Oser Communications Group

Produce Show Daily Oct 18 2014

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P ro d u c e S h o w D a i l y 8 5 S a t u rd a y, O c to b e r 1 8 , 2 0 1 4 across North America since 1994. That must give you pretty good insight into the retail banana trade. DB: Well, if you consider that adds up to over 100 million pounds of daily ripen- ing capacity and over 70 percent of all bananas ripened in North America, I guess you could say we occupy a pretty unique position in the marketplace. We work with all the major growers as well as most of the top grocery retailers across the US, Canada and Mexico, so we pret- ty much see every side of the business equation. PSD: Keeping this in mind, you said quality control has become the number one conversation among your customers lately. What's changed? DB: Back in the 1980s, the 'Big Three' global banana traders, Chiquita, Dole and DelMonte, controlled more than 65 percent of all global banana exports. In 2013, that total was down to just 37 percent. This reflects a shift away from plantation ownership and production by the Big Three towards post-production and supply chain logistics. So now you have the Big Three as well as some larger retailers and wholesalers sourcing bananas from multiple growers, then marketing and distributing them under a single brand. So the conversation has become all about how to maximize quality and consistency at the point-of-sale with multi-sourced fruit. PSD: How is this impacting the indus- try? DB: Interestingly enough, the new emphasis on quality and consistency at retail has made things good for every- one concerned. It's created a new part- nership mentality in which all the stake- Thermal Technologies ( Cont'd. from p. 1) holders share the same common goal. In this new environment the ripening oper- ation pulls together the varied interests of grower, marketer, wholesaler and retailer in providing consistent, high quality fruit whether it comes from one supplier or many. PSD: But how does this new model dif- fer from the way things worked in the past? DB: Due to the sheer size and volume of some of our retail customers, in the same way that politics makes strange bedfellows, this new focus on retail quality often puts competitors on the same team. We've ended up working side-by-side with more than one of the major suppliers for the same retailer at the same time. While this may have been unheard of in the past, this new partnership mentality makes good busi- ness sense today, where the needs of the large retailers drive the market. PSD: How do you see these changes impacting the marketplace in the years ahead? DB: While the shift of market power towards retailers has created opportuni- ties for smaller growers and suppliers, the sheer size and market reach of the Big Three along with value-added services and marketing keeps them in a strong position. There's no doubt that they will continue to have a powerful influence on the industry. But as retailers continue to diversify with more growers providing a greater variety of organics and other banana types, there's also no doubt that ripening will play an increasingly impor- tant role in making sure all these products reach the consumer with the predictable high quality and consistency the market demands. For more information, visit booth #3802, contact David Byrne at 803-461-7980 or go to www.gotarpless.com. Railex gives you the opportunity to address your cold chain transportation, consolidation/deconsolidation, ware- housing and freight-forwarding needs all through one phone call. For instance, if you are moving dif- ferent commodities that need to be con- solidated together elsewhere for ship- ment to a final destination – say California citrus and onions out of the Pacific Northwest – there's typically a lot of extra time and cost involved in coordi- nating it all. You have the time lost to additional transport segments and prod- uct touches, along with the hard costs of warehousing and vendor fees. With Railex, we handle it all, saving our cus- tomers time and money. PSD: Can you take us through the process of how your 3PL services work to get produce to its final desti- nation? MC: With Railex, produce is shipped in private temperature-controlled rail cars traveling nonstop to any one of our facilities. The produce can then be stored in our temperature-controlled warehouses, with your first five days of storage free. Our team will, if needed, consolidate your pallets into new mixed shipments and load them into short-haul refrigerated trucks for deliv- ery to their final destination. Our freight-forwarding capabilities allow us to reach much of the Pacific Northwest, California, the Northeast, the Southeast and soon the Midwest, so Railex ( Cont'd. from p. 1) we have significant national coverage. PSD: How do you ensure produce arrives in the best condition? MC: We have eyes on your product at every key logistics juncture. That means we can flag potentially disastrous issues for you while there's still time to fix the situation. An example: we had a load of onions arrive at our dock. Product should arrive pre-cooled and, per standard operating procedures, we pulped them upon receipt and discovered that they were at 90 degrees. Had they been loaded without that safety check – even in a refrigerated