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The Supplier Side

Green Giant Fresh Completes Network of Herb Facilities

Salinas, Calif.-based Green Giant Fresh has completed its national network of fresh herb-packing facilities, extending the supplier’s ability to deliver premium herbs around the country from certified local and regional farms.

“These strategic locations mean better efficiencies and shorter lead times, adding to the products’ shelf life, retailer profits and consumer satisfaction,” says CEO Jamie Strachan. “Our local and regional certified farms supply local herbs when possible, and draw from common regional farms to deliver year-round supplies.”

In addition to its original herb farm near Chicago, Green Giant Fresh packs and ships its line of 15 farm-fresh herbs from Saco, Maine; Miami; Dallas; Los Angeles; and Salinas, Calif.

Sealed Air Honored for Flexible Packaging Innovations

Elmwood Park, N.J.-based Sealed Air’s Food Care Division received Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards for two packaging innovations on March 3 at the Flexible Packaging Association’s 59th annual Achievement Awards and Innovation Showcase, during FPA’s annual meeting, in Naples, Fla.

In the retail category, Cryovac Darfresh on Tray received the Highest Achievement award. In the Technical Innovation and Sustainability categories, Cryovac Freshness Plus won Gold awards. “The Cryovac technology behind both Darfresh on Tray and Freshness Plus is an excellent example of packaging designed with the latest consumer-driven food trends in mind,” says Sean Brady, Sealed Air Food Care’s director of marketing.

Combining a pre-made tray system with vacuum skin, Darfresh on Tray extends product shelf-life, reducing food waste. This packaging solution eliminates film scrap to offer a more environmentally friendly alternative, using 40 percent less material than other available tray skin offerings. The Freshness Plus odor-eliminating materials help extend shelf life and reduce shrink by protecting foods’ aroma profiles. The unique active packaging technologies pull odors away from the food to maximize product flavor, color and quality, while eliminating and reducing the need for additives or preservatives.

Cooking Oil Management Goes Mobile with RTI

Foodservice operations in supermarkets, hotels, casinos, airports, hospitals, educational institutions and malls can take advantage of a new mini portable oil solution from Minneapolis-based Restaurant Technologies Inc. (RTI). The mobile oil-management system conveniently fits the needs of commercial kitchens that are hauling fryer oil long distances from one kitchen to the next, or from the kitchen to a loading dock, to dispose of used cooking oil.

The RTI Mini-Portable Oil Solution holds up to 300 pounds of fresh and 300 pounds of used cooking oil. At 52 inches long, 25 inches wide and 53 inches high, the compact container can move easily across kitchen floors and fit comfortably in small spaces. The closed-loop system takes care of oil storage, distribution to the fryers, handling and disposal.

The complete system comes with all of the hardware, software, installation, training and support services needed to easily automate oil management, at no upfront cost. It allows for automatic filtration of fryer oil, improving food quality while reducing oil waste. The system eliminates oil spills in kitchens or the need to manually lift and haul oil from one area to the next – reducing strains, slips, falls, burns and associated workers’ compensation claims. From an aesthetic standpoint, kitchens look cleaner and more professional without open, unsightly containers of used cooking oil.

Clear Springs Eyes Sales Force Realignment, Expansion

Buhl, Idaho-based Clear Springs Foods will create a separate retail sales division to accommodate increased rainbow trout production. The company’s domestic production has risen by 30 percent within the past three years, due to farm acquisition and production efficiencies, further augmented by Chilean rainbow trout sourcing, with which Clear Springs has enjoyed a 14-year strategic partnership. The realignment will enable Clear Springs to service foodservice and retail customers separately.

Columbus Foods Appoints Two New Executives

Hayward, Calif.-based premium deli meat purveyor Columbus Foods has made two leadership appointments aimed at strengthening the company’s brand-building capabilities as it approaches its 100th anniversary.

Joe Ennen, formerly SVP in charge of Safeway’s exclusive brand portfolio, was named president of leading sales, marketing and human resources. He’ll assume the company’s leadership position when current CEO Timothy Fallon retires at the end of 2015. Ennen brings more than 20 years of food and CPG industry experience to his new role; he was group VP at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, managed the Healthy Choice business as VP and GM for ConAgra Foods, and spent nearly a decade with the Kellogg Co. in the states and abroad.

Michael Fox takes on the newly created position of SVP of marketing and innovation. Fox spent close to a decade at PepsiCo, working on the Stacy’s, Doritos and Cheetos snack brands; and was a VP at Safeway, where he advanced the O Organics, Open Nature and Eating Right brands.

CandyRific Promotes Clark Taylor to VP of Sales

Louisville, Ky.-based CandyRific has promoted Clark Taylor to VP of sales. Taylor, who has been with CandyRific for the past three years, has been instrumental in bringing a new perspective to sales operations and in the implementation of a new long-range planning direction for the company.

“Clark’s new role will help CandyRific accelerate our focus on customer-centric products, and a more tailored approach to the licensed sales of our existing and future new partners,” says Rob Auerbach, the company’s president. Prior to his promotion, Taylor worked with CandyRific’s western region and several of its national accounts in a sales and marketing role. He has worked for more than 30 years on such brands as Pez, Del Monte Foods, Shikai Natural Products and Dow Consumer Brands.

Black Gold Farms Expands Potato Production, Packing Capabilities

Grand Forks, N.D.-based Black Gold Farms recently acquired the legacy potato production operation George Wood Farms, located near Camden, N.C. Production will consist primarily of chip stock potatoes, and will also include fresh red, yellow and white potatoes. The on-site packing facility has the capability to pack poly and paper as well as tote and bulk capacity.

“These changes will allow stronger service to our customers by reducing risk through greater geographic diversity,” says Matt Wood, partner at George Wood Farms. “The result is a more sustainable organization for all of our team members and customers.”

Longtime George Wood Partner and Manager Jimmy Harrell will remain the leader of this operation, assisted by Black Gold Group Manager Chris Hopkins.

Earth Renewable Technologies Debuts EarthBottle

Brevard, N.C.-based Earth Renewable Technologies launched EarthBottle, a plant-based packaging solution touted as a responsible and sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastics, on March 6 at Ingredea, in Anaheim, Calif. Suitable for natural products, personal care products, pharmaceuticals and household goods, EarthBottles claim to be comparable or superior to HDPE and PET in most key parameters.

“Our product is a versatile plant- and mineral-based solution for brands looking to meet the demands of end users with packaging options that respect our resources and protect our earth, at a cost that may be comparable to what they are using now,” says Owen Schultz, VP of new business development. Boasting a sustainable cradle-to-cradle footprint, EarthBottles are made using plant-based materials without toxic plasticizers or fossil fuels and are recyclable at facilities that accept #7 plastics. In addition, during the decomposition process of the biopolymer, no chemicals or hazardous materials are leached into the water or land, but instead vital minerals and antioxidants are returned to the earth.

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