Keynote Breakfast/Perishable Pundit Thought-Leader Panel:: Industry Talks Innovation, Best Practices and Competitive Nature of Retail

BY MINDY HERMANN, Produce Business New York Produce Show exhibitors, attendees and buyers rose bright and early on exhibit day to enjoy the show’s Keynote Breakfast and the Perishable Pundit “Thought Leader” Panel in the beautiful Jacob Javits Center River Pavilion. The New York-inspired breakfast was all the more festive with the energizing doo-wop harmonies of the acapella Tee-Tones. Following …

Innovation Awards: Nucci Award Recipient Naturipe Leads Top 10; Matthew D’Arrigo, P. F. Chang’s, Highline Mushrooms Also Honored

BY CHRISTOPHER BURT, Produce Business Their bright ideas led to extraordinary rewards. The 10 winners of the PRODUCE BUSINESS First Annual Innovation Awards, announced in the November 2017 issue, took center stage at the Jacob Javits Center and were lauded for their game-changing products They were honored with glass trophies bearing the creative symbol of Edison ingenuity. Among them, Naturipe …

Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum: Change is the New Black

BY JOYCE REINGOLD, Produce Business Punching up profitability was the theme of the Ideation Fresh Foodservice Forum, and hospitality guru Andrew Freeman kicked off the day with a humorous, high-energy look at the role produce can play in making that happen. “Vegetables have gone totally mainstream,” said Freeman, the founder of af&co, a restaurant and hospitality consulting firm based in …

Global Trade Symposium: Changing Dynamics, Explosive Growth All Point to Bright Global-Trading Future

BY ED VERNON REINGOLD, Produce Business Expert speakers from five continents addressed a range of topics relevant to today’s ever-evolving and challenging global produce industry during the Global Trade Symposium, providing the audience with insights into the intricacies of the sector. Opportunities in areas of trade and investment were also identified, offering crucial information needed to make key business decisions …

Foundational Excellence: New Industry Professionals Learn About Current and Future Trends

BY DOUG OHLEMEIER, Produce Business Newer produce industry professionals learned how different life and selling and distributing produce could be in the near future during the Foundational Excellence program. The daylong conference was sponsored by the Eastern Produce Council and PRODUCE BUSINESS. Newer produce professionals are also helping change the industry. Cornell University’s Future-Leaders-In-Produce program was designed to fill a …

Microsession: Where Consumers Shop and What They Value: A Comparison Between Ethnic Groups

BY MINDY HERMANN, Produce Business Consumer changes continue to reshape the produce industry. Although overall fruit and vegetable purchasing, including canned and frozen, is flat, both fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are trending upward. Apples and oranges currently are the most consumed fruits; potatoes, tomatoes and onions lead in vegetable. Dr. Ben Campbell, assistant professor and extension economist at the …

Microsession: The Asian Consumer Market

BY JOYCE REINGOLD, Produce Business Asia’s rapid urbanization and increased consumption of produce are creating massive opportunities for exports and joint ventures, Thomas Reardon, professor of international development and agribusiness/food industry at Michigan State University, told industry leaders. Conference-goers had two opportunities to hear insights from Reardon’s experience in Asian markets — first at Tuesday’s Global Trade Symposium, and on …

Microsession: Controlled Environment Agriculture Growing in Northeast

BY CHRISTOPHER BURT, Produce Business Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) might never become a produce industry standard, but it is gaining momentum in the Northeast, Miguel Gomez, Cornell University associate professor, told attendees. Gomez lauded CEA’s ability to control so many growing factors — protecting crops, regulating both temperature and light, and efficient use of space — as a potential game-changer …

Microsession: Disruptions in the Food Retail Landscape

BY JOYCE REINGOLD, Produce Business Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods was a “historic disruption” in an industry already shifting due to the rise of discounters, Walmart’s continued dominance, and the growth of e-commerce, Ed McLaughlin told industry leaders. “It’s the marriage no one saw coming, but they both needed it desperately,” McLaughlin said of the Whole Foods acquisition. “It’s no …

Microsession: GMO And Non-GMO Food Labels: Implications of New Federal Law

BY MINDY HERMANN, Produce Business Concern about genetically modified (GMO) and genetically engineered (GE) food items and ingredients has infiltrated the fresh produce department, according to University of Connecticut professor John Bovay. The debate regarding whether GMO and GE items should be labeled pits consumer advocacy groups against the science community, farmers and biotech firms. Some non-governmental organizations (NGO) take …