1 Anthony vineyards
Amy Sowder

ANTHONY VINEYARDS: Jay Stover (from left), Rob Spinelli, Greg White and D.J. Ryan of Coachella, Calif.-based Anthony Vineyards say they will keep expanding the company’s organic grape program in San Joaquin and Coachella valleys and the specialty niche varieties of grapes starting in August. The company is a grower, shipper and wholesaler of grapes, dates and bell peppers.

2 equitable food initiative web
Amy Sowder

EQUITABLE FOOD INITIATIVE: Beginning four years ago, the Equitable Food Initiative helps businesses with training, get up to code and earn certification in labor practices, food safety, pest management and social responsibility, say LeAnne Ruzzamenti (left) and Rebecca Castrejon. Six of the farms certified by the org are in California. “We call ourselves the one-stop shop for auditing,” Ruzzamenti says.

3 country sweet produce
Amy Sowder

COUNTRY SWEET PRODUCE: Based in Bakersfield, Calif., Country Sweet Produce has new items, including organic baby sweet potatoes and potatoes. The little potatoes are 3 ounces or smaller and are in a 24-ounce bag, say Prescott Leyba (left) and Gina Pettit. The company is also looking into biodegradable overwrap packaging. “We’ll launch our new overwrap with our new crop Sept. 1,” Pettit says.

 

4 calavo growers
Amy Sowder

CALAVO GROWERS: Santa Paula, California-based  Calavo Growers is strategizing how to handle its expanding tomato program during the Mexico tomato suspension negotiations, says Spencer Smith (left), who attended with Jaime Padilla, Leigh Anne Thomsen and Mike York. The company markets avocados from California, Mexico and Peru and has 2-ounce guacamole cups, avocado-mayonnaise and is introducing avocado-chocolate mousse into New York City schools, York says, starting with a Connecticut test pilot.

5 bay baby produce
Amy Sowder

BAY BABY PRODUCE: The smiling faces of the Original Pumpkin Patch Pals, are the hallmark of Mount Vernon, Wash.-based Bay Baby Produce. Meanwhile, the royalty pumpkin is gaining popularity, says Tyann Schlimmer (left) with Michele Youngquist. “It’s a beautiful new yellow with orange stripes and comes 150 to a bin,” Schlimmer says. “They are beautiful in any fall decoration display.” The company sells ornamental and painted pumpkins, as well as organic pumpkins and other winter squash to eat.

6 monterey mushroom
Amy Sowder

MONTEREY MUSHROOM: With several locations including Watsonville, Calif., Monterey Mushroom is about to launch its summer grilling labels on its mushroom packaging and is continuing to grow its Let’s Blend line of minced mushrooms, launched about a year ago. the Let’s Blend line is meant to be mixed with any kind of ground meat for burgers. Dave Truesdell (left) and Dana Giacone talk with attendees about these developments.

7 keenan farms
Amy Sowder

KEENAN FARMS: This company is all about pistachios, which is enjoying a heyday. “It’s been the biggest crop industry-wide in the U.S.,” says Tim Lamascus, sales manager of the Kettleman City, Calif., Keenan Farms. The crop runs from September through August. Also, Keenan Farms just launched Lightly Salted Pistachios about three months ago, Lamascus says. “It’s for our millennial demographic,” he says.

8 warren packaging
Amy Sowder

WARREN PACKAGING: Two main developments are happening at Ontario, Calif.-based Warren Packaging; Digitally printed corrugated boxes and cardboard versions of clamshells and trays. The digital printing means one less layer of material on the box, says Mike Dittenber. The company is also working on transitioning from plastic to paper clamshells the last six months. “We’re in testing now and hope to get it in some stores by end of summer or fall,” he says. Customized cut-out lids are an option.

9 sun pacific
Amy Sowder

SUN PACIFIC: Pasadena, Calif-based Sun Pacific is expanding its air chief grapes into 19 varieties, 40% of which is organic. The company is also upping its acreage by 25% in autumn crisp green grapes, available September and October.the company is going to have organic Cuties mandarins for the domestic season coming November through May and a year-round supply of kiwi, say Brian Campos (left), Kate Reeb and Brano Popovac. The domestic kiwi supply is organic.

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