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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

FOWLER FARMS: Mark Sharp, director of business development, talks about expanded cold storage for the good-sized Evercrisp apple crop that could last almost into spring and about a newly installed automatic pouch bag system with co-owner Austin Fowler of Fowler Farms, Wolcott, N.Y. Fowler just returned from New Zealand and is excited about bringing in Sweet Tango apples, which could arrive in April for U.S. distribution coast to coast. “We’ve gone through our domestic supply of Sweet Tangos, and there’s still demand, so it’s like hurry-up-and-wait,” Fowler says.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

CMI: Wenatchee, Wash.-based CMI Orchards launched the Apple Flavors of the World promotional guide of branded and organic apples for customers in October, says George Harter, vice president of marketing, who shares the booth with Danelle Huber, marketing specialist. Varieties include Kiku, Ambrosia Gold, Kanzi, Pacific Rose, Jazz, Envy and Smitten. Countries include Italy, Belgium, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. “We want to do club varieties and organics to drive the category up, which introduces ultra-premium category of clubs that are organic,” Harter says.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

PANDOL: “Our blueberry deal will be substantially increased for the 2019 season, and that’s because we signed up more growers,” says John Pandol, director of special projects at Delano, Calif.-based Pandol. Pandol expects 2 million pounds of blueberries this year from Georgia between the third week of April to end of June, 2 million for the first time in New Jersey from June 15 to end of August, and a good supply in Michigan from end of July to Labor Day. 

 

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

RICE FRUIT CO.: Brenda Rice, vice president of sales and marketing, says Gardners, Pa.-based Rice Fruit Co. tells how her company started a marketing relationship in December with Ocean Crisp’s Nova Scotia Honeycrisp apples. “It’s great for us because we start Honeycrisp, and then we’ll naturally transition to Nova Scotia Honeycrisp, and that will extend our season to May. We have a lot of shared values with this company, so it’s a really nice fit,” Rice says.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

FREY FARMS: Keenes, Ill.-based Frey Farms launched in March ready-to-drink bottled versions of Sarah’s Homegrown Agua Fresca in five flavors, says chief operating officer Tony Phillips. The juice is available at retailers such as Walmart, as well as foodservice companies such as Subway.The fresh produce used in each flavor — watermelon-cucumber, mango-pineapple, strawberry-lemon, lime-mint and pina colada — is sourced from Frey’s network of farms.

 

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

CAPCO FARMS: Michael Warren, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Central America Produce Inc./CAPCO Farms, said red-skinned mangos are in short supply. “So, there’s going to be a flush in April with ample supply for promotions.” That gap is because Peru’s supply ended early and Mexico is starting late due to December rains, Warren says. Red tommy atkins mangoes from Mexico and Guatemala should come on strong the last week of March through Cinco de Mayo. Yellow honey (ataulfo) mangoes from Mexico are here and will run through end of June. People must be ready for mangoes: On March 7, the National Mango Board’s Mango Store pop-up in New York City drew about 1,300 visitors, when about 500 were expected, Warren says.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

DOLE: Robert Russo says Monterey, Calif.-based Dole Fresh Vegetables is launching on March 27 four Bountiful Kits of salads featuring plant-based proteins. “It’s a new innovation to help growth in the category,” says Russo, vice president of sales-East. Dole Food Co., Westlake Village, Calif., is also launching immediately on the East Coast pineapple bites, spears and golden rings. “It’s good for healthy snacking,” he says. In January, Dole launched six new ready-to-eat bowls, riding a trend of fresh single-serving items.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

OPPY: The Oppenheimer Group will have an expanded line of Ocean Spray citrus this year, including clementines, satsumas and w. murcotts, says Caitlin Klueber, a business development representative based in Tampa, Fla. That program will run from June to October and mostly come from South America.

 

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

CONTINENTAL FRESH: Coconut Grove, Fla.-based Continental Fresh LLC is finishing its cucumber program from Honduras and is ramping up butternut squash, also from Honduras, for retail and processing. Next is Mexican mangoes with the Frontera label, says Albert Perez (from left), director of sales and marketing, who worked the booth with Robert Cabili and Jackie Obana.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

FLORIDA SPECIALTIES: Jake Davis (from left), Kevin Hall, Christian Tordinato and Jeff Stepanovich of Immokalee, Fla.-based Florida Specialties discuss the good green bean crop from Hendry County, Fla., and a good harvest of green bell peppers that should last until the start of May. “The biggest change is retailers want variable weight bags of untrimmed green beans, versus snipped,” Stepanovich says. “They’re getting rid of bulk, but they still weigh it at the register and pay per pound.”

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

EMERSON: Andrea Perdomo and Andres Toro share that Boise, Idaho-based Emerson launched in 2019 the GO Real-Time Flex Tracker, a device that delivers timely monitoring of fresh produce in transit. The device tracks location, ambient and pulp temperature, humidity and has a probe. It has real-time alerts through text and e-mail and an oversight mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

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Amy Sowder

ORLANDO, Fla. — Northeast editor Amy Sowder collected these news items March 9 on the show floor at the Southeast Produce Council's Southern Exposure. 

STEMILT: Wenatchee, Wash.-based Stemilt Growers is expecting to market California cherries starting May 1 for about four to six weeks, and then in Washington, starting about June 10, says Jocelyn Gerard, merchandise manager. “There’s a foot of snow in town, but one 80-degree day and the snow will melt, and then the cherries will move,” Gerard says. She’s also focusing on the Rave apple, an early season variety allowing retailers to capture sales “that basically didn’t exist before gala and Honeycrisp come in August.”

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