustrations still play upon the company’s “Mr. Sunshine” nickname but in a more modern way, he said.

The new packaging also coincided with the installation of fully automated packing and bagging lines.