California SEE INSIDE! er.com www.thepack A Farm Journal publication Media GRAPES July 3, 2017 | THE MOST TRUSTED NEWS IN PRODUCE | CXXIV, NO. 27 | JULY 3, 2017 | THEPACKER.COM This rendering of a Del Monte food and beverage outlet shows a format for an airport, with fresh fruit and other options and seating areas. What’s inside ... Wal-Mart’s giant pick-up kiosk Retail, A2 Courtesy Fresh Del Monte Produce A surprise for cherries Opinion, A6 Del Monte to launch retail outlets in U.S. By Ashley Nickle FRESH DEL MONTE Pro-duce and Del Monte Pacific Ltd. have entered into a se-ries of joint ventures, includ-ing Del Monte retail outlets in the U.S. At those stores, Del Mon-te will offer “hearty salads,” including some with protein, fresh-cut fruit salads, sand-wiches, vegetables in wraps, smoothies, juices, and hum-mus and yogurt, according to an investor relations doc-ument on the ventures. The companies are not disclosing how many retail locations they plan to open or where they will be. How-ever, Fresh Del Monte Pro-duce chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghaza-leh suggested the company could start establishing a retail presence soon. He hinted at a tentative timeline in the investor doc-ument while addressing whether the joint ventures would change the companies’ debt situation. “If any of these business-es will be requiring any cap-ital, it will be minimal, even on the (food and beverage) concept that will be intro-duced hopefully during end of this year or early next year,” Abu-Ghazaleh said on a conference call. “It will be with minimal capital.” Fresh Del Monte has 16 outlets in the Mid-dle East, accord-ing to the docu-ment. T h o s e ABU-GHAZALEH stores are a combination of grab-and-go and dine-in locations. The U.S. locations will be modeled after the “already successful” concept in the Middle East, according to a news release. A rendering of one Del Monte food and beverage outlet shows a format in an airport, with fresh fruit and other options and an area to sit and eat. “We are very optimistic that the same concept can be applied successfully in the U.S.,” Rolando Gapud, chair-man of Del Monte Pacific, said on a conference call. The first Del Monte food and beverage store opened in 2011 in the United Arab Emirates, said Dennis Chris-tou, vice president of mar-keting for Fresh Del Monte. The companies are also partnering on a line of chilled juices, on extended shelf-life refrigerated fruit products, and on extended shelf-life refrigerated avo-cado products like guaca-mole. Fresh Del Monte sells chilled juices in Kenya, the Middle East and Europe. Del Monte Pacific and Fresh Del Monte are not yet saying when the various joint ventures will be operational. “We are in the early stag-es of creating the business-es, so we have a lot of work to do,” the companies said in the document. The executives said busi-ness plans should be complet-ed in the next several months and they should have more information to share then. The ventures have been in the works for the last sev-eral months. Resolution of disputes re-lated to licensing rights and product distribution allowed Fresh Del Monte and Del Monte Pacific to partner on the ventures. P IN MEMORIAM: Ontario greenhouse industry’s Denton Hoffman has died People, A7 Georgia peaches lose 70% of crop Crops & Markets, A9 ‘How can Salinas Valley and Silicon Valley work more harmoniously?’ Janet Napolitano, University of California OTA starts fraud task force By Kate Walz A MILLION POUNDS of grains from Turkey fraud-ulently sold as organic is spurring concern over or-ganic imports. The Organic Trade Asso-ciation is creating a task force to address the issue, and three senators have requested that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue increase enforcement of organic imports. “Organic farmers in the United States cannot be ex-pected to compete against fraudulent organic imports, and American consumers have the right to expect that products sold as organic meet the criteria for use of the organic label as re-quired by law,” Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and gate the risk and occurrence of organic fraud,” according to the group’s mission. “We want to develop a best practices guide specific to organic systems and cer-tification,” said Gwendolyn Wyard, vice president of regulatory and technical af-fairs for the Organic Trade Association. “In situations of fraud, everyone in the supply chain has a role.” The document will focus on risk and vulnerability as-sessments, mitigation mea-sures alerts and reporting systems. Ports of entry are a big weakness in the system, according to Wyard. One of the trade associa-tion’s requests to Congress for the 2018 farm bill is al-lowing ports, importers, brokers and others involved in the importing of goods to Tom Karst New recloseable film Produce Tech, A12 Greater collaboration on horizon between agriculture, technology By Tom Karst SALINAS, CALIF. — The third annual Forbes AgTech Summit highlights progress already made and the continuing need for greater collaboration between the Salinas Valley and Silicon Valley to solve a weighty list of agricultural problems. “This is a unique moment in California and we have a unique opportunity in California in the nexus of agriculture and technological in-novation,” Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California and former Secretary of Homeland Security, said June 28. The summit attracted more than 680 attendees and 50 exhibitors, with the first day looking at indoor growing opportuni-ties and challenges and a recounting of local and global ag tech success stories. Napolitano said California is facing un-precedented challenges to its ecosystem as a whole and to the food system in particu-lar, citing worries about changing climate conditions, deteriorating soil health and a shrinking supply of skilled farm laborers. “As we confront the problems in Califor-nia today, we must ask ourselves, how will ag and tech solve these problems together? How can Salinas Valley and Silicon Valley work more harmoniously?” Agricultural technology may be a buzz-word, but there is a need for solutions and service to the industry, she said. The on-line news company TechCrunch reported that ag tech startup companies have raised more than $320 million so far this year, more than three times the amount over the same period last year. “For some it may be all about cashing in on the latest gold rush, but for those of us here today and for those of us at the University of California, it is about using ingenuity to engi-neer desperately needed solutions,” she said. “It’s about combining our strengths and collaboration to ensure a stable future to help the environment and a strong econ-omy for communities in California and across the globe,” she said. All hail King Barlett California Pears, A13 AG SOLUTIONS The University of California launched an initiative three years ago to find solutions to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach 8 billion peo-ple by 2025, she said. The university leads the nation in the patents it is granted in the U.S., producing five new patentable inven-tions every day. “One of these ideas might just turn the California ag industry or the tech world — or both — on their heads,” she said. She said solar-powered greenhouse re-search from the University of California at Santa Cruz helps growers reduce initial cap-ital costs and lowers the cost of operations. Napolitano also mentioned James Rogers, a University of California doctoral student who became science director and CEO of Apeel Sciences. The company, established five years ago, invented a natural protective barri-er that nearly doubles shelf life for more than two dozen fruits and vegetables. P ‘If you’re going to move into organic ... you have to be committed to rigorous standards.’ Samantha Cabaluna, Tanimura & Antle Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; wrote in the June 26 letter. The letter requests that the Office of the Inspector Gen-eral examine “issues with (the USDA’s National Organic Program) enforcements for imports and identify correc-tive actions as needed.” The Organic Trade As-sociation’s Global Organ-ic Supply Chain Integrity Task Force will develop a “best practices guide to use in managing and verifying global organic supply chain integrity to help brands and traders manage and miti-have organic certifications. “If they have to hand over a certificate of their own, they’ll have to guarantee they are passing on the cor-rect bin, minimizing risks of fraud or mistakes,” she said. But not all growers feel threatened by the risk of fraudulent organic imports. Organic food is one of the most highly-regulated industries in the country, because trust in organic integrity is necessary to the reputation of the brands that sell it, said Samantha OTA A4 > Business is booming Atlanta Know Your Market, A14 What’s online ... Apio’s Eat Smart goes 100% clean. 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