New Eco-label Certifies Potatoes
bel called Protected Harvest, denoting safe growing standards for potatoes, will roll out in Whole Food Markets in the northeastern United States in mid- to late November, according to the creators of the tag, a collaboration of farmers, scientists and environmental advocates. The program minimizes the use of toxic pesticides, especially with respect to late blight, the most serious disease pest for potatoes, they said. The first potatoes to be certified under the eco-label -- which will be marketed under the "Healthy Grown" brand -- are Wisconsin-grown russets, reds and whites. As an eco-label, Protected Harvest is due to receive an endorsement of its stringent production standards from The World Wildlife Fund, marking the first time WWF has extended its support to such an initiative.
Buyproduce Shuts Platform
IRVINE, Calif. -- Citing lack of acceptance of the company's trading platform, and a weak economy, officials of Buyproduce have closed down the company's division based here. The decision to shut the Internet-based marketplace division left 21 employees out of work, Jim Delurgio, chief information officer, told SN. Employees were notified Oct. 12. The few who remained at work the following week were trying to find buyers for the company's intellectual property and tangible assets. The produce industry never adopted the company's trading platform, and that prompted shareholders of Buyproduce to make the decision to cease operations, Delurgio said. The shutdown does not affect the Kirkey Products Group, the Longwood, Fla.-based provider of software applications and consulting for the international agribusiness community. Buyproduce merged with Longwood in April, but prior to that, Longwood had been in business for 18 years, Delurgio said.
IFPA Plans HACCP Workshop
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The International Fresh-cut Produce Association and the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will co-sponsor a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point workshop for fresh-cut processors Dec. 5 to 6 at the Holiday Inn Airport North, Atlanta. The seminar, "Developing and Implementing HACCP for the Fresh-cut Industry," was designed specifically for the fresh-cut processing industry, and is accredited by the International HACCP Alliance. According to seminar organizers, the goal of the program is to provide participants with the skills and knowledge to design, implement, document and maintain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems in their business. The program will combine lectures and work-group discussions from a faculty that includes food microbiologists, HACCP experts and authorities from academia, industry and government.
Washington Apples Get Logo Change
WENATCHEE, Wash. -- The Washington Apple Commission has developed a new multicolored logo to indicate new varieties growing in the state. The red, orange, yellow and green apple symbol is being used selectively on the new Gala, Fuji, Braeburn, Cameo and Pink Lady apples, which now comprise some 65% of the state's crop. The commission's familiar red apple sticker will be used for the state's Red Delicious and other traditional varieties, officials said. They said the new design will help consumers try the gourmet apples, and expand the state's market share of domestic apple consumption, which currently rates 85%.