Avocado growers keep a Mexican town safe from violence | Neb. food hub wins Cultivating Change grant | Del Rey avocados win heart-healthy certification
February 19, 2018
PMA SmartBrief
Global news for the produce and floral industry
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Avocado growers keep a Mexican town safe from violence
Farmers in Tancitaro, Mexico, produce about 80% of the avocados that are shipped to the US, and farmers there have funded a police force to keep out gangs and drug-related violence. "The more Americans eat guacamole, the better off we are," said Jose Antonio Flores Quezada, a grower who has joined the force.
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)/The Associated Press (2/16) 
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Neb. food hub wins Cultivating Change grant
Lone Tree Foods in Crete, Neb., has won a $1,000 Cultivating Change grant by produce distributor PRO*ACT to raise community awareness for the local food hub. Lone Tree's mission is to connect local growers and food producers with retail buyers.
Lincoln Journal Star (Neb.) (tiered subscription model) (2/19) 
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Del Rey avocados win heart-healthy certification
The American Heart Association's Heart-Check logo has been added to cartons of avocados from Del Rey Avocado Co. The symbol certifies that the avocados meet the association's nutrition criteria for a heart-healthy food.
The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (2/16) 
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SmartBrief Originals
AI offers avenues to assist grocers
Artificial intelligence could be a great tool for grocers, letting them better analyze the volumes of customer data they collect, Infor's Doug Tiffan writes. It also offers potential benefits for managing inventory, especially perishables, and cutting down on waste.
SmartBrief/Food & Beverage (2/19) 
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Science & Technology
Is Amazon merging Fresh and Prime Now?
Is Amazon merging Fresh and Prime Now?
(Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Amazon is tidying up its grocery delivery options with a new plan to merge its AmazonFresh and Prime Now services by the end of the year, according to Yahoo Finance. Amazon has been reducing its delivery area for AmazonFresh since its takeover of Whole Foods last summer, and a recent consumer survey finds that 48% of Prime users have been ordering groceries through the service.
Yahoo (2/15),  New York magazine (2/16) 
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How blockchain can improve food safety, authenticity
Blockchain technology tracking systems in the food chain can offer retailers and consumers transparency and raise the bar on food safety, writes Larry Myler. Systems from companies such as TE-FOOD can also show authenticity for consumers seeking farm-to-table options, he notes.
Forbes (2/16) 
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Scannable shelf tags might be better in-store digital connection
Scannable shelf tags could be a better customer interaction than digital beacons as customers walk through stores, Lisa Lacy writes. Consumers are empowered to scan only those tags that interest them, instead of beacons broadcasting to any shopper with an app open, she writes.
Adweek (2/16) 
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Public Affairs
Jersey Fresh seeks farm-to-school produce growers
New Jersey's Agriculture Department is seeking nominations for the inaugural Jersey Fresh Farm to School Farmer Recognition Award. Produce growers that apply will receive tips for promoting their produce in schools, and the award will be given during Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week in September.
The Packer (Lenexa, Kan.) (2/16) 
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Industry Talent – Center for Growing Talent by PMA
What kind of legacy will you leave?
What kind of legacy will you leave?
(YouTube/John Baldoni)
Obituaries can't tell the full story of a person, and so it is with leaders, whose true legacy is seen in how they affect others, says John Baldoni in this blog post and video. "For leaders, legacy is a sum of what you have done well and what you have done not so well," he says.
SmartBrief/Leadership (2/16) 
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How to ask more of the right questions
There are several levels of questions to ask that can dig into root causes and help improve understanding and outcomes, Bruce Court writes. These include basic fact-finding questions, queries that seek to understand thought processes and queries that push back on what's known, such as, "What happens if nothing changes?"
Development Dimensions International (2/15) 
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PMA News
Get tips to increase floral sales
A recent research study examines what encourages or discourages buyers to purchase fresh flowers. Insights are provided on demographics, transactional decisions and barriers of nonbuyers. The study includes tips to reach this untapped market and increase sales. The American Floral Endowment and Society of American Florists coordinated the study, and it was funded by the Floral Marketing Research Fund. Purchase the floral tracking study.
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Feb. 22 webinar: Mintel food and drink shopper findings
Consumer expectations for the food they consume and how they shop for it is evolving. In this Feb. 22 webinar, free for PMA members, learn how to ensure your customers' shopping experience and produce purchases meet their expectations. Mintel's Associate Director of Food and Drink Beth Bloom will lead the webinar. Registration is required.
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I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
George Washington,
first US president
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