unit – they would have been sweaty or moldy upon arrival. Because of our extra care, we identified the problem immedi- ately; called our customer and offered free storage to cool the product down; then shipped them out on the next train. The product arrived in perfect condition. PSD: Any other benefits shippers may not realize about using Railex and its 3PL services? MC: Yes, virtually unlimited shipping capacity. Railex offers its shippers a more reliable transport service, without the capacity limitations and costly rate fluc- tuations often found with other modes during peak season or holiday shipping. That saves our customers a lot of time, hassle and money too. For more information, stop by booth #566. Equipment Inc. is involved with every order, starting with the first phone call. The customer service follows the entire process from the initial concept and floor plan layout, to final completion and ship- ping. The service department has trained field techs to provide on-site service for customers. Our parts department is also an important part of our sales team. We provide parts for all the equipment we sell. PSD: What is your current marketing strategy? MW: The A&B Packing Equipment Inc.'s marketing strategy is to make con- tact with existing customers, as well as meet new customers. Being available for the customers, listening to concerns and providing free quotes is what sets A&B Packing Equipment Inc. apart from the competitors. A&B Packing Equipment Inc. also schedules appointments to meet customers at their facility to go over spe- cific details. Marketing strategies for A&B Packing Equipment Inc. are an opportu- nity to network and create publicity. This exposure generates the leads needed to communicate with suppliers, customers and distributors. At A&B Packing Equipment Inc. we strive to stay up to date with the latest cutting edge technol- A&B Packing Equipment ( Cont'd. from p. 1) ogy and that allows us the competitive advantage to stay at the top. Our experi- enced sales staff does a great job showing people who we are and what we can offer them. A&B Packing Equipment Inc. man- ufactures complete Fresh Pack and Process Equipment. Our equipment is used for, but not limited to blueberries, cranberries, mushrooms, grapes, cher- ries, cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes. A&B offers a 10 percent show dis- count for up to 10 days after each show. PSD: To what do you attribute your com- pany's success? MW: We attribute the company's success to each individual here at A&B Packing Equipment Inc. Everyone brings some- thing to the table, thus helping to make A&B Packing Equipment Inc. the leader in the fresh pack and process manufac- turing industry. Whether it is lean manu- facturing or innovative technology, it all guides our company into full alignment to provide the customer with equipment that will save them time and money. Our quality control program ensures that each piece of equipment is built to the highest standards and is installed by one of our experienced field techs. For more information, visit www.ab packing.com, call 269-539-4700 or email sales@abpacking.com. with the 2014 Foodservice Achievement Award. Church and his brother Steve Church of Church Brothers LLC have a history of bringing innovative concepts to the industry, including a vertically integrated grower-shipper-processor for foodservice and fresh-cut processing. Past winners of this award include Tim York, Bruce Taylor, David Gill and Rich Dachman who have done business with Church as well as sometimes been com- petitors and friends. Over the past 30 years, Tom Church has been credited with popular- izing concepts such as: field-packed broccoli, iceless broccoli shipments, fresh-hold packaging, controlled- atmosphere packaging, cleaned and cored lettuce, trimmed lettuce for food- service and single-leaf lettuce packs. Tom has been known to have ideas that some may consider outrageous and too crazy; however, he has collaborated on a few of the most influential advances in today's agricultural technology. Tom attributes his hard work ethic and com- mitment to excellence in part to begin- ning his career in high school working Church Brothers ( Cont'd. from p. 1) in the packing sheds for the Bruce Church Company. He remembers the importance of starting from the ground floor and realizes the value of every employee contribution, big or small. This year, Church Brothers is cel- ebrating its 15 year anniversary and continues to introduce new ideas such as new salad blends that were debuted at the PMA Foodservice Conference. Power Kale Mix, Cascade Mix and Napa Slaw are among these new blends that were shown. Power Kale Mix combines a nourishing blend of baby kales, yellow chard, spinach and lolla rosa. Rich in vitamins A and C, this mix is a leading source of iron too. Cascade Mix is a great blend of green leaf and romaine heart leaves with a touch of radicchio. This tender blend is minimally processed, resulting in a delightfully rustic, homegrown appear- ance. Napa Slaw allows the sweet, hearty, crispy texture to give way to a juicier, better tasting slaw that holds up on its own so you don't have to drench it in dressing. For more information, visit www.church brothers.com or stop by booth #1538D.

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