Are you ready for red-fleshed apples? That’s a question that we may have to consider in the next two or three years.

Just this morning I received a press release about expanding Southern Hemisphere production of red-fleshed apples.

From the release:


From February to May, IFORED Consortium members Montague (Australia), Unifrutti (Chile), Mono Azul (Argentina), and Dutoit (South Africa) harvested the new apples with coloured flesh - from pink to intense red – developed under the Kissabel project. 

The production in the southern hemisphere is currently in the test stage: the aim is to harvest the first commercial quantities within the next three years. Expectations are high, since with their innovative look and excellent taste, the red flesh varieties developed by IFORED have everything it takes to win over buyers and consumers. 
 

 

It is hard to speculate what the consumer reaction will be to red-fleshed apples but this development is sure to get a lot of notice in the press as commercial availability draws closer.

Truck rates aren’t front-page news every week, but the summer freight crunch and equipment shortages continue to slam some districts. In Salinas on June 19, truck rates to Boston were $10,000 to $10,500, up from $8,500 to $9,100 on May 26.

Meanwhile, one of last week’s hot issues continues to sizzle.

I noticed in my email box this morning that I got a release from the National Association of Perishable Agricultural Receivers on Kroger’s new payment policy.

From the release.

NAPAR, the nation’s only produce trade association that exclusively represents produce wholesalers and receivers, is deeply concerned about a new payment policy that Kroger, one of the nation’s largest food retailers, announced in a letter to its suppliers earlier this month. 

Compliance with the retailer’s new 90-day standardized payment policy automatically forces produce suppliers to waive their PACA Trust rights and protections. 


The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, or PACA, was signed into law in 1984 to protect produce suppliers. It recognizes the unique position of produce suppliers as the providers of a highly perishable commodity. It ensures that they are first in line to receive payment for their produce in the event of the buyer’s bankruptcy. Agreeing to payment terms in excess of 30 days results in the automatic loss of PACA protection. That’s the law. 
 

Many produce suppliers, especially wholesalers and receivers, are small family owned and operated businesses providing highly perishable produce to large retailers and food service businesses. PACA was meant to level the playing field in the produce supply chain. It protects the wholesaler supplying the food industry’s giants. 
 

Matthew D’Arrigo, of D’Arrigo Bros Co. of New York, Inc., and Chairman of NAPAR, advised members “to proceed with extreme care. Agreeing to any retailer’s 90-day payment policy would forfeit their rights and protection from the PACA Trust.

This is not a decision to be made lightly and may not be good business practice,” he concluded.

D’Arrigo also called upon The Kroger Co. to exempt produce suppliers from its new policy. “It may be a workable policy for the many non-perishable suppliers Kroger has, but providing fresh produce is a very different business. The process from harvest to sale in the grocery store is short, and produce suppliers need to be paid promptly to cover their expenses.” 

 

TK: The industry is understandably agitated about the new Kroger policy. But will it change? And will the Kroger issue be broached from the speaker’s podium at United Fresh?

Speaking of Kroger, a question I posed to the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group yesterday is relevant. 

I asked:

What is one industry-related issue that “keeps you up at night”? What is one worry you would most like to go away?


The Kroger policy, freight issues, water security, food waste and "too much industry consolidation on the buy side" are on the short list of answers so far.

Chime in here 

 
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