In an effort to make responsibly sourced products easier for shoppers to identify, Whole Foods Market has rolled out a program featuring a "Sourced for Good" seal, which can be found on more than 100 of the grocer's products including produce and seafood. The seal indicates sourcing has been certified by international groups that include Fair Trade USA, the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade America, the Fair Food Program and the Equitable Food Initiative.
New Zealand-based marketer Zespri, which owns the rights to the SunGold kiwifruit variety, is proposing putting its stickers on counterfeit versions of the fruit grown in China. Growers in New Zealand are considering the drastic move as a way to ensure that quality standards are upheld and to avoid tarnishing the image of the brand.
FMI's Power of Produce report showed produce sales shot up 11.4% in 2020 as the pandemic pushed more shoppers to choose healthy food items. The report indicated that at-home cooking also contributed to sales growth, and FMI's Rick Stein said while "these trends began in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we're likely to see them continue due to younger generations driving these trends."
Berry growers Wish Farms has unveiled a new 125,000-square-foot headquarters, warehouse and three-acre blueberry farm on 36 acres in Plant City, Fla. The solar-powered packing house features three packing lines for blueberries and two processing lines for strawberries that including slicing and juicing capabilities.
Scaling agricultural drone and geospatial programs Just as the agricultural sector requires a holistic approach for best yields, the most successful drone programs cover every aspect of the business, from winning investment to delivering produce. Join us as we discuss incorporating unique data to identify longer-term opportunities and building greater transparency. Watch on-demand now.
Most Clicked: Take a look at this week's hottest food and beverage industry stories with SmartBrief's Top 10 list.
Tales of Kroger's digital sales and ghost kitchen expansion made waves on this week's list of most-read stories. Walmart's pandemic marketing, Trader Joe's upcoming grilled cheese challenge and a "Cravy" concept from Heinz and Ocean Spray also made the list.
Seeking out more sustainable food companies is a growing priority among consumers, spurring produce companies to focus on ways they can use tech tools to cut food waste, the topic of a virtual town hall by the Produce Marketing Association. Executives from Apeel and Hazel Technologies talked about using their innovations to preserve the shelf life of produce and a representative of SoFresh explained how the company's packaging uses natural vapors to kill mold.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Credit have announced plans for the eighth Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge. The competition will offer a total of $165,000 to startups working on solutions for both traditional and emerging challenges farmers face.
The US agriculture sector will require both public investments to boost productivity and feed growing populations, said Joe Somers, vice president of HIS Markit Agribusiness Consulting Group. Spending by private companies is also key, he said, but those funds tend to go toward projects with the potential to generate profits rather than those focused solely on societal benefits.
Some people are able to rise above chaos and lead projects, teams and companies through challenging times, and it may seem difficult to find such "unicorns." "Perhaps the best way to find more unicorns is to begin by looking in the mirror and cultivating unicorn behavior in ourselves," Steve McKee writes.
Asynchronous communication can improve focus, flexibility and onboarding but can be insufficient for culture-building. "Teams will still want real-time communication to make decisions, do creative brainstorming and build relationships with their colleagues and customers," says Github executive Erica Brescia.
Amy Sung is the director of content for food and travel at SmartBrief, where she manages both editorial content and content marketing spanning the foodservice, food retail and consumer packaged goods industries, as well as the travel and hospitality industries. If you like Produce SmartBrief, hate Produce SmartBrief or want to submit a story, shoot me an email.
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