UPDATED: Fresh Summit 2009: Expo notes part 2 - The Packer

UPDATED: Fresh Summit 2009: Expo notes part 2

10/09/2009 02:36:11 PM
The Packer Staff


Napa, Korean radishes and diakon are new to the mix for Mont-St-Hilaire, Quebec-based Organzo. The company now specializes in those three, plus eggplant, green onions, onion and bok choy.

“Our customers want to complete their loads,” said Julie Nichols, owner and president.

The company grows in Canada, but its main customers are in New York, Georgia, Florida, Illinois and California, Nichols said. She founded the company three years ago.

PEI Potato Board

Better growing season weather should deliver good quality potatoes from Prince Edward Island this year, said Roland MacDonald, market development officer, Prince Edward Island Potato Board, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

“Last year, we had all kinds of rain in August but we didn’t have that this year,” he said.  PEI potato acreage is estimated at about 85,000 acres, off from 93,000 acres in 2008, he said.

MacDonald said that Kendra Mills is the new marketing director for the board, MacDonald said. Mills joined the board in July but was unable to attend Fresh Summit.

Oso Sweet Onions

Twenty years after it had its first crop out of Chile, Oso Sweet Onions are officially a year-round deal. Brian Kastick, general manager of the program, said the onions are grown in Chile, Texas, Georgia and Peru.

The company also has come full circle with a new value-added product. Kastick said Oso Sweets began over a bowl of onion soup and now the company offers an Oso Sweet brand onion soup mix that can be used as a starter for dips, sauces and soups.

Developed by Tasty Blend Foods Inc., Fraziers Bottom, W.V., the line also includes an Oso Sweet brand onion ring batter. Both are perfect for cross merchandising in the produce department, Kastick said.

Pacific Gourmet Produce

By late October, Pacific Gourmet Produce, Vernon, Calif., plans to have 1-pound packs of its purple sweet yams for its retail customers, said Jeffrey Jacobs, co-owner.

Pero Family Farms

Single-wrapped vegetables, including bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, are turning into a hit for Delray Beach, Fla.-based Pero Family Farms, said Dale Chase, director of sales. The company displayed its Freshwrap single-wrapped and overwrapped vegetables, which are new this year, Chase said.

The company is also debuting organic bagged green beans, either snipped or unsnipped, said Frank Pero, corporate executive vice president. The season should start soon, and the product should be on the market this fall, Pero said.

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