SAM'S EXPANDS FAIR TRADE BANANAS
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam's Club has announced plans to expand the number of its stores offering Fair Trade Certified bananas from 60 locations to 100. Wal-Mart Stores' club store division became the first membership warehouse club to offer Fair Trade Certified bananas in October 2007, and purchases of the bananas since then has generated more than $615,000 in community development funds for regions where the bananas are grown, according to a company release. In support of Fair Trade month this month, Sam's Club offered free samples of the bananas on Oct. 9-10. Sam's Club also offers Fair Trade coffee, wine and flowers.
PMA YIELDS 100 TONS FOR CHARITY
ANAHEIM, Calif. — More than 100 volunteers helped the Second Harvest Food Bank gather an estimated 100 tons of fresh produce left over here this month after the Produce Marketing Associations annual Fresh Summit convention. “We have picked up food from a couple of trade shows, but this is the biggest. And it's rare to get this amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, which are healthy and nutritious — exactly what we need to be distributing more of,” Lorina Smith, food resources coordinator for Second Harvest, told the Orange County Register. The PMA Fresh Summit was the largest in the organization's history, with 19,070 people from 58 countries in attendance.
PMA HONORS PACKAGING INNOVATORS
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Eight companies were honored by the Produce Marketing Association with the organization's third annual Impact Award for Excellence in Produce Packaging, announced here at the PMA Fresh Summit Convention this month. The award winners, selected in six categories, were: Environment/Sustainability — Earthbound Farm for its new 5- and 11-ounce, and 1- and 2-pound Earthbound Farm clamshell packages; Food Safety/Traceability — Yottamark for its new Microbaker traceable labels; Functionality/Technology — Clear Lam Packaging and Taylor Farms for the new Taylor Fresh Bag Plus; Marketing Design — The Oppenheimer Group and ZESPRI for the new Kiwi Snack Pack; Marketing Messaging/Content — Stemilt Growers for its “Fresh, Flavorful and Family-Farmed” cherry display bin; and, in the Supply Chain Efficiencies category — IFCO Systems for its reusable plastic containers (RPCs).
HIGAKI NAMED TOP FLORAL MARKETER
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Harrison Higaki, president of the Bay City Flower Co., was named 2009 Floral Marketer of the Year by the Produce Marketing Association here at the organization's annual Fresh Summit convention. Higaki is a third-generation floral marketer, maintaining and expanding the business that his grandfather started in Redwood City, Calif., in 1910. “During up and down times, Bay City has been one of the Rolls Royce producers of blooming plants in our industry,” colleague Tom Lavagetto said in a PMA announcement.
RETAILERS Back PINK RIBBON PRODUCE
ROCKLIN, Calif. — Harris Teeter, Meijer and Price Chopper this month renewed their partnership with Pink Ribbon Produce, an educational fund-raising program designed to raise breast cancer awareness and generate funds for local affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This year, almost 30 produce suppliers participated in the program, which takes place each October during Breast Cancer Awareness month. “This is a program that retailers and produce partners are passionate about because it impacts the lives of their employees, families and communities,” Debbie Augustine, CEO of Consumer Effects International, said in a release.