packer
Amy Sowder

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items on the show floor Feb. 2 at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

ALDERMAN FARMS: Alderman Farms, Boynton Beach, Fla., a grower-shipper-wholesaler with farms in Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee, opened a 45,000-square-foot packing facility in October, says Jim Alderman Jr. (center), vice president. The facility has three packing lines, coolers with four temperature zones, and machines for tray wrapping, flow wrapping, and corn cutting. Alderman doubled the ice-making capabilities because of its burgeoning greens program in organic kale, collards and Swiss chard. Alderman Farms improved its vine-ripe packing line with Aweta optical sizers and color sorters, so hand-sorting is no longer necessary, which helped Alderman launch a new product, an organic vine-ripe tomato under the Alderman Farms brand, including a tomato grown in four South Florida counties. John “Quad” Whitworth IV (from left), Alderman and Robert Sziemkiewicz display the company’s tomatoes.

packer
Amy Sowder

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items on the show floor Feb. 2 at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

EARTHBOUND FARM: Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., recently launched a line of salad mixes in 5-ounce clamshells. Rosé Blend is the headliner, with red baby butter lettuce, lolla rosa, red oak lettuce, red pak choi and radicchio. “It has a sweeter taste and it’s really pretty for a salad. Baby red butter is one of the fastest-growing tender leaves in sales,” says Edward Johnson, senior manager of customer development in the central region. Mighty Spinach includes Asian greens, such as tat soi, bok choy, and pak choi, which are heralded for their nutrition, he said. The Caesar Chopped Kit and Sweet Kale Chopped Kit were introduced in the summer of 2018. The kits’ dressings and toppings are all organic, in addition to the lettuces.

packer
Amy Sowder

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items on the show floor Feb. 2 at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

SHENANDOAH GROWERS: A common complaint about fresh herbs is that you can’t use all of them before they go bad, especially if you bought the bunch for a single recipe. In March, Shenandoah Growers, Rockingham, Va., plans to offer an organic pureed herb line under the That’s Tasty brand. The line of herbs in 2.8-ounce tubes are good in the refrigerator for six months after opening, says Steve Wright, chief customer officer. There are eight products in the line: basil, dill, garlic, ginger, parsley, Italian herbs, harissa and sundried tomato. “Harissa and sundried tomato are more unique,” Wright says.

 

packer
Amy Sowder

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items on the show floor Feb. 2 at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

TOMRA: Tomra, through its subsidiary Compac, placed its first Inspectra 2 internal sorter in Prima Frutta’s packinghouse in Linden, Calif., in June. The near-infrared inspection analysis detects internal characteristics of fresh produce like the first Inspectra, but the newer version’s improved software enables operators to quickly optimize their models as varieties and quality changes throughout the season. The Inspectra2 reduces operational overhead by reducing the physical labor and food waste — optimizing the supply chain by routing produce based on internal quality. “There’s almost nonexistent physical labor and time compared to the first one, improved accuracy and online modeling,” says Dave Welch (right), Compac’s Pacific Northwest market manager, with Dimitri Tavernarakis.

packer
Amy Sowder

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items on the show floor Feb. 2 at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

MASTER’S TOUCH: In February, Master’s Touch, San Diego, plans to start promoting its 6-ounce resealable pouch pack of organic Desert Jewels tomatoes, says Carlos Franco, senior salesman. “We wanted to meet the 99-cent or $1.39 retail price point,” Franco says. This allows Master’s Touch to package a smaller amount of little tomatoes, instead of competing directly with snacking tomatoes that come in a cup.

packer
Amy Sowder

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items on the show floor Feb. 2 at the Global Organic Produce Expo.

SOUTH MILL CHAMPS: South Mill Champs sold 1,000 cases in the first two weeks of placing its new mushroom chips, two lines of mushroom jerky and mushroom bars on Amazon in January, says Michael Richmond (right), vice president of sales. The company mainly sells fresh mushrooms, but is finding success in value-added items. The new line is called Shrooms, and it’s jumping onto the trend of using mushrooms in alternative ways. The chips and bars use white and crimini mushrooms. The jerky — which has a vegan line and a meat-‘shroom split line — uses portabella and shiitake. “We take fresh mushrooms and make a 12-month shelf stable snack in four products. There are people who like crunchy, and those who like savory, chewy,” he says. Richmond and Vince Versagli display the products.

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