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Retail produce sales rising amid coronavirus concerns

Stock-up grocery trips prompted by coronavirus concerns have included fresh produce along with frozen and canned, according to IRI and 210 Analytics. Total-store sales, including perimeter, jumped 10.6% for the week ending March 8. Sales for the four-week period ending March 8 were up 4.5%, compared to 2.0% growth year-to-date, per IRI. “Meat and deli meat sales are big drivers behind the perimeter growth, but produce sales too are accelerating fast — vegetables in particular,”... Read More

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E. coli outbreak effects linger for leafy greens growers

Big E Produce in Lompoc, which grows red and green leaf lettuce , romaine lettuce, cauliflower and broccolini , among other crops, is feeling a ripple effect from last year s multistate E. coli outbreaks and subsequent recalls. The company began receiving requests from customers for guarantees that its lettuces and products were safe, said Jose Gonzalez, who handles sales for the company. Customers also demanded that the produce be tested by laboratories against contamination.... Read More

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Positive outlook for Mexican crops, growers say

Mexico s fruit and vegetable production starts to peak in the winter months, with a long list of items headed to U.S. and Canadian markets. “We re coming up on our busiest time of the year,” said Dante Galeazzi, president of the Mission-based Texas International Produce Association. “Starting late January and going, really, through September, are the heaviest crossing volumes for fresh produce coming into Texas. Avocados, limes, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, watermelons,... Read More

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Avocado importers eye Mexico fuel shortage as Super Bowl looms

This years reason to hike the prices...... Although some media are reporting of a possible shortage of avocados — and therefore guacamole — for Super Bowl festivities because of a fuel shortage in Mexico, importers say there s no indication supplies are being affected. But they are monitoring the situation leading up to the Feb. 3 game, for good reason. The Super Bowl is the, well, the Super Bowl of avocado holidays/events, rivaling Cinco de... Read More

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Foodservice still holds growth potential

Consumers are spending food dollars at foodservice at unprecedented rates, and the potato industry recognizes the opportunity, marketers say. “Foodservice continues to grow in importance to the potato category,” said Kim Breshears, marketing programs director with Denver-based Potatoes USA. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, as of 2016, consumers now spend more of their food dollar at foodservice than retail, Breshears said. “As such, the foodservice sector is very important to the potato industry,”... Read More

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Romaine market expected to rebound

The late November voluntary suspension of romaine shipments by the industry in response to consumer advisories by federal agencies is not expected to sideline demand for long, Chicago wholesalers believe. “I might be optimistic, but I don t see any long-term damage done to the romaine market as a commodity or as an item,” said TJ Fleming, vice president of Chicago-based Strube Celery & Vegetable Co. . “I think John Q. Public is going to... Read More

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FDA releases latest pesticide residue testing results

Excessive pesticide residues on food aren t a big problem, according to a new report from the Food and Drug Administration. The Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 1 reported the results of its FY 2016 Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program . The agency tested for 711 pesticides and industrial chemicals across 7,413 total samples and the results were consistent with previous years findings, according to a news release. The majority of samples, the agency said,... Read More

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Idaho's 2017 fresh potato prices raise national average

Sales of table stock potatoes in the 2017-18 season totaled 107 million cwt., a 6% drop from the previous year, but the national average price-per-cwt. rose $1.13, to $11.73, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA released its annual summary of the previous season on Sept. 13. Overall production for the season, including frozen and dehydrated products, on 1.02 million acres was 442 million cwt., compared to 1.09 million acres and 441 million... Read More

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