Despite its smell, durian proves popular in Asia | Aussie grower harvests giant avocados | Mushroom marketers predict a strong supply
August 16, 2018
PMA SmartBrief
Global news for the produce and floral industry
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Despite its smell, durian proves popular in Asia
Durian has a scent so unpleasant to some that it has been banned from many public places in Southeast Asia, but the flavor of the fruit is winning fans in China and raising concerns about possible shortages and rising prices. Theft of the fruit from farms in Malaysia has become a problem, investors are spending to expand growing areas, and some companies are creating new lines of durian-based packaged foods.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/15) 
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Aussie grower harvests giant avocados
Australian farmer David Groves is growing the avozilla, a giant avocado that equals about five of the average-size fruits. "Everybody wants to know all about where they came from, and how we got them so big," he said.
BBC (8/16) 
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Mushroom marketers predict a strong supply
This season's mushroom harvest has been bountiful, and marketers forecast high volumes into the fall and beyond, according to the American Mushroom Institute. The category is growing along with demand for organics and specialty varieties.
The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (8/15) 
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High temps took a bite out of Canadian berry crops
A Quebec heat wave has taken a toll on the summer's berry crops, but that isn't expected to translate into higher consumer prices, industry representatives said. Strawberry volumes are expected to be down about 20% from last year.
Canadian Grocer/The Canadian Press (8/15) 
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Other News
SmartBrief Originals
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Science & Technology
Scientists use flavonoids to create plant-based preservative
Researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have invented a plant-based preservative they say will keep perishables including fruit and juices fresh for up to eight times longer than artificial preservatives. The solution uses the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of flavonoids to keep food fresh.
The Straits Times (Singapore) (free content) (8/16),  Food Ingredients First (Netherlands) (8/16) 
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Kroger launches self-driving delivery vehicle program
Kroger launches self-driving delivery vehicle program
Kroger is launching a home grocery delivery test via self-guided vehicles at a Scottsdale, Ariz., Fry's location. The pilot test will use autonomous Toyota Prius cars, which will initially have a human inside to monitor performance, for same-day and next-day delivery.
ABC News/The Associated Press (8/16),  TechCrunch (8/16) 
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Public Affairs
Fla. district to serve more fruits, veggies
Fla. district to serve more fruits, veggies
(Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Students at the School District of Palm Beach County will have more fruit and vegetable options at lunchtime because the district is implementing the national Smarter Lunchrooms program. "It's really making sure that we have a nutritious menu and encouraging kids to try those fruits and vegetables," said Allison Monbleau, food service director.
WPTV-TV (West Palm Beach, Fla.) (8/15) 
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Industry Talent – Center for Growing Talent
How to overcome organizational inertia
Organizations fail to move ahead either when departments don't speak to each other or when all efforts are focused on a single product or category, says Samuel Bacharach, an author and Cornell University professor. There's a fine line to walk for leaders in finding new ideas and executing them without falling back into inertia, he says.
Skip Prichard Leadership Insights (8/13) 
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Good comes from missed goals
Leaders can stop beating themselves up over perceived failures by accepting setbacks as learning opportunities, according to a post by Map Consulting. If the final goal was not reached, measure success by the progress made and managerial skills gained.
The MAP Blog (8/13) 
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PMA News
PMA exhibitors donate fresh produce to Food Bank for Monterey County
Exhibitors from PMA's Foodservice Conference & Expo did their part to fight back against hunger by donating 26,354 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables from the event to the Food Bank for Monterey County, almost 8,000 pounds more than last year's donation. The event featured 191 exhibitors, including 23 first timers. A diverse group of buyers attended, including retailers, distributors, and end-use operators.
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Watch how eat brighter! works for Wayfield Foods
Georgia retailer Wayfield Foods finds kids excited to spot their favorite "Sesame Street" characters on eat brighter! signage and drawn to the produce department with parents in tow. And when eat brighter!-branded produce ends up in the shopping cart, everyone's happy. Watch this new video to see how eat brighter! works for Wayfield and how it can work for you. The initiative extends through 2021.
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If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
Thich Nhat Hanh,
monk and peace activist
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