The following news items were gathered by The Packer Editor Greg Johnson Nov. 10 at the New York Produce Show and Conference in New York City.

First Fruits

First Fruits Marketing of Washington, Yakima, started a new program that focuses on hunger.

“Take a Bite Out of Hunger” aims to donate 1 million apples to food banks of retailers’ choosing, said category manager Dennis Jackson. Retailers get credits for volume, promotions and specific targets, where First Fruits will donate apples to the retailers’ preferred food bank, he said.

The effort includes explanation on bagged product and runs from October to the end of January.

FoodLogiQ

Food safety and traceability software provider FoodLogiQ, Durham, N.C., launched the Services Partnership Platform, an integrated program that provides traceability, food safety documentation and collects sustainability inputs, with CHRobinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.

Kerry Farrell, FoodLogiQ’s vice president of sales and marketing said the Services Partnership Platform provides the hardware, software, and a network of produce industry specialists to bring an efficient solution to each link of the supply and demand chain.

C.H. Robinson and FoodLogiQ are offering pilots of the platform to foodservice and retail buyers to see how it can make them PTI compliant.

Mann Packing

Butternut squash fresh cut in cubes in 12-ounce bags are new at Mann Packing Co. Inc., Salinas, Calif.

Eastern regional sales manager Mark McHale said Mann also has a new pack of Lo Mein Stir Fry, which consists of fresh-cut broccoli cole slaw, lo mein noodles and teriyaki sauce in a 14-ounce bag for retail.

Companies showcase products at N.Y. Produce Show

Greg Johnson

Suzanne Wolter, marketing director for Rainier Fruit Co., shows the Selah, Wash.-based company’s new apple variety, Junami, which will be available in January. She said Rainier is the exclusive North American supplier, and she expects to ship about 20,000 euroboxes of the Washington fruit.

Companies showcase products at N.Y. Produce Show

Greg Johnson

Paul Mastronardi, executive vice president of Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce, said the new Tomatoberry, a heart-shaped bite-sized tomato which originated in Japan, and is in production in North America, should be available Nov. 15.

Mastronardi Produce

The new Tomatoberry, a heart-shaped bite-sized tomato which originated in Japan and is in production in North America, should be available Nov. 15, said Paul Mastronardi, executive vice president of Kingsville, Ontario-based Mastronardi Produce.

It comes snack-ready, pre-washed in a punnet pack.

Mastronardi also now offers a four-pack of beefsteak tomatoes with bruschetta mix for retail. Mastronardi said consumers only have to add the bread.

Rainier Fruit

Suzanne Wolter, marketing director for Rainier Fruit Co., said the Selah, Wash.-based company plans to introduce a new apple variety in January.

It’s called the Junami, and it’s a round, red apple that was crossed from idared, maygold and elstar varieties, and Wolter said Rainier is the exclusive North American suppliers.

Rainier plans to ship about 20,000 euroboxes of the fruit grown in Washington.

“It’s marketed in Europe as a young person’s apple, so we plan to market it the same way here,” Wolter said.

She said Rainier also is increasing its availability of organic Lady Alice and Honeycrisp varieties.

West Pak

West Pak Avocado Inc., Temecula, Calif., formed a partnership in late summer with John Vena Inc., Philadelphia, where Vena’s operations on the Philadelphia produce terminal will serve as a forward distribution center for West Pak’s Eastern avocado customers.

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  • Salesman Brian Gomez said the company ships Mexican avocadoes through Texas to East Coast customers, and this agreement will allow for better service. He said the partnership would continue when Vena moves to the new Philadelphia terminal market early next year.

    Zuhlke & Associates

    Kurt Zuhlke & Associates Inc., Bangor, Pa., has a new 24-ounce clamshell designed for tomatoes-on-the-vine.

    The clamshell is both made with recycled PETE plastic and recyclable, said Kurt Zuhlke, president and chief executive officer.

    Zuhlke said the pack will also hold three 5x6 size tomatoes.