10:45 p.m. Thinking about the "Like it. Love it. Gotta have it."  decision making grid used by Coldstone Creamery. What produce items inspires the "Gotta have it" tagline? Note to industry: work on creating more "must have" demand for fresh produce. But how?!!

  Steve Lutz of The Perishables Group sent some numbers on October melon sales. Story about the ugly facts is here. Yes, watermelons were hurt badly by the listeria foodborne outbreak linked to Colorado cantaloupe. More October retail sales coverage this week.

   Check out the Dec. 2 USDA National Fruit and Vegetable Retail Report. From the report, apples led the way for fruit promotions and salad and potatoes lead the way for vegetable ads.

Top Fruits - % of ads

Apples, 23%, Pears, 14%, Oranges, 9%, Avocados, 8%, Clementines, 6%, Misc Berries, 6% , Grapefruit, 4%, Blueberries, 4%, Grapes, 4% , Pomegranates, 3%

Top Vegetables - % of Ads

Salad, 12%, Potatoes, 11% , Carrots, 9% , Onions, Dry, 8%, Tomatoes, 7%, Peppers, Bell Type, 7%, Squash, 6%, Cucumbers, 5%, Broccoli, 4%, Mushrooms, 4%

TK: Is the USDA procurement division about to get tougher with growers who employ undocumented workers/illegal immigrants? I'm curious to see how this new Ag Labor rule: USDA will impact growers seeking to sell commodities to the USDA. I'll try to get some reaction this week. From the rule:

In accepting this contract award, the contractor certifies that it is in compliance with all applicable labor laws and that, to the best of its knowledge, its subcontractors of any tier, and suppliers, are also in compliance with all applicable labor laws. The Department of Agriculture will vigorously pursue corrective  action against the contractor and/or any tier subcontractor (or supplier) in the event of a violation of labor law made in the provision of supplies and/or services under this or any other government contract. The contractor is responsible for promptly reporting to the contracting officer when formal allegations or formal findings of non-compliance of labor laws are determined. The  Department of Agriculture considers certification under this clause to be a certification for purposes of the False Claims Act. The Department will cooperate as appropriate regarding labor laws applicable to the contract which are enforced by other agencies.

Other links to check out tonight...

India to put supermarket plans on hold?

Dumpster diving

Welfare state day of reckoning

13 job trends

Healthy Food Financing bill

Federal funds: USDA ERS

CB: tempoary assistance stats

Nanotechnology and food

Flesh eating banana rumor

CB: poverty stats

Maryland study of salad safety

Unemployment 8.6%

Freshfel headlines

FBI Top Ten

New members National Organic Standards Board

USDA Florida and Wisconsin PACA news

Arizona and California PACA news

Impetus for global plant security

EU Food Facility

FAO: Energy smart agriculture

Tomatoes Morocco

Kroger results

Monsanto annual report

McDonalds skirts SF rule


Join the LinkedIn Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group. Check out the stats from LinkedIn on the growth of the group. Facebook link here.

Bookmark the Fresh Talk home page.

Follow me on twitter @tckarst.