Mid-Atlantic Produce business updates - The Packer

Mid-Atlantic Produce business updates

06/06/2014 11:09:00 AM
Jim Offner

Delaware Agriculture focuses on inner city

The Dover-based Delaware Department of Agriculture has launched a program aimed at increasing consumption of produce and other fresh foods in inner cities.

The program — yet unnamed — is focusing specifically on Wilmington in its early stages, said Ed Kee, Delaware secretary of agriculture.


Dublin Farms adds traceability

Horntown, Va.-based vegetable grower-shipper Dublin Farms recently installed a new traceability system from RedLine Solutions, said David Hickman, Dublin Farms’ vice president.

The move was an effort to “stay current” with food-safety and traceability requirements, Hickman said.

The system provides instant traceability of all items, Hickman said.

“It has a bar code on the package that will be read when it enters a chain store’s warehouse, and this will give the actual field location where the potatoes were grown and the location of the packing shed,” he said.

Hickman said his company ships about 16.8 million pounds of potatoes yearly.

The company also is changing its 5- and 10-pound polybags to a light-blocking system this year, too, Hickman said.


Fifer Orchards makes upgrades

Wyoming, Del.-based Fifer Orchards built a new loading dock at one of its facilities this year, said Curt Fifer, sales director.

There are other changes, as well. He said the company doubled its capacity on high tunnels, in which it grows tomatoes and kale.

Fifer Orchards also is growing hard squash and sweet potatoes “in small acreage” this year, Fifer said.

The company’s growing operation also now is all irrigated with overhead or triple irrigation, Fifer said.

Among other changes, the company is getting a comprehensive GlobalG.A.P. audit this year, Fifer said. It also is doing case labeling and is now fully complaint with the Produce Traceability Initiative, with bar codes and labels on all products.

In addition, Fifer Orchards is adding trucks to strengthen its service to the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore markets, Fifer said.


Papen Farms readies for summer crops

Dover, Del.-based Papen Farms has added refrigeration to its cold storage, said Richard Papen, owner.

Papen said he also is hiring sales help for the summer season to lighten some of his workload.

The vegetable grower-shipper’s season was on track to begin around June 10 with cabbage and will run until November with a line of vegetables.

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