FOXBORO, Mass. — The following news items were gathered by Eastern Editor Doug Ohlemeier April 25 on the exposition floor during the New England Produce Council’s Produce and Floral Expo.

Arrow Farms

Arrow Farms Inc./Gold Bell Inc. and its DiSilva Fruit division, Chelsea, Mass., are releasing bags of fingerling potatoes.

The potato and onion repacker and distributor is offering 1-pound bags of yellow, red, and yellow, red and purple potato mixes.

Michael Guptill, sales manager, said the item is receiving a strong reception.

Backyard Farms

Backyard Farms LLC, Madison, Maine, is changing its company logo and adding a new commodity.

The greenhouse grower-shipper changed its logo and branding to “”Always Tomato Season.”

Tim Cunniff, executive vice president of sales and marketing, said the 6-year-old company was due for a branding update.

He said Backyard Farms is focusing on a consumer branding campaign and said consumer research showed it was time to update the brand.

Backyard Farm is now growing beefsteak tomatoes. Previously, the company grew tomatoes on the vine and cocktail tomatoes.


C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., Keene, N.H., is offering fruit baskets.

The Mother’s Day and Father’s Day baskets include more fruit and offer packaging colors appealing to mothers and fathers, said Nancy Richards, sales manager.

The baskets also feature chocolate coins in the Mother’s Day version and chocolate golf balls in the Father’s Day offering, Richards said.

Northeast Produce

Northeast Produce Inc., Plainville, Conn., is entering the fresh-cut tomato business.

The tomato repacker is releasing 1.5-pound clamshells and 1.5- and 5-pound tubs of sliced tomatoes.

The clamshells and the 1.5-pound tubs hold 50 slices, while the 5-pound tub has a capacity of 162 slices, said Jerry Bladino Jr., salesman.

Bladino said the offerings Northeast Produce processes the tomatoes in its operation and said the products offer up to 14 days of shelf life.

State Garden/ Olivia’s Organics

State Garden Co. Inc., Chelsea, Mass., is releasing a line of packaged cooking greens through its Olivia’s Organics brand.

The 11-ounce bags come in four varieties of prewashed and ready to cook baby kale, baby collard greens, baby Swiss chard and a baby sauté combination blend.

Mark DeMichaelis, president and chief executive officer, said State Garden is introducing the products to help consumers with preparation convenience.

“Because of the importance of cooked greens to consumer diets, we’re trying to take the hurdles out of preparation so people can increase consumption,” DeMichaelis said.

Swaz Potato Farms

Swaz Potato Farms, Hatfield, Mass., is expanding acreage.

This spring, the grower-shipper began planting 250 acres near East Granby, Conn.

The new production, scheduled to be harvested in mid- to late July, should allow for earlier shipments, said Diane Szawlowski Mullins, marketing and public relations director.

Swaz grows and ships non-storage red, yellow, white and russet potatoes in western Massachusetts.


Tourtellot & Co. Inc., Warwick, R.I., is offering fresh guacamole kits.

The wholesaler developed 20-ounce quart clamshells kits that include two avocados, two plum tomatoes, two garlic cloves, one small white onion and one jalapeno pepper.

Chris Marsh, sales merchandiser, said the kits, which sell for $3, should prove popular for the Cinco de Mayo holiday.

Wilson Farms

Wilson Farms Inc., Lexington, Mass., is releasing new clamshell packaging for its kiss variety of Canadian grape tomatoes.

The 1.25-pound clamshells hold yellow, orange and red grape tomatoes.

The grower-shipper is also offering 1-pound bags of red, orange and yellow sweet bell peppers.

The resealable bags come with carrying handles.

Heidi Barry, floral specialist, said the new packaging should prove favorable for distribution.