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The Train Has Left the Station ...and I'm On it!

The Train Has Left the Station ...and I'm On it!

This is not another virus story.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of reading about “you-know-what.” Antithetically, I’ve noticed something in our industry lately that, in the aggregate, is quite compelling: The train is leaving the station! And, guess who is on it? Me, for one.

Yes, much of the world hit the pause button for the past few months, but what I’ve noticed on AndNowUKnow (ANUK) and through speaking with our clients is our produce world is continuing to move forward with the basics of growing, processing, selling, buying, shipping, receiving, and distributing. Not only that, but produce is hiring, developing new products and value-added solutions, forming new partnerships, growing categories, kicking off new seasons and programs, celebrating victories, expanding facilities, investing in technology, promoting products, and the list goes on and on…

Now, don’t get me wrong; it’s not all rainbows, unicorns, and butterflies—we still have plenty of track ahead of us to really gain full steam, but there is a ton of positive momentum in our industry.

Just how much good news is there? Actually, a TON!

As I reviewed many stories from over the past couple of months, I realized there was no way that Jordan Okumura, the Editor in Chief aka my Snack boss, was going to let me list 50 stories. So, here is our compromise...


Awards - CPMA Announces Virtual New Product Showcase Award Winners

With winners from The Little Potato® Company, Mucci Farms, Mastronardi Produce®, and La Huerta Imports, the Canadian Produce Marketing Association recognized the best of the best in fresh produce...

Category Growth - The Organic Produce Network Reports Organic Produce Sales Up

Organics continue to rise in consumer trending habits, making a multitude of category champions an essential part of shoppers’ baskets...

Celebration - Sarah Frey Honored at 2020 Women in Produce LIVE! General Session

A distinguished honor, given to those who display great leadership and produce industry involvement, was bestowed upon Sarah Frey at this year’s virtual event...

Creative Marketing - Country Sweet Produce Launches Virtual Farm Tours

A one-of-a-kind innovation deepened retail relationships as the produce innovator explored new strategies and revealed new programs...

Driving Categories - Mission P[ossible]roduce

On a “mission” to reach new heights in the avocado category, the visionary took us on an industry cliffhanger...

Expansion and Technology - West Pak Avocado Expands, Refines, and Automates Facilities

Investments in excellence were but a few of the ways West Pak Avocado honed its competitive edge...

Getting Healthy - Viva Fresh’s Clean Eating Challenge Participants Reveal Results

Over six months of fresh produce commitment culminated in what could be one of TIPA’s most successful initiatives yet, strengthening our industry’s stance that food is medicine...

Giving Back - Brighter Bites Gives Back for Memorial Day

The dynamic team pulled out all the virtual stops on a momentous fundraising event that brought the might of industry icons and retail giants alike together to support our communities...

Goodwill - Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation Accepting Applications for 2020 Neighborhood Grants Program

Taking a boots-on-the-ground approach, the organic grocer is seeking out upstanding nonprofit organizations to provide grants for nutrition education and food access programs for those in need...

Hiring and Developing - Tim Youmans Launches Root 24 Farms Organic Blueberry Program and Variety-Driven Strategies

Industry veteran Tim Youmans opened up on the launch of a new organic program to capture a booming category and take berries by storm...

Innovation - Church Brothers Farms Introduces Tuscan™ Tender Leaves

Bringing innovation to the literal table, the leafy greens powerhouse recently unveiled a line of irresistible blends to liven up plates across the nation and beyond...

Innovation - Ippolito International Debuts New Salad Blends for Foodservice

The veg powerhouse expanded its product lineup for its foodservice partners, bringing fresh mixes to a diverse sector...

Investments - Achieving The Impossible

The Chief Carrot Officer of Bolthouse Farms opened up on the new strategies the produce provider put into play to achieve a lucrative trifecta...

Leadership - Julie Krivanek on 25 Years of Cultivating Leaders

What does it take to be a leader in our dynamic and fast-growing industry? With over 25 years of experience, Julie Krivanek offered insights, advice, and more for today’s leaders...

Love - A Twist of Fate

When there’s love and produce, what else do you need? Follow along on the journey of Jimmy and Diane Bassetti as they share their story of love and ag...

New Seasons - Wish Farms’ Domestic Blackberry Season Ramps Up

The grower kicked off the blackberry season with fortuitous timing as consumers returned to normalized shopping habits...

Partnerships - Dulcinea Expands “Fruit of Legendary Perfection” Brand With Kiss Melons

Two quality-oriented melon companies with exceptional varieties joined forces...

Partnerships - Whole Foods Partner Gotham Greens Opens New Greenhouse In The Rockies

A dynamic partnership expanded as a new greenhouse opened up to bring more value for the premium grocer...

Promotion - Driscoll’s Launches Mom-Based Series Planned to Culminate on Mother’s Day

A heart-warming tribute to moms culminated on a special day, bringing smiles and joy as the berry purveyor’s campaign drew to a fantastic close...


In addition to all this positive activity, Joe Produce’s job marketing and recruitment activities have picked up steadily over the past 30 days. Here are a few great job opportunities happening right now:

GM/CEO search for a successful wholesale distributor in the Northeast

President of Ag Operations in the Southeast (NEW!)

VP of Ag Operations in Salinas, California

Director of Sales and Marketing in Bakersfield, California

Director of Value-Added Operations in California

Operations Manager/GM in Yuma, Arizona

Two HR Manager roles in California’s Salinas Valley

Director of Sales and Marketing in the Southeast

COO in California’s Coachella Valley

Director of Harvesting in Salinas, California

Farm Manager for a tree crop in New Mexico


So, while I’d like to say, “Turn off Fox, MSNBC, CNN, and all the rest,” rather, I’d like to suggest that we balance out all the bad news with some good produce news!

The produce train is leaving station CV-19! Hop aboard, and let’s make 2020 a great year—there are five more months to go!

Enjoy the journey, my friends!