Organics and optimism on display in Chicago - The Packer

Organics and optimism on display in Chicago

06/26/2009 09:10:24 AM
Dan Galbraith

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in years past.

No, it didn’t have the residual traffic from the United Fresh show that used to be held in conjunction with the organic show, but showgoers and exhibitors remained optimistic.

They have good reason. Statistical data from reliable sources point to the organic industry in general actually becoming more profitable in the recession. According to information released by the Organic Trade Association at the show, organic products are recession-resistant, with 73% of all households buying organic products, including fresh produce.

That bodes well for the fresh produce industry, especially when so many companies invested time, money and effort to tell the show audience that they’re progressing.

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Albert’s Organics announced it is sourcing asparagus from Argentina to get closer to making asparagus available in stores on a year-round basis and formation of its new distribution center in Charlotte, N.C., at the organic show.

“We’re continuing to fill the pipeline and fill the voids on asparagus, and the new distribution center in Charlotte, our eighth location, gives us the opportunity to consolidate more local growers,” said Scott Dennis, vice president of business development for Albert’s Organics’ corporate division in Bridgeport, N.J.

The company is also working on a few new packaging programs.

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At the end of its first summer season for a squash and melon program from west Mexico, Portland, Ore.-based Bridges Produce plans to expand the deal, said Ben Johnson, growers agent.

“We have a fall season for west Mexico melons and squash that starts around Oct. 1 and a spring season that starts about April 1,” he said in an e-mail following up from a live interview from the show floor in Chicago.

“The big news is that we are just about to get under way with our cherry and stone fruit season out of Columbia Gorge in Hood River, Ore. We are celebrating our 20th year of being certified organic (there),” Johnson said.



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