( Sage Fruit Co. )

CMI Orchards anticipates growth for organic category

Wenatchee, Wash.-based CMI Orchards is forecasting increased organic production for 2018 and beyond.

“We’re showing strong growth in our Daisy Girl organics, and we will continue to have strong growth going into the next season,” said Steve Lutz, CMI’s senior strategist.

“We’re projecting a large increase in organic production, which will allow us to offer more products longer to our retail partners.”

CMI also has partnered with “some of the top producers in apples and pears” outside the U.S. to enable Daisy Girl brands to be co-packed and imported into the U.S. market, Lutz said.

“The beauty of this is our retail partners can continue to leverage the strong brand power that Daisy Girl delivers even when we’re sold out of domestically produced apples,” he said.


Giumarra Cos. adds organic Vidalias

The newest organic item at the Los Angeles-based Giumarra Cos. is Nature’s Partner-branded Vidalia onions, said Kristina Lorusso, regional business development director.

Giumarra started to offer the item in bag and bulk packaging options in April, she said.

Giumarra also offers organic berries, stone fruit, hard squash and avocados.


Mann Packing rolls out organic blend

Salinas, Calif.-based Mann Packing Co. now offers an Organic Super Blend, which includes kale, colored carrots, green cabbage and broccoli, spokesman Jacob Shafer said.

“The product stands out on shelf, offers exceptional versatility and can be served on its own or incorporated into dishes like salads, smoothies or other meals,” Shafer said.

The new item is the latest addition to an expanded organic line, which also recently launched organic green beans and cauliflower florets.

Mann already had organic broccoli florets, a broccoli-carrot combination, a vegetable medley, broccoli coleslaw and a vegetable snacking tray. All products are available to retailers across the U.S. and Canada, Shafer said.


MORE: Organic blueberries peak early for Naturipe


Oppenheimer Group boosts peppers

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group is launching an organic berry line and also is increasing its volume of organic colored bell peppers from British Columbia-based greenhouse vegetable grower-shipper Origin Organic Farms this year, said Chris Ford, organic category manager.

Pepper volume will be up by about 50%, Ford said.

“Their overall acreage hasn’t changed, but they changed their mix in the greenhouse,” Ford said.

Oppy also anticipates significant growth of organic Sun Gold kiwifruit from its New Zealand-based partner, Zespri, Ford said.

“Our growth is going to be between 5% and 10% more than last year, but that number will grow exponentially over the next five years,” Ford said of the kiwifruit from Zespri International Ltd.


MORE: Organics Unlimited in peak banana production


Sage Fruit succeeds with pouch bags

Yakima, Wash.-based Sage Fruit Co. is continuing with 2-pound pouch bags for organic apples that it launched during the 2017 season, said Chuck Sinks, president of sales and marketing.

“That seems to be moving really well,” he said. “This will be our first full season of them.”

The pouch bags are part of Sage’s increased emphasis on organics, Sinks said.

“We just got a really big push behind our organics, from our grower, marketing to our sales bases,” he said. “We’re letting people know we have them, letting people push these new bins we have, these 2-pound bags, for organics only.”

Consumers like the 2-pound option, Sinks said.

“When you have a 3-pound bag out there, sometimes they get kind of pricey,” he said.

Organics comprise about 10% to 15% of Sage’s total volume, compared to 2% to 3% five years ago, Sinks said.


Tanimura & Antle organics grow

Salinas, Calif.-based vegetable grower-shipper Tanimura & Antle is reporting triple-digit growth in its organics program.

The company’s organics program grew by 140% from its first to second year, with projected growth of 20% to 30%, year over year, for next three to five years, said Chris Glynn, organics director.

“We rolled out of three new items in the winter of 2017-18, which all went well, and all have been well-received from customers,” Glynn said.

Tanimura & Antle is getting ready to add four new items in 2018, Glynn said.


MORE: Wish Farms kicks off organic blueberries


World Variety has organic coconuts

Los Angeles-based specialty and organic produce supplier World Variety Produce, which markets undere the Melissa’s brand, has added organic lentils to its line of ready-to-serve, steamed products, director of marketing Robert Schueller said.

Melissa’s also has announced a new year-round supply of fresh Organic Drinking Coconuts from Thailand. Each coconut has a soda-tab-style opener. The product also comes with a straw in its packaging.