China and the US fully opened their markets to each other's apples two years ago, and shipments from both countries have grown since the trade deal took effect. Chinese apple exports to the US surged, and they now account for about 2% of all US apple imports, say the USDA and apple market analyst Desmond O'Rourke.
Unseasonably warm days in January and February followed by a March freeze took a toll on the strawberry crop in Sumner County, Tenn., growers said. "After this, if we have another cold snap, it might just wipe them out," said Carl Cooper of Cooper Creek Farm.
Wegmans Food Markets will open stores in northern New Jersey in July and September as it continues construction of a store in Brooklyn, N.Y., which is expected to open next year and will be Wegmans' first location in New York City. The new stores are part of a bigger expansion for the retailer, which will add about 10 more stores in the six states where it currently operates and in North Carolina, a new market for Wegmans.
SpartanNash has promoted Mike Pahud to chief operating officer at its Caito Foods Service division, which was acquired earlier this year to improve the retailer's fresh selection. Pahud previously served as Caito's chief financial officer.
The news that ALDI plans to debut a new logo resonated with SmartBrief readers this week, and a story about ALDI and Lidl's potential to shake up the grocery industry was also popular. Frito-Lay's debut of its Lay's Poppables line, rising sales at Annie's Homegrown and Kraft Heinz's sustainability investments were also among the week's top 10 stories.
An increasing number of produce manufacturers are using new packaging formats to share ingredient and food safety information with consumers, which some brands are conveying via labeling platforms such as SmartLabel. "We anticipate a lot of brands will look to this and other smart packaging technology to satisfy new requirements for GMO labeling and nutrition facts panel changes," said Angela Fernandez of data firm GS1 US regarding SmartLabel's potential.
More than one-fifth of shoppers would turn to apps and other technology to help them cut down on food waste, finds a survey by research charity IGD. Existing apps can help retailers and producers tackle food waste, but a gap in the market for consumer-oriented apps presents an opportunity, according to Vanessa Henry, an analyst for IGD.
The Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program has made almost $300,000 available for Delaware programs that promote the state's specialty crops. Last year's grants went to eight projects, including a media campaign highlighting local produce.
Leaders can learn a lot from one another by asking questions, writes Joseph Lalonde. He offers 15 examples, including "Can you share what you've learned from past failures?" and "How do you create a vision for your business that everyone on your team can latch onto?"
There is a disconnect between what managers believe motivates employees and what actually motivates them, writes Susan Fowler. Managers will often ascribe their motivations and beliefs to others, she notes, and oftentimes organizational constructs prevent managers from directly affecting pay, title or bonuses.
Wal-Mart Stores' Shawn Baldwin joins PMA board of directors
Shawn Baldwin, Wal-Mart Stores' general merchandise manager and senior vice president of produce and global food sourcing, has been named to PMA board of directors. Shawn's "... outlook on global produce and floral trends will be an asset as PMA continues to build its value offerings for members around the world. Plus, Shawn's strategic, retail mindset will help PMA identify additional ways to remain relevant to the buyer community," PMA Chair John Oxford said in a press release.
